Chapter 23 – Aft baffles: Closing in!

Today was about no-kidding getting the left and right aft lower baffles segments dialed in and very close to their respective, and colllective, final positions.

I started out by mounting the lower cowling to check clearance on both baffles sides.  Each side needed trimming at the bottom curve to provide clearance closer to a 1/2″.  The outboard areas needed more trimming as well to allow the exhaust pipes to come further inboard.

Also, the aft vertical 90° “outriggers” on both sides needed some trimming as well since they were both too close to the inside cowling surface.

Here are the trim marks on the aft vertical 90° “outriggers”… both sides were much too close to the upper cowling.

I then did some more work around the starter, and specifically on the B&C cross-brace betwixt alternator and starter.  This brace will be touching metal (or washers) on both the starter and alternator side as if it were mounted normally (if there is any such thing on a Long-EZ!!), the difference being now it will pin down the aluminum baffle edges in its center area between the bolts.

Also note that I drilled a screw hole at the top (seen through the flywheel balancing hole) and mounted a K-1003 platenut on the left baffle edge, to allow securing the two baffle segments together.  Besides the sealing material along the bottom edge of both baffle pieces, I also intend to install a rivet or two along the seam, below the cross-brace.

Another shot of the starter, mounted cross-brace and upper baffle seam screw.

I then spent some time on the outboard sides of the baffles, securing those to the aft vertical baffle walls once I got the positions dialed in.  Once the holes were drilled, I used clecos to tie them all together.

I also spent a good little bit drilling the outboard mounting screw tab to get the position and elevation as correct as possible on the right side (note: the elevations on these baffles are definitely not perfect, but functional and Pretty Darn Good!)

With the left and right aft lower baffle segments pretty much in final position, I measured the gap between the aft face of the baffles and the pulley on the flywheel at ~0.24″ minimum, so I’m good on clearance.

It was time to check my exhaust pipes’ positions, and to do that I needed the lower cowling back on since it has my left inboard exhaust pipe alignment mark.

With the bottom cowling mounted, I then confirmed my exhaust pipe positions and the clearance between cowl and the bottom edge of the baffles were good.  All checked out.

Here we have the lower center section —alternator and starter area— of the aft lower baffle(s).

I then installed the spinner lampshade flow guide to check how everything looked and again to take a look at the exhaust pipes in relationship with the flow guide, etc.

I then set the top cowling in place to check the clearance between it and the aft vertical 90° “outriggers” on both sides.  On the left the clearance is ~3/4″ while on the right it’s a bit less.

Then a shot each side of the overall look if one were to peer into the cowling.  And yes, my pipes still need work (I’ll reiterate that I am now convinced that these are the WRONG pipes for this cowling-engine configuration).

Inching forward . . .

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