April 25, 2009

Installed Right F-719 Stiffener, Fab'd and installed Left F-684 Gusset - 6.0 hrs.

Well, yesterday I drove down to Vans and picked up a replacement F-719 stiffener for the right side. I was hoping for a chance to show the guys the problem with these parts and see what they said, but everyone is down in Florida at the Sun-N-Fun fly-in. So there was a minimal staff at the factory. I showed the lady at the counter, however, and she immediately took me back to the parts inventory to the bin where the F-719R's are stored. I was able to pick through them to see if I could find the best one. Honestly, they were all the pretty much the same. The good news is, they were all better than the one I messed up at home. Not perfect, but better than the one I received with my fuse kit. While I was there, I picked up another 50 1/8" clecos since I was completely out, and I also picked up a pair of brackets for the ELT and Strobe power supply for the lights. These handy brackets mount right behind the F-706 bulkhead in the aft fuse, and provide a place to mount these electronics later on.

Back in the shop today, I applied some brute force finesse to the new F-719 stiffener, and proceeded to install and drill it to the fuse. It went without a hitch, as well as the F-719B angle bracket.

Here's a shot of the stiffener drilled and clecoed in place, and I'm fitting and drilling the angle bracket in place. The hole drilled through the vertical firewall bracket was done by eyeballing it and just drilling the hole.

Then, I used my right-angle drill to backdrill through the holes in the angle through the stiffener.

Here it is, all finished. Perfect! I can't tell you how good it feels to be done with this part.

Now it's time to fabricate and install the F-684 corner gussets. The drawing shows where you trim the part and how it needs to be bent. I found that it actually needs more trimming than this to fit right. The vertical edge is supposed to be 1/8" aft of the firewall. How do you get that spacing just right when you can't see it? Well, I pushed the part flush against the firewall and drew a vertical line along the firewall bracket. Then I measured 1/8" and drew another line. It's this 2nd line that you line up with the edge of the firewall angle before drilling. It came out perfect.

Shown above is the left one, all finished. I spent a lot of time on this part because of all the trimming and filing, and careful bending to get it to fit right and lay flat on both surfaces it gets riveted to. The measurements shown on the drawing for the trimming you need to do are only a starting point. More actually needs to be trimmed before it will fit right. After many iterations and trial fittings, I got it done. Shown above, it's drilled and clecoed in place. I'm pleased that I got a nice fit. The next one should go easier, now that I know what needs to be done to it to make it fit right.

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