I made a goal about a month ago to get the engine mounted to the airplane by Christmas. To get that done I pushed really hard to get everything done that would be more difficult with the engine installed. That included finishing the aileron control installation, main landing gear fairing, and gear doors.
Today was the day I had planned to mount the engine. In preparation I had help here last night to flip the fuselage back right side up and get the engine crate into a position I could hoist the engine out. Thanks Joe Flannigan and Kevin.
So today started with adding a few accessories to the engine. I had a few holes in the back of the engine (from the removed magnetos and low pressure mechanical fuel pump) that needed to be sealed off before any fiberglass dust, grit, moisture etc gets into the engine.
First was preparing the dual PMag ignitions for installation. I can’t say enough about Brad and company at EMag-Air, their support and documentation are superb. In order to mount the ignitions the mag drive gears need to be bolted to the ignition shaft. Their instructions walk you through this, and it took me less than 30 minutes to do.
Next I changed gears and worked on the B&C 90 degree oil filter adapter. Again the documentation is excellent. Following the instructions, it only took about an hour to install. That included a trip to the neighbors to borrow a 1 1/4, 6 point socket to remove and re torque the vernatherm. I didn’t have one, looks like I found more tools I need.
With the 90 degree oil filter adapter in place, I lubed up the ignition drive gears and mounted the ignitions in their respective accessory case mounts.
Next was supposed to be the high pressure mechanical fuel pump. However when I bought the engine, I had the seller remove the low pressure fuel pump, and he didn’t include the hardware required to mount the pump. So I am lacking the required hardware. So I proceeded without installing it. I have the mounting hole in the accessory case protected for now, and will order the hardware.
That was all the accessories I had to mount and all of the holes in the engine, except the fuel pump, are closed off. Time to mount the beast. I started carefully inching the engine into position, checking clearances and alignment as I went. I was getting close to the engine mount and $h!+! It won’t fit.
The lower tube that comprises the dynafocal ring Interfered with the oil pan and accessory case. I got this sinking feeling in my gut looking at this tube wondering, could I have put this tube in wrong? I had built the engine mount with a friend of mine ( details found here ), and we had used the plans to build it. But when I got the plans back out, it was pretty obvious that the tube was in 180 degrees out. The bend that was supposed to make clearance for the accessory case and oil pan was actually further impending the engine fit.
Now the good news is, since I made my own engine mount, I knew I could fix it. The bad news was, since I made my own engine mount, I had the opportunity to foul it up. Oh well.
I made plans to remove the engine mount and take it back to my friends shop in Texas to make the repairs. As we were talking about this, we were concerned about how to make sure that we have adequate clearance on the replacement tubes. We decided it would be best to remove the interfering tube and mount the engine to check for any subsequent clearance problems. Once the tube was removed, we can tack a welding rod in place to represent the boundary of the engine, and complete the repair back in the jig in Texas.
Once I had the engine mounted up, it dawned on me that there was no immediate need to do the engine mount repair. This way I can continue with my plans to get the cowl mounted and start wiring, baffling, and engine control installation. Once we get to the point of having to remove the engine for a period of time, for instance once I flip the fuselage over for finishing the bottom, we can attack the engine mount repair.
Overall, with this plan, there is nothing lost except a single 4130 tube. I can continue to make progress on the airplane. What started out as a major disappointment turned into a minor inconvenience and an extra small repair. Overall today was a big win, and major visual motivation!