Redo Fuel valve mount, add extension

posted May 14, 2012, 9:32 AM by Bill Thomasson
Finally got the Andair 180 degree fuel valve extension.  Now I see why it is so expensive.  It is not just the extension, but a new mounting plate and handle (slightly larger then the standard one for some reason).  The Extension mounting plate also mounts with 4 screws instead of 3, so it comes with a different cover plate as well.  Still ends up being a very pricey valve when you add the cost of the extension in.  Also, ordering direct from Andair it too about 3-4 weeks to be delivered since they are in England.
Once I started to try to fit the Andair extension I found that my mounting bracket was not quite parallel with the tunnel cover.  I first spent several hours trying to shim the screws in the mounting bracket to get the extension to align.  I thought I had it, but then when I connected the fuel lines to the value, they put a little tention on it and the mounting bracket flexed, then causing the extention to have a lot of sideloading on it.  I decided this was not acceptable, and the main problem was the mounting bracket I had made.  So out comes the drill and I drill out the mounting bracket.  (Which involves removing all the fuel lines and the value, and is further complicated by the fact that I have the control linkages already installed)
I then made a new bracket out of angle and part of the Van's insurment panel (much thicker then prior bracket).  This I really took my time with and made sure it fit the tunel precicely, although I was so focused on this that I had it installed before I realized I had not primed it at all.  Oh well  That will be my reference piece to see if my plane would have corroded away if I had not primed.  I mounted the new valve mounting plate about 1/2 inch lower as well.  This gives move virtical clearance between the controls and the fuel lines, and keeps the fuel lines from having to bend as much.
Picture shows the mounting plate, extension, and extension mount all installed.
After working with the center console, tunel cover, and forward console coming on and off about a 1000 times for tesing shims I decided to cut the tunnel cover into 2 peices, one that is under the forward console and one under the center console witht the fuel valve extension mounted to it.  I riveted on a mounting plate to the forward one, and 3 nutplates to the rear one to connect them. (Sorr no more pictures other then the cut line.
Rear part of the tunel cover with the fuel valve extension mounted to it.
I am now very pleased with how it is all put together.
Today a also went over to help Brian & Brandi put the wings on their RV-10!  They are 4-6 weeks from first flight.
Talk about inspiring!  It was really fun helping them out.  Daniel was also their helping.  It was really cool as once things got going everyone just jumped on a task and we were all building and things went together very fast.