Tanya & Bryan Duke's RV-6 Panel Rebuild
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07 Aug 05: We installed the panel today for good! Before we did that, we finished up a few wiring items. The first was a new ring terminal on the battery supply to the main buss. After that I rewired the main feed for the instrument panel lights to get rid of an old butt-splice connector that looked like it wanted to be replaced.

Here it goes! I couldn't find any more work to do under the panel that we could do with the new panel out. We declared it time to finally install the new panel for good. Tanya wiggled it in place & we bolted it down.

With the panel installed, we just had to put some stuff in it. The EFIS/Lite got the honor of being first. It fits perfectly flush with the panel. I think we're going to add a little weather stripping around it to make the installation look perfect. The EFIS has a chamfer around the outside of the front of the case that leaves about 1/16-1/8" gap around it when it's mounted flush. I put the starter switch in next while Tanya put in the instrument hole cover on the unused hole we have in the right side of the panel. I also installed the electronic ignition switch just above the starter switch.

There are a couple two-person jobs left, so we got one of them out of the way. Since we removed the old loran and its antenna, there's a hole in the top of the fuselage. We built a plate to rivet to the inside of the plane to cover the hole up. Later we'll fill the area with epoxy & microballoons to make it look good again. To get things ready, I countersunk the four rivet holes.

While the primer dried on the loran antenna patch panel, we moved back to the instrument panel area. We installed the three sub-panels which make up the housing around the fuel selector. It was actually way more work than I had hoped. I mistakenly ordered 1/4-20 lock nuts for my 1/4-28 bolts that hold the fuel selector switch. In all the heat (and my stupidity) I spent about 20 minutes trying to make it work. Arrgh! I dug up some 1/4-28 nuts & lock washers I still had around from my VariEze (from about 5 years ago) and go figure...everything fit like a glove. I moved the fuel selector to all it's settings to make sure it worked...yup.

We took a break from the panel work to buck some rivets. I crawled in the back of the fuselage & Tanya went to town with the rivet gun on the patch for the loran antenna holes. Since the bolt holes were already #8's we had to slightly drill the holes out for 3/16" rivets..huge! We'll sand this area smooth & do some touch up paint someday hopefully soon. At least it's all sealed off & flyable now (it looks dumb though).

With the main instrument panel and the fuel selector box installed, it was time to get the rest of the sub-panels ready for installation. We're reusing lots of old sub-panels...remember the old panel?

We test fit the center sub-panels (somehow they didn't make the picture). We won't know for sure until everything gets bolted in for good, but it looks like everything is going to fit just right. I still have to drill the holes in the new instrument panel to mount the fuse panels, vents, and the throttle quadrant.

With all the new stuff in the plane, I really could have stayed at the hangar all night. We both have to go to work tomorrow though (all week too), so we called it quits in time to take care of a few things around the house. Next time I'm out I'll work on getting the rest of the sub-panels installed.

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