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Old 12-25-2012, 10:01 PM
CATPart CATPart is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: up up and away
Posts: 312
Default bad install of firewall engine mount weldments

Looking at an rv4 for sale and these engine brackets on the firewall have a pretty bad installation. The sheetmetal overlap at this spot got the best of the builder. The other side is a bit better. Just looking for opinions as this concerns me. Thanks guys.

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Old 12-25-2012, 10:11 PM
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rv6rick rv6rick is offline
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I wish I had a dime for each time I've seen this on an RV4. I think you know the answer . Unless you're interested in some rework that inludes welments and longerons I'd keep looking.
Rick Gray in Ohio - Builder Assist Center - 50+ Awards & counting


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Old 12-26-2012, 06:03 AM
WAM120RV WAM120RV is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Coventry. England
Posts: 613
Default Decisions!!!

Well if this is what has been done where you can see it...... what has been done where you can't????

This is one of the problems when buying second hand or part built..... you are buying someones mistakes and bodges!! We all make mistakes when building, some are fixable,some reduce the part you have messed up on to scrap.

Even if this 4 was very cheap I would be hesitating about buying it, putting things right can cost a fortune in parts and time.

Steve Arnold

In completion stage of Loehle P5151
Built and now Flying G.BVLR Vans RV4
Rebuilt G.BDBD Tailwind
Rebuilt G BVTN Kitfox
Built G CDCD RV9A with WAM120
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:31 AM
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Walt Walt is online now
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Location: Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
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One word: JUNK
Walt Aronow, DFW, TX (52F)

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Specializing in RV Condition Inspections, Maintenance, Avionics Upgrades
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:49 AM
foka4 foka4 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ankeny, IA
Posts: 210
Default Repair

These lower firewall corner brackets are under a fair amount of stress in a -4, since they bear the brunt of landing loads. You could ask Vans, but this looks unacceptable in my book (i.e., it should definitely be repaired to avoid future problems).

You can replace these brackets (I did it on my -4 rebuild project), but to do the job properly, you also have to replace the side skins, lower longerons, and probably the firewall supports as well. It's a big job, and best done in the shop with wings, engine, and instrument panel all stripped from the airframe so you can build a jig to support everything during the repair.

The market for -4s is pretty depressed right now, so you might want to just shop around.

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Old 12-26-2012, 07:35 AM
CATPart CATPart is offline
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Location: up up and away
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Thanks all. I needed to hear all of this. This is only the ugliest of what I found...more of this type of error, short ed, etc. It is a statement on the overall ethic of the builder to leave something so ugly so obvious, and yes what about the hidden. I would never feel confident. I should know better than to be interested in it, and I don't want to get into any lengthy fixes.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:36 AM
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pierre smith pierre smith is offline
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Location: Louisville, Ga
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Default Yep.

Originally Posted by Walt View Post
One word: JUNK
......and then run.

Pierre Smith
RV-10, 510 TT
RV6A (Sojourner) 180 HP, Catto 3 Bl (502Hrs), gone...and already missed
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:15 AM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 4,299
Default Not only the riveting --

Sharp inside corners where the flanges of the angles were removed with no fillet radii.

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Old 12-26-2012, 10:10 AM
N427EF N427EF is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,514
Default How many hours?

How many hours on that RV-4 ?
I can't disagree with what has been said but this RV probably has a lot of time on it and hasn't developed any cracks or other weaknesses from what I see.
It's not pretty but you could probably use that poor example of craftsmanship as a good bargaining chip.
After going to flyins for years I have seen many RVs with literally thousands of hours and much worse building quality happily flying along and not falling apart.
Ernst Freitag
RV-8 finished (sold)
RV-10 Flyer 600 plus hours
Running on E10 mogas
Don't believe everything you know.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:58 PM
CATPart CATPart is offline
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This one has 300 hours on it. I hear ya about things flying for a long time with bad work. Trust me it happens with certified aircraft also. I draw the line at primary structure and i consider this to be primary. It may be flyable but i would never have peace of mind especially with passengers. First they see the word experimental and you must assure them it is safe, I dont want to lie. I dont think this would cause catastrophic failure, but it is a fatigue issue, and difficult to quantify. That is the beauty of good workmanship, it is easy to quantify. I have spent months trying to prove that an aircraft is safe to fly with a misdrilled hole in its primary structure. Some might not believe the difference .050 inch can make.
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