December 1, 2007

Final fitting and finishing the tank - 8.0 hrs.

Today I continued my work fitting the leading edge/tank joint. The shim I made yesterday turned out to be too much.

You can't really see the shim under the top right cleco in this picture, but you can see how nicely the skin curves here now. Flat spot eliminated.

This is trickier than I thought. I ended up making 3 of these shims before I was finished and getting everything fitted to my satisfaction. They need to be real small. It's easy to overdo it, as you can see above. When I used the thinnest scrap I could find and made it real small, it worked.

It's hard to get a good picture, but this is much better. This joint is actually better than it even looks in this picture. I'm happy with this.

I added one here on the tank, too.

Here is the result! I'm very happy with this fit. Now I feel good about riveting it together and moving on.

Here it is a while later, all riveted together.

Next, I mixed up some proseal and installed the access plate and fuel float gauge on the tank. Like many others have done, I decided not to use the cork gasket that came with the kit, instead putting a nice layer of proseal on and bolting the cover plate down. I used these nice stainless steel hex-head bolts and stainless washers from McMaster-Carr instead of the ones that came with the kit. I also put a layer of proseal under the rubber gasket that goes on under the brass-colored fuel float gauge. The tank is now sealed up, and I'm nervously waiting to check it for leaks. It will probably be a few days before this sealant is stiff and cured enough for a pressure test. This time of year it's cold and this stuff doesn't harden very fast.

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