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[December 19, 2010]


Today I planned to figure out why my oil temps were so low yesterday, calibrate my left fuel tank, then hopefully go flying. When I removed the top cowl, it was pretty obvious why the oil temps were so low. The metal tape I used suffered a catastrophic failure and my blocking plate fell off.


Luckily the blocking plate didn't fall out of the cowl. The metal tape looks like nothing more than some thin aluminum (almost a foil) with some adhesive on it. The metal in the tape tore, causing the tape to fail.


I decided to give duct tape a go. It has a lot more reinforcement in it. My only question is how well it will hold up to 180 degree oil. That's the great thing about Experimental's, is I can learn all these interesting details of the effectiveness of different tapes.


While I had the cowl off, I saw a little oil drip coming from the oil temp sensor. I have seen it before. I figured I'd just clean it up and wait for the oil change to fix it.


Ugh, more oil drops where the dipstick tube goes into the engine. This leak was a little more than a drip. I decided to just fix both leaks now. There goes any chance of flying today!


Fixing the oil temp sensor leak was pretty simple. I cut the old safety wire, turned the sensor in about 1/8th of a turn then re-safety wired it.


The first thing I did was clean up the flange where oil filler tube screws into the engine. This had a bunch of crud on it. I don't know if it was some sealant that came on the filler tube originally when the engine was assembled.


I cleaned up the gasket on the filler tube as well and coated both sides of it with RTV.


I let the RTV cure for about an hour before I screwed it in, per the instructions. That gave me some time to work on other items on the project. I needed to empty out the fuel tank in order to calibrate the sender. When I was flying I got the tank down to about 4.8 gallons indicated, since I wanted to only fill up one 5 gallon jug. However, only about 1 to 2 gallons came out of the tank. That was reason enough to justify calibrating these senders!


I also wanted to put a locking mechanism on my canopy. I first saw this idea on Bill Roger's RV-7 and thought it was a simple and very effective way to lock a tip-up RV.


And here is the finished product. One #27 hole and one $5 lock. Now this by no means is the ultimate security system for a RV. However, it will keep people out who just want to cause mischief. The hardened criminal can always depend on the ever so reliable rock or brick to shatter the canopy to get inside.


Back to the dipstick tube - I tightened it up as well as I could and re-safety wired it. I hope that does the trick!


I taxied my airplane over to the fuel pumps and leveled out the fuselage. I was concerned I would be "hogging" the fuel pumps and causing a line to form, so I tried to be as quick as possible. However, in the end no one showed up.


I don't know why I leveled out the fuselage on both axis, because capacitive tank senders are supposed to not care what orientation the fuel tanks are in. They just know how much liquid is contained in the tank. However, since the fuselage is level in flight, I decided it was worth trying to make this as accurate as possible.


I made this chart my recording the indicated level of the fuel sender for each gallon filled in the tank. I wanted more precise measurements at lower quantity readings - that's why I go by two gallons increments from 10 to 20 gallons. Oh, maybe I did that also because it was FREEZING outside.


I took that table and entered it into my GRT EFIS. I will need to do the right tank next. It will be interesting to see how relative the tanks are to each other.


Finally I was running low on mineral oil for the engine, so I drove over to Clearview Airport to pick up what I need for the next oil change. I would of flown there, but Clearview's runway is on a wierd slope and pretty narrow. Of course once I got there, after looking at the runway I regretted not flying over. Not to mention fuel was much cheaper!

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