Tue Mar 16 2010

Drilling for relief tube and gear weldment installation

After some more thought today I decided to drill a 7/16" diameter hole in the lower flange of the left gear weldment for the relief tube to pass through. The quick disconnect barbed fittings are for 1/4 inch ID tube, so I figure the OD will be about 3/8 inch. However, since the tube runs at an angle the hole needs to be slightly larger to be able to pass through.

I drilled a matching hole in the forward lower skin.

With the weldment held in place it looks like the holes don't match up! Eeek!

Not to fear...I actually planned it this way. When you look along the gear socket, the holes do indeed line up. This is the path the relief tube will take on it's way out the plane.

I spent some time getting the right gear leg installed, then torqued all the bolts on both gear legs. I had to borrow Tom's torque wrench for the AN4 bolts since mine didn't go to high enough torque. After getting everything torqued correctly I set about applying torque seal to all the nuts. These two nuts on each side looked like they were going to be tough to do, though, since they're at the bottom of the gap between the forward and aft halves of the center section.

Actually, it wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be. Torque seal applied. How?

Needle nosed pliers to the rescue. :-)

Here are both of the gear weldments installed. I'm really glad I did the fitting of these weldments way back when the fuselage was in clecos. Most folks have lots of trouble getting them to fit, but since they had been fit previously, this installation was a snap.