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  #11  
Old 09-02-2018, 09:46 AM
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N804RV N804RV is offline
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scsmith View Post
...
I can't think of any other way to get access in there to grab the plate nut.
I'm leaning towards drilling the heads off those bolts. But, very carefully!

It will probably take quite a bit of patience to get the drill bit started exactly in the center of the bolt head. And, a snake drill, several carbide drill bits of the correct size and some cutting fluid.
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2018, 10:06 AM
sf3543 sf3543 is offline
 
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If the bolts are broken, the tank should come off if all the other bolts and screws are removed.
Have you tried taking a small flat pry bar and putting pressure under the bolt head while turning the bolt? Hard to do with one hand but it can be done.
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  #13  
Old 09-02-2018, 12:36 PM
mturnerb mturnerb is offline
 
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I'd advocate inspecting the nutplates/bolt threads with a remote camera if they're reachable before trying to pull tank off - if the bolts are broken should work but pulling the tank off isn't a trivial exercise itself since you're tucking dimpled skins over/under dimpled and countersunk surfaces. I carefully re-primed all these areas when I replaced tanks after removing them. Plus I can envision getting somewhat "stuck" with tanks in a partially removed position if bolts get wedged in place.

I don't see how you can cut bolt heads off easily in those tight spaces without risking damage to spar web. Seems like the last or next to last option to me (with last being removing skins and/or some degree of tank disassembly).

Bottom line - you want to be pretty sure tank will come away freely and/or be easily put back into place before committing.
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  #14  
Old 09-02-2018, 12:47 PM
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9GT 9GT is offline
 
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Like mentioned before, use an inspection camera to see what the issue is,,,not speculate. If itís the nut plate itself that is spinning you can see through the camera. Then take a metal scribe with a 90* tip and try to align it with a rivet hole as you turn the bolt. If you have an open rivet hole it will find its way in and that alone should be enough to hold the nutplate enough to get the bolt removed if you can get enough pressure on the scribe to keep it in the rivet hole.
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  #15  
Old 09-02-2018, 01:18 PM
Paul 5r4 Paul 5r4 is offline
 
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I have to second Mr. Steve Smith's ideas. Excellent approach. And like has been mentioned... if the bolt itself is broken then the tank should still be removable. Until you get an inspection camera on it to see what you're up against you're just guessing and might do something unnecessary.
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  #16  
Old 09-02-2018, 07:31 PM
Navy76 Navy76 is offline
 
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I am able to see the back side of one of the bolts with an inspection camera. Luckily it is only one rib outboard from the wing root and there happened to be a 3/8Ē hole in the root rib the I could put a camera in. I can see the end of the bolt spin as I turn the head so the bolt is not broken, nor is the nutplate broken or detached. That only leaves the threads being stripped on the bolt or on the nut plate.

Even though the bolts wonít back out, they are still tight enough that I havenít been able to wedge anything between the spar and the back of the bolt to coax it back into the good threads at the end of the bolt.

The bolt I have the best access to is in the wing walk area where the ribs are only 3-4Ē apart, so itís really hard to get any tools in there and still turn the bolt.

The other bolt is farther outboard, midway between the first two access holes. There is no way to even get a camera on the back side to see the nutplate. Itís in a compartment created by the spar, the aft bulkhead of the tank and the top and bottom skins of the tank.

Since it is critical not to damage the spar I think the only way to remove the bolt heads would be to remove the inboard bottom skin first so I can at least see what Iím working on. Even then it wouldnít be an easy task.

Iím really hoping Vanís will step up and help me out. Best case is I remove the bottom skins and can then get the bolt heads off. Worse case is the spar gets damaged and the whole wing is toast. I am not inclined to take that risk since I didnít cause the problem and paid for a functioning wing. It seem as though theyíd be interested in getting to the bottom of this issue since either someone overtorqued the bolts at the factory or the bolts were substandard, neither of which should go un-remedied.

I recall getting some paper work with the wings warning that the fuel tanks were attached at the factory for shipping only and that the builder should closely inspect the tank attachment hardware. In my case it was all there. I had intended to check the torque on all of the bolts but hadnít gotten that far before I decided to pull the tank.

At this point thereís not much else to do but wait until I can discuss this with Vanís.

I truly appreciate all the feedback. Itís humbling to realize how many people are willing to help.
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  #17  
Old 09-03-2018, 11:01 AM
Bavafa Bavafa is offline
 
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Just wondering which two bolts are these? The tank attaches with the Z-bracket which each has three bolts and they are all well visible. There are also some other bolts that goes thru the Ribs to the spar which has nut on the back side but not part of the tank. Can you identify which two bolts are stripped?
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  #18  
Old 09-03-2018, 09:10 PM
Navy76 Navy76 is offline
 
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Bavafa, the stripped bolts are both in the groups of three that hold the z-brackets on the aft bulkhead of the tank to the spar. I can see the head of one of them through the access hole but the angles are such that I canít see the other one without an inspection mirror.

I am only able to see the back side of one of the bolts. This is a QB wing so all of the skins are on except the outboard bottom skin. Access to the bolts is limited to the access holes.
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  #19  
Old 09-03-2018, 10:30 PM
Bavafa Bavafa is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navy76 View Post
Bavafa, the stripped bolts are both in the groups of three that hold the z-brackets on the aft bulkhead of the tank to the spar. I can see the head of one of them through the access hole but the angles are such that I canít see the other one without an inspection mirror.

I am only able to see the back side of one of the bolts. This is a QB wing so all of the skins are on except the outboard bottom skin. Access to the bolts is limited to the access holes.
Thanks for clarifying the bolts sets. Nutplates are fairly strong and not easy to strip, they must of cranked that bolt pretty tight to strip it.

Would it be possible to have some one pull the tank gently out and by that putting some outward pressure on the bolt while another person is unscrewing the bolt. This way you avoid scaring the spar and it might catch enough if the blot is striped.
I know it is a long shot but ought to be safe to try.

good luck.
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  #20  
Old 09-03-2018, 11:14 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bavafa View Post
Would it be possible to have some one pull the tank gently out and by that putting some outward pressure on the bolt while another person is unscrewing the bolt. This way you avoid scaring the spar and it might catch enough if the blot is striped.
I know it is a long shot but ought to be safe to try.

good luck.
+1 good idea.
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