Tanya & Bryan Duke's RV-6 Panel Rebuild
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23 Jul 05: After working nights all week & being in Japan the week before, today was the first real day Tanya & I got to spend together in the last two weeks. After a lazy morning, we went to the hangar and got to work. After some wire-routing advise from John Bacon, we decided to change the way the wiring went from the engine sensors to the firewall. Tanya ran the wire just like Jack did when he built the plane, but the new way hopefully will cut down a little bit on the heat that the wiring has to live with. Tanya re-ran the wiring just under the cylinder heads using adell clamps to keep things in place. She clamped, wrapped & zip-tied everything & put the wiring bundle back through the firewall. We still need to mount the analog module portion of the AF2500 engine monitor, but once we do the wiring is ready for it. My only concern is how close the engine monitor wiring is to the spark plug wires. Everything is shielded, but I still will be keeping my eye out for wierd readings...hopefully it'll work great.

While Tanya was doing that, I resumed my cutting of the sub-panel. The new hole in the top left of this picture is for the new location of the EFIS/Lite. I also cut the emergency canopy release support bracket behind that sub-panel & test fit the radio stack. I made a reinforcement for the sub-panel using .060 angle aluminum to support that panel so that I can cut the final section out for the radio stack. I still have to prime & rivet the angle in place, but it looks like it'll work great.

Back home after dinner (steak, mmmm), we tackled getting all the dust & other imperfections out of the new panel & old sub-panels we repainted. We tried about 5 different types of polish, but finally got things to look great by first wet sanding with 600 & 1500 grit paper followed by Meguire's #7 polish and a polishing wheel. We haven't seen the parts in the sunlight, but I think we're going to be very happy with them.

I called some friends at EAA Chapter 49 & found a place that does reasonably priced silkscreening. I called the shop & discussed our options. As it turns out, they also do photo etching. The silkscreening on my old panel was 13+ years old & still was in great shape. Aparently photo etching is even more permanent. I'm driving to Lancaster, CA on Monday to look at my options & drop off the panels to get lettered. Hopefully, the panel lettering will be done in about a week so we can finally start to put things back together.

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