You can also slightly ‘ream’ the cowl hinges with a modified hinge pin. I did this on my RV6 many years ago, and with my new RV8 and it ended up working very well. Pins went in without much resistance and I was able to install them without using a pair of pliers or some other tool. When I got it back from the paint shop, they were once again very difficult to slip in - including my wingtip hinge pins - so I once again ‘reamed’ them. The reamer is the same size hinge pin with the end flattened with a hammer on the anvil end of my bench vise. This flattened end is just slightly wider than the normal hinge pin diameter. Chuck it in your drill, lube it up with something (I used lubriplate) and spin it in to the hinge. The reamer takes off any burrs or paint and allows the pins to glide in more easily, especially on a curve. On my wingtips I did each hinge half separately with the wingtips off, but the cowl pins would be better done with the cowl in place due to curvature. I didn’t need to do this on the firewall mounted cowl hinges because the pins are already smaller than the hinge installed in that location and they go in fairly easily. Numerous others have done the same thing before me. Jon Thocker turned me on to this trick in hinge fitting many years ago, and it works. I can remove my cowl in less than 5 minutes and that includes removing 12 screws (3 on each side of the spinner, 3 on each side of the cowl exhaust on the bottom). Putting the cowl back on takes slightly longer because of fitting the cowl on the nose area and being carefull about baffle seal fit. The pins go in as easily as they come out.
Hinge pins can’t be beat for appearance (my opinion only) and I would be happy to race someone on cowl removal/install with someone that uses camlocks. I’m not saying the hinges are better or faster, I just think it would be an educational exercise that many of us might benefit from. I would also be interested to know the outcome. I’m not anti-camlock. I used skybolts on my second RV (RV8), and they are very well made, look OK, and if installed correctly, work very well. I prefer the low cost and easier use (again, my opinion) of hinges. If anyone is interested in a little competition, lets say we set up a contest, say..... Oshkosh (Airventure) 2019 on Sunday late afternoon at the beginning of the beer exchange. We should have 2 examples of each design, and someone should video the event. Since this would compare camlocks to hinges, the other fasteners used should be removed before the shotgun starts, and on the install, the contest should end when these same cowl devices are installed (before any nose area or cowl bottom screws/camlocks are installed). I’ll concede, camlocks on the bottom would be quicker than screws, and not anybody (that I’ve heard of anyway) lately has used hinges on the bottom. I haven’t seen any camlocks on the nose area behind the spinner, although I don’t see anything wrong with that. So.... who’s in?? Can we have a contest to kick off the beer exchange??
RV6/2001 built/sold 2005
RV8 Fastback/2008 built/sold 2015