November 23, 2007

Worked on the tank cover plate - 5 hrs.

Tonight I got going on the cover plate for the tank. It's more than just a cover plate. In the configuration I'm building, it holds the fuel pickup tube and the fuel float gauge. Getting everything in place, fitted correctly, riveted on and/or sealed turns out to be quite a job.

First, there are 5 nutplates that I riveted on in the center of the plate, as you see above. These hold the fuel float gauge in place when it's bolted on. Next, the fuel pickup tube is installed. It's more than just screwed in place, however. There is a specially designed anti-rotation bracket that slips on over the blue AN fitting and it is riveted to the cover plate. You can see it above, with sealant sealing it in place. This is an insurance policy. It guarantees that the fuel pickup tube will never vibrate loose or come undone and fall into the tank. That could be disastrous, causing you to starve the engine for fuel when the tank is still half full. I like this extra margin of safety.

The only problem I ran into when fitting it in place is obvious in the picture above. When the cover plate is screwed on, one of the screws hits the tube. Not wanting any scratching, chafing, or rubbing going on, I carefully bent the tube out and away from the cover plate enough to give plenty of clearance for this area. If you're installing one of these, check this carefully. I suspected it would be close when the cleco was in place, but I took the cleco out and ran a screw all the way in so I could see. Sure enough, it had to be adjusted. Paying close attention to little details is very important.

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