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Old 02-22-2018, 03:56 AM
Capt Capt is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 152
Default Cowl removal

Ok guys I've recently bought an RV8 & now I would like to learn how to remove the top cowl for a start. It's built as per Vans plans. Can someone give me an idea step by step to removing these wires/pins for removal then reverse for fitting the cowl?
The lower cowl I'll look at another time.

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Old 02-22-2018, 05:34 AM
steve murray's Avatar
steve murray steve murray is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Flat Rock, North Carolina
Posts: 207

My sequence is:

1) Open the oil door and remove two hinge pins on top of firewall. These pins run along the top of the cowl\firewall joint and are curved. (Hinges meet off center on top of the firewall with joining point between the two pins being skewed to passenger side.)

2) Pull both pins (left & right side horizontal pins) that join the top & bottom cowl. Pull out by front propeller

Remove Top Cowl

For Bottom cowl

3) I then remove two small (8 inch) horizontal hinge pins located down by exhaust on bottom of firewall (Horizontal joint between firewall and bottom cowl)

4) Remove two vertical pins located on the firewall on left & right side of bottom cowl.

5) Carefully while holding cowl in place, remove my air intake and then lower cowl.

There are multiple methods for securing\covering access to the hinge pins so I cannot comment on how to gain access to the ends of the pins. Mine is a simple loop and I tie wrap it to secure in place.

I would suggest cleaning the pins and relubricating them every few months to allow for easy insertion.

Good luck and enjoy the 8

RV8 Flying since 2007
RV10 in construction (Fuselage)
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Old 02-22-2018, 05:35 AM
Jesse's Avatar
Jesse Jesse is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: X35 - Ocala, FL
Posts: 3,314

There are usually horizontal pins holding the top cowl onto the bottom cowl. If you can see a pin on the front sides of the cowl, remove the screw and pull the pin. Sometimes there is a decorative cover plate that must be removed. Some people insert the pins from inside the cabin, usually having a knob on the pin. If you pull them from there, make a note of when the pin releases the last eyelet and donít pull it back further than that.

The pins between the top cowl and the firewall are usually accessed brought the Oil door. There are usually 2 pins, one holding the right hand third and the other holding the middle and left hand thirds. Just pull the sideways accordingly until they release. There will be a break in the hinge eyelets where the pins meet.
Jesse Saint (Saint Aviation, Inc. - VAF Advertiser)
RV Hotel (hangar, room, car) at X35 in north FL

Commercial ASEL/S A&P/IA EAA Technical Counselor

Dynamic Prop Balancing, Prebuy Inspections, Condition Inspections, Repairs and Mods, Injector Tuning, Airframe, Engine, Panel Upgrades, Ferrying, etc.
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:03 AM
wilddog wilddog is online now
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: va.
Posts: 331

There are also several screws on each side just behind the spinner that must be removed.
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Old 02-22-2018, 10:33 PM
Capt Capt is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 152

Thanks guys:-) I know of the pins but have never moved them, I just wanted to check the process so to speak from those that are in the know, I guess once I have the cowls off I may regret I did it getting them back on Also thanks for the heads up on the cowl screws in the intakes.
I have put my hand in thru the oil door to feel for the pins & thought sheeez getting the one that slides towards myself started will be fun when replacing the top cowl! I saw a 7 recently that had cam locks all over it, I guess the owner had run out of hair to pull out !

Again thanks guys, I can't get the RV grin off my face but the cowls may remove it!
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:06 AM
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MikeyDale MikeyDale is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Garden City Texas
Posts: 783

I can remove my entire "ALL PINS" cowl in about 10 minutes. Less than 5 for the top cowl only. I remove the horizontal pins first to relieve any tension on the more difficult firewall pins. The first several times might be painstaking until you learn the routine. If you have some tight pins, sand them with emery cloth, clean them, and then lubricate them with Boe Lube every time you reinstall them. If they were installed right, you will be surprised how fast and easy it is!
Mike Hillger
Garden City, Texas
First Flight
Build Blog
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:14 AM
von_flyer von_flyer is offline
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Metamora, Michigan
Posts: 145

My brother showed me a technique of running painters blue tape on the fuselage, landing gear and spinner around the cowl pieces that will be removed. This prevents damaging paint if the cowl hits these surfaces while removing or installing. I do it every time.
John von Linsowe

Cessna 140
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Old 02-24-2018, 04:41 AM
Capt Capt is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 152

Went to the hangar today to pull the cowls off, reached in thru the oil door and couldn't move the top pins, not even a millimetre !! Thought best leave it for now, might look at cam locks at the next service like I saw recently on a 7, happy owner I'd say!👍
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:14 AM
Carl Froehlich's Avatar
Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 1,261

Originally Posted by Capt View Post
Went to the hangar today to pull the cowls off, reached in thru the oil door and couldn't move the top pins, not even a millimetre !! Thought best leave it for now, might look at cam locks at the next service like I saw recently on a 7, happy owner I'd say!👍
Perhaps you are trying to push the pins in, not pull them out - or you have not got them unlocked from whatever pin retainer the builder made. Put your phone in the oil door and take a photo to see what is going on. Once you get them out, add a drop of oil on the pins to make it easier next time. Just a drop!

Youíll figure it out. Donít mess it up with cam locks.

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Old 02-24-2018, 11:45 AM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 11,545

Can you still get ahold of the person that sold you the plane? If you can, get with them for an hour to learn how they did simple tasks like this - no two planes are identical, and builders all have their little secrets.

This is important for anyone purchasing a homebuilt - make sure to get a “complete” checkout - and not just on the flying qualities.
Paul F. Dye
Editor in Chief - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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