Short night tonight, but I went ahead and made a second set of shims for the lower cowl using some .025” scrap. This took a little more time than last night, since I wasn’t starting with some nice 1/2” strip stock, but no big deal…just a little more cutting and smoothing. I was happy to see that with the new shims, the cowl sits much more even with the fuselage. You can still feel a little ridge there in some spots, but that’s not worth running down.
Since I was finally happy with the lower cowl fitment, I decided it was time to put the upper cowl on and see how the gap looked. At first it was a little concerning, as there was already a decent gap, especially around halfway between the firewall and prop…more gap than I really wanted. A little manipulating of the cowl halves fixed that, though – this seems to b the result of the cowl sides bulging a little at rest, whereas they were being pulled in tight with a ratchet strap when I did the cutting.
So the good news is that the gap should work out fine…the bad news is that this means I need to find some way to pinch the cowl sides while I’m working on finalizing the lower cowl cut to get the gap where I want it. I guess I’ll get to tinker with that next time out.
It is kinda cool to see the cowl halves mating fairly nicely, with no overlap any more. And the gap issues I’m seeing now don’t even show up in this photo: