Chapter 20/23 – Odd & end tasks

As I was finishing up one of the final small tasks I had on my Chapter 20 to-do list, my buddy Brian Ashton called from Alaska… he’s the guy building a twin Long-EZ.  As we talked, I was making light of the fact that I had hauled these winglets around for 10 years after making them, and nary a scratch on them.  And then within the first hour of setting them in place for install the right one got away from me and of course crunched the lower aft corner… which is of course now the lower aft corner of the rudder.

It was a slight crease, but one that needed some tending to.  I laid up a ply of BID on it, peel plied it and then clamped both sides of the layup and rudder to ensure it cured straight and aligned with the rest of the rudder TE.

Layup complete.

My K1000-3 order apparently was frustrated cargo with USPS and got sent back to CA.  Apparently Aircraft Spruce in GA doesn’t carry stock anymore because I seem to get a lot from CA.  They said that my zip code was incorrect, although I pulled my address off a list of maybe 30 same addresses in the shipping address block… oh, well. Weird, frustrating and the end result is no K1000-3s until I re-ordered.  BUT . . .

Knowing that I wanted to add a bracket to support the rather hefty oil cooler when I take off the bottom cowling, I ginned up a loose design to get an idea of even more hardware I would need.  Moreover, I wanted to ensure I accounted for all the oil line fittings and angles I would need to get the oil cooler installed.  All before re-pulling the trigger on another ACS order.

Now, Mike Melvill has his oil cooler installed with the rows going parallel to the CS spar.  So I started there.  I quickly realized that I would need 90° elbows, which A) I try to stay away from reported reduced flow (does it really matter? you got me…), but moreover, B) I have zero on hand.  Plus, the space would be tight between oil cooler lines and the aileron control tube, which I want to avoid.

I then tried setting the oil cooler in, with rows parallel to the CS spar, with the hose fittings facing aft.  This was not much better.  It would require a LOT more oil line hose and would still most likely require at least one 90° fitting.  Although I am keeping it as a viable option due to my inline external Vernatherm needing someplace to exist in this engine compartment area.

I concluded that the best option was turning the oil cooler 90° so the rows were perpendicular to the CS spar, with the connection fittings facing the inboard forward engine area. Again, I still have to account for my external Vernatherm mounting spot, but this looks like the best spot.  I will note because the extended curved side of the cooler, I may need to tilt it up bit at the front to ensure clearance with the left aileron control tube.

I decided to ask Marco if he had any pics of his oil cooler install?  What direction did his oil cooler fittings face?  I sat down on my step stool immediately aft of the engine to send him a text, and while awaiting his reply took a good look at the engine and bottom cowling.

I noted to myself that it appeared with the current position of the engine along with the untrimmed aft lip of the bottom cowling, that there was no way my Catto Hershey Kiss spinner flow guide could be mounted in place.

I went into the house and quickly grabbed the flow guide and tried to put it on.  And I was right:

I determined that it would require trimming the bottom cowling aft lip forward at least to the edge of the top of the boat tail.  Very probably even more than that.

In doing a bit of snooping around online and in CSA I learned that Mike Melvill did in fact trim his bottom aft cowl lip back to just a small (maybe 1/4″) edge left over the top of the boat tail, and also that he had no flow guide installed on his bird.

Still, my gut feeling is that my engine is sitting (angled) just a tad low while my cowling is naturally just a tad high.  I’m going to do some more research tonight to get some more info on this and try to do a course correction before I proceed with any major cowling modifications.

BTW, Marco’s oil cooler fittings face inboard, like my last pic of the oil cooler shows.

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