Electrical Wiring

May 25, 2013

Starting at the Tail. - 3.25 Hours

So here's the start of the wiring! First, though, I must digress just a bit. I said I was going to start at the tail. But in all truthfulness, my first wiring project was actually in the center of the rear fuselage. If you followed my Finish Kit pages, you'll remember this. I watch the classified ads every day on Vans Airforce.net. When I had an opportunity to pick up some Tru-Trak autopilot servos from Stein Air at a price way below standard retail, I jumped at the chance. The installation of the servo, it's mounting bracket and so on, was documented back in September 2012. You'll find it in my Finish Kit pages. I'm mentioning it here because Stein also provided some "half harnesses" at half price. Cool! So what's a half harness? Well, it has a connector on one end, that simply screws in place on the servo, and the other end is bare wires. It's half finished. In this case, the wires even have pins crimped on the other end. So when I get around to wiring the panel and the autopilot, it's ready to go. So my first wiring job was actually this one. It amounted to attaching the connector to the pitch servo, and pulling the wire bundle through the conduit under my seats into the forward fuselage. It's there now, awaiting the final wiring behind the panel. But here's a picture of the servo and the half-harness, all in place behind the baggage bulkhead. My first wiring project, and it couldn't have been easier! I even left a string running through the conduit, as you see here, in case I need to pull anything else through this conduit. Later, I added a tie-down to the bottom skin, so this bundle is more secure and not left just dangling here. You'll see that soon. There are other wires to come through here first.

So back to the tail... I did enough studying to know how many wires I needed and what size (wire guage) to use. I will have my rudder light/strobe, and the wires for the trim tab servo going back there. So on a nice day, I pulled the plane outside so I could bolt the Vertical Stabilizer in place temporarily. This was necessary to know where I had clearance to drill a hole for a wire bundle and a bushing.

Here's the hole I drilled, on the left side of the V.S. spar. A snap-bushing goes in here and then the wires for the tail light only will go through here into the rudder. The wires for the trim tab branch off earlier, out into the Horizontal Stabilizer.

Here, I'm drilling another hole in the next bulkhead going forward. The wire bundle will go through another bushing here, then back to the tail.

Here's a neat discovery I learned about. These little things are either pop-riveted to something, or you can use a dab of proseal to secure them to the inside of the fuselage. A zip-tie goes through it, to hold a wire bundle securely in place. After curing for several days, I can't pull it loose. Good to go!

So I installed a string of them, from the baggage bulkhead through the fuselage back to the tail. You can see the holes through the bulkheads with bushings in place.

Darkness is falling, time to bring her back into the stable.

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