<March 7, 2007>

Started Pushrods

We had some family stuff going on today so I took the day off work. On the agenda was to replace the valve cover gasket on my wife's car and work on the airplane. The valve cover gasket project took MUCH longer than I thought it would (the old gasket was welded into place from old age), so I didn't get as much airplane stuff done as I had hoped. Hmmmm, there seems to be pattern here. I did manage to get the pushrods started before having to leave to pick up my dad at the airport.

I cut the aileron pushrods to length using my cheap-o cut-off saw. Cheap as it was, it makes quick and straight work of these cuts. I made a small mistake by cutting one of them 1/16" short, but I don't think that it is going to be a big deal. I can make up that tiny amount with the threads of the rod-end bearings. Measure twice cut once they say. Well, I did that, but you have to measure the right distance in the first place. I went over to the plans and read 65-25/32", but by the time I walked from the plans to the pushrod, 25/32" had become 23/32" in my head. I measured it again before cutting, but again at 23/32", Doh! Note to self, check the plans twice, then cut once.

Rant: I don't understand why Van's wants you to cut these pushrods to 65-25/32", not 65-3/4", not 65-13/16", but 65-25/32". Gimme a break, nobody has a tape measure that measures in 32nds! You end up having to use two different methods to measure, a tape-measure and a ruler (with 32nds), which introduces a greater margin of error and defeats the purpose of measuring something down to 32nds of an inch. Ok, I will stop now.

I forgot to take pictures, but I also cut the small pushrods to length too. Forutunately, I didn't screw them up. ;-)

I made myself a drilling template by using a protractor and the scrap I had just cut off the pushrod. I then stood the pushrod on end over the template and marked the locations (every 60-degrees) where the rivets will go.

I finally got to use my drilling-jig-thingy. I have had this sitting in the tool chest for over a year, waiting for this moment. I suspended the other end of the pushrod, and clamped the assembly down. The threaded ends would not fit into the end of the pushrod, no matter how hard I tried, so I ended sanding them a tiny bit to get them into the pushrod. You do what you have to do. When I drilled the end, I drilled all the way through to the other side making sure not to drill into my drilling jig. This way I would only have 3 holes to drill, not 6, and the holes would all be exactly oppisite of each other.

Not bad for the first one.