Oil Door

Time: 4 Hours

While I’m waiting for the layups to dry on the upper gear leg fairings I decided to tackle the oil door in the engine cowling. Vans cowl has a detent for where the door goes that you need to cut out. They also give you a separate fiberglass door that needs to be trimmed to size. First up was to layout the opening based on the plans. 

Then I drilled four holes in the corners and connected them with my cut off wheel in the Dremel leaving a little extra. I sanded the edges to the lines and smoothed out the corners. 

Trimming the door was pretty easy and I made it so that there was about an 1/16″ gap all the way around it so I could fill it later to get a perfect fit. Last year at OshKosh I bought a hidden oil door hinge from Cleaveland Tools. This hinge serves two purposes, it hides the hinge so you can see it when looking at the cowl and it has a spring loaded to hold the door open. This makes sure that you don’t take off with it unlatched. I first needed to layout the half that goes on the cowl. It needs to just clear the lip of the cowl so I used two layers of electrical tape to create a gap.

Once that was done I drilled four holes in the hinge and then matched drilled them to the cowl. I then put the door in place with tape to match drill the other half of the hinge to the door. 

I cleaned up the holes and countersunk them for flush rivets. I made quick work of them with the pneumatic squeezer. 

You have several options to secure the door when closed. I decided to use a hinge to close mine. Half of the hinge will be riveted to the door and the other half to the cowl. When the door is closed I will slide the pin in and connect the two half’s together. This pin will be long enough to go into the forward baggage area, more on that later in the build.


To help beef up the door I took the piece of cowl I cut out and sized it to fit the door. I then drilled for rivets and the other half of the hinge. 

I riveted the support and hinge to the door and checked the fit. I needed to tweak the hinge a little to get it to sit perfect. 

The door sits down just a little all the way around plus I wanted to cover up the rivets so I cut out three layers of light cloth and do a lay up over the door. 

I will trim the edges once dry and sand them so I can fill the gap with it in place. Overall it looks great and functions perfect. I will get the surface perfect after I reinstall it. 

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