Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2021 11

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2 Clear up garage floor and roll fuselage out onto drive for access to port side. Print out the journal pages covering the starboard door gas strut fitting. Prop port door open with the 1-metre aluminium tube used for the starboard door. Check position for ball fitting on the port door frame lug and mark with square awl. Drill 2.6mm, open to 4.2mm and tap M5. Apply Loctite 243 to threads of fitting and screw it into the tapped hole. Tighten with spanner. Apply Loctite 243 to a M5 half-nut and screw it onto the protruding thread. Tighten with spanner. This lug must be slightly thicker than the one on the starboard door - the end of the fitting thread does not come out quite flush with the face of the half-nut, but I'm sure it has enough thread to keep it secure.

Fit the cylinder end of the port gas strut to the ball and check the location for the lower ball fitting. Mark it with felt-tip pen and make a centre with the awl. As this hole is slightly lower in the recess than the starboard one, access for drilling the hole is somewhat fouled by the forward lip of the recess. Use long 2.5mm and 4mm drill bits to get the best angle. Tapping the hole is tricky as the M5 tap is not long enough to grip in a tap-wrench. Get it started by pressing on the end with a finger and rotating it with pliers and then a spanner on the square. Mix a small batch of Evo-Stik 2-hour Control Epoxy and apply it to the tapped hole. Start the ball fitting in the hole and apply more epoxy to its threads. Tighten it with a spanner. Apply epoxy to the AN970-3 washer and fit it to the protruding thread. Apply epoxy to a M5 half-nut, fit it the the thread and tighten with a spanner. Clean off excess epoxy with acetone.

Fit bottom end of gas spring to ball and check door operation - all looks good with no fouling anywhere.

Check and print out journal pages covering starboard strobe cable termination. Cut cable 234 to length outside port side of fuselage. Slide on a length of heatshrink for the label and 4 layers of increasing sizes for the connector. Strip outer jacket and shorten screen. Fold screen back over jacket. Strip and terminate inners to the socket inserts using the 22-18 slot of the 30-586 die jaws in the Ideal crimp tool. Insert sockets into housing - orange-white in position 1, blue-white in position 2 & white in position 3. Slide down the heatshrink sleeves and shrink them in turn. Add a cable tie to close the largest one for the connector onto the cable. Shrink on the label.

Clear up tools and roll fuselage back into garage.
3 Info on mandatory mod SM15833 (shoot-bolt stop) received from LAA.
4 Bushes delivered from Vital Parts.

Order kit of parts from LAA shop for mod SM15833 - Europa door shoot-bolt stop

16 Draw up and print out a diagonal-line backing pattern for the fuel sight gauge, in both red and black. Get both patterns laminated. Trim with a decent clear border around each one.
17 Slide a bush of 12.7mm OD x 6.4mm panel depth onto the fuel sight gauge tubing and all the way down to where it enters the cockpit from the tunnel. However, the hole there is bigger than I recalled and the bush can go right through it. A quick check with a ruler shows the hole to be around 15mm diameter. At the top of the seatback, however, the 12.7mm OD bush should be OK.

Check the fit of the smaller bushes on the FLU-180 1/8" polyurethane tubing for the fuel weight sensor vent. Either the 7.1mm or the 8mm OD bush would be OK - the tubing is quite a loose fit in both sizes.

After checking that there will be plenty left, cut off a length of the sight tube and plug one end with a tapered piece of wood (an old artist paintbrush handle). Part-fill the tube with petrol and check the appearance with the tube held in front of each of the striped backing cards. The red if fine, but the black is even better, with more contrast. The visual difference between the empty and full sections of the tube is certainly striking.

Check again the fit of the cover for the top of the fuel filler cobra. I need to be able to get at the heads of the fixing screws, and it looks as though 3 fixing points would be practical and sufficient - 1 on the forward end of the lower face and 2 at top and bottom of the aft face. Each of these positions has room to place a driver onto a screw head. Careful positioning of the angle brackets for the fixings will be needed, based on the lines drawn on the fuselage around the outside edge of the cover.

Order some more bushes from Vital Parts.
18 Vital Parts report some items out of stock and offer alternatives. Accept some of those offered.
19 Bushes delivered from Vital Parts. A 15.9mm OD bush slips easily onto the sight-gauge tubing, but won't fit into the hole. Too dangerous to try enlarging the hole with the tubing in-situ. Note that although the 2 types of 15.9mm OD bush are for different panel thicknesses, they are actually the same overall length!
20 Pull sight-gauge tube down from the tunnel hole. Enlarge the hole slightly with a deburring tool until a 15.9mm OD bush just enters. Try to push the tube back up through the bush, but difficult to get it started. Remove the bush again and then it's quite easy to push the tube up. Pull it all back up until no slack left below. Slide a bush onto the free end of the tube and down to the tunnel. Push it into place in the hole.

Check fit of 12.7mm bush in the hole at the top of the seatback and enlarge it in the same way until the bush fits. The sight gauge tubing needs some encouragement to get into the bush but goes OK once started. Will need to figure out a way of capturing the free end of the tubing and drawing it out at the aft starboard corner by the vent fitting. Also need to plan the route for the fuel weight sensor vent tubing.

Check how the backing stripes will fit behind the sight tube. The tube will need a sharp bend where it emerges from the tunnel to be flush with the seatback. Will need to use the natural bend of the tubing to keep it close to the stripes.
30 Check the fit of the 1/8" ID urethane tubing for the vent on both the fuel weight sensor and the barb at the top of the fuel filler. The tube will need to be softened to get it onto both of those. Just in case it proves too difficult to get it onto the sensor, order some 4mm & 5mm ID urethane tubing online.

Check the routing of the fuel weight sensor vent tube. It can pass under the sight gauge tube at the bottom and lie inboard of it up the seatback. Consider whether it would be easy to fit a bush on the hole where the tubing for the pressure side of the sensor emerges into the seatpan. Would be best fitted from the aft side, which means drawing back the tubing towards the TEE on the sight tube. Need to check from underneath how easy that would be.

With a razor blade, chamfer the sharp corners of the recesses on the underside of the blue foam filler for the port inboard seatpan recess, to make it easier to take a layup around.

Check the orientation of the pressure and vent ports of the sensor. Print labels for each, and also one for the line out socket on the overhead box. Apply the labels.

Insert the end of the urethane tubing into the sensor box and slip an Eliza Tinsley 3mm clip over it. Take the circuit board out of its slots for easier access. Bring out some boiling water in an insulated mug and warm the end of the tubing in it. Try pushing the warm tubing onto the sensor but it cools off too quickly. Plan B is to push the tubing onto a mandrel warmed in the hot water and leave it to cool, thus taking a set with a slightly larger bore. First try with a 1/8" brass barb; tubing goes onto the heated fitting quite easily, but after cooling is very hard to pull off because of the barbs. It hasn't really expanded much either. Next find a 6" nail that looks about the same diameter as the sensor port. Smooth off the end of it with the grinding wheel and coarse wire wool. Heat it and the tubing in the hot water. Tubing goes on a good distance without too much effort. After cooling, it's pretty hard work to get the tubing off the mandrel but it comes eventually. Blow it out from the other end with the airline to clear any remaining moisture from the tubing. Now it fits quite easily onto the outer section of the sensor port and with a bit more encouragement even goes onto the larger-diameter section next to the sensor body. Tighten the ET clip onto it. Replace the circuit board in the box slots.

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