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  #1  
Old 08-17-2017, 07:27 AM
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JackinMichigan JackinMichigan is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Canton, MI
Posts: 210
Default Lower cowl install with MT 3-blade prop

Last night was the first time we attempted to install the lower cowl with the prop in place (MT 3-blade composite). We found it near impossible to do without removing the spinner cone and several of the attachment brackets, and we stripped out the head on a couple of screws in the process. We did extend the front landing gear slot as recommended by several people.

I suspect this is going to be an ongoing issue, and I just want to ask the more experienced community if there's an easier or better way to do this. Did you construct any special tools or jigs? What is the best order of assembly (top cowl first or bottom)? How do I get the piano hinge pins installed without buggering up the paint job? Our plane isn't painted yet, but we had to do a fair amount of prying in order to install the second cowl's firewall hinge pin.

As I'm sure everyone knows removing the lower cowl is essential to maintenance, and I want to get it down to a choreographed science so there's minimal damage and frustration. I think maybe a YouTube instructional video is in my future.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:20 AM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
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If the nose gear slot is cut far enough fwd to allow lowering the front of the cowl to easily clear the prop blades, the removal/installation shouldn't really be much more difficult than with a two blade prop. It may be that you just need to cut the slot longer, but it could also be some other factors (inlet seals that are bigger than optimal, baffle inlet ramp to cowl inlet gaps that are too small, etc.)
The need to do prying to insert cowl pins is a concern. Particularly in the context of longevity. Pre-load on hinges is what kills them in short order when coupled with vibration.
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2017, 08:23 AM
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Lynnb Lynnb is offline
 
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I have no experience with the cowl, but if you haven't, spray some silicone or something on the hinge pins to lube them, trying to push dry pins in is always a bear.

Lynn
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2017, 08:26 AM
Jasonm Jasonm is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: KAVL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackinMichigan View Post
Last night was the first time we attempted to install the lower cowl with the prop in place (MT 3-blade composite). We found it near impossible to do without removing the spinner cone and several of the attachment brackets, and we stripped out the head on a couple of screws in the process. We did extend the front landing gear slot as recommended by several people.

I suspect this is going to be an ongoing issue, and I just want to ask the more experienced community if there's an easier or better way to do this. Did you construct any special tools or jigs? What is the best order of assembly (top cowl first or bottom)? How do I get the piano hinge pins installed without buggering up the paint job? Our plane isn't painted yet, but we had to do a fair amount of prying in order to install the second cowl's firewall hinge pin.

As I'm sure everyone knows removing the lower cowl is essential to maintenance, and I want to get it down to a choreographed science so there's minimal damage and frustration. I think maybe a YouTube instructional video is in my future.
As someone who has the same configuration you do, I can attest to the fact you must remove the spinner and the two "lower" (usually at 4 and 7 o'clock) spinner brackets that attach behind the blades in that position.

Extending the nose gear slot is a must but it's still a PITA to remove the lower cowl. I find myself using the backs of my hands as "padding" between the blades and the top edge of the lower cowl. I figure flesh can heal.
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2017, 08:38 AM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonm View Post
As someone who has the same configuration you do, I can attest to the fact you must remove the spinner and the two "lower" (usually at 4 and 7 o'clock) spinner brackets that attach behind the blades in that position.

Extending the nose gear slot is a must but it's still a PITA to remove the lower cowl. I find myself using the backs of my hands as "padding" between the blades and the top edge of the lower cowl. I figure flesh can heal.
Clamp a microfiber towel to the front of the cowl so it protects the prop from the cowl or vice versa.
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  #6  
Old 08-17-2017, 08:54 AM
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Auburntsts Auburntsts is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Boatright View Post
Clamp a microfiber towel to the front of the cowl so it protects the prop from the cowl or vice versa.
I also cover the nose gear leg fairing.
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  #7  
Old 08-17-2017, 09:11 AM
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Bluelabel Bluelabel is offline
 
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I can't attest to your situation if you are using the stock cowl, I have the Showplanes cowl with an extended slot and the fairing that fills it in.
No matter what, it's a pain. I don't have to disassemble anything. I do have paint protection film on my gear leg, which is crucial once your plane is painted. If it's two of us, it's a mild pain. If I have to do it by myself, I put a towel on the gear leg and let the cowl "ride" down the leg while keeping the front low enough to clear the prop...
I also did Skybolts on the firewall, and if I had to do it over again, I'd put them on the on the sides as well. The hinges are awful.
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2017, 09:40 AM
rocketman1988 rocketman1988 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sunman, IN
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Default Glad to here it...

I went back and forth on the side hinges for awhile. I ended up doing skybolts instead...they look good and it takes literally a minute to unlock them and remove the top cowl.

I have the showplanes cowl. Now I have to figure out the length of the slot needed to remove the lower cowl with the prop on...(I used a spinner jig to fit the cowl)
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Aerospace Engineer '88

RV-10
Structure - 90% Done
Cabin Top - Aaarrghhh...
Doors - Done
On Gear
290 HP Barrett Hung
ShowPlanes Cowl with Skybolts Fitted - Beautiful

Dues Paid 2017,...Thanks DR+
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  #9  
Old 08-17-2017, 10:04 AM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
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Location: Hubbard Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketman1988 View Post
I went back and forth on the side hinges for awhile. I ended up doing skybolts instead...they look good and it takes literally a minute to unlock them and remove the top cowl.
For others still trying to decide.... I can remove the top cowl of the RV-10 prototype (with per the plans hinges) in about the same amount of time.

As with anything (including camlocks) proper installation is going to have a big influence on the level of difficulty involved for cowl installation/removal.
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  #10  
Old 08-17-2017, 10:30 AM
rocketman1988 rocketman1988 is offline
 
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Location: Sunman, IN
Posts: 1,025
Default Hinges

Personally, I thought the skybolts were easier to install than the hinges would have been, what with messing with the joint where the end of the hinge pin must be retained, not to mention twice the rivets driven. Oh, and trying to PUSH a wire through 39" of hinge knuckles...twice. We're the skybolts more expensive? Absolutely...but for me, the convenience and ease of removal and installation was worth the added cost...

I love experimental aircraft...
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Bob
Aerospace Engineer '88

RV-10
Structure - 90% Done
Cabin Top - Aaarrghhh...
Doors - Done
On Gear
290 HP Barrett Hung
ShowPlanes Cowl with Skybolts Fitted - Beautiful

Dues Paid 2017,...Thanks DR+
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