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[January 15, 2007]


I was hoping to get the rear baffle on tonight, but I felt like a little more prep was needed - give everything a good cleaning and tripple check everything.

I got 100 small scotchbrite wheels today in the mail. $15 per 50 1" x 1" x 3/16" wheels($0.30 each), plus a mandrel from Surplus Sales of Nebraska. Avery wanted $5.50 a pop for these dudes. I went a little overboard with getting 100.


I also got my Gretz Pitot mount from SteinAir. This was about $100 shipped. I was thinking about going with the 50 buck fixed version from SafeAir1, but I decided I liked the ability to remove the pitot. Not so much for when it is on the plane for good, but for when it is sitting month after month and being moved from the house to the airport. If the pitot was fixed, I could see myself banging it on something and cussing a lot and it costing me more than the $50 difference to fix it. I decided to get the unchromed version because I can always chrome it later, if I decide to go that route.


After posting a question on the VAF's about my pickup tube location over the drain hole, a poster quickly let me know that it would interfere with the drain plug. Sure enough it did. This is my new location for it. Hard to see, but it is strattling the three rivets for the drain plug flange.


A side shot. It is about 1/16" higher than the lowest possible point, because it is sitting on the rivets (covered in sealant).


Next was onto modifying the rivet puller to fit into the z-brackets. The first thing that caught my attension was the dies for the pop rivets. This pic shows on the right the smallest die that came with the $10 craftsman rivet puller, and on the left the smallest die that came with the Stanley puller from the Avery toolkit. The one on the left is smaller.


The die that came with the Stanley fits the rivet for the z-brackets perfectly.


It is a little loose on the smallest one that came on the craftsman. I am lucky because the small die from the Stanley puller fits into the craftman puller.


Next I ground down the rivet puller. Before I did that, I took out the guts of the puller. I didn't want to melt or burr up the insides making the tool useless. Then I ground it down, checked it on all the z-brackets and put it back together. It took a while to get back together because there were some nasty burrs on the inside from where the grinder just barely penetrated the barrel. A file made quick work of that and it went back together nicely.


I did a test rivet to see that it still worked, and that it would work with the smaller die in it.


Finally, I masked off all of the parts of the rear baffel that don't get sealant. I think I am officially ready to seal this puppy up!


Lastly, I weighed how much proseal I had left. 12.5 oz was the weight of the big can. I don't really know how much the can weight, but I am guessing between 4 and 6 oz. That means I have at least 6 oz of the white goop left for these tanks. I am thinking that each rear baffle is going to take 2.5 oz. I could be screwed to order $40 more of sealant just to use about 2 oz of it. Oh well, whatchagonnado? I would rather spend the money now than have leaky tanks down the road.
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