Baffles #3

Time: 10 Hours

I repeated the process of bending the left inlet ramp just like the right side to get the forward edge to sit nicely under the cowl lip. Once that was done I trimmed the outboard edge of the ramp to allow the side baffle to bend in as well. Once I was satisfied with the fit I bent the lower portion of the side baffle just like the right side baffle. No pictures of any of these steps as they look just like the right side. One thing I did different than the right side is I didn’t trim or did as little as possible the forward length of the side or ramp baffles. I read ahead on others build sites to realize that you can cut yourself short if you are using a horizontal induction system, which I am. Using the horizontal versus vertical means that I will have no “scoop” on the bottom of my cowl, instead my fuel injection system will get its air from a filter and fiberglass tube, called the snorkel, mounted on the left inlet ramp. So this was my next task to get this monster to fit properly and build out the filter bracket. First up was to create a temporary attachment to the fuel servo. Eventually the snorkel will get help in place with four bolts but for now you don’t know it’s exact position in order to drill those holes. I wanted to be able to rotate the snorkel about its center on the servo. So I cut a piece of scrape sheet and drilled out four matching holes for the servo. From those holes I measured diagonally across all four to come up with the very center of that sheet. I also created a 3/4″ thick wood circle exactly 2 3/8″ across, the same as the opening on the servo side of the snorkel. I drilled a hole in the center of the sheet for a small wood screw that would hole the wood in place dead center. I trimmed the sheet to be more square and fit the area a little better as well.

Now I could bolt the plate/wood to the servo and have a pivot point for the snorkel to rotate about and keep it centered on the servo.

Not thinking about thickness of the bolt heads I dint like how far away from the servo they kept the snorkel flange. So I replaced them with several small zip ties which reduced the gap.

Ok so now I rotated the snorkel around to try its position and see where I would have any clearance issues. The only spot was right at an accessory lug on the SkyTec started. I did a little research on line before this and read about this issue. SkyTec allows for these lugs to be removed if not needed in there paperwork as long as you leave an 1/8″. So I could remove the unwanted lug or redo some fiberglass…our came The hacksaw! With that removed I rotated the snorkel up until it hit the underside of the left ramp. From there I outlined with a sharpie the shape of the top of the snorkel.

Using my drill, jigsaw, file and sandpaper I was able to remove this material to get the initial rough opening. I put everything back in place to see how it looked as I rotated the snorkel into place.

The fit in location was perfect, this hole will end up getting opened up to allow for a 3/8″ gap around the snorkel for the air filter. The snorkel will also get cut to give it a 3/8″ gap under the ramp. For now this position will allow me to drill for the four bolts that will hold the snorkel in place on the servo. So using a flashlight and a careful drill bit I drilled the center of the four holes enlarging them enough to allow for the 1/4″ bolts.

So now I could start to careful trimming of the top of the snorkel to give me that gap I needed.

To hold the air filter in place vans gives you bracket material that has a 3/8″ ledge for the filter to sit into. These brackets sit inside the snorkel and under the ramp. The plans for these are hand drawn and very confusing. I started with the aft section and trimmed the bracket to fit inside the snorkel and up under the aft section of the ramp. Once in place with some clamps I match drilled the holes for now. These will get screws eventually so the snorkel can be removed. I also drilled five holes through the bracket and the fiberglass of the snorkel. These holes will be used to rivet the bracket in place.

From there I moved to the two side brackets starting with the outboard one. I drilled for the five holes in the fiberglass to see how much material I would be working with for the screw holes up into the ramp, this is where I had to grime material to get the side baffle close to the cowl lip. I had enough space for regular #8 screw nutplates but not for countersunk #8 nutplates. That just means that these three screws will not be countersunk on the top, not a big deal at all.

The inboard bracket I’m going to wait to drill the screw holes until I have the baffles behind the ring gear done as they have a couple pieces of angle support that could be in the way. That way I can work through those issues at the same time as I install those baffles. I did drill the five holes into the fiberglass for that inboard bracket to hold it in place.

I removed all the parts so I could open up the hole to allow the filter to drop in and sit on the ledge of the brackets I installed. Again I used various tools, the band saw and sand paper to get the opening just right. The small amount that would remain on the forward edge of the ramp wouldn’t be of any use so I decided to cut it out. This area will be covered with the baffle seal material when it’s all done.

The bent edge of the side baffle is too long so I needed to trim it as well.

After the areas were fine tuned I installed the snorkel to see how it fit with the new opening. I was very happy with the fit and how it turned out.

The two aft corners will get sealed up to prevent air leaking. I grabbed the filter to see how it fit in place.

There are all kinds of ways to secure the filter so it doesn’t move, Vans gives you two small parts to hold the left and right side but I didn’t like how they fit or looked. So I decided that I would create a solid piece of .032″ sheet that would frame the top of the filter. It would be held down with six screws, two on each side. I also will put a 90° bend down on the forward edge to keep the filter from moving forward. I started with the solid sheet and aligned all the edges to get a perfect fit. I installed the lower cowl to see how it fit in place as well.

Once I had the overall fit perfect I measured for the center cut out and marked it to cut.

After I rough cut the hole with my Dremel cut off wheel I used a file to straighten all the edges. I used sandpaper to clean all edges up and smooth out the file marks. I used my break to bend down the forward edge after making a couple cuts to create a “tab” on the forward edge.

This makes for easy access to the filter when it needs cleaning or replacement.

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