<September 15, 2007>

Began Tail Spring Mount

I started the day by shaping the other ends of the J Stiffeners, which was a relatively quick and easy job, and then I turned my attention to the tail spring mount. I got a little bit of a surprise when I dug out the tailwheel assembly and you can read about it below.

Yikes - Rust! My tailwheel assembly had been sitting on the shelf in my garage since I receive the fuselage kit around Christmas of last year. Since it is made of steel, I've been watching the exterior of it for signs of corrosion, but none ever appeared. You can imagine my surprise when I removed the bolt holding the spring to the mounts and I saw this. My suggestion; If your tailwheel assembly is lying around your shop, take it apart and inspect the spring, greasing it if necessary.

Ok no big deal right? I taped the machined surfaces, and clamped the spring to the table and proceeded to sand off the corrosion using a strip of emery cloth like I was shining a pair of shoes. It took a while, but all the corrosion is now gone.

I then cleaned it up with some acetone, gave it a coat of self-etching primer followed shortly by a coat of spray enamel. I think this should protect it for a while.

To trim the F-779 Tail Skin for the Tailwheel Mount I traced the template from the plans and stuck it to the skin with a light coat of spray adhesive. I then marked the area to remove with a Sharpie and removed the template.

To remove the material I first drilled a #30 hole towards the top (forward) of the area and made the initial cuts with the band saw. I then smoothed the cuts using the 1" belt on my belt sander. This worked great! This will need to be adjusted once the mount is installed, but it is good enough to start with.

The plans aren't real specific about where to drill the holes in the WD-409 Tail Spring Mount, but luckily my good friend Mike did all the thinking for me. Thanks to Mike, I drew a line across the mount 12/32" from the edge, and marked the location of the holes.

I drilled the first one off the bulkhead using the drill press, and clecoed and clamped the mount to the bulkhead to backdrill the second. Easy-peasy!

This worked out pretty good. Everything seems to be fitting fairly well so far.

The skin is rubbing where the aft bracket attaches to the mount so I will need to remove a bit more material from this area. Everywhere else the fit is great!