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  #1  
Old 02-19-2018, 06:50 AM
337_Driver 337_Driver is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Youngsville, NC
Posts: 23
Default Damage to foot box? RV4

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GiAoq4tirNHzbrAg2


This is some damage from a previous accident 25+ years ago that is left on an RV4 I'm looking at. The owner claims this area is non structural and it passes air worthiness. What say you RV experts? The wings were replaced at the time of the accident so I have to question why this was not repaired even IF its non structural and deemed air worthy.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2018, 07:02 AM
fixnflyguy fixnflyguy is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Posts: 915
Default Pretty common.

There are lots of threads on this, some fairly recent. Early -4's have a weaker weldment at the lower forward longeron where it attaches to the firewall, and later models have a large gusset. This can be upgraded, and many -4's have wrinkles (like yours) or repairs to the firewall/footwell. The firewall itself is not significantly structural, but the longeron connection is. Search the forums and you will see others remedies. Based on your where your located, there is a gentleman with an RV repair/build shop at Raliegh Executive KTTA I recently visited that may be able to guide you on your particular questions. Hopefully, you get this plane and enjoy it..several -4's in NC, 2 at my airport. Come see us at 8A7.
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  #3  
Old 02-19-2018, 07:24 AM
337_Driver 337_Driver is offline
 
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Location: Youngsville, NC
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Default

Bill, Thank you for the fast response. Per your recommendation I did a quick search to look at some of the older threads regarding the footwell/firewall. I feel based on what I've seen out there that I'll probably pass on this airplane. They want fairly top dollar for the aircraft and with previous damage history etc I'm worried about what might be hiding underneath. I just cannot understand why the previous owners would not have addressed and fixed this even if it's purely cosmetic. I guess that's the difference between air worthy by the books and air worthy in my own opinion. I feel like for 50 thousand dollars there is a much better candidate out there, just gotta wait for it.
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  #4  
Old 02-19-2018, 05:24 PM
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Jaypratt Jaypratt is offline
 
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Location: Hicks Airfield, Fort Worth,Texas
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Default Bent!

Damage unrepaired takes away from the value. Damage repaired takes away value too!
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  #5  
Old 02-19-2018, 05:37 PM
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Marc DeGirolamo Marc DeGirolamo is offline
 
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Location: Saskatoon,Saskatchewan,Canada
Posts: 283
Default firewall wrinkle

My RV-4 developed a wrinkle such as the one in your photo (but on the starboard side) at about the 3hr mark (I think as a result of a hard landing)...:-( I was concerned at first but now have 750hrs on the plane. There has been absolutely no adverse effect to the structure......it just looks kinda ugly. The plan is to fix it up when the engine comes off for a rebuild one of these days...
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2018, 09:05 PM
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RV6_flyer RV6_flyer is offline
 
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Location: NC25
Posts: 2,991
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 337_Driver View Post
Bill, Thank you for the fast response. Per your recommendation I did a quick search to look at some of the older threads regarding the footwell/firewall. I feel based on what I've seen out there that I'll probably pass on this airplane. They want fairly top dollar for the aircraft and with previous damage history etc I'm worried about what might be hiding underneath. I just cannot understand why the previous owners would not have addressed and fixed this even if it's purely cosmetic. I guess that's the difference between air worthy by the books and air worthy in my own opinion. I feel like for 50 thousand dollars there is a much better candidate out there, just gotta wait for it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaypratt View Post
Damage unrepaired takes away from the value. Damage repaired takes away value too!
Agree with both. There are nice airplanes out there for better prices. Unfortunately not able to point you to one. I have another friend that has been looking for an RV-4 180 CS for two years now that is in great shape and a good price.
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2018, 12:09 AM
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KRviator KRviator is offline
 
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Location: Sydney, Aust.
Posts: 702
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 337_Driver View Post
https://photos.app.goo.gl/GiAoq4tirNHzbrAg2


This is some damage from a previous accident 25+ years ago that is left on an RV4 I'm looking at. The owner claims this area is non structural and it passes air worthiness. What say you RV experts? The wings were replaced at the time of the accident so I have to question why this was not repaired even IF its non structural and deemed air worthy.
For my money, if the price was reasonable, this wouldn't deter me from buying it. Here's why: It has flown 20+ years like this, presumably without incident. It is passed as airworthy. Other than you, no one would ever know about it, ,it isn't structural and finally, if it was my RV-4, I wouldn't bother with it, for each of these reasons.

As to why it hasn't been repaired, that would presumably involve removing the engine, a not-insignificant task for something that does not render the plane unairworthy.

I have several faux-pas on my -9, the worst a ding on the underside of the left elevator where I was back-rivetting and went off the end of the plate on the last rivet. It's still flying, and on my 'to monitor' list, but I am not going to replace the elevator just because of this ding that no one can see. By the same token, I am not going to replace the aft deck skin just because I dinged it on one of the very last rivets I was setting there.

Each one of those little imperfections is a result of a screwup on my behalf to be sure, but they are also a reminder that, though the plane is not perfect (indeed, far from it) it is mine, and something to be proud of. The same for this -4, for whoever ends up buying it, a bloke built it in his back shed, and here we are, nearly 30 years since it was introduced, and you still can't buy an equivalent factory-built plane.
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2018, 06:10 AM
Vac Vac is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Niceville, Florida
Posts: 341
Default Previous Discussion

This type of deformation is fairly common in RV-4's and is typocally the result of a hard landing. The firewall is non-structural, so if there is no other damage to the mount, gear legs or airframe (including the weldments at the forward end of the fuselage longerons) replacing the lower firewall is optional. Even without visible deformation, you may find cracking of the firewall in the lower corners, depending on how the firewall was originally installed. This type of cracking may or may not be visible with the engine mount attached to the firewall.

Here are some previous discussions that might clarify this:

http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...rewall+wrinkle

http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...rewall+wrinkle

http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...rewall+wrinkle

http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...irewall+damage

http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...irewall+damage

http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...irewall+damage

I purchased a previously flying airplane and replaced the lower firewall on mine several years ago; but only when I removed the engine for overhaul. If you do replace the firewall, it helps to compress the new stainless with bolts and fender washers before drilling and riveting the lower portion in place--this "pre-load" helps mitigate future cracking. If you do have any small cracks, they should be sealed properly (high temp silicone, etc.).

Another resource are the great folks working in Van's Tech Support--an email with a photo or two will always elicit sound advice...those folks are the RV experts.

A search will also turn up plenty of discussion regarding the forward fuselage/longeron weldments, engine mount cracking, uneven wing tip height and other topics that folks run into when they buy a used RV-4.

RV-4's are great airplanes!

Best of luck,

Vac
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RV-4 2112
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Last edited by Vac : 02-21-2018 at 04:47 AM.
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2018, 06:26 AM
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daddyman daddyman is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Posts: 220
Default

I believe there will be a very nice (O-320) coming up in Fredericksburg, VA very soon.
Built by an A & P, nice clean machine. Don't know the price, but reasonable.

PM me if you want more details.
Daddyman
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2018, 06:39 AM
Dayton Murdock's Avatar
Dayton Murdock Dayton Murdock is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Carson City NV
Posts: 527
Default What is flexing

What is flexing to cause this to happen. Until that is resolved this deformation will occur again.
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