Well today is the day. I woke up late, got the garage
cleaned up a bit and did inventory of the parts to mount the engine.
Vans Firewall Forward kit includes the mounts, nuts, washers and bolts to
mount the engine. There are two long bolts and two shorter bolts, the
longer ones go on the bottom mounts as there is an extra washer against the
engine frame. Well I'm glad I inventoried them at 8am because the kit
only contained 1 long bolt and 3 shorter ones. I phoned Dan and he
graciously said he would trek to AS and get a replacement bolt. Man I
owe you big time Dan!!! Thanks
buddy. The plans are pretty straight forward about which part of the
mount, hard or soft go where so I won't go into that here. Here are
some pics of the inventory process... I've labeled them top and
Just before everyone arrived Dad spotted an inconsistency. I had a
nylock nut on the nose gear mounting bolt, a no-no. Removed the
offending nut and replaced it with a all metal lock nut. Thanks Pops!
The crew started arriving and we had a good time looking over the engine
and plane, bs'ing about airplanes and waiting for Dan to show with the new
much-needed bolt. I went to pick up Dan at Torrance early because I
knew he would ask for the option, he always does, and it's a real joy to
watch his plane fly. He didn't disappoint. What an airplane, and
pilot. Here are some of us doing a preliminary review of the engine
If you will remember, a while back Dan came over to do an EAA TC
inspection. He caught the fact that the ground tabs were in the way of
the battery coming out. You think I would have learned my lesson.
I placed the LASAR box in the way of the battery again. I swore that I
would be able to get the battery out for maintenance. Here I am
proving a point. Luckily, it worked. Hopefully it will work with
all the wires in place. I think it will.
Ok new bolt in hand it's time to raise this puppy and get it on. I
was in command of the lift, and beers. Everyone else pitched in to get
it in place and bolted in. Tireless bunch of guys. I cannot
thank you enough. Starting to lift.
We had to remove the oil filter to get it to fit.
As it turns out, placing the top bolts in first is a tougher strategy
than bottom bolts first. I estimated 10 minutes to mount, Dan
said 5 minutes, it took about 45 after all was said and done. We
started trying to get the top bolts in first but sort of gave up and
followed the Vans plans method (who does this?) and tried the bottom bolts
first. It's easier because the bottom bolts have an extra washer and
holding it in place using the top bolt first method is tough.
Shot of the crew. I can't thank each and every one of you enough
for helping me out today. I'm so fortunate to know each of you.
What a day. I guess now I can start calling it an airplane.
We munched on some burgers and dogs and beers later. After everyone
had left I couldn't let alone. I had to do more. Here are some
post mortem shots.
Fitting the oil pressure line.
Fuel pressure line.
I have some questions about the manifold pressure line. It's Way
too long to go to the #3 cylinder but perfect for the #1. Will the #1
cylinder work? Is there some special reason why the #3 is always
chosen??? #3 is the left picture (bad) and #1 is right picture.
There is a clearance issue with the Fuel input line from the firewall to
the engine driven pump. Part of the prop governor mount is in the way
of the straight through fitting on the input side of the gas pump. I
decided to replace it with a 90 degree fitting since I had one. Bingo.
Done, time for bed. What a great day. What a great two weeks.
First I get my first RV ride in Dan's plane. We get to do some rolls.
Another plane does rolls around us while filming for a TV show. And
now I have the engine mounted thanks to a fine bunch of guys. Phew.
I'm way too excited to see what's next.
Canopy tomorrow. Ouch, that hurts.