Firewall prep, engine mount and gear reinstallation

The remainder of canopy work, mostly laying up the fiberglass front fairing, is on hold until warmer weather. So for the last two weeks I’ve been working on laying out and installing everything that needs to be on the firewall before the engine mount is permanently reattached.

Firewall hole layout

Throttle, mixture and prop cable penetrations laid out on firewall.

Cheap hole punches at work

Cabin heat control box mounting holes cut, using my inexpensive Lowe’s knockout punch to cut the throttle cable penetration.

Deconflicting the throttle and fuel bulkhead passthrough

Not a super clean hole, but better than I could have done otherwise.

Modified fuel reinforcement

Fitting the fuel line penetration doubler.

Firewall progress shot

The oil filter cutout and battery box are in temporarily installed so I can begin laying out battery and starter contractor locations.

Fitting starter/battery contractor doubler

Fitting the starter/battery contactor doubler.

Battery and starter conductors temp fitted

Battery and starter temp fitted, laying out location of ANL fuse holder and current-measuring shunt. The relative locations of the battery (top, silver) and starter (black, bottom) contactors was as close as I could get to Van’s plans locations while still accommodating the different style of starter contactor sold by B&C.

Doubler laid out for ANL holder and shunt

Doubler outline laid out, ready for fabrication.

Delayed by physical fitness

Mid-April – a running misstep led to a fractured ankle. No airplane work for a couple of weeks…this sucks.

Riveting things to the firewall

Back to work in early May despite the booted ankle.  With Ellen’s help, we got the contactor/fuse/shunt doublers and nutplates riveted to the firewall.

Electrical component doublers

The result of an evening’s work – battery and starter contractor doublers and nutplates riveted to the firewall.

Everything riveted to the firewall

Everything (almost) is now riveted to the firewall, ready to install electrical components, battery box and control cable passthroughs.

A mostly populated firewall

I was able to sneak away for a few hours and get most everything installed on the firewall. A few minutes of work for a nice little bit of visual progress.

2016-05-14 14.46.50

Fast forward a few days to finishing firewall prep and permanently reinstalling the engine mount. Ellen joined me at the hangar to help with fitting, bolting, torquing, hoisting and gear reinstallation. No more ankle boot, so moving around the airplane was a lot easier.

Fuse on the hoist for landing gear install

With the engine mount firmly and permanently attached, we hauled out the engine hoist and tow strap to get the fuselage high enough for the landing gear to be reinstalled.

Back on the gear for good

…and the fuselage is back on the gear for good. It’s engine hangin’ time!

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