Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2001 09

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6 Phone Jennings and Pentagon about kit insurance. Jennings quote £140 + £30 for in-transit, Pentagon quote £140 all-in. Request written quotes & proposal forms.
8 Mount rear junction box to trailer floor, and the other two direct to trailer sides, after considering positioning of side marker lights. Use short lengths of aluminium trim strip to support rivet heads on outside. Attach connector block near offside front marker for cable junction, as light fitting will not readily admit 2 cables for daisy-chaining. Decide to use p-clips to support cable; Maplin catalogue shows useful sizes. Crimp male blade connectors onto wire tails of mudguard lights. The ratchet crimper I got was a good buy and gives satisfactory results with less effort than the economy crimp pliers I had. Wil's help needed for riveting through sides, and for the front marker lights and tightening front cable entry gland. However, the plastic gland doesn't seem to be very satisfactory as the nut is too flexible to allow good tightening. A rummage through conduit spares drawer for a metal nut turns up a complete metal-bodied gland which fits perfectly and can even be done up tight from one side. Fit plug and trim cable to length for forward junction box. Connect to connector block, with 3-core for front marker lights. It had escaped my notice up till now that the nearside and offside tail-lights enjoy separate wires in the cable, and that is why the number plate is on the nearside, because the number-plate light is common with the nearside tail-light.
10 Quote arrives from Jennings. No sign of Pentagon one, so call them & leave message for Colin Matthews. Phone Gloucester Trailer centre to check on availability of various lights and reflectors, and of TripleLock coupling. They don't have amber side marker lights. After trying a few other places, (one who has some in stock at £13 + VAT) suggests why not use turn indicator repeaters from Halfords! Phone Roger to check on data plate. He had found it knocking about and didn't know whose it was. He will look it out again and drop it in before I need to depart, or I can collect it or he will post it, if it turns out he is not coming to Cheltenham soon enough. Also ask who supplies his rivets and he says GR Fasteners. Phone them and they say they can do 200 for about a fiver (minimum cash charge over the counter). Colin Matthews eventually calls back and says he will send quote & proposal form today. Get p-clips from Maplin, sockets from Halfords (but nothing suitable for amber lights) and TripleLock coupling lock, front reflectors, side reflectors, red lights and amber side lights (last 4!) from Honeyfield Trailers (Gloucester Trailer Centre). Get to GR Fasteners in Stroud just before they close at 5pm, only to be told they don't keep the sealed rivets in stock and I would have to order at least 1000. Fit coupling lock and figure out how to use the security covers for the fixing bolt & nut, without the benefit of any mention of them in the instructions.
11 Modify trailer amber side marker lights by removing rubber mountings & pegs, and drilling ends for rivets. After more measuring and thinking about position of both lights and reflectors along side, rivet lights in place. Position and rivet tail outline markers to door.
12 Go to Northwick Manufacturing to collect data plate and some rivets. Roger says he must have chucked out the plate as it had been kicking around for so long and he couldn't figure out who it should have been for. He will order up a new one and post it to me. Take about 200 of his 22mm sealed rivets for £5.
13 Wire front marker lights. Instead of using p-clips & rivets as previously intended, secure cable with hot-melt glue. Wire side marker light (offside front). Make extra holes to allow daisy-chaining to nearside, then decide to wire all nearside lights from one cross-over cable at the mudguard position. Fill extra holes with hot-melt glue. Have to file away part of snap-on lens to clear rivet heads where I made the new holes. Extend 7-core cable from front to mid junction box. Wire in offside mudguard marker light with blade connectors.
14 Wire all light clusters on tailgate. Seal cut-off ends of unrequired cores (offside tail & indicator in nearside cluster and vice-versa) with heat-shrink sleeving. Fit longer screws to top outline markers as the original ones were only just engaging and had stripped. Secure cables to door with rivetted p-clips and take cables across to floor of trailer. While planning to drop nearside cable through floor and run it underneath to offside, discover that the mahogany strip I put on to fill the space at the hinge is thick enough to conceal it. Drill out rivets, remove mahogany strip, and rebate about 8mm square out of bottom front corner. Make holes in appropriate places to bring cable up, thread through, & re-rivet. Wire both cables in to rear junction box. The remaining 3-core cable is long enough to go across the roof at the mudguard position and reach to the other side markers. Not sure if it will also provide enough for the length from the rear offside marker to the rear junction box.
15 Make ClarisDraw diagram of trailer junction box wiring. Wire in 7 & 3 core cables to rear side of mid junction box. Take 3-core across roof, securing with p-clips rivetted to side of roof arch. Find that I can use rivets from the box of 1000 originally got for the central heating ducting, although the mandrels don't seem to eject well from the air riveter. The nosepiece is quite a snug fit on the mandrels, and the burrs raised by the jaws make them jam. Wire nearside marker lights and connect to a single pair of male blade connectors along with the mudguard markers. (Not enough left for rear offside marker.) Crimp blade receptacles onto end of cable coming across roof, mate connectors, and secure with tie-wraps. Wire rear offside side marker, and decide to take cable down through the steel angle which supports the spare wheel, via a grommet. Rivet a small piece of aluminium angle to the back of the spare wheel support angle to restrain the wheel brace & 19mm socket which fit there nicely. Then start to think about how any restraint for the jerricans might affect the wiring. Find that a combination of aluminium angle and folded steel from the scrap tub will support the jerricans in about the right place, and the steel section is just right to retain the lashing strap I got from the trailer centre.
17 Rivet jerrican restraint assembly onto trailer side rail next to spare wheel support. Cut some more aluminium angle to make locators on the floor so the jerricans don't slide around, and bolt them down. Secure cable from mid to rear junction box with a mixture of p-clips and tie-wraps. Terminate it and the rear side marker cable at the rear junction box. Check lights - all work correctly. While car is adjacent, check function of new coupling. Seems to be something other than the lock catching on the hitch lever; don't seem to be able to lift it cleanly on the first try. Slacken gland and feed through a little more slack for the plug, as it seems just a bit tight for right-hand turns. Bend up supports for front reflectors from lengths of aluminium trim, so they face front, & rivet in place. Stick self-adhesive side reflectors in positions where they can be riveted through into the top frame rail if desired.
18 Clear tools out of trailer and drag carpets towards rear to reduce nose weight slightly. Put some silicon sealer around the obvious gaps between the ply floor and the metalwork sides. Pull trailer out onto grass beside hedge and reverse onto ramps with assistance from Wil. Spray on underseal. First can seems to cover very little area, and despite getting better with the technique as time goes on (and thinning & draining the dregs of each subsequent can into the first one) run out with several panels still to cover. Get 2 cans of similar Waxoyl brand underseal from Halfords (Roger had supplied Tetra Schutz) and finish off, including mudguards. Spend a long time cleaning up spray gun & air hose. Run trailer off ramps and reverse back into yard without too much trouble. Spend a long time cleaning underseal off myself. Wil has to cut some chunks out of my hair.
19 Call Roger again about the trailer data plate. He says he hasn't yet had a reply to his phone message left when I was last at his place, so will chase it again. He knows where the guy lives, as well as the garage where he does some work, so if necessary will drive over and run him to ground.
20 Call Roger again and he has now made contact with the data plate guy. He should have it ready for tomorrow.
21 Post insurance proposal form for build-in-progress to Pentagon insurance brokers. Roger calls to say the data plate is now ready. Drive over & pick it up. Clean nearside of cladding on drawbar and apply.
24 Fit tie-down eyes to the angled members on the trailer sides, towards the front. Fit guide rails on ramp, angled out slightly at bottom. Cut off & stick down a piece of carpet on ramp with Copydex. Put silicon sealer around all floor notches for side bars.
25 tick Have a lot of trouble getting trailer out of back gate. Eventually the decorator takes pity on me and gives me a hand to drag it out and up the slope manually. The problem apparently was that I had moved the trailer from its original position and left too little clearance next to the outer wall. There was not enough gate width to re-position it by manoeuvring with the car, but the attempts wiped off the two side reflectors at the front end. Rivet them on again with the lazy-tongs riveter and at last get away. Rest of journey uneventful. Find that 56/57mph is comfortable speed; at the legal limit of 60 it's a bit inclined to snake in the wake turbulence of other large vehicles. Checking carpets inside at lunch stop shows they are about as far forward as possible for nose weight. Uncouple at Kirby Mills and leave it there overnight. Have a 20-minute flight in G-KITZ with Mark Waite. Call Wilma from Hutton-le-Hole and she tells me Simon from Pentagon insurers has been trying to reach me, probably to confirm my card number for the premium.
26 Call Pentagon from call-box and leave message with card number, after difficulty with BT Chargecard which has been TOS'd from lack of use! Move most of the carpets out of the trailer. Cut one piece to cover the rails, then mostly watch as Anna & Toni load up. Put carpets back in each side of fuselage to help keep wings upright against sides (the tie-downs are a bit low to give proper restraint to top edges of wing packing). Park the trailer again and check tyre pressures. Call Pentagon again from Europa Aircraft and get confirmation that cover is in place.
27 Couple up and drive trailer back to Cheltenham. There is a loud bang on the northern section of the M1 making me think I've had a blow-out, but everything seems OK. One of the mudguards seems a bit dented on examination at the lunch stop, but as it's showing traces of rust where the paint is chipped I think that is probably a relic of Tuesday's performance at the back gate. Turn around at the end of the road and reverse up without problems. Get it into the drive in only a couple of tries. Wilma helps guide entry into back gate, which goes without problems.
28 Call Philip Paull and he is able to come along in afternoon to help move stuff out & in of trailer and take some video footage. Photograph large parts laid out on lawn, from upstairs window. Start to check off inventory. Write stock IDs on each box so I know where to find things again. Looks like there is a couple of items missing.
29 Start to enter part numbers and descriptions on the FileMaker Pro inventory. Add a field for "box number" and assign an abitrary number to each cardboard box. The big stuff is assigned 0.

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