Time: 4 Hours
I got some time in the Hangar on Friday to assemble and rivet the forward section parts after the paint had cured for several days. First order was to clecko the upper/lower bulkheads in place followed by the baggage floor and side.
You then add the firewall to the mix.
Once the firewall is in place clecko’d to the other parts you can final drill the holes that attach the firewall to the floor. There are 9 holes that need dimpling on the floor and countersunk on the firewall bottom brace(which I did earlier than the plans call for to make it easier). So I removed the firewall after drilling and dimpled the required holes. These holes will be riveted along with the cooling ramp later in the build.
With that done I was now ready to rivet the firewall to the forward floor section. Before I could do this I needed to seal the area around those 9 holes I just discussed. This to prevent any migration of oils and such from the engine into the cockpit as they run along the cooling ramp to the belly of the airplane. To seal this you can just use Pro-Seal like the fuel tanks. So I taped off the area with electrical tape and mixed up some Pro-Seal for the job.
I then put the firewall back in place and checko’ed each of the 9 holes to allow the Pro-Seal to cure. I then riveted the remaining holes on either side of the sealed 9 holes.
After I was done with that assembly I sat back and was thinking ahead as I usually do to the next steps and trying to imagine future parts and sections. I was looking at my modification to the air supply pass thru I did to the lower forward bulkhead. I came to realize that my measurement for its location was off a little. I placed it to far towards the left as the view from the seat. What I found was that the 90° elbow would just clip the edge of one of my Cam-Locs! Here is a view looking forward and you can see the left edge of the pass thru is just on the right edge of the Cam-Loc.
So that won’t work, I looked and looked for a solution on oh I would make this work. My solution? I just ordered a new lower bulkhead. It’s not riveted yet and I can replace the 6 nutplates on it. I will remove the pass thru and move it over about an inch which will give me clearance on the Cam-Loc and the support angle on the baggage floor. This is something I struggle with when doing these mods as you really have to think about every possible view of the part so as to avoid these errors. My problem was that these were two separate mods that ended up affecting each other. Luckily this will be an easy fix and only cost $26 for the part. But this is the fun part of the build is making these changes and mods to make it “my” airplane!