Tag Archives: nose gear actuator cover

Full Garaggio, and our Granbury Location

First things first. Big shout out to Dick who has been working on fixing our engine mount jig in order to normalize my repaired engine mount. He took the mount with him when he went home to Granbury. Since then, he has had to do a huge amount of work to restore the engine mount jig to a useable condition. He told me the jig is done and he will be sending the mount for normalizing soon. Then paint, and we can rehang the engine. Thanks a million Dick.

It was a full house in the Garaggio today. Greg, Jon, and Sam were all able to come and spend some time in the shop. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It is so much fun to have people in the shop with me. Often people work in their shop solo. I think it is way better when it is a combination of building and socializing. Especially with people who have similar interests, building things and working with tools.

Greg was the first one here and we started this morning by finishing the form for the oil cooler exit duct.


Once it was ready for a layup, Greg started working on finishing up the fuel flow divider mount. It is now ready to be mounted. He also did some sanding on the nose gear actuator cover in prep for some repair layups. Jon arrived somewhere in there and finished fabricating the autopilot roll servo mount. While they were working on these, Sam arrived.

Sam and I worked on wetting out fiberglass and laying up the oil cooler exit duct. I think it turned out pretty well.


Since we were slinging epoxy already, we decided to also do the repair on the nose gear actuator cover. Sam did most of this layup. Then we heat tented to the curing fiberglass parts to expedite the cure.


Somewhere in there Jon started making the bellcrank for the autopilot roll servo. The logic was that we wanted to be able to connect the roll servo before permanently mounting it to verify position. So we needed the bellcrank. It starts out as two pieces of 4130 steel. A piece of plate and a tube. A hole is drilled in the plate and the tube is press fit in.

Then they get welded together. Jon isn’t very practiced at TIG welding, and frankly neither am I. So I did a few practice beads with some scrap. Then went after the bellcrank. The welds are nowhere near as pretty as Dick’s, but it is certainly structurally sound.

Once it was welded we clocked the bellcrank to the aileron torque tube and drilled bolt holes. The location on the autopilot bellcrank is on the torque tube for the aft aileron bellcrank, forward of the firewall. That is hard to explain in words, but here you can see the autopilot bellcrank installed on the aileron bellcrank. Here is a photo, looking up into the “hell hole.”

While I was welding, Sam and Jon had a bit of time so they added a few click bond studs to the firewall to finish the rudder cable pulley bracket mounting.

All in all, it was a fun and productive day in the Garaggio. But that’s not it… I wanted to do a bit more. So I put the connector on the rear seat stick while I was relaxing and watching the new Blacklist episodes that I needed to catch up on. 🙂 Multitasking and getting just a little bit further.




Paper Mâché

It was another full house in the Garaggio today. Greg, Jon, and Eric were all here working on the airplane today.

Greg got a lot done on the oil cooler and fuel distribution mount. In fact, they are pretty much done with exception of having the right hardware.

Next will be making the duct that exhausts the oil cooler air our the back baffle. It’s a pretty simple piece to make, and maybe I’ll get to it tomorrow.

Jon started his day by making a mount for the autopilot roll servo. It took us quite a bit of time talking through the options to decide exactly how to mount it. Finally we decided on the bottom of the spar, which requires a mounting standoff.

Jon and my day kinda took some turns. I had planned on doing some wiring. But when Jon and I started talking about mounting the back up battery for the EFIS screen, we decided it was best to mount it to a cover over the nose gear. The cover is necessary to prevent drafty air from entering the cockpit. It also makes a nice place to mount the back up battery.

Our process was somewhat crude, but quick and functional. We fastened blocks of foam on the gear motor to create and offset and clearance around the motor. Then we “paper mâché-Ed” aluminum tape around the motor to the bulkheads and LG30s.

Then we again used a paper mâché like method and laid pre-wet out fiberglass on our form. Overlapping plies. Splicing in pieces where need be. It’s not structural except where the back up battery will mount, so there is a plywood reinforcement there. But the rest is pretty flimsy. But in reality it is an environmental cover.


By the time we did all that it was quitting time for Jon and Greg, but Eric had just arrived. So Eric and I got on to some wiring. A remaining takes from last time with Eric was to add a resistor in the landing gear indicating circuit. So he did that while I crimped some ends on power cables.

Then Eric put a circular plastic connector (CPC) on the front stick. We would have done the rear stick as well, however I screwed up when I was ordering pins. I didn’t order enough. So we need to order more.


Lastly, we permanently mounted the ground bus on the avionics shelf. We also made up a ground cable from there to the battery to complete the circuit.


That was it for today, a lot actually. We will see what tomorrow brings. But I’m looking forward to more wiring and maybe getting the switch functions working.