June 11, 2010

Brake Lines - Finished! - 2.5 Hrs.

Today I finished up the work on the left brake line and completely installed the right side line as well. I believe I have a good method worked out, and this went well. First, here are some shots of how I finished up the left side. I only had it done halfway the other night.

It's a straight shot up the channel, over the "hump" and then it connects to the fitting on the firewall. I put the two pieces of masking tape down to show me roughly where the openings are in the F-782C cover, so I can make sure to have clearance.

Now, here's more detail on how easy it is to install these brake lines, once you have a workable plan figured out.

Here's the 62-1/2" piece of tubing for the right side. It has to be curved to fit in the cabin, but you don't want to overwork the material. So the best method is to not straighten it out too much in the first place as you unroll and measure a piece. The end is carefully deburred and prepared for a flare, but don't flare it yet. You start in the middle and feed it first over the fuel line through the grommets in the brackets, and through the gear leg weldment. In the shot above, you can see the end sticking out in the upper left corner. This is so easy, it's ridiculous. I don't know why I was so afraid of tackling this part of the project.

Here's a closeup of the brake line passing through the grommets, just above the fuel line. Below, a closeup inside the gear leg weldment. These holes are in the perfect place for the fuel line and brake line to pass through.

As you tweak everything into place, it's good to make sure the lines are centered in the holes and not rubbing on the weldment anywhere. I used my little inspection mirror and my camera to make sure this was good to go.

Here's the end of the tube, coming out of the weldment. Now it's time to put a flare on the end. DON'T FORGET to put the nut and sleeve on FIRST! (ask me how I know).

Using the flaring tool inside the cabin is no big deal at all. I had been worried about this because all the ones I've done before now have been on the bench, but it's not a problem. This tool is easy to work with.

Once the tubing is flared, you can carefully bend it and fit it in place on the fitting. Screwing the nut down anchors the end so you can tweak everything into final place working back to the center of the cabin.

In the center area, I made sure to leave the large grommets clear for future wiring to pass through the bulkhead unobstructed. These bends were all done by hand using the bending spring slipped over the tubing. Work carefully and take your time and you won't kink or nick the tubing at all.

Then I ran the line forward, parallel to the left one. At the forward end, carefully bend it up "over the hump" and over to the fitting. It's easy at this point to hold it right up to the AN fitting and mark it with a fine sharpie for cutting.

You can see that I only had a couple inches of waste material to trim off. Above, my little tubing cutter works great in tight places. This was no problem at all. I deburred the end afterwards to prepare it for a flare. Once again, DON'T FORGET to slide the nut and little sleeve on first, before you flare the end!

See my STUPID MISTAKE? I'm flaring the end as the nut and sleeve are laying on the floor. I was preoccupied with taking this picture and forgot. I had to trim the flared end off and do this again.

Here it is, all finished! All the bends are made so as to avoid any contact with the airframe of the fuselage. You don't want rubbing or vibration taking a toll on these lines.

Another shot from another angle, showing the entire installation. I'm really glad to have this work done. I still need to put some foam material of some kind around the lines to keep them separated and not rubbing against each other. I'm not quite sure exactly what I'll do just yet, but it's a simple item. Putting the lines near the side of the channel leaves lots of room for future wiring runs to pass through here. Plus, remember that the fuel line goes through here also. It has been temporarily removed, along with the fuel pump and all that stuff, while I worked on these brake lines.

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