Tanya & Bryan Duke's RV-6 Panel Rebuild
04 Jul 05: Three days straight at the hangar in over 110 degree heat was enough. Last night
we picked up a couple portable swamp coolers & set them up before we got started this morning.
They definitely made a big difference. We put over 10 hours of work in today, without the coolers
we would have called it quits much earlier.
Alright, I cheated. Homebuilders everywhere pride themselves in doing everything on their
planes. Yeah, I need to get this done and it looks like I'll be out of the country again
starting next weekend, so I cheated. With some great help from John, our A&P,
the radio & transponder fit just as they should. John also riveted in the flush mount for the
EFIS/Lite. If you ever need A&P work done in the Boulder City/Las Vegas area, call John Bacon. He
does great work. John's on the right...
Tanya asked for another project today...she tackled the electrical system. She removed the old
main & avionics busses. One by one, she installed new circuit breakers & got the two busses pretty
much done. We'll solder some fuses together after we install the panel, but the electrical system
with all it's new hardware is in good shape!
Now I can only go so long without some visual motivation. When John brought the panel back with the
EFIS/Lite flush mount done I just had to test fit everything. You can see below everything fits
nicely. Pretty much the only things not installed are the attitude indicator
(open hole on the bottom left of the panel) & the EFIS repeater display (big square hold on the right
side). The attitude indicator is already in the plane all connected to it's vacuum lines. The
EFIS repeater (I have to think of a better name than that) still only lives in my mind. More on that
later...it'll be cool - promise!
Man, I love Tanya. After finishing the wiring inside the cockpit, she moved back to the engine
bay to wrap & route all the engine monitor sensor wires. She quickly tore through that task too &
we now have a beatiful engine bay once again. We'll zip-tie everything in it's final place once
the engine monitor is installed & tested. Look at her go!
Me? I got to cut stuff! The sub-panel (between the instrument panel & the firewall) needed a new
hole for the new location of the radio stack. Dremel tool to the rescue! The new radio stack is
actually going to extend just past the bottom of this sub-panel. Before I cut the bottom of the
sub-panel, I'm going to reinforce the area - with some super-nice yet-to-be-designed masterpiece of
metalwork. Wish me luck.
I learned today that my Dremel tool has some sort of overheat safety cutoff (like if you make it fail,
then it's safe). After quite a while of
grinding & cutting, it became almost too hot to hold. About that same time, it stopped working.
I guess it was time for a break. That gave us a minute to look at the clock & realize we were into
our 10th hour of work on the plane. Time to go home!
I have to work tomorrow, but I took vacation on Wednesday & Thursday, so I'll be back then. I'm
planning on (finally) buying paint for the panel tomorrow. I have to order a few odds & ends from
Aircraft Spruce too. Since I probably won't be here next week anyway, I'll probably wait a few days
to see if anything else needs to get ordered. More soon...
Panel Rebuild Page
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