<January 14, 2006>

More Z-Brackets & Clecoed Left Tank

The good news is that through assistance of a few other builders, I was able to determine that the gap between the tank skin and wing skin is normal, and will go away when the tank is bolted and screwed to the wing. With that in mind it was time to get back to work. I started the night by mounting and the the z-brakets on the left wing, again using the Dan Checkoway method. I then clecoed my left tank together, but since I was short one z-bracket, I just placed in on the left wing. To finish off the day I drilled the forward flanges of the right z-brackets.

Back at the z-brackets, I was short one, but I still started the ones I did have by drilling the center hole and bolting them to the spar.

The left tank clecoed and ready for mounting. Before I put this bad boy together, I made sure the noses of all the ribs were nice smooth and round by running them over the scotchbrite wheel one more time. I had already done a good job of this when I deburred the ribs so I am not sure how much it helped, but this tank went together much easier. I used my alternating cleco method from the other night, and it saved me a lot of time and energy.

Sonoma was in a crazy mood tonight... she just kept saying "C'mon dad, put down the drill and let's play!"

Wow! With both tanks installed, things are looking large!

It is just set in place for now, but the alignment of the tank to leading edge skin is perfect. The nice thing about the Checkoway Z-Bracket method is that is allows you to maintain this alignment.

Back to the right wing/tank. I clamped some 2x4s to the rear spar and through some ratcheting cargo straps over the wing to hold everything nice and snug while drilling the inboard and outboard z-brackets.

I drilled the inboard z-brackets forward flange using my 12" #30 bit. I made sure to install my drill-stop so I didn't punch though and hit the spar with the drill bit.

Once the inboard bracket was removed, per the Dan C, I removed the leading edge assembly to reveal the outboard bracket for drilling. I know this seems like a lot of work, but it is the only way I have heard of that maintains perfect alignment.

Once the outboard bracket was drilled and clecoed, the tank skin and interior ribs must be removed to reveal the baffle. You leave the inboard and outboard ribs in place because they are clecoed to the baffle and brackets are are what is holding everything in place.

Just as expected, the holes I drew in the forward flanges of the z-brackets line up perfectly with the holes in the baffle. Time to drill!