Tanks Done!!!

Time: 8 Hours

Today was the big day to finish up the tanks! After sleeping on it last night and going over all items in the interior I decided that all was done and all I needed to do was seal it up. The plans call for you to place a <3/16th inch bead of ProSeal just forward of the rivet holes so that when you side the baffle in it will act like a squeegee and form a filet. You also need place a bead along the outboard/inboard rib. A common leak point is at the four corners of the baffle so a good size blob goes there. I then spread a small amount around each of the rib rear flange. After slipping the baffle into place I placed a clecko in every hole to help form the filet.

The first rivets are blind rivets at the top and bottom of the 5 middle ribs. I dipped each rivet in ProSeal before setting them to get a good seal.

Next was to attach the z-brackets with blind rivets. The process was the same and I dipped in ProSeal as well.

Next was to attach the 2 end z-brackets. For these I had to use the rivet guy and a bucking bar as the squeezer would fit on the bracket. There are 4 rivets, 2 on each side of these brackets and I was able to squeeze those.

The next task is to rivet all the skin to baffle holes. These I could grab with the pneumatic squeezer pretty easy. The real problem I had was that I found that the countersinks I had done on all these hole wasn’t deep enough! I know that I tested these holes with a rivet way back when I did them but when I set a few rivets they were sitting proud a hair. So I grabbed the countersink cage and set the correct depth and finished them. I removed a clecko, countersunk the hole and then squeezed all the way down the line. So I repeated this for both sides on both tanks which probably doubled the time I spent on them, bummer. Good news is that after that they all turned out great!

Time Lapse

Here is a view to the inside so you can see the filet that is made by slipping the baffle in place.

So I did a little bit of touch up in those filets but for the most part they all looked good from what I could see. To finish up that sealing I needed to screw the 5 access plates on. I just buttered up the lip of the plates for the area that the cover up on the rib/baffle. They then got placed in their respective spots and I placed a ProSeal dipped screw in each hole. For the inboard ribs I used a cap head screw that uses an allen wrench so that it will be easier to access when the wings are on the fuselage. The others I just used Phillips head screws to attach them.

I then cleaned up all the surfaces to remove all the extra ProSeal I got everywhere.

I grabbed the fuel caps and placed them in their spots as well.

The only thing I couldn’t get done was to attach the fuel drains since I didn’t have a fuel lube for the threads. My friend Glen has some and I will get some tomorrow. For now the tanks will cure in my office with the space heater turned up to 80°! That means next weekend I can grab some 100LL and fill them up for leak testing. So here is my chant, NO LEAKS, NO LEAKS & NO LEAKS!!!

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