Friday March 14, 2008
Fuel Tank Details (Fuel Tanks)
4.2 Hours

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I spent a good while this afternoon finishing up this nice, beautiful fuel tank attach bracket, only to realize near the end that I had grabbed the wrong rib and made the one for the LEFT fuel tank. I'm working on the right fuel tank, as it happens. At least it wasn't time wasted, I will eventually use this part. Let me add that it is a royal pain without a band saw and with just the polishing wheel on my bench grinder. I definitely need to get a more aggressive wheel for doing things like this.

Yes, it is supposed to look kind of skewed like it does in the picture. The off-center part on the bottom fits into the nose of the rib.

Fast forward an hour or two and here is the right attach bracket completed and drilled to the inboard tank rib and stiffener plate on the back.

The outboard rib also gets this little stiffener plate at the tip. They don't give you a precise rivet layout, so you make up your own.

There are some potential interference issues here between the big angle bracket and the skin to rib rivets. I made some notches to give plenty of clearance. The skin will get riveted to the rib prior to attaching the bracket, so things should be just peachy.

Next task: the capacitive fuel level senders. You basically mount these two electrically isolated aluminum plates at either end of the tank. The system determines the amount of fuel remaining in the tank by measuring the capacitance between the two plates. No moving parts. Here are the contents of the kit for these senders.

And here is the outboard plate drilled to the outboard-most internal rib.

Here are the two drilled and deburred plates. You'll notice that the one plate has some cutouts to avoid interference from the fuel tank stiffeners. I need to rivet on three nut plates on each plate, which will also involve some countersinking. I was tired, I'll leave that for another day.

In the process of setting up for the capacitive senders, I noticed that I had drilled my fuel tank stiffeners backwards, with the flange forward instead of aft. Oops. Shouldn't be a huge issue.

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