Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2008 12

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1 Phone Europa factory to see if there is any progress with the tank query. Roger is not in so will have to phone again tomorrow. Phone LAS Aerospace about the flaring tool crack and they say to send it back. Pack and post it.
2 Loctite 5922 arrives from Grampian Fasteners. Phone Roger at Europa and he says there has been no response yet from the tank manufacturers to the pictures and descriptions.
4 Cut off about 90mm of 8mm aluminium rod. Mount it in the lathe chuck and take about 25mm of the end down to about 7mm OD, to fit into the 3/8" OD aluminium fuel tube. Had to go down slightly further than first expected as the flaring process leaves a slight lip on the ID. Try it out on the offcut with the first test flare formed on it. Works reasonably well despite the very short end. Now I will have to saw the tube to retrieve the AN819-6D sleeve for future use, as it won't slide round the bend.
8 Resin pump rebuild kit delivered from Michael Engineering.
11 Duplicate fuel gauge delivered. Phone Roger at Europa and he apologises and says send it back for a refund. The tank manufacturer says the strange things are probably artefacts of the moulding process, but since they appear to be somewhat brittle Roger agrees to replace the tank. He doesn't want the old one back again! Replacement flaring tool delivered from LAS Aerospace.
12 New tank arrives - impressively fast service.
16 New tank is a slightly different moulding, with an additional rib moulded transversely on the forward side - probably to help prevent bulges towards the control systems. Vacuum up the debris from cutting the hole in the headrest base and slide new tank into cockpit module to make sure it fits OK. While in position, draw around the hole from inside the headrest onto the top of the tank for confirmation of position. Note that the outlets are rather close to the pitch torque tube, but then realise that with the cockpit module upside down as now, the tank is not in its final position because gravity is acting in the wrong direction. It will finish with its lower outside profile more or less matching that of the cockpit module, and that will put the outlets clear enough of the pitch torque tube. Extract the tank again and mark up for the fuel gauge sender hole as before. The measured position lines up well transversely with the circle drawn through the headrest base hole, but is aft of centre to the extent that the edge of the threaded boss is just on the edge of the marked circle. Position and tape down the split ring and run around with soldering iron to make main hole. 1174.1
17 Find an adjustable spanner in Homebase that will open wide enough to fit the flats of the fuel gauge sender (about 32mm).
18 Meet David Joyce at the Firfax hangar at Staverton and take photos of the tunnel and the baggage-bay access to pumps etc on G-XSDJ. I notice that even with the small Andair gascolator, he has elected to mount the pumps on the opposite bulkhead to the gascolator, as I had been considering doing. David suggests it's a good idea to keep the pump as low as possible to avoid any priming problems. Back at the ranch, run the vacuum cleaner with the nozzle in the large tank hole for the sender unit while drilling the mounting holes 4.8mm, using the split-ring as a guide. Drop a screw into each hole when made to ensure alignment of all. For the last hole, covered by the only nut fitted so far, remove the tapes, rotate the split-ring to the next position, again locate it with screws, and drill the final hole. Carefully trim off all the melted flash above and below the rim of the hole with a scalpel. The vertical edge of the hole looks pretty rough despite attempts to smooth it by running a scalpel round before removing the split-ring. After some fruitless attempts at hand sanding, pick a rubber sanding bobbin that almost fits the hole and run it at very low speed in the power drill. That cleans up the edge beautifully. Fit the remaining anchor nuts to the split-ring using the short button-head screws, marking the extremes of their movement with a fine felt-tip pen and then tightening to position midway between the marks. This is much easier than fiddling about with a clamp as the instructions suggest and as I did for the first one. Drill a depression near the corner of a scrap of ply to take the screw head and so allow the split-ring to lie flat, and drill through all the rivet holes 2.4mm in the bench drill. Countersink them all using the small snail countersink in the cordless drill. Remove the anchor nuts one by one, paint with Duralac and re-attach with the screw finger-tight. Dip rivets in Duralac and insert both to ensure alignment before pulling them up. Check that there is still free movement of the screw in all directions. Repeat for all anchor nuts and clean off surplus Duralac. Shake the tank a bit to persuade all debris inside (and there was a noticeable amount in there upon receipt, before I started any work on it) across to port side then poke vacuum-cleaner tube in through sender hole and vacuum all around base of port side. Make loops on both ends of a piece of 60-lb fishing line (left over from flap hinge alignment) and secure one loop around split-ring. Twist split-ring enough to screw it into the tank hole. Re-straighten it again with 2 pairs of fine-nose pliers. 1175.8
19 Get FL20/2 flap pushrod out of box 10 in the trailer and try it out in the tunnel to assess space left for fuel selector. Cut and bend a piece of 0.15" soft aluminium wire to form a 2-prong hook, long enough to reach the bottom of the tank, and support the split-ring on it to provide additional handling ease. Paint the upper face of the split-ring with Loctite 5922 flange sealer. Paint both sides of one rubber gasket with 5922, slide it down the wire support and insert it into the tank hole. Manoeuvre into position on split-ring. Insert screws temporarily to confirm all holes line up. Remove screws again and prop wire to keep the assembly roughly in the right place for the moment. Paint the second gasket with 5922 and place it on top of the hole. Paint the underside of the screwed bush with 5922 and place it in position. Fit first screw and cut off nylon safety line. Remove wire support because it's getting in the way. Insert remaining screws and tighten up. Clean up excess 5922 with meths. Wipe the sender head threads and O-rings with petroleum jelly and screw it in. With the big adjustable spanner it goes about one screw-hole beyond where I expected! Unscrew sender, remove screws and hold split-ring in position with one finger while unsticking the screwed bush. Lift the gasket too and apply more 5922 to both surfaces before replacing bush rotated by one hole anti-clockwise. Tighten screws and clean up again. Temporarily wire up sender to gauge and check operation - all fine. However, it appears that the fuel gauge kit does not include the blade connectors for the sender cable, which is a bit sad as all the rest of the harness is complete. Screw in the sender and try sliding the tank into position. it's a bit tight but just goes in. Need to remove the port CS14 to get the sender head and cable out of the headrest base hole again. I think I'll need to take off as much of the control system as possible before doing the fuel tank support layups. Realise also that my carefully-positioned cutout for the filler and vent connexions did not take into account the necessary 20mm spacing between the tank and the headrest bases, so will need to enlarge that. Find a piece of 20mm chipboard that can be cut up for use as spacers. After about 5 hours curing, wipe all round sender seals with diluted washing-up liquid and Wilma helps check for bubbles as I pressurise the tank with lung power from the filler hole. No leaks visible. 1177.6
22 Check thickness of brass gauze and ID of fuel tank adaptor. Looks like a mandrel about 14mm dia would be suitable for wrapping the brass gauze around. Find a M14 bolt with the head cut off that is about the right length. Gauze is about 150mm by 65mm. Start to roll it around the mandrel and cut off just past overlap. Offer up to fuel tank adaptor - rather large to fit. Realise that I should have first soldered the edges of the gauze to stop it unravelling. Do that now, and the edges of the other still-flat piece. Need to trim a couple of strands off the wrap-over edge to make it fit. Finish up with just over one strand of the weft overlapping, and tuck the cut ends of the warp into the spaces to provide some mechanical location. Run solder along the overlap. There are 20 strands of weft in the finished article. Cut a piece off the remainder 21 weft strands long (to be on the safe side, in case the weave is not consistent) and roll it around the mandrel. Adjust to fit; remove one weft strand and tuck warp ends in and solder as before. There is enough spare gauze to make end caps for the finger-strainers. Fit them in position with ends of wires turned to help location and solder all round. The 1/4" aluminium pipe required to reach far bottom corner needs to be about 275mm long. Cut off 2 pieces to this length and bend each 15 or 20 degrees at about 90mm from end. Chamfer the end nearest to the bend with a file and file a birdmouth notch in it. Cut the central wires on the strainer caps and open the weave slightly by rotating (closed) fine-nose pliers in the central hole. Assemble to check fit of everything. 1180.8

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