I'm looking at a disgusting mess, here. Almost sorry I didn't snap pictures last evening to illustrate. None of this is new, but it's in my face now, having reached a point where I can't keep ignoring it simply because flying is more fun than fiberglass work (who knew, right?
I pulled the cowl to begin replacement of my alternator and DC power distribution wiring. It was ugly. The glass is wearing badly where the nose gear strut meets the lower cowl. The lower cowl is heat-discolored from gradual loss of the aluminum foil I glued inside (not well-enough) 20 years ago. The engine seeps some oil, now, which finds its way to the bottom and has saturated the composite where I failed to seal it well enough, or at all, with resin during construction (I could fill a book with things I know now that I didn't know then. This is such an educational activity
) The gel coat, and with it, the paint has spider-webbed in a thousand different stress concentrations all over the outer surface. The shoulders of countersunk screw holes are wearing oversize and thin...
The DuPont polyurethane paint formula I'll need when I'm finally ready for basecoat/clearcoat repair was lost in a house fire, so we'll have to color match by other, imperfect means.
I am confident after all my recent RV-10 canopy top experience that I can fix these issues with epoxy, cloth and micro. But I'm not confident I can get epoxy to adhere properly to oil-soaked fiberglass. It's literally oozing through exterior pinholes that have opened up in the toasted areas near the exhaust pipes.
What's the best way to try to clean this mess up for repair? I'm sure it's going to involve elbow grease and a hazmat suit
Hop-Along Aerodrome (12VA)
RV-6A - N30YD - flying since '98
RV-10 - N130YD reserved - under construction
donating monthly to the VAF - thanks, Doug