Andair Fuel Valve - Cutting back Left/Right Panel Ribs
- No Hour Report
WARNING!!! If you are planning to put
the awesome Andair fuel valve in the RV-10, DO NOT plan to buy the
valve from Wicks unless you also want to buy the > $55.00 Banjo
fitting elbow at the same time!! I had mine get
backordered from Van's, so I dropped it off my order when I found 2 in
stock at wicks. The problem is that Wicks only stocks the valve
with 3/8" MALE flare fittings off all 3 legs. Probably no problem
for the right tank, and the line to the fuel pump, but it is absolutely
a problem on the left tank line. I tested a smooth 90 degree bend
on some spare aluminum tubing and found that it requres about 2" of
outward distance to fit a 90 degree bend. If you have the Wicks
valve, you only have about 1" of space before it hits the walls of the
tunnel. The only solution for me, if I was stuck with this
valve, is to purchase the Banjo fitting (a swiveling 90 degree fitting)
to replace the 3/8" male flare that came on it. That would be a
great fix...at a high cost. I'm going to see if I can send the
valve unused back to Wicks though. The Van's valves come with
1/4" NPT fittings on the Right and Left tank connections. You
then need to buy 2 elbows of 90 degrees with 1/4" NPT to 3/8" flare.
Actually, I messed up twice and purchased 3/8" NPT to 3/8" flare
too....what a waste. So, learn from my mistakes.
I did the valve mount modification similar to the Bob Condrey method.
I mounted 2 pieces of .063 angle, without moving or replacing any
of the nutplates that would interfere. I completely removed my old fuel
valve mount. I cut the ears off, but in retrospect, I should have
left the mount in until I had my mount fully crafted...this is because
once it's seperated from the tunnel walls, it'll be hard to keep the
tunnel walls in place to know exactly how wide to make your new
mounting plate. Mine came out fine though anyway.
You just have to make sure you mount the .063 angles high enough to
bring that plate up right under the tunnel lid...maybe about .1" or so
if my memory is any good. I also rounded the apex (corner) of the
angle so the tunnel would fit right over it. I just happened to
order a piece of scrap .063 sheet that showed up this day, which is
what I made the new plate out of. You probably want something
that thick for this task, since the angle doesn't go all the way to the
rear of the plate. Oh, and don't look too closely at my awful
hole spacing on the top of that one angle....sh-tuff happens.
The hole is exactly 2.75" diameter, and if you cut it dead center with
the existing hole in the tunnel cap, it'll work out just great.
See the photos for the fit. I didn't have a 2.75" hole saw,
and the wife called me from the hardware store saying they were $11.XX,
so I quickly tested my brand new Fly Cutter that I'd never had the
opportunity to use yet. I was able to easily cut a great circle,
so I just decided to use that on my drill press to cut the hole.
DON'T EVEN TRY to use that fly cutter by hand for this job.
You'll be really sad. After getting the plate mounted in
the proper place, you can use the valve rim as a template to draw the
center circle. It's a 1" hole. Cut that with anything you
Panel Rib Modification
I knew the 2 outer Chelton panels would interfere with those Left and
Right ribs, so I decided to use my time spent waiting for my andair
valve, and the humidity to drop for painting by cutting those ribs down
right away. Vic Syracuse had some great photos of his rib
modification, so he gets the credit for how this came together so well.
I put the photos at the end of this page. He has the
Chelton too, and I could tell by his photos that the Chelton is not too
deep, but I thought since I didn't actually have my Chelton in hand
yet, I'd be best off to just cut that rib as thin as I could
Height-wise, and cut it back an inch or two extra at that height...then
taper it back to where the rib normally ends. This was a breeze.
I started with a piece of angle at about 11" in length, cut a
couple of slits in it, and bent it as appropriate. Then drew the
line onto the rib, and used my awesome high speed body saw to cut the
rib down. Oh, and I took a couple of photos of the plans for
this page....where it specifically says that you are not allowed to cut
these ribs. Allowed?? You know, looking at what Van's
claims to "allow" you to do with the panel, I am no fully convinced
that their entire goal with this idiocy of making this panel so short
is intentional. I think they are trying to force-feed their
philosophy of VFR-only on their customers, by intentionally engineering
these panels to be small enough to make it hard to get as many things
as they know many builders would put if space allowed. How many
VFR only -10's do you think there will be? I'll bet my left nut
that it would be a tiny percentage. If you reinforce these ribs
properly there is really no reason that you can't do this mod.
Too bad they just didn't make it that way from the get-go.
For my Chelton panel, I laid it out so that the center rib should
clear all of my radios and screens. I'll modify that one if
While I was bored, I stuck my panel cutout into the forward fuselage
for a couple of photos. Can't wait to see that panel built.
Syracuse's Panel Rib Photos