Battery Mount/ Armrest Mod’s

Time: 8 Hours

Today I wanted to finish it the battery mount addition. I had the marks made on the mount support angles and I put the mount back into position to double check the marks were on target. Once I was satisfied I took the mount sides off so it was just the angles and the mount base bolted to them. This gave me room to take the whole structure to the drill press and drill the holes. I started with a #30 hole on al 8 holes. I then took the structure back to the fuselage and placed it into the correct position. I used the holes I just drilled as a guide and drilled down thru them and the fuselage structure underneath. I then moved the mount back to the drill press and enlarged the holes to 3/16″ with my reamer for the AN3 bolts that I will use. I grabbed the reamer and drilled the fuselage structure from the bottom up. Once I had those holes drilled I used my 3/16″ clecko’s to hold a -3 nutplate in place under the fuselage. I then used them as guides to drill a #40 hole up thru the nutplate and fuselage for the rivet attach holes. The two aft nutplates are one wing ones where the 2 rivets are on one side of the screw hole rather than one on each side.



IMG_5108.JPGIn between those tasks I started the painting of the aft side skins, just the forward end, just aft of the second bulkhead gets paint as it is the rear baggage area.

IMG_5109.JPGI moved on to the countersinking of the angles of the gear tower and firewall where the nutplates will get riveted. I dimpled the 4 nutplate holes that are in the skin center.


IMG_5111.JPGRiveting all those holes took me 2 hours as it was a difficult place to rivet. I ended up using my tungsten bar on the flush side with a lot of downward pressure and my back rivet set from underneath. It worked pretty good except the aft inboard nutplate. I had a heck of a time getting them to sit and they are raised a slight bit. Won’t be a big deal as they are secure and the mount will cover them up. One mod I decided to do last night was to create a pocket of sorts in the right arm rest structure. Below the middle armrest between the two vertical bulkheads normally is just left open. Others have placed a piece of sheet metal around 4″ tall from the floor up to create a pocket between that sheet and the side skin and between the two bulkheads. To finish the look off I decided to add a small sheet filler from the armrest above this area going down towards the floor. You can see this top piece in the next photo.


IMG_5113.JPGI used my new 18″ metal brake to bend a 1/4″ 90° inward bend on this piece to give it some rigidity. I then used a piece of .040″ sheet to create the bottom piece and clamped it into place.

IMG_5114.JPGOnce I was happy with the size and shape removed the hole armrest structure as one piece and laid out 3 holes on each side, using one existing hole. I then removed the bottom sheet and drilled the 5 holes to a #19 hole for #8 screws. I replace the whole structure back into place on the fuselage and placed the new pocket sheet in place and clamped it. That allowed me to match drill the new sheet with the holes I just drilled in the bulkheads.

IMG_5115.JPGThe pocket sheet will have 6 nutplates on it that will secure it to the bulkheads. I will be able to bend the sheet slightly to remove it once the outside skin is riveted in place. I will also trim up the bottom as needed to get a good fit with the floor. While I was working on all this I also started the priming/riveting/painting of the battery mount support structure.


IMG_5118.JPGOne last task I worked in today was to position a USB outlet that I got from Stein Air. My plan is to have a Ram Mount for an iPad/iPad Mini/iPhone on the right side of the rear roll bar as that will be right in front of the passenger. I wanted a power source close to that spot which would be the armrest aft bulkhead. So is mocked up that area with the cockpit rail in place to see how low I could go without the wires being seen thru the lightening holes in the roll bar supports bracket.

IMG_5119.JPGI clamps the USB to the area to see how it looked.



IMG_5121.JPGOnce I was happy with the spot I marked it with a sharpie and removed that bulkhead to make the cuts.

IMG_5123.JPGI used the drill press to drill a couple holes followed by several small files get the opening just right. I clamped the USB back in place and marked for one of the screw holes and drill it to a #30. Once screwed into place I marked the second hole and drilled it. I attached the USB back to the bulkhead after rebuilding the structure on the fuselage to see how it looked.




IMG_5127.JPGAnother very productive day in the Hangar and feel pretty good about the items I got done. I also touched up some primer on the aft tail bulkheads that got scratched during the initial fitting. That’s where I called it a night and cleaned up the shop so I could pull the truck in as there is a chance of freezing rain/snow tonight here in Chicago.

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