We finally had the right combination of weather and schedule this weekend to wash and wax the RV–8. We never got it done last year, so it hasn’t had this much TLC since 2012. We used the Mother’s California Gold three step process, as recommended by the painter who painted the airplane four years ago. Between the number of steps, the large area to clean and wax, and the intricate shapes to deal with, it takes Terry and I two full days to go the job right.

Saturday we got the plane washed, and the upper surfaces and sides cleaned and waxed. This is what it looked like at the end of the day on Saturday.

Sunday, we got the lower wing surfaces done, and Terry cleaned the canopy after we removed it from the aircraft. The inside of the canopy had quite a bit of residue from two static cling sunshades that we used last year - l left the sunshades in the canopy all summer two years ago, which was a huge mistake, as they left a lot of almost impossible to remove residue behind. It took Terry a lot of elbow grease and good quality 3M marine transparency cleaner/polish to get the canopy looking like new again.

The aircraft looks pretty strange without the canopy.

While Terry was working on the bottom of one of the wings, I removed the cowling to assess an issue with the exhaust pipe mount. The four tail pipes are secured as one unit by the exhaust mount, but the four of them are somewhat free to move laterally. I had noted signs that the large heat muff that surrounds the two right most pipes had been hitting the side of the exhaust exit tunnel.

At the moment the four tail pipes hang from two supports that bolt to the back of the oil sump. The supports locate the pipes vertically, but don’t restrain lateral movement. The only thing holding the pipes in one position laterally is the friction in the ball joints at the front of each tail pipe. The engine shakes around quite a bit during startup and shutdown, and I think this flailing would sometime be enough to overcome the friction in the ball joints and leave the pipes resting against the side of the exhaust exit tunnel.

I’ll add a third diagonal support which should hopefully keep them in their proper location.

Thanks Terry for all the help over the last two days!