Rear Engine: Plenum Diffusers and Cowl doesn’t fit

We are a bit behind in posting, so this was actually last Saturday. Diffusers for the rear plenum and the engine doesn’t fit in the rear cowl.

Kevin and I spent most the day at the hangar on Saturday. We were able to get a lot done. When we separated the rear engine plenum diffusers from their plugs, the fiberglass released from the vinyl tape on half of each diffuser. On the other half, it stuck tenaciously. I have never had this happen before. I have always been able to release vinyl tape without any other mold release.

We tried everything to get it to release. We tried chemicals like acetone, gasoline, and goo gone, and mechanical methods such as picks, scotchbrite, sandpaper, etc. In the end heat was the key. We could heat it enough to soften the bond, and then pull up a corner. If we were lucky we got a large chunk to come off, if not, we got a piece the size of a dime. It took all day to get the parts cleaned up.

While Kevin was working on that, George stopped by and we started working on fitting the rear cowl. Now when I purchased the project, I knew there was some kind of fit issue with the rear cowl, but didn’t know what. It turns out that the engine doesn’t fit inside of it. Kind of a problem. But not to worry. It is composite, so we can trim away the offending areas, and then decide how to re-shape. George and I trimmed and fit and trimmed and fit until we could get it in place. We had to cut away a significant portion of the upper cowl and a bit of the lower. I am still working on what to do to fix it. So stay tuned.

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