Karmy Flying Adventures Rockn the left coast at 100ft

January 31, 2010

New Panel

Filed under: Kitfox,Maintenance — Andy @ 9:19 pm

Here’s the latest update from this weekend. I now have the panel installed and all of the main power & electrical system wiring done. Still to go is headset wiring, engine monitor wiring, complete fuel system rebuild. Good times!

Here’s the main power distribution center. Fuse panel, crowbar overvoltage module and relay for alternator feed, filter cap, etc.

Here’s the back of the main panel location, with the switch panel & wiring routing. I used some adel clamps attached to the bottom edge of the panel to create a nice wire chase path. Keep them from being zip tied to the tube structure under the panel.

Here’s a neat idea for your GPS antenna farm. Since the glareshield is fiberglass, they work just great mounted just underneath the dash cover. Keeps them out of the way and securely mounted.

I used a Brother label maker to create the panel labels. The key to making them look nice is to use the black border function. When cut out carefully they blend in great on the light colored panel.

January 26, 2010

Installing Oil Pressure Sender

Filed under: Kitfox,Maintenance — Andy @ 2:00 pm

Thought I would do a quick review of the Remote Oil Pressure kit that you can get from Kitfox Aircraft. It allows you to move the oil pressure sender off of the Rotax 912 and back to the firewall to get extended longevity by reducing the vibrations that it gets from the engine.

The kit is very complete with all nuts, washers, screws, clamps, wire, hose, fittings etc. Couldn’t ask for an easier setup. Here’s a few pictures to give you a sense of it.

I also installed a new pressure sender to make sure as mine was a bit flakey at this point. The new ones are much cheaper as they don’t com from Rotax, however they are both made by VDO and look to be the same part. The only thing I did was to move the brass ring over to the new one. Not sure what it’s function really is, but it looks nice! You take a bit of heat with a propane torch to the ring and it releases the glue from the old one. Then just use some RTV to attach it to the new one. Now notice that the new sender has 2 screw terminals, where the old one had just one. The new one is a “floating ground” type sender. That means that you must take one of those contact points and hook it up to ground. The other one is the sense line for the resistance measurement that indicates the pressure. The old one got it’s ground from the case of the unit as it was designed to be screwed directly into the engine.

January 19, 2010

Wiring teardown

Filed under: Kitfox,Maintenance — Andy @ 10:53 am

Let the games begin.

This weekend I pulled most everything apart. I started by one by one removing each wire from the back of the panel and electrical bus. By selectively either cutting and removing, or taping and labeling each wire that I needed to keep. Once everything was traced out and clearly understood, I removed the remaining connections and parts from the instrument panel. Then Removing the panel was a small matter of a few bolts at the bottom that held it in place.

It’s funny that as you go deeper and deeper into the project it starts looking like you’ve almost totally dismantled the entire plane. At one point I had to fold the right wing slightly to get the OAT sensor out of the wing root. At least I know that the pin will come out and you can fold the wing back. (better make sure and put that pin back in when I’m done!)

I made sure to keep every part that I was removing, including all the wire and parts in a box so I can weigh all of the stuff that’s not going back in and see what I removed. Mostly for curiosity sake really. When the rebuild is done I will weigh the plane and get a new weight and balance done for the record books.

Here are more pictures of the progress to date. From this point things should start going back in as the project progresses.

January 6, 2010

Oil Pressure Variations

Filed under: Kitfox,Maintenance — Andy @ 12:55 pm

Over the last few months the engine has developed this neat new feature. It really get’s your attention on takeoff. At random times the oil pressure will drop to about half reading, sound an alarm on the engine monitor, then return to normal with no changes by the pilot. It will bounce around up and down either on the ground or in the air and then eventually settle down for the rest of the flight.

Rotax came out with a fix for it which is a new oil pressure valve that goes in place of the ball currently used. As this also is an area that needed to be replaced as part of the TBO extension program announced in Dec 09. The parts required are:

  • 857-230 – Mushroom valve piston
  • 842-982 – Plug Screw M12 x 1
  • 838122 – Pressure Spring

The new plug screw is required for the TBO extension and the Mushroom & spring are supposed to help the oil pressure readings.

Winter Projects

Filed under: Kitfox,Maintenance — Andy @ 12:47 pm

With winter here in full swing now it’s time to get started on the projects. This will of course result in perfect good weather being bestowed as soon as the first screws come out of the cowl!

Projects planned include:

  • New Panel blank & instrument layout
  • Removal of second alternator / battery / wiring
  • Rewire Circuit breakers to fuses to cleanup panel
  • Install glovebox
  • New header fuel tank install
  • New fuel line run from wings to firewall
  • New EIS engine monitor install & wiring
  • Remote oil pressure sender mounting on firewall
  • New Rotax SB for 2000 hr TBO extension
  • New Rotax part for fluctuating oil pressure readings
  • Painting of Flaperons
  • Painting of tail access cover
  • Moving headphone jacks to back of seats
  • Weather sealing doors & boot cowl against cold air leaks

WHEW, by the time all that’s done it will be July!

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