Reinstalling the Rudder Pedals

I reinstalled the rudder pedals today. I used a block of wood to support the pedals as I fitted the support blocks under the fuel tank. It was a bit fiddle to get the bolts in but I succeeded. I tightened the bolts but did not use the torque wrench today.

Reinstalling the Fuel Tank

With the holes for the rudder springs drilled I was ready to start reassembly. First I vacuumed out the floor under the instrument panel and cleaned up the excess grease.

Next I put the fuel tank into place under the glare shield. This was much easier than removing it. I started to work at securing the tank straps. At this point I had a look at the plans and thought that I had forgotten to put felt onto the tank. I removed the tank and then remembered that there were special instructions for the root molded tank. I found the instructions on the Sonex website and sure enough, felt was not required. I repositioned the tank under the glare shield and proceeded to install and tighten the strap bolts. I had to remember to install the fuel tank cap and the drain valve in order to close up the tank and keep contaminates out.

Rudder Spring Holes

Today I continued with the removal of the rudder pedals in order to provide access for the drilling of the holes for the rudder pedal springs. I started by removing the bolts the secured the rudder cables to the rudder pedal connecting link. After removing the pedals I cleaned up the cockpit floor. I pulled the fuel line up against the fire wall and then proceeded to remove the fuel tank. 

Removing the fuel tank was a bit of a puzzle. I had to remove the fuel outlet in order to have clearance under the instrument panel crossmember and over the spar carry through tunnel. After a bit of fiddling it came out.

Next I worked to get the rudder spring holes marked. This was a bit challenging but easier now that the fuel tank was removed. With the holes marked I needed to figure out how to drill them. After trying to fit in my right angle drill and finding it was too large I started looking for smaller right angle drills. This seemed like an expensive idea so as I was looking through my tool box I came across my 12 inch long 18 inch drill bit. This was the solution.

I drilled the holes and while they were not exactly in the marked location they are both further from the edge of the angle which is actually better from a pull out point of view. I may have a bit of trouble getting the spring in but I think I can live with this.

Rudder Spring Holes

I discovered that I did not drill the holes for the rudder pedal springs. I spent some time figuring out where the holes need to be drilled but with the fuel tank installed this location is very difficult to get too. I need to remove the fuel tank.

Before removing the fuel tank I installed the seat pan and removed the control stick. This was to provide me a place to work from.

With the seat pan installed I removed the fasteners from the fuel tank straps. Next I tried to drop the tank down below the stops holding it in place. I forgot about the fuel cap and it prevented the tank from moving. After removing the fuel cap I was able to pull the tank forward but I could not tip it down below lower instrument panel cross member. So, I put the tank back in place.

I’ll need to remove the rudder pedals to lower the fuel tank further. This will be my next step

Completing Riveting on the Rudder

A couple of rivets at the lower rib needed to be pulled by hand as they seemed to interfere with the rivets holding the control horn. By using a hand puller I was able to ensure that the head was seated properly as I slowly pulled the rivets.

Finishing Up Rudder

It’s been a while since I made an entry in my builders log. Work has been very slow but I am trying to get back at things and get back to recording my work. Today I was working on my rudder. I spent time deburring the ribs for inside the rudder. I found that a tongue depressor wrapped in sand paper works well to break of the burr on the inside of the flanges. After getting everything deburred, I began the riveting process. I started by riveting in the center rib then the hinge. Next, I reveted the rudder drive horn assembly. I left the drive horn assembly and the top rib off so that this area could be inspected as part of my precover inspection.

More Work on the Drive Horn

I continued working on the drive horn today. I center punched and drilled all of the pilot holes, completed the sanding and used scotch brite to clean up the part. I filed the bevel on the one edge as indicated. This appears to provide some relief when the horn is riveted to one of the ribs for the rudder.<br /><br /> With all of this work completed I started to setup for bending the drive horn.

Drive Horn Template

The drive horn shown in the plans has no dimensions but is drawn full scale. I decided that the quickest way to make this part was to start with a template. I used a piece of drafting paper to trace the drive horn from the plans. I then glued the drafting paper to a piece of bristol board and cut it out. This provided a rigid template that I could trace for the final shape on the aluminum.<br /><br /> I traced the shape onto the aluminum and used the band saw to cut out the rough shape. Next, I started the sanding.