Fuel Tank Frustration
Sunday, October 23 2005 @ 08:02 PM PDT
Contributed by: Kevin Horton
Not a productive week :(. I did two rounds of prime, fill and sand on the windscreen fairing. Yesterday I had to do a bunch of "get ready for winter" stuff, so no progress. Today, I planned to Proseal the access covers onto the fuel tank so I could do the leak tests. But first, I thought I should take the tanks up to the garage to hook the fuel level senders to the wires to the fuel gauges to make sure everything worked OK. Another local builder had reported that he had to tweak the bends in the wires that hold the floats on the fuel senders to get the gauges to read zero when the float hit the bottom of the tank.
I figured it would only take a little while this morning to test the fuel senders, then I could mix up the Proseal this afternoon. Piece of cake, right? Wrong! I had overlooked the fact that the tanks were currently attached to the wings. I had put them on the wings to check the fit, and had never taken them off. And the wings were in a stand, leading edge down. I pulled the screws off that held the aft end of the left tank skin to the spar - a real PITA for the surface that faced the other wing, as I had to squeeze into the space between the wings on the wing stand. I removed the bolts that hold the aft face of the tank to the spar, put the end of the main spar on a support to take the weight off the leading edge, and tried to remove the left tank. Nothing. No movement. I looked for screws or bolts that I had forgotten to remove, found one, removed it, and tried again. Still no movement. I pulled harder. Nothing. More looking, more pulling. Still nothing.
I eventually gave up in frustration, as I couldn't get the tank to move, and I was afraid to pull too hard and bend something. I'll pull out the mirror and light tomorrow night to have a closer look for fasteners that I missed. And Terry got back tonight from a weekend away, so she can help me pull the wing out of the stand so I can get better grip on things.