Tanya & Bryan Duke's RV-6 Panel Rebuild
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09 Aug 05: Red Flag is going on and I'm working nights, so I had some time to sneak out to the airport before I went to work. I wanted to get the rest of the sub-panels fit & mounted today. There was rain on & off most of the day, so the temps were cool and I was able to get more done than I had hoped.

We decided to replace our old Whisperflow plastic eyeball vents with new aluminum eyeball vents from Airkit. They're direct bolt-in replacements for our old Whisperflows, so the mod was painless. They were crazy expensive, but they look great.

Our old vents were stepped down from the 2.75" fitting on the back of the vent to 2" to match the fitting on the NACA ducts on the sides of the airplane. The step-down fittings don't quite sit snug on the new air vents, so Tanya did some modification to the new vents & the step-down to make the everything work. I started today's work by drilling the mounting holes in the instrument panel to mount the left vent. Then I bolted the left vent in place. We'll connect the tubing later, but the left vent is now in place for good.

I installed the remaining fuse holders in the two sub-panels that go on the right side of the panel. Once in place and aligned with the terminals facing up, I twisted the top terminals so that the avionics buss wire can fit through them all. I drilled the mounting holes for these two sub-panels and bolted the panels in place.

I did the final test-fit of the two sub-panels that make up the center console. Everything fit exactly how I wanted, so I drilled the holes for the screws to hold it in place.

The panel is now looking somewhat interesting, so more & more people are stopping by to check on the progress. For really no reason except to add to the "wow factor," I installed the CPU module of the AF2500 engine monitor. The electrical system wasn't ready for power, so photos with the screens lit up will show up later. This will get painted screws once I paint them.

We've gone back & forth on putting the old g-meter back in the airplane. It has an odd shape for it's mounting hole and we aren't going to keep it around forever, so I didn't want to put it in the new instrument panel. Tanya repainted the old mounting bracket for it the other day & I drilled the holes to install it today. The bracket also holds the oil cooling vent pushrod - so I won't have to worry about building a bracket for that...at least not for a while.

The throttle quadrant pushrods were next on the list. I aligned them & tightened down their retaining nuts.

To power the fuse holders I'm reusing these buss wires. To get them ready, I had to remove all the old solder and otherwise clean them up.

I had to get one last thing done before I went to work. Circuit breakers! I put the main buss circuit breakers in place on the panel. I still have to tighten everything down, but this is the first step towards cleaning up that huge bundle of wires hanging under the panel.

There's lots more of this cleanup wiring to do, but the instruments are basically ready to go in the panel. I still have to install & wire the new stick grips. I've been waiting on that so I can check clearance with the panel & all it's little sub-panels. The new stick grips are slightly taller than the old ones so I might have to trim an inch or so off the sticks.

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