Disclaimer: This blog is to provide others insight into my experience and for my own historical purposes. Airplane construction is a serious affair. I have no authoritative skills relating to airplane construction. As such, any use of the information contained on this blog is at your own risk.
I installed the plastic 90 degree fittings to the smoke pump and routed the rubber tubing under the pilot seat, along the lower longeron and up the firewall to the t-fitting. The power wire is routed from the panel through the central tunnel to the pump. I added a ground wire to the bulkhead under the floor. Both wires are terminated with spade connectors for easy removal.
I drilled holes in the bottom of the seat bench and the side wall bulkhead with the 90 degree drill and then enlarged the holes using the dremel tool. I placed the brass flow control valve in the hole at the bottom of the seat bench. It will be easily reachable during flight here but out of the way. I fabricated an aluminum sleeve for where the hose goes through the sidewall bulkhead. Here you can see it before I pressed it into the bulkhead hole. This will protect the hose from the sharp edge of the bulkhead hole.
Here you can see the sleeve pressed into the bulkhead hole. I used a similar sleeve where the hose goes through the cabin floor from the pump.
Here is the hose run from the longeron up to the firewall fitting. The hose is held in place by the fitting and the longeron and is out of the way of the rudder pedal (even when the rudder pedal is pressed to the firewall).
The instructions for the smoke oil say you get best results if you install the injectors in the longest exhaust pipes which are on cylinders 1 and 4 if you are using the Van's provided exhaust system. I drilled 1/4 inch holes in the exhausts about 1 inch below the temperature probes. You must line up the injectors so the flats on the probe nut parallel the pipe so the injector slot is aligned properly. The hardest part of the job was adding multiple adel clamps to support the lines.
I made a 90 degree clip to attach an adel clamp for supporting the line going to #4. The clip attaches under the lower adel clamp for the brake line.
I added several adel clamps behind the engine to support the line going to #1.
I watched the video on how to fabricate the stainless steel firewall forward smoke oil hoses. You can view it on YouTube here: Aeroquip 666 Hose Ends
I used a cutoff disk on the dermal to cut through the braided outer sheath and then cut the teflon inner hose with a straight razor. Otherwise I followed the directions from the video to fabricate the hoses. Here is a hose with connectors on both ends connected to the oil injector nozzle and hose clamp.
I drilled a pilot hole and the used the step drill to enlarge a hole in the firewall for the t-fitting. I placed the t-fitting near the brake fitting. That way I can keep the hose run inside the fuselage near the side wall and out of the way of the rudder pedals.
I spent a lot of time working out how to install the pump and plumbing for the smoke tank. I had several goals:
1) I would like the smoke system to be removable to free space and weight when touring.
2) The pump should be out of the way and not interfere with normal baggage loading.
3) The plumbing should be as simple as possible and not incumber access to (already) installed wiring, pitot/static lines and control links.
4) The flow control valve needs to be pilot accessible but out of the way.
The most direct route for the oil line is down the central wiring tunnel, but the tunnel is already pretty filled up with wiring. After much head scratching I decided to run the rubber hose under the pilot seat and along the lower longeron to the firewall. The easiest place to put the pump then became the area behind the pilot seat.
Here is a cardboard mockup of a mounting bracket I tried out:
In the end I decided it would be easier to add some nut plates and bolt the pump directly to the cabin floor. The rear 2 bolts tie into a sub floor bulkhead and the forward 2 bolts are in the middle of a floor section. Hopefully they will provide enough structural support.
The pump bolts in place with just 4 bolts and nut plates so it should be easy to remove. It fits nicely behind the seat and is off of the main baggage floor.
I recently purchased a pitot static toggle valve and a female straight connector from SteinAir. This valve is placed inline of the static line and can be opened in the case that the static ports become blocked (icing, insects, etc). I decided to install the valve on the cable riser panel between the tunnel on the floor and the control panel. I had easy access to the static line there and it will be accessible in an emergency but out of the way otherwise.
I finished the installation by adding a red switch cover to prevent accident switch activation. It also shows at a glance the switch is in the proper position. I made the switch label by printing on a special ink jet transparent label paper. After printing I cut the label to size, removed it from the backing sheet and applied it to the panel.
Some of the places I've flown to have inclined parking and often there is a lot of wind when I land at airports away from home. In my Mooney I would simply put on the parking brake until I could hop out and apply chocks to the wheels. Van's does not include a parking brake as part of the standard design for the RV14. I've spent the last couple of weeks noodling out how to install a parking brake and came up with this design:
I added a push/pull cable to the left of the cabin heat on the pilot's side of the control panel.
And I installed a Matco PVPV-D brake valve on the side skin of the fuselage. When you activate this valve, it retains the pressure between the valve and the brakes. If you apply braking using your toes and then throw the valve, it will lock the brakes until the valve is released.
Here are the parts I purchased:
I quickly discovered that the straight hose fittings would not work. The nylon brake tubing will not bend sufficiently to allow attaching straight into the valve. So I ordered 90 degree elbows. I also sourced a cable connector from Aircraft Spruce that would fit on the arm of the brake valve. Here are the parts:
Originally I was going to attach the valve to the longeron that supports the rudder pedal cross tubing, but I ran into trouble routing both the push/pull cable and the brake line connections. A friend who built a 14A attached the valve on the center sub panel support, but for the tail dragger version that is not convenient because the brake lines run to the firewall. I eventually determined the best mounting spot is on the fuselage side skin in line with the control panel bottom so the control cable has a straight shot to the brake arm and also the brake lines can be routed to be out of the way of feet on the rudder pedals.
I drilled 4 holes through the side skin and dimpled them for the mounting screws.
If I had known these holes were needed before assembling the fuselage it would have been a simple matter to dimple them. To dimple them after the fuselage was completed required a different approach. I drilled a hole in a bucking bar so I could insert a dimple die and I took the die holder out of my c-frame and mounted it in my rivet gun.
I was able to enlist Deb because this was a 2 person job- my arms are not long enough. A few taps on the rivet gun with me holding the bucking bar / female die on the other side was sufficient to form the dimples. Thanks Deb!
The valve will completely open /close with 45 degrees of movement of the control arm. I built an aluminum valve mount that sets the ends of the throw and reinforces the fuselage side skin. When the control cable is pushed in to the control panel, the valve is set to the open position and does not interfere with the operation of the brakes. When the control cable is pulled all the way out, the arm hits the stop on the mount and the current pressure in the brake line is retained between the valve and the brakes.
The cable end I used required washers and a cotter pin to hold it in place. I had to insert several washers to get a good fit and I ended up grinding one of the washers a little thinner to get a really tight fit with no wobble.
I had to fabricate a new line going to the right brake because it was too short to reach. I had hoped to be able to remove the nuts and ferrels from the lines I had already installed, but they were too tight to pull off the nylon tubing without destroying them so I had to order new ones from Vans. I fabricated a new line from the right firewall attachment to the brake valve that is 2 inches longer than the original line. I cut down the length of the line coming from the left firewall connection to fit and fabricated 2 new lines going from the rudder pedals to the brake valve.
I used the nylon brake line tubing provided by Van's. To make a connection to the Matco 90 degree brass elbows you must push the tubing onto a barb and seat the end of tubing all the way into the well of the brass elbow. When I just ran the bit into the end of the nylon tubing I could not keep the reamed out area concentric with the outside of the tube and then could not force the tubing all the way into the well on the elbow. To keep the drill bit centered on the tubing and to keep the tubing round while drilling, I fabricated an alignment jig out of 2 pieces of 1/4 thick aluminum bar with a 1/4 inch hole on one side and the #22 dill hole size on the other.
I drilled and tapped 2 screw holes to hold the pieces together.
To ream out the tubing end, I insert the nylon tubing into the 1/4 inch hole side and then drill from the opposite side.
The tubing end must be cut square so that it will properly seat at the bottom of the well in the 90 elbow. I drilled a 1/4 inch hole in another piece of 1/4 aluminum bar and used that for trimming the ends of the tubing using a razor blade.
The adel clamps arrived from Aircraft Spruce and I installed the new oil breather tubing. The new tubing replaces the 90 rubber elbow and aluminum tubing that came with the firewall forward kit. The new tubing routes around the oil filter and clamps to the firewall using the screw holes already in place for the previous tubing. I had to replace the previous adel clamps with larger ones to accommodate the new rubber tubing.
Here is the view from the bottom looking up. I used the end of the old aluminum tubing in the end of the rubber tubing. The end of the aluminum extension directs the output to the top of the exhaust which may prevent some the oil from accumulating on the belly of the fuselage?
Space in the engine compartment is limited for reaching the adel clamp screws with a screwdriver. The screws go into nut plates so a lot of force is required to screw them in. Necessity is the mother of invention and I came up with this method for driving the screws:
Socket wrench, 1/4 in socket, philips head insert- fits in the limited space available and provides enough leverage to screw into the nut plates.
I installed a dome light at the back of the luggage storage area. This light is on the map light circuit and is controlled by a dimmer on the control panel. The light is locally grounded to the airframe and the power line comes from the dimmer circuit board in the panel. I discovered I had missed riveting the center 3 rivets in canopy top brace so I tackled that first.
Then I created a support plate and attached the light with 2 screws. I also drilled a wiring hole in the fuselage bulkhead and inserted a through hole plastic insert. The support plate attaches to the canopy brace using 2 more screws with lock nuts. The light is slightly tilted forward so the light nicely illuminates the baggage area. I may build a shade to limit the LED glare to just illuminating the baggage floor.
I have not had any success closing the cowling since I added the rubber baffling. I could not get the upper and lower cowling halves to join. Some of my friends advised putting heavy sand bags on top of the cowl to force it closed, but I don't think that is the problem. Today I spent some time investigating what was causing the gap and discovered that the baffling on the upper side of the air inlets was getting stuck on the epoxy/flox dam build up on the upper cowl. I got out the dremel with a sanding drum and whittled back the dams.
The rubber gasket now smoothly fits inside the inlet side and it is easy to close the cowl halves! Through trial and error I have now discovered an order for attaching the cowl halves that works. First install the lower cowl. Then place the upper cowl on the fuselage. Match up the piano hinge along the top fuselage then make sure the rubber gaskets are in place around the air inlets at the front. Then press down and match up the piano hinge along the lower edge of the cowl. Push the piano hinge pins in from the front to join the lower and upper halves. Finally, insert the cowl to fuselage piano hinge pins through the oil door.
I pulled the backup alternator off of the engine and then installed the new oil adapter with a new gasket and gasket seal. Here's a picture of the adapter with the vernatherm installed and the new gasket before bolting to the engine.
With the alternator removed it wasn't too bad bolting on the adaptor. Next I torqued the vernatherm to 300 in pounds (25 foot pounds). Then I installed the temperature probe. There isn't room to fit a wrench on the probe so I threaded the probe wires though a long socket and used a pipe wrench to twist the socket to tighten the probe 180 degrees from the first contact point.
Then I reinstalled the backup alternator with new lock washers. It was actually a little easier getting to the lower left nut this time. I still had to use the special low profile crow foot wrench to reach it.
There is now more room between the firewall and the back of the engine and the oil filter is easily accessible.
The oil filter just barely clears the engine mount tubing, but I think it will be workable. Much easier access than the original installation.
If you are planning to add the B&C backup alternator, I would highly recommend installing the B&C oil adapter BEFORE you install the alternator.