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Old 06-25-2017, 01:11 PM
Flyer2017 Flyer2017 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Providence, UT
Posts: 14
Default Advice on getting to a hidden nut on my air (vacuum) pump

I need to replace the Rapco air pump on my 0-320. It has 3 studs with the nuts and washers "easily" accessible with the use of the Rapco special wrench. The fourth nut us accessible to remove, but looks like it will be hard to restart when putting it back on the stud. I can use the wrench on it but can't figure an easy way to hold the nut in place as I start to thread it back on. Ideas appreciated.
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Old 06-25-2017, 01:34 PM
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DanBaier DanBaier is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 638

You can make a wrench (heat the metal to help bending) or purchase one from AS -

RV7A (N7101) - Flying 10/2008
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Old 06-25-2017, 06:06 PM
Flyer2017 Flyer2017 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Providence, UT
Posts: 14

Thanks Dan, I have the special wrench. It is a great help for loosening and tightening the nuts but not a help for starting the one nut that is unreachable with either my fingers or a nut driver with a bit of tape balled up in it to hold the nut while it starts being threaded on the stud. I was looking for some cleaver way others have found to get that nut in position and started.

Last edited by Flyer2017 : 06-25-2017 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 06-25-2017, 06:52 PM
Tom Gan Tom Gan is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Doylestown, Pa
Posts: 32

Last week I had a similar issue replacing my B&C Backup alternator. I had to fabricate a special tool to get the nut off as the standard vacuum wrenches would not work. I tried several methods to get the washer, star washer and nut back on. in the end I used a piece of heat shrink on the end of the washer, about 3" long so that I could get it positioned and started. The hardest part was getting the nut positioned with my fingers so it did not cross thread. Once it was positioned a few quarter turns of the heat shrink got it started so I could use the wrench. I taped an inspection mirror up so I could have eyes on what my fingers were doing. Also when using the heat gun make sure the heat shrink is straight. Wasn't an easy job as it took me about 20 minutes of trial and error before I could spin the nut without friction so I knew it was not cross threaded on the post. Hope that helps.
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Old 06-25-2017, 06:59 PM
bradfp bradfp is offline
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Granbury, TX
Posts: 2

i thought it was impossible to get the nut started until a friend showed me this trick. Get a 4-6" piece of masking tape and fold it over a couple of times to make it a narrow, maybe 1/4" wide, strip of double sided tape still 4-6" long. Then wrap the tape around the o.d. of the nut a couple of times. Use the remaining tape as a handle to hold the nut. Using the tape handle, place the nut between the stud and the pump, pushing on the pump to hold the nut in position. Once in position, pull on the tape handle to spin the nut on the stud. You might not get it to start on the first try, but it worked for us.
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:35 PM
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airguy airguy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
Posts: 4,107

When you've "got to", but there's no way, a way can usually be found.

I once fabricated a wrench from a piece of aluminum angle to get to a place that simply could NOT be reached by fingers and had to be free of a magnetic field. You do what you have to. If it works, it isn't stupid.
Greg Niehues - VAF 2018 dues paid
Garden City, TX
N16GN flying!
Built an off-plan 9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.
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Old 06-26-2017, 04:04 PM
rvbruce rvbruce is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Merritt Island, Florida
Posts: 91
Default Advice

I used a dab of contact cement on my middle finger and glued the nut on the tip. I then wriggled my hand up to the stud, held the nut to the stud with a long screw driver and then gave it a couple turns with another screw driver. I also glued the star washer to the tip of a piece of nylon cable tie to get it into place. I left the tie in place until I had the nut started. You might also be able to use a buddy to start the nut from the other side.
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Old 06-26-2017, 04:46 PM
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JonJay JonJay is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Battleground
Posts: 3,813

Looks like a lot of great ideas. I did similar to rvbruce but used Fuel Lube to stick the parts to my finger. I really like the tape idea.
Smart People do Stupid things all the time. I know, I've seen me do'em.

RV6 - Builder/Flying
Bucker Jungmann
Fiat G.46 -(restoration in progress, if I have enough life left in me)
RV1 - Proud Pilot.
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Old 06-26-2017, 09:04 PM
Larco Larco is online now
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: DVT Phoenix
Posts: 1,017

Put the nut on an awl, put the awl against the stud end, let the nut slide against the stud and use a screwdriver to spin the nut. Tighten nut and You are done. 😀
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