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  #1  
Old 09-12-2017, 09:15 AM
Bill Boyd's Avatar
Bill Boyd Bill Boyd is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Landing field "12VA"
Posts: 936
Default Time for some overdue refurbishment

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
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Bill Boyd

Hop-Along Aerodrome (12VA)
RV-6A - N30YD - flying since '98
RV-10 - N130YD reserved - under construction

donating monthly to the VAF - thanks, Doug
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2017, 09:32 AM
pa38112 pa38112 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Clarksboro, NJ
Posts: 443
Default

Clean it well with acetone (dripping wet). Then sand down with 80 grit to give it good tooth. Follow-up with another good soak.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2017, 10:14 AM
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Bob Martin Bob Martin is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 988
Default Replace

Stormy,
Just replace it with a new James Cowl.
While you are at it, do a new FWF...0-360...
Fix everything you really want to fix.
and why not put the little wheel on the back where it belongs....

Seriously......stay focused.....just fix what you have to and get back to the 10.

PA38112 is correct....soak/clean with accetone or mek..be careful. Then rough up and soak again then seal and paint/cover. About the only way.
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Bob Martin
RV-6, 0-360 Hartzell C/S, Tip up, 1150+TT
James extended cowl/plenum, induction, -8VS and Rudder. TSFlightline hoses. Oregon Aero leather seats.
D100-KMD150-660-TT ADI2- AS air/oil seperator. Vetterman exhaust with turndown tips.
Louisa, Virginia KLKU N94TB

Last edited by Bob Martin : 09-12-2017 at 10:17 AM.
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2017, 10:22 AM
Bill Boyd's Avatar
Bill Boyd Bill Boyd is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Landing field "12VA"
Posts: 936
Default Hey, Bob

good ideas, and I've considered it. If Lorri twists my arm into giving up on the -10 project, which she feels takes too much of my time, I would have to go all-in on improvements and upgrades to the 6A. But that's not happening

I'll hit this thing with TSP and a pressure washer. When it dries I'll break out the acetone and a pile of rags. Then sand with 60 grit and hope for the best.

I could solve my color match issue by add ing a new element to the paint scheme right where the new paint would be needed. Maybe some gloss black features. Maybe from a rattle can, too. Not ready to learn painting while I'm busy with the -10.

Everything done on the -6A is with an eye toward eventual sale, and curb appeal. Can't have it looking tattered, or putting out 36 volts!
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Bill Boyd

Hop-Along Aerodrome (12VA)
RV-6A - N30YD - flying since '98
RV-10 - N130YD reserved - under construction

donating monthly to the VAF - thanks, Doug
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  #5  
Old 09-13-2017, 07:38 AM
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GatorJim GatorJim is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 36
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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 [/quote]

Have the cowl pieces tank dipped at your local radiator repair shop. Will come out oil free and clean enough to allow new fiberglass to bind.
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Orlando, FL
RV-8 QB
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2017, 07:25 PM
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ColoCardinal ColoCardinal is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Morrison, CO
Posts: 232
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I wouldn't fret over the color match. The computerized matching systems they have now will match your existing paint more closely than if you had the paint number. Especially since your existing paint has probably changed a little over time. They are amazing. And they can usually put it into poof cans for about an extra $15.
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flying by: I give up on predicting!
finalizing the wiring - time for smoke test
No smake - Yay!
Sanding fiberglass - Boo!
paid 'til 10-18
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2017, 10:36 PM
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9GT 9GT is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern Michigan
Posts: 1,213
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You cowling sounds about as bad as the fiberglass nose bowl on my old C-152. Oil soaked, worn out screw and cam-loc holes that no longer provided any support or serve a purpose, a very large worn through cut on the lower bowl from the prop spinner caused by old worn sagging engine mounts, and thick gel-coat and paint that was cracked and spider webbed. Even after building a Cozy MKIV from scratch it looked non salvageable. But it was. I de-greased several times with SuperClean de-greaser https://www.amazon.com/Super-Clean-D.../dp/B000CCM63K , and rinsed and dried several times. A final de-grease with acetone. Good rough sanding with 36 grit Zircon provided good mechanical bond with the new epoxy and fiberglass. I probably had 30 hours or more into the repairs and painting but it looked and performed like new when it was done. I use MSG L335 epoxy system as a rule. http://www.pilotshop.com/catalog/cmp...iABEgJqu_D_BwE The AP/AI that did my annuals was very impressed. You can cut those oil soaked areas out and scarf joint new fiberglass in. Fiberglass work can be very rewarding. Give it a go,,,you have nothing to lose.
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Howell, MI

RV-9A: Under Construction
RV-10: N959RV Completed 12/29/2013 SOLD 08/23/2016

"Donor Exempt" but donated through Dec. 2017
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2017, 03:08 PM
Bill Boyd's Avatar
Bill Boyd Bill Boyd is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Landing field "12VA"
Posts: 936
Default Thanks, David

I will tackle this job later in the winter. For now, she's zipped up and operational again.

I'm not afraid of fiberglass work - "You can't scare me; I've done a set of RV-10 doors!"

I don't relish applying base/clear paint repair job on the cowl when I'm 20 years out of practice and was never any good to begin with. I will probably leave any repair unpainted until it's time to think about painting the -10 exterior in a couple years. Meanwhile, your degreasing and sanding prep suggestions sound right-on.
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Bill Boyd

Hop-Along Aerodrome (12VA)
RV-6A - N30YD - flying since '98
RV-10 - N130YD reserved - under construction

donating monthly to the VAF - thanks, Doug
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2017, 11:29 PM
lr172 lr172 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 2,415
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorJim View Post
Have the cowl pieces tank dipped at your local radiator repair shop. Will come out oil free and clean enough to allow new fiberglass to bind.
I wouldn't recommend that. Those dips are designed for metal and filled with chemicals not conducive to paint adhesion. Metal is non-absorbing and can be rinsed easily. Fiberglass absorbs anything it comes in contact with and doesn't release it easily. I would be concerned about paint adhesion after a dip in that bath. Numerous Acetone flushes would be more productive. They key is to apply with one towel and wipe down with a clean towel.

Larry
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Last edited by lr172 : 10-29-2017 at 11:33 PM.
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