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Old 07-16-2018, 08:29 AM
dmat dmat is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Union County, NJ
Posts: 467
Default RV6 Tipup Panel Retrofit Options?

Hi guys,

I just received by box of goodies from Stein to do a Garmin G3x panel upgrade and wanted to know how everyone has changed out their panel?

I know the 6 isn't standard so I would assume I need to take my old panel out and send it to the shop with the specific cut outs for avionics and fitting to the body of the ship but I was wondering if there is any other better way to do it?

I want to reduce the downtime of the ship so I purchased a premade wiring harness from Stein. I was hoping I could connect most of the panel items at home and test prior to going to the airport and ripping the plane apart.

Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.

RV6A - N6389 - flying regularly
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:55 AM
dmat dmat is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Union County, NJ
Posts: 467

Also, if anyone has a decent layout already for a 6 with:

- 2x 7 inch screens
- radio stack
- autopilot head (g3x)
- g5
- basic steam gauge (back-up)
RV6A - N6389 - flying regularly
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:41 AM
flion's Avatar
flion flion is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 2,500

Not sure what you mean by 'the 6 isn't standard' but a shop like Stein's or Aerotronics can cut you a panel. Aerotronics built my panel at their shop and sent it to me to install. Actually, they modified my old panel to replace the Blue Mountain EFIS (and incidentally get ADS-B installed).

So in my case, the old panel went to them to be modified and was back in about 3 months. In your case, you could probably have a new panel cut and continue flying on the old panel meanwhile.

However, once you get the panel back... well, it depends but I expect there will be some extensive work to be done. I had to remove the forward top skin to get access behind the subpanel to mount the remote transponder, EIS, and WAAS GPS units. I also needed to replace my pitot and do the plumbing for the additional AOA. Then there is the GPS antenna and a second COMM, as well as the magnetometer in the wingtip, all with associated wiring. Oh, and a new 406 ELT with cabling to connect to the GPS. I decided to forego autopilot since I rarely used it with the BMA, so I didn't have to figure out new mounts and wiring. Right now, my -6A has the baggage bulkheads and floor panels out, along with the rear fairings. Both wing tanks are off and the canopy has been removed in addition to the forward deck. And the cowlings are off so I can install the Garmin-approved engine sensors and redo the firewall penetrations since the BMA Engine Pod was on the hot side of the firewall, while the Garmin EIS lives on the cold side.

One thing you may have to deal with; the ribs between subpanel and panel had to be moved to accommodate the BMA EFIS and Areotronics cleverly placed the G3X so I didn't need to move them again or change the subpanel cutouts. You, on the other hand may need to address both those areas. It's been instructive to me to see how just changing a single EFIS (my backups, radio stack, and power wiring did not change) can cause so much modification elsewhere. But it's going to be worth it. I've also taken the opportunity to correct some problem areas.
Patrick Kelley - Flagstaff, AZ
RV-6A N156PK - Flying too much to paint
RV-10 14MX(reserved) - Fuselage on gear
EAA Technical Counselor #5357
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