Monday, 26 January 2015

Week 181 - Headrest and seat belts

Hours to date: 1623.0

When I said the headrest was finished - I lied.

I've still got to make up the area that the foam and leather will be attached to.

I started doing this in modelling foam (after first making a cardboard mock up).

All was looking good until I thought about the shoulder harness and how it may conflict with the headrest.

So then I spent yesterday installing the seat belts and sure enough the headrest would be in the way of the shoulder harness. So I'm now in the process of remodelling the foam to a shape that works.

When done I'll cover it in a couple of layers of fiberglass.

In doing all of this I found that the lap strap when adjusted to it's tightest position is still not quite tight enough (certainly not as tight as I would like it for aerobatics). So I think I'll have to add some material underneath the cell to take up some of the play.

I've also just started the side pocket job. This will be made up of a few layers of glass in the shape shown below. After that the upholsterer will add a layer of leather to it and then another slightly smaller piece to the front with a zip at the top to make a pocket.

I hope to get the upholstery started (or even finished) before the engine gets here.

In the meantime I am a bit stalled on the electrics as I really want to install the ECU in the upper footwell area of the safety cell and I don't want to do this after I've installed the top part of the instrument panel as the access in this area would be too limited by then.

Firewall all done - ready for the engine now!

Used 90 degree elbows to go through the cell for the Static and Pitot lines

Outside view

Bonded in with Flock. And the remote GPS antenna is also in place.

Cardboard mock up of the headrest.

Black line shows where the side/map pocket will go.

Foam model of the cardboard mock up.

With the seat belts in place

Shoulder harness conflicts so will have to change the shape of the headrest

Part way through reshaping the headrest.


I've finally ordered an engine.

Should be delivered in about 6-8 weeks or so.

Full details of this engine can be found on this link:

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Week 179 - Trim again! Firewall and Elevator Actuating

Hours to date: 1609.75

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you all had a good break.

Well I found out why the trim was out of range - I had bonded it in the wrong place!

What a clutz! 

The instructions in the manual are actually very clear on what needs to be done but for some reason I didn't follow them.

I was out by about 40mm. So I had to remove the old trim mounting bracket and make a new one - which I did with 5 layers of Carbon this time. I've probably added another 5 hours to the build with this screw up.

This muck-up happened when I was in my other garage and I was keen to move forward so installed the trim bracket but you must not do this before having first set up the elevator actuating pushrods.

On the electrics all I've done since the last post is install the battery cables and Ammeter Shunt. I'm not doing the firewall end of the cable terminals till I figure out where the forest of grounds will go.

I've almost finished the firewall fire proofing, just ran out of cool-it tape so have got some more of that on order. It must be made of gold or something as the price is more than a pound a foot!

I've also installed the fresh air vent but have since found out that there are little gaps on the sides so I'll have to fill those in somehow. Also when I was bonding it in I had it in the perfect place then it must have just moved slightly under gravity and now the operation is a little notchy - I should have taped the vent in place at the time of bonding.

The final thing I've done is set up the elevator actuating pushrods and Loctite the rod ends in place. Again follow the manual for this. As it turns out the neutral setting for me was having all 3 rod ends with their minimum of 10 threads inserted. To set the trim in the right place the elevator must be moved up by 5 degrees and centered in it's range so these are two separate jobs which should not be done as one.

Next up will be some more electrics I think.

Battery cables all done at this end. Essential bus wire still to come to the Contactor.

Firewall fireproofing getting there - just a bit more cool it tape to go.

I've made this hole underneath the fuse box section to pass wires through.

Setting the elevator neutral point with the actuating push rods

Spot on with all threads at their minimum 10 turns in.

New trim bracket made up and bonded in place. Hopefully I got it right this time!

Rod ends being Loctited in place.

Fresh Air vent bonded in.