The RV-6 Rebuild project
Page 5 - flight prep and flight testing
2020 - I ran across this RV-6 in Albuquerque, NM. It has been
damaged, but was priced about right, so I bought it. Not sure if
it was the right thing to do or not, but now I'm committed. At
first glance, it doesn't look too bad. But then there are all the
things I didn't know that I had to learn before I moved it.
Return to Page 1
Return to Page 2
Return to Page 3
Return to Page 4
Note: While I am calling this flight testing, there is no flight
test requirement since this aircraft has some 1200 hours already flown
in this configuration. My work was an IRAN (Inspect Repair As
Necessary) and a Major Overhaul of the engine, neither of which require
a Phase 1 Fly Off Period. However, since this is a new aircraft
to me, and effectively a new engine, I plan to treat it as a new plane
and will do an abbreviated test period. Additionally, since the
logs for the first 1200 hours are missing, there is no record of a Test
Phase 1 sign off. So, once I have completed testing to my
satisfaction, I will put a Phase 1 to Phase 2 entry in the aircraft
logs with my signature.
Octobrt 15, 2020 - It finally looks like an airplane again. The
things that are supposed to pressurize, suck, blow and pump are all
doing what they are supposed to do. So, now it's cowled up and
ready for some ground testing, then flight testing. The only
notes from taxiing it this morning are that I was getting a high temp
warning for #4 cyl due to the EGT and CHT thermomcouples being
switched, and a low suction light despite the vacuum gauge showing good
vacuum. Those have been addressed, so now it should be ready for
ground and then flight testing.
I did wash down the firewall and engine with solvent and scrubbed the
belly. Then I taxied it over to the maintenance hangar and washed
it. Once back in my hangar I wiped it down and detailed it.
At least we'll start out with it looking pretty.
OK, the plane appears to be done and ready to fly. So, let's see
how ready it actually is and what happens. I'll document my early
testing. Many things have not gone as expected with rebuilding
the plane and engine, so there's no reason to believe this trend won't
continue. So, I might as well document it.
Oct 15, 2020 - Well, it looks like a plane again. And it is all
back together again. Unfortunately, the airport is closed to have
the runway markings repainted. So nothing is going to happen
before Friday afternoon when the airport opens again. But I seem
to recall the previous owner muttering something about his brother in
law saying the plane flew wing heavy, which wasn't the case before it
was groundlooped. I measured the incidence of the wings and they
appear to be correct, and more importantly, match each other. But
the right flap keeps making a crunching noise when I retract the flaps.
Upon close examination, the flaps are rigged dissimilarly.
The right flap is retracting too far. So, I opened up the
flap actuator cover for the right side and lengthened the actuator rod,
by roughly 3/4". Now the flaps appear to match each other and the
right flap no longer makes undesirable noises when retracting.
October 16, 2020 - Friday. The runway painting project is still
not finished. The airport will open on Saturday afternoon.
October 17, 2020 - Saturday. The fall winds are blowing. No
point in getting the plane out today. But at least they did
finish the runway painting project, so the airport is open.
October 18, 2020 - Gray, heavy skies with low ceilings. I would
have no qualms about flying today, but this is a first flight in this
plane with a freshly overhauled engine. I want to climb to some
altitude and run this enging hard while staying over top of the
airport, and I want to have time to perform some slow flight and
perhaps approach stalls at altitude before I land. So today is
not the day for a first flight. But it is a good day to do some
My first impression fromt taxi testing; The engine has good throttle response and loads of
power even though it is only an O-320. It's clearly going to get
off the ground quite quickly. In fact, after I lifted the tail,
when I set it back down, it did leap into the air, so I did do a few
crow hops with it. But I also had something really bad happening
back in the tail that didn't feel right, was really noisy, and was
Obviously, the tailwheel tire is dragging against the tailwheel
frame. 5 minutes ago, this was a brand new tailwheel. And
no, it was NOT dragging on the frame while rolling around in the
hangar. I consulted with a friend that has been flying a RV for
years and he said he had never heard of this kind of issue with the
Van's tailwheel. Nor had I. This tire wasn't
even close to round, so I decided to take it to the grinder and try to
grind off the high spot to make it round.
Why yes, that is all tailwheel rubber all around my grinder.
And yes the tire is much closer to round. I put it back on
and went out for another taxi.
I wouldn't say it held up very well. It still dragged enough
that it effectively overheated and swelled to where it rolled itself
partially off the rim. It did shrink back down to the rim for the
most part after it cooled down, but this is still not acceptable.
It was also quite clearly dragging while I was doing a fast taxi,
so was making lots of noise and dragging as well as causing some odd
feeling steering issues. The plane is not ready to fly with this
However, I do have a bucket full of old tailwheels I have
collected over the years, so I dug an
old tailwheel out of my bucket and knocked the bearings out of it.
Then I punched the bearings out of the tailwheel from Vans and
the bearings from the Vans tailwheel into my old worn tailwheel.
bearings were also bone dry, so I pumped some grease through them,
which is why the tailwheel is nice and shiny now (and the rudder skin
also well lubricated with grease now) following a high speed taxi. But the worn
tailwheel seems to have sufficient clearance that all is working
I suppose I could call Vans and gripe at them about the tailwheel and
they would probably replace it, but the fact of the matter is that the
wheel is something they buy and pass on at cost, and I have something
that works now that will probably outlast me, so I don't think I
care a whole lot. I also have at least one more spare tailwheel
tire and rim in my bucket full of tailwheels and can order these new
for $44 (from API) and $6.00 (from vans) for a pair of bearings or buy
the much improved replacement tire with bearings from Vans
for $105 (or $133 from AC Spruce).
I crow hopped the plane a few times. The
on the RV-6 feels really spongy to me. It's not a problem.
It just feels different so will take some adapting of my
expectations for ground handling. You might also notice that I
added a link to the steering chains after the springs. That was
to loosen up the tailwheel steering to make it a bit less twitchy.
It seems much better, although I am contemplating adding another
link. I admit that I really prefer for the tailwheel to not do
much for the steering other than just a nudge. That makes the
plane require some brakes for handing at slow speeds, but improves the
quality at higher speeds by making it less twitchy. I went
through this with my KR as well and while training the new owner in the
KR before he flew it home. I also noted the
chattering of the trailing type spring steel gear as is often times
observed on the RV-6 and RV-4. Again, it's just something to get
used to, although I see a number of people adding wood braces or carbon
fiber wraps to the gear to stop the chatter. But I've never heard
of this causing any serious issues with the gear, so at the point in
time, I don't have any plans to do anything about it.
I also found that my new Ray Allen LED trim indicators are not working
correctly. That issue was traced to the cockpit lighting dimmer,
which is hooked up to the trim indicators to cause them to dim at
night. Now they don't dim, but instead light up the middle LED
out of the indicator LED stack rather than actually indicating the trim position. Not very
helpful. I do have them working correctly again now, but they are
no longer dimming when I turn on the cockpit lighting. I'll save
that problem for another day. This issue seemed to clear up on it's own as I exercised the dimmer.
The weather is looking sketchy for the next few days, so my expectation
is to get in my first flight probably on Wednesday, Oct 21.
October 21, 2020 - Now this is the view I've been wanting to see.
The first flight was mostly uneventful, but I do have a few
squawks that need some attention. I had speeds planned for
lifting the tail and rotating to climb. The plane simply lifted
off before I was ready to even lift the tail. Very short take off
run despite my very gentle use of the throttle. Once again I am
reminded, you can't trust any instruments on your first flight
until you prove them out. First up is the airspeed indicator.
It is way out of whack. There is either a leak in the pitot
system or the instrument is bad. Not sure which just yet. I
had verified that the ASI came to life when I crow hopped it. I
flew this plane at speeds up to 180 kts, but the Airspeed Indicator
never made it's way over 120 kts. Doesn't matter for landing.
I did some slow flight and established the numbers I needed for
this flight and used them during approach. I was expecting the
plane to get into ground effect and float like my KR did. Not
with 40° down on those big flaps. It just hit the ground and
it was all over.
Ailerons are very light and feel a bit twitchy to me. But then
I've been flying the SuperCub, which has extended wings and very heavy
ailerons, and the KR, which is known for being very extremely light on the
elevators, but has relatively heavy ailerons. No doubt I'll adapt
to these. I did note that the right wing got heavy requiring
additional trim when I deployed the flaps. I changed the flap
rigging once on the ground which cured that issue for the second flight, but the plane seems
to require differing amounts of aileron trim depending on the speed.
I need to sort this out just a bit more.
Performance wise, Climb out was at 1500 fpm and normal cruise at 2550
RPM @4000' seems to be roughly 155 - 160 kts. CHTs never went
over 375° during climb, and settled in at 320° for
cruise. The oil temp climbed to 178° and stayed there.
Balancing the engine really paid off. It is super smooth.
Other squawks. The left brake started leaking fluid at the slave
cylinder and overall, the brakes don't seem to have much stopping
power. I'll replace the linings, and maybe the discs as they were
not in the best of condition. Tomorrow I'll replace the left slave cyl O-ring.
#1 radio side tone isn't working very well. I need to find the manual for it and adjust.
The DG needs overhauled or replaced. It seems to work OK for a minute or two, then when you make a turn, it tumbles.
I need to replace the cabin heat cable. It was stiff before. I
worked on it some, but it is still stiff and not working very well.
Note the ASI is reading about 118 kts while the GPS says 182 kts.
The pitot system or the ASI is going to need some attention.
October 22, 2020 - Squawk repair. The left brake turned out
not be leaking. The fluid on the floor had come from my truck,
which had a hose on the power steering give up yesteday. Power
steering fluid and 5606 Hydraulic look and smell the same on the hangar
floor. Later update. Yes, the power steering was leaking
all over from my truck thanks to a failure of the high pressure hose.
But the left brake was also leaking. The brakes get
rebuild further down the page.
I pulled radio #1 out and tweeked the side tone pot. That fixed
the side tone on the radio. I may need to turn it down just a tad
now, but otherwise is good.
I didn't find any place crying out as a leak in the pitot system.
I had a spare Airspeed indicator in the hangar, so even though
it's only a 2-1/2" instrument, I stuck it in there for testing.
Unfortunately, it's a bit breezy, so I haven't flight tested it
yet. The weather is supposed to be stormy for the next several
days, so I'm hoping I get a chance to flight test it yet today so I'll
know whether to order a new indicator or not... or fabrticate a flange
to permanently mount this instrument.
Later in the day... I test flew the small ASI and saw no
difference. It was also reading very low, so I switched back to
the original ASI. I replaced the pitot lines in the cockpit and
test flew it again to no avail. The next step will be to replace
the pitot tube and the pitot line in the left wing. If that isn't
the problem, then the only thing left will be the static port. I
now have 5 flights on the plane including with some significant
crosswind. It's an easy plane to land and hardly seems
to notice the crosswinds. I can fly it with the ASI way out
of callibration, but would really like to get this issue figured out
October 23, 2020 - Here was the smoking gun with the low air speed
indication. This AN fitting under the left wing attach fairing was only
finger tight. Any AN nipple that is only finger tight is going to
leak like crazy as the flair will not be seated on the 37° nipple.
Unfortunately, the cold front predicted for today came rolling in
while I was fixing this, so I haven't had a chance to flight test it.
Why was this loose? Guess I'll have to talk to the guy that
put the wings on about that. Seems to me it was the same guy that
made a couple of assembly errors on the engine on the previous pages.
October 24, 2020 - I worked on the cabin heat control valve both
yesterday and today. Perhaps I was motivated by the cold front
that swept in yesterday. The cable going to the heat control
valve had been installed with numerous U turns in it, apparently in an
attempt to keep the cable snaking along the right side of the cabin.
That also caused a lot of binding in the cable. I got rid
of the U turns and straightened the cable out, then trimmed the length
of the cable accordingly, so now the cabin heat valve worked, but the
valve itself seems to bind up so it wouldn't shut off completely once I
have pulled the cable to turn it on. My buddy George in Phoenix
(an old hand with many decades of experience) suggested I add a spring
to the heat control valve to assist the bowden cable in shutting off
the heat valve. With a ratcheting cable which locks in place when
I pull it, the spring to assist it
in closing the valve worked like a charm. (Thanks George!)
The spring is hidden underneath the black spiral wrap in the
photo above. And the heat exchanger on the right side muffler
works great! It puts out real heat, so now I have two planes that
both have good heaters.
Additionally, I ordered a used DG to replace the failing one in the
plane. The used unit was $175 with a 30 day return. An
overhaul for my current unit is $350. With so many people
upgrading to electronics, the market is flooded with serviceable used
gyros, so I'll take my chances with a used one in the short term.
That should address all the current squawks on the plane.
I'll do one more test flight to confirm all is well, which will
make 5 hours since putting the plane back together again, then will
enter a phase 1 to phase 2 endorsement in the logs since the original
logs with the 40 hr phase 2 endorsement are missing.
So far, in the first 4 hours of flight, it appears the engine has used
just under a pint of oil and there are no visible leaks or drips.
I only get a few post flight drips out of the breather tube.
Otherwise, the engine compartment is bone dry... so far.
October 29, 2020 - It's been a week of low ceilings and rain. I
did receive the replacement DG yesterday, so installed it today.
I forgot to ake photos, but wasn't anything special. Just
remove the old and install the new. Most of the work is done
through the avionics access hatch on the top of the front deck. I
also noted that I do indeed
have a hydraulic weep in the left brake and am losing some hydraulic
fluid. Today's parts shipment
included new discs and new pads, so sometime in the next week I will
take off the wheel fairings, pull the wheels and replace the brake
discs, pads, and O-rings. I'll also repack the wheel bearings
while I have everything apart, reassemble, and charge with new 5606
hydraulic fluid. The brakes will all be effectively new when I'm
Oct 30, 2020 - Uh oh. This doesn't look good. The rains
have finally cleared and the weather is gorgeous. I got the RV
out this morning and could only taxi in circles as the left brake was
dead. No hydraulic fluid. I had been unhappy with the brakes and had
planned to rebuild them anyway. Yesterday's parts delivery
included new brake linings and new discs. I also took the slave
cylinders apart and lightly sanded the sealing surface with some emory cloth and replaced the
O-rings before reinstalling and bleeding. Now it has brakes that really work.
New Rapco discs and the old worn out discs. The disc on the
right is the one from the left brake. The survace isn't even
close to flat, so there was very little surface for the brake pads to
clamp on to, which is why the left brake was so bad. The right
brake was much better than the left, but neither was good.
Leaking slave cylinder. These got cleaned up, honed and new linings riveted on.
Bearings and seals get repacked any time I have the wheels off.
These have NOT been washed with solvent. That's a bad thing
for the bearings unless you let them completely dry; like overnight.
I just wipe off all the grease I can get to, then pack the new
grease through the bearings by hand forcing out the remnants of the old
grease. Since I changed to Lubriplate grease, I make it a point
to force as much of the old grease out as possible. The bearings
and races were in good condition, and there was nothing wrong with the
old grease. But I have used Lubripate for many decades in planes,
cars and trailers (and while working as a fleet mechanic), and have
never had a bearing problem.
I also found the primer all the way to the right of the throttle
quadrant was leaking any time I turned on the electric pump (which pressurises the gascolator and primer at ~5 psi). I
found the O-rings in the primer were rotten and cracked. It got
new O-rings with a coating of EZ-turn to help the O-rings seal.
Fixing the leaky Pitot line did fix the low air speed indication issue,
so now I have an accurate
air speed indication. I have completed my Phase 1 testing
and noted phase 1 complete and aircraft now in phase 2 in the aircraft
logs. I do still have another couple of squawks to fix. I
exercised the VORs today. I'm not sure I understand the ESCORT 2
VOR. The Mark 12D VOR Seemed to work OK, although seemed to be a
bit overly sensitive. The DME on it also worked (the DME antenna
missing and the cable antenna coax was in quesntion when I picked this
up). I also
exercised the autopilot a bit. There is a lot to learn there.
It would just continuously rock the ailerons back and forth, but
I didn't have anything with a heading for it to slave to other than the
VOR, and I need to read up on how to properly engage it to the #1 VOR.
The RV does have very light ailerons, so I would guess the gain
needs to be adjusted a bit. But I am assuming this was working at
some point in time, so first I want to get it talking to the GPS and
see what it does when it tries to hold a course before I start making
October 31, 2020 - I put some cross country time on the RV today with a
brunch flight to Houston County Airport over on Kentucky Lake in
Tennessee, then a stop in Humboldt, TN to visit with some friends there
before flying back home. The video above is crossing the
Mississippi from TN int MO on my way back to AR. I'm really
pleased with the overall performance of the plane. Good climb,
good speed, and reasonably economical. At 7 hour flight time, the
engine has used just under a qt of oil and has no drips other a couple
of post flight drops out of the breather tube. Yes, that is
a stop drilled and glued crack in the canopy where the video stops.
The canopy has stop drilled and glued cracks on both sides, but
they seem to be solid, so I won't worry about them for now. A new
canopy is $1400 plus shipping.
November 7, 2020 - On the ramp at Lamar, MO. I've got over 15
hour son the plane now and am liking it a lot better all the time.
However, as I fly it more, I am also finding more issues.
So, the squawk list as it exists now is:
1. Right fuel tank leaks when full. By the streaks on the top of
the wing, it is leaking at rivet line at the back top of the tank.
2. The gascolator leaks fuel when under pressure (electric pump on).
3. The cheapo intercom I bought just to prove out that the radio works
really sucks. I'll buy a Sigtronics SPA-400 and wire it in.
4. The STEC 20 autopilot and Porcine GPS to Autopilot converter are not
talking. All indications are that it is a wiring issue, so I'll
be looking into that.
5. The linkage on the elevator trim has a bit of slack in it that I'm
not happy with. I'll need to find a way to bush the pin that goes
through the arm on the trim tab as that's where it is sloppy.
6. The flap rigging just isn't quite right. Also the linkage,
probably the torque tube, from the right flap to the linear actuator
doesn't feel right. I need to dig into that to do some exploring.
Otherwise, I am thoroughly impressed with the plane and am quickly going to the dark side and becoming a RV disciple.
November 13, 2020 - Yes, those are fuel streaks on the top of the
wing from the leaking right fuel tank. It appears to be leaking
at the top seam. Not a task I'm looking forward to fixing, but
will jump in with both feet soon.
November 15, 2020 - Dang. I'm back under the seat pans
again. This was to get to the PTT wires from the control sticks
to wire in the new intercom. In the photo below you'll see the
new intercom on top of the breaker panel. The headset plugs are
now along the cockpit edge just above the air vents. The intercom
is in and works correctly. We'll test it in a noisy environment
(flying) sometime this week.
I started diagnosing the GPS >
Porcine > Autopilot problem. The Porcine device
takes the NMEA output from the seial port of the GPS and converts it to
left/right steering commands for the GPS. You install a double
row double throw switch in line with the steering command line from the
VOR to the Autopilot, and the Porcine device gives the autopilot the
same steering commands using the GPS output as the VOR would if I was
flying an inbound radial. I had no indication
that anything worked, including the power up self test where the
Porcine device is supposed to flash the GPS OK light as part of it's
self test. In the photo here, I have the test leads across the
incandescent GPS OK light. And yes, it is burned out. I
ordered a new LED indicator for the panel. But I should be able
to do do more in the way of diagnostics this week with the DVM across
the GPS OK leads so I know when it is on. The Porcine device is
the white box hanging out of the front of the panel to the right of the
throttle. It is normally mounted behind the panel with a RAM ball
on the front of the panel where the GPS mounts.
November 16, 2020 - I left the leads across the GPS OK light as shown
above and hooked up the GPS. Sure enough I was getting a GPS OK
once I turned on the NMEA output on the GPS and the GPS had acquired
sufficient satellite coverage. I plugged in a course on the GPS
and the stick slowly rolled off in the direction of the course.
So, I took it out to fly and sure enough, the Autopilot will fly
a GPS course now. It does a lousy job of intercepting the course
or pre-turning towards the intercept, but once on course, it stays on
course. That's good enough for me. It does like to do
little 5° or less dutch rolls, but otherwise seems to work pretty
I also rerigged the flaps (but forgot to take pictures). They
seem to function better, but I can't say that I think I'm done fooling
with them. I thought the plane seemed slow afterwards, but it was
pretty windy today and I was busy playing with the GPS and Autopilot,
so wasn't paying a lot of attention. I did burn enough fuel out
of the right tank this afternoon that I think I can drain the rest of
the tank into a 5 gallon can and remove it for repairs.
The new intercom works pretty well, but the sound from the radios and
the overall sound level of the intercom seems pretty muted. Continuing on with the intercom, I changed the resistors from 300
ohms to 240 ohms. I'm not sure it was much of an improvement. I'll
have to fly it again to know for sure.
November 17, 2020 - The right fuel tank has been removed for
repairs. It was leaking substantially at the top rear seam when
the tank was full.
I placed the tank on it's back on top of some blue towels and splashed
just a tiny bit of gas into the tank. The leaks are evident.
This happened in a matter of just a few seconds. One more
seep appeared at the next bay to the right later.
So, I took a 5" hole saw to the back bulkhead.
Then I cut out some larger circles to cover them once the internal
repair work is completed. I am waiting for the 3M Aerospace
AC-770 Sealant to arrive later this week. I also ordered some #6
nut plates to rivet in to attach these bulkhead access holes.
Little did I know at this point in time, all that brownish
colored slosh compound inside the tank would have to be cleaned out.
What a nasty job that turned out to be.
November 18, 2020 - Laying out the holes in the covers for the access holes in the tanks.
Access panels Clecoed on. Each of these holes will get a nut
plate riveted on with countersunk 3/32" rivets and a #6 screw to hold
the panel. The panels will also be put on with a generous amount
of 3M Aerospace AC-770 sealer.
November 19, 2020 - Now this looks ugly. Apparently these tanks
were sloshed with some sort of brownish/yellow compound. It is
tacky stuff, even after 26 years. Inpreparation for sealing this
tank with the 3M AC-770, I used the tank cleaner that came with the KBS
slosh compound I used in the Cub tanks to clean the leaky seam. The ugly brown compound in the
tank immediately melted, and of course that migrated into the other
bays. Now I have to cut holes in the other two bays so I can clean them as well.
So now I have that I have all 5 bays open, I went inside to scrub
the ugly brown stuff out of all 5 bays with the cleaner, a wire brush, and a scotch brite pad. Not a fun task at all.
November 20, 2020 - OK. Decision made. I decided to use the
KBS tank sealer process rather than the 3M product in the seams of this
tank. I acid etched all of the perimeter seams inside the tank,
then painted them with the KBS sealer. I have had very good
experience with this sealer and am confident it will work well in this
application as well. The KBS sealer is the gray goop you see that
was brushed on the seam in the photo above. I will use the 3M
AC-770 to seal the 5 access holes I cut in the back of the tank.
All 5 access holes cut open now. I am waiting for a shipment
of #6 nut plats to rivet in to hold the access covers. I'll
seal the covers with the 3M AC-770 tank sealer.
November 22, 2020 - I've got the holes drilled for the nut plates for
all 5 access panels, but things came to a screeching halt. I got
out my 3/32" dimple die to countersink the rivet holes and found that
my die was 1/8". I had to order a 3/32" dimple die. It
won't be here until Wednesday, so for now, the fuel tank repair is on
November 23, 2020 - I found a 3/32" dimple die to use
to countersink the 120 holes for flush riveting the nut
plates into the tank for the tank access panels. I have them
clecoed into 4 of the holes but don't have enough nut plates for the
last hole. More nut plates should arrive tomorrow.
November 24, 2020 - I riveted in the nut plates for the covers today.
November 25, 2020 - The sealing surfaces have been scrubbed with ScotchBrite and acid etched. I also scrubbed and etched the back side of the cover plates.
The cover plates are sealed on with the 3M
AC-770 tank sealer and held down with 12 #6 screws per plate.
This is chemically the same as ProSeal, sticks to everything like
ProSeal and stinks to high heaven of sulfur.
I had more than adequate working time to do all 5 panels from one
batch. I left a heater running on low blowing on the tank,
so hopefully these will be cure reasonably quickly. I probably
won't get back to them until Friday. If they are set then, I'll
get to mount the tank back onto the plane.
November 26, 202- - It's Thanksgiving. Much to give thanks for
this year. I bought and rebuilt the RV-6. Awesome
performing airplane, even with the "small" 160 HP engine. And I
have the equally awesome SuperCub Clone to play with as well. Life
couldn't be better.
I checked the set of the 3M AC-770 sealer on the fuel tank. It
set up nicely overnight last night. It has a nice rubbery set,
but is no longer tacky. I'll leak check the tank tomorrow.
November 27, 2020 - There are 2 gallons of fuel in the tank and no
weeps through the back, which is where the problem was, and where the 5
new access holes are.
The tank is re-installed back onto the plane and is now full of
No sign of any leaks or weeps yet. I'll check again in the
morning. I also pulled the cowling and fixed the fuel leak at the
gascolator. The fuel leak turned out to be the sweated end on
the primer line where the primer system gets fed from the gascolator.
Whenever I turn on the electric fuel pump, it pressurizes
the gascolator and the fitting on top of the gascolator would start leaking. I replaced the silver
soldered fitting with a compression fitting. I also have an EGT
thermocouple that is reading incorrectly and seems to be unstable.
Sure enough it is the one that had the connectors broken off. I
added simple crimp on spade connectors to it, but by doing that created
more bimetallic junctions, which will cause all kinds of weird readings
with the thermocouple. I ordered a type K thermocouple connector
to repair it next time I have the cowl off.
November 28, 2020 - I got the RV out to fly to breakfast today.
The fuel tanks were still full and no fuel smell, so I'm
declaring victory for now. I need to plan to pull the left tank
at some future date and rebuild it just to get the slosh gunk out of
it. But that will wait for spring. I replaced the burned
out "GPS OK" bulb on the autopilot panel with a 24V LED, so that now
works. I finally got the new intercom and radios to play nicely
together. The installation instructions for the intercom
recommended a 220Ω resistor. I used 300Ω instead, but
the radios seemed terribly attenuated. So, I tried 240Ω
with little improvement. I dropped it to 100Ω again with a
marginal improvement, then removed the resistors all together and still
the radios were terribly attenuated. Then I found the problem.
I had bumped the headset and the volume was turned down on the
Only three minor squawks left to fix and one future project.
1. Install a type K thermocouple connector on #2 EGT connection to fix the errant reading and stabilize the readings.
2. Replace the trim button in the left stick as "Nose Up" trim is intermittent.
3. Install new seat harnesses. I bought new ones, but
ordered the shoulder harnesses too short. Extensions are on
4. At some point in the future (probably spring time) I'll rebuild the left fuel tank to get the slosh compound out of it
Otherwise, the plane is now at 100%.
December 4, 2020 - Installed 24V LED light in the Autopilot
Control Panel for GPS OK. GPS OK light indicates that the GPS is
passing navigation data to the Porcine device, which talks to the STEC
20 Autopilot. Some might notice the Oil Pressure at
only 52 psi. This is at low idle with the engine warm after
landing, so all is good.
I bought a new trim button, but found the problem with the trim button
in the left stick was not the button itself, but a metal mounting
collar that was added onto the trim button. I remounted the
collar and that seems to have addressed the problem of the contacts failing to make intermittently.
I have the type K thermocouple connector, then noticed that the
oil temp thermocouple also has standard crimp on connectors, so will
need to order another type K thermocouple connector to fix it as well.
Installed new Crow safety harnesses. I really like these
harnesses. 5 point clip that you can snap in one at a time and
Return to Page 1
Return to Page 2
Return to Page 3
Return to Page 4
Comments or questions; Email me firstname.lastname@example.org