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  #1  
Old 08-15-2018, 12:26 PM
swixtt swixtt is offline
 
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Default Cowl

What is the fit and finish of the 9 cowls these days? any comments?
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2018, 02:55 PM
gfb gfb is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Madison, WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swixtt View Post
What is the fit and finish of the 9 cowls these days? any comments?
I hated it. Worked on it for weeks fixing pinholes, too-dry honeycomb, generally poor fit, etc. Eventually I hired an airplane paint shop to help me with it and they said they'd only work on it time & materials as their experience with Vans FG has been horrendous.

It's FG, so you can make anything look good with enough time, and this is my first experience with FG so I don't have much to compare to but what I've heard.

I hear good things about Sam James and if I build another RV I will buy his cowl.
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2018, 03:14 PM
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airguy airguy is offline
 
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Location: Garden City, Tx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfb View Post
I hated it. Worked on it for weeks fixing pinholes, too-dry honeycomb, generally poor fit, etc. Eventually I hired an airplane paint shop to help me with it and they said they'd only work on it time & materials as their experience with Vans FG has been horrendous.

It's FG, so you can make anything look good with enough time, and this is my first experience with FG so I don't have much to compare to but what I've heard.

I hear good things about Sam James and if I build another RV I will buy his cowl.
I built the James cowl and my experience with that was terrific. I hired a paint shop to paint the whole airplane, including the prep work on the fiberglass, so I didn't have to experience that part.
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2018, 07:43 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
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I have built both a standard cowl and a Sam James short cowl. Not having had enough, I helped a few others with theirs.

I didn't find them that bad as I expected to have to work with fiberglass.

A surprising number of builders do not trim their cowls so when you look at the spinner to cowl junction, the cowl stands proud of the spinner all around its circumference. That and they don't plan on engine sag.

The goal is to fit the top cowl and then trim and sand the part lines to get a nice straight seam with the bottom cowl.

There are some easy tricks to fill the pinholes but those come later and many painters will be happy to fill those holes for you.

When I re-engined my plane I went with the Sam James cowl simply for looks. It was only about $50 more at the time, so the cost wasn't an issue. However, it did take more time as I had to fit the cooling plenum and FAB. They are really designed for fuel injection but I was able to get mine to work very well with a carb but it required a custom FAB and carb heat flapper valve. Nothing difficult, just a little more time.

Someone once told me that working with fiberglass was like working with drywall. If you don't like it, sand it down and add some more. To that end, a random orbital sander really helped a LOT! That and a long board with a piece of 120 grit belt sander belt 3M 77 to glue it in place. That helped me get good straight part lines fairly quickly.
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  #5  
Old 08-15-2018, 10:19 PM
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Dbro172 Dbro172 is offline
 
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I enjoyed the sliding canopy more than the cowl. Probably about the same amount of time for me on both; about 4-5 weekends. You need to follow your intuition on both, on again, off again, trim, sand, tweak, fill, etc. Just need to dive in.
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