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Finish kit is here!

Yup, it’s the big day. The finish kit showed up this afternoon, and with some help from my neighbor and fellow RV-8 builder, the crate was in the hangar and cracked open in no time. This evening I couldn’t resist diving into the inventory, which really didn’t take all that long – there aren’t a ton of parts here. I stopped short of inventorying all the little bags of stuff, though, which I’ve learned is usually the more time-consuming part.

In the meantime, I have the requisite giant pile of packing paper, which made for a good backdrop when I posed for the traditional wheel-pant-as-headgear photo:

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Finish kit inventory and cleanup

Just more menial stuff tonight. I got the hardware bags inventoried – a task that I thought was going faster than expected right until I got to the bags with mixed rivets in them. Nothing like spending 30 minutes of your life examining every member of a pile of rivets to determine if it’s 1/4” or 9/32” long. I may be a bit cross-eyed for a few days…

Once I was sure I had everything from the inventory sheet, I cleaned up the giant pile of packing paper. I probably could have crammed it all into the bed of my truck as it sat, but I’d have felt like a jerk pulling up to the recycling center and having everyone trying to cram these giant balls of paper into the baler. So I at least got the stuff bundled up so it can be handled pretty easily. Should be able to haul it off mayor be Friday.

Now I guess I should get back to wiring type stuff.

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Some more harness routing

Today I started out with a specific goal: finally solving the problem of securing the harness bundle coming up the right gear tower. After a whole bunch of staring, I decided the way to go was to mount an adel clap to the forward gear tower brace. I was kind of surprised to discover there was already a prepunched #8 hole pretty close to where I needed it, which made it a little simple to figure out that positioning. I added a nutplate to the spot, so I could just install a screw to secure the adel clamp.

This didn’t quite go off without a hitch, though. When I drilled the screw hole to final size, it didn’t seem like the air drill was running at full speed. Then when I went to go swap to a #40 bit for the nutplate rivets…I heard buzzing from inside the drill. Turns out a mud dauber got in there somehow, and was apparently stranded; even after removing the quick-disconnect air fitting and banging the drill on a hard surface, it wouldn’t come out. So I ended up disassembling the drill to get the stupid thing out.

Anyway, I digress…Installing that nutplate required me to remove the instrument panel surround as well as the upper avionics shelf. While I had the shelf off, I decided it was a good time to go ahead and take care of the harness between the CPI2 backup battery and the main ECU unit. The prefab harness was a good foot or so longer than I needed, so I elected to cut it down and re-terminate it with new Molex pins. Some cable lacing on the harness, plus a few zip-tie mount pads, made for a nice tidy end result:

So now the shelf is back in the fuselage with the harness rerouted…I think next up should be the terminations for the voltage regulators, along with maybe going ahead and terminating the pigtails for the GPS antenna and avionics fan. I also want to shorten and re-terminate the roll servo connection at the forward network hub – there’s a lot of excess wire length there that’s just untidy. Then I guess I get to think about the CPI2 and assorted panel mount switches.

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