Chapter 14 – Lower engine extrusions

This morning, as it was raining and sleeting outside, I decided to let the shop warm up a minuscule amount before heading down.  So I started off my day by creating yet another tab on my Excel build tracking spreadsheet to compile all the pertinent engine torque values.  This endeavor involved calling a couple of companies, one being B&C, to obtain/verify torque values on their products.  In addition, some of the engine torque values were shared with me by master engine & Long-EZ builder, Chris Seats.

In other news, over the past couple of weeks I have decided to undertake yet another mod (I know, I know . . .!) and build a new canopy latch based on Mike Bowden’s design since his high horizontally-situated/activated latch works much better for my configuration (read: operating space) than does the rotary latch extending down in front of the left-side panel.

Although based primarily on Mike Bowden’s design, I will combine it with the forward latch catch manipulating features of the mystery Long-EZ that I somehow have a pic of, but have not been able to find who owns it or built it.  Coincidentally, as I was compiling a buy list of all the materials I would need to construct this latch, I got a text from Mike Bowden… who graciously provided me a plethora of dimensions that I had asked him for regarding his canopy latch.

It being a very cold day outside, I also decided to do some more assessments on oil heat fittings and firewall pass-thrus before adding them to the buy list as well.

I then finalized updating/verifying the numbers on my lower engine mount extrusions install diagrams that I whipped up in PowerPoint a couple of years ago.  I also did an inventory on the glass I had cut out about a year and a half ago (IIRC). Although it was prepped for being merely wet out in prepreg and then cut, I decided to cut it into its separate component pieces.  I then had to carefully move the engine-on-hoist out of the way so I could then drop down the glass cutting table to then cut some more BID to finalize the glass prep for glassing-in/mounting the lower engine mount extrusions.

Since my fuselage is just a hair wider at the bottom (talking around 0.1″) I decided to forego the “standard” bottom engine mounts of 1/8″ thick by 1.5″ x 1.5″ 2024 angle for ones that are slightly more robust (i.e., take up the gap with aluminum vs glass) at 3/16″ thick with 1-1/4″ x 1-1/4″ legs.

Any longer legs on the engine mount extrusions other than the 1″ stock seem to need some trimming to lessen the height right at where it meets the main gear extrusion. This is so when the thick pad of BID that the extrusion gets mounted atop of (technically below on the bottom extrusions) there is some wiggle room for the engine mount extrusion to get pushed further from the CS spar and more towards the main gear mount extrusion, while avoiding any unwanted collisions betwixt the two.

Thus, for the area of the vertical leg on each lower engine mount extrusion, I removed about 0.2″ at the lower edge.  Again, just for the area immediately above the main gear mount extrusion.  I started by marking the engine mount extrusions.

Then clamping each one to my work bench –with the help of 2×4 underneath the angled aluminum to stabilize it– and used my trusty Skil saw to trim it down.  Worked a treat!

I then cleaned up each thinned out area with a hand file.

After sanding the outboard and top sides of the extrusions that will mate up to the BID pads and flox with 220 grit (as per plans), I then washed the extrusions down in warm water and Simple Green.  I then took them upstairs to mark up the bolt hole locations in accordance with the plan’s dimensions.

To ensure I don’t lose my bolt hole locations with Sharpie-destroying/blurring epoxy (after I double-checked all the measurements!) I took my drill with a small bit and drilled the slightest of a hole beginning at each mark.

It was getting late, but still wanting to get as much done during this very cold spell of weather we’re having, and to free up as much time as possible during the upcoming good build weather (if it ever comes! ha!), I decided to cut out my Beasley Baffles templates that were created by the benevolent Mike Beasley.

If you remembered that I purchased a 320 engine baffle kit from VANs Aircraft, you’d be correct.  So you may be asking why I need to cut out the templates from the ones Mike B. so graciously (yes, a lot of gracious canardians around . . .) provided me.  Well, the VANs baffles would be a great direct use-as-advertised item if I was building a tractor, top-down cooling airplane with an RV style cowling.  But clearly I’m not.  So although the VANs kit will give me a huge head start on the engine baffles, it will not be without a good amount of modification to get it all to fit and work.

That’s where Mike’s Beasley Baffles come into play.  Since his baffles are specifically for a 320 in a Long-EZ, it allows me to dial in my baffle design much, much closer by using these templates to modify the VANs baffle kit as needed.

As a reminder, Mike sent me his Beasley Baffles via email in electronic form a bit before RR last year.  I then took the 3 files down to Staples and hand them printed out on card stock. As for tonight however, it took a good hour and a half to cut these baffle templates out of the card stock.

When I went upstairs to grab the Beasley Baffles to cut them out of the card stock, I also grabbed the outline of the firewall I had traced onto 2 large pieces of scrap paper I had.  I cut & taped the firewall outline together for a real size version of my firewall that will help in determining the final layout and configuration of all the firewall components.

It’s supposed to snow tomorrow, so I’ll assess next steps in regards to installing the lower engine mount extrusions either tomorrow or the day after.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to work any tasks of opportunity that are good for rainy day tasks that I don’t want hanging over my head when the good build weather finally arrives.



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