Modifying the Tank End Rib   November 18th, 2007

The end rib of the tank (the rib closest to the fuselage) needs some holes for the vent and fuel lines, as well as the BNC connector and the reinforcement plate where the inspection plate attaches.

I started by drilling the vent line and BNC holes. Note that the vent line is a 7/16″ hole, which I drilled to 9/16″. I wasn’t ready to get a new rib and start over, so I made a washer out of 0.032″ aluminum that will sit between the rib and the fitting, on the outside of the tank. I emailed Van’s about it, and they said it’s OK as long as I seal it well enough so it doesn’t leak.

After dealing with this screwup, I lined up and drilled the holes for the reinforcement plate. I found that the best way to do this was to place the reinforcement plate on the outside web of the rib, making sure the rib hole and the reinforcement plate hole match up. I then drew the outline of the reinforcement plate with a marker, and placed the access plate in the same spot. This guarantees when I drill the access plate to the rib, it will be centered in the hole.

After drilling the screw holes, I clecoed in the reinforcement plate and drilled the platenut holes.

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