My Taylorcraft restoration project,  G-BREY
Page 2, January - June 2003   
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by Robert Lees

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January 2003 Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 

fairlead-aft-trim1.jpg (50741 bytes) fairlead-aft-trim2.jpg (37247 bytes) Views showing two different dummy rigs for aft trim pulley, so as to set up the correct operating system of the trim.  The first shows the fuselage uncovered; the second a modification to permit the dummy pulley to be installed after covering.....
trim-pulley-fwd.jpg (50957 bytes) trim-pulley-fwd1.jpg (24783 bytes) ...and here's the new forward pulley, in the process of setting up the trim indicator.  Much maintenance work was done over the decades in the past  to get this operating correctly...perhaps one of CG's mistakes was to have an overly-complicated indicator.
Both fore and aft pulleys are new, manufactured from 5mm thick Tufnel.
[Right-hand photo shows new spindle also made March 2004: Thanks, David.]
beadblasting8.jpg (81721 bytes) small-parts1.jpg (94970 bytes) small-parts2.jpg (147726 bytes) Bead blasting those smaller components.   Parts which need to be identified for location were stamped upon removal so that I know where to fit them back!
wood9.JPG (43555 bytes) All the woodwork in, now.  Here I'm tapping out the varnish residue from the threaded inserts that will hold the skylight down.
fuel-tank1.jpg (55015 bytes) spraying-parts1.jpg (54447 bytes) More spraying!  Note on the fuel tank in the left picture the reinforcing plates welded in to prevent strain & cracking when tightening the fittings.
fus-reassembly3.jpg (60467 bytes) fus-reassembly4.jpg (63158 bytes) fus-reassembly5.jpg (64139 bytes) More permanent reassembly!  The varnished frames, painted D windows, hat shelf.  Some of the fairing pieces are held on temporarily with black cable ties until I fabric them on.
hatshelf2.jpg (40443 bytes) Hatshelf detail

Also much fabric work, summarised here.

February 2003 Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 

pulleys-control-cables.jpg (25458 bytes) Existing control surface pulleys were serviceable, but needed re-bushing, since the original bushes had worn loose in the pulleys.  Therefore pulley bore opened out and new phosphor-bronze bushes   turned and press-fitted in. The bush rotates around the bolt, not the pulley rotating around the bush.
Bush is slightly wider than pulley, so preventing the side of the pulley interfering with the bracket..
rubber-bumper1.jpg (24447 bytes) rubber-bumper2.jpg (47001 bytes) Replacement gear bumpers...supplied courtesy of my local (3500 miles) hardware supply house, thanks, Jon.  Modified in accordance with a certain sketch in a certain Owner's Club newsletter.

Late February 2003 Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 

spraying-parts2.jpg (83415 bytes) More spraying of components, this time the control "H" frame and fin.  2-part acrylic used.  Note the blue HVLP spray machine, used for all the, portable and efficient.  Car air filters (orange colour) used to clean the intake air.  I decided after this photo that I should protect the patio and brickwork from overspray!
elev-alignment.jpg (60714 bytes) Andy comes round to assist with the set-up and alignment of the elevators.  All tubes and ribs were bent, so after straightening, the horn bolt holes will be redrilled.
trim-bellcrank1.jpg (33122 bytes) During this process, the trim bellcrank is reworked (see elevator trim system in original condition).  The two extreme holes have been punched and then reamed back to correct size (thanks to Forrest for the tip).  The existing central boss containing the pivot hole is constructed using two reinforcing plates welded either side of the main plate.   In mine, punching wouldn't work because of the small gap between the plates, so I cut the whole thing off and made a 1" diameter 3/16" thick button to weld in.   The faces were even precision ground, but with it to be welded in, this was probably overkill!  The photo shows the as-yet-not-welded button, and the bellcrank sits on a photocopy so that I drill the hole in the right place!
trim-bellcrank2.jpg (27578 bytes) And here it is welded in, I have yet to drill and ream the 3/16" diameter hole.
Have you seen my new bronze trim screw and stainless barrel (on the right)? Thanks, David, for your excellent machining skills.
All these changes and new parts and re-sizing of holes (including those on the actuating arms) gets rid of every ounce of trim tab slop!
NewTrimBarrel2.jpg (34589 bytes)

Control column

uj1.jpg (23868 bytes) uj4.jpg (55542 bytes) Further control system work also continues on the universal joint [UJ] of the control column.  Much of the "slop" in the aileron system was caused by very elongated holes in the central part of the UJ system, much too much to "punch and re-ream" so I welded up the out-of-round holes and redrilled them. It is important to note that each pair of opposing 3/16" diameter holes are displaced from each other, this gives clearance between the AN3 bolts that are at 90 degrees inside this assembly! This far left pic shows a "before and after" pair.  The section is 3/4" internal seamless square.  The adjacent pic shows the 3/16" taper reamer.
uj2.jpg (32454 bytes) uj3.jpg (30537 bytes) And here they are installed (albeit temporarily, without the correct castellated nuts & split pins).  But no slop!   The spindles have a spiral groove machines into them to assist with distribution of lubricating oil.  CG knew his stuff!  There is an oiling hole right on top of the H frame arms.  As the "H" frame swings fore-and-aft, it distributes the pool of oil towards these helix grooves.
pulleys-H-frame1.jpg (58099 bytes) I also had some trouble with the pulleys fitted to the control "H" frame...they had a tendency to rub against the sides of the frames that they are bolted to.  I didn't know this until I tried to reassemble. This had evidently been the case for a long time (and perhaps since new) because in order to rectify the situation, I needed to straighten these frames that hold both the small and large diameter pulleys.  I would suggest that anyone doing a restoration should check this before final painting!
Fortunately, I was able to get all the pulleys to free-run without damaging the paintwork too much, with the judicious use of a hammer and some washers.
I would now challenge anyone to have free-er running pulleys than me! (and mine are bushed, none of this ball-bearing stuff!)

The feeling of progress being made is gratifying!

door-catch1.JPG (35329 bytes) Further to previous work on the doors, the pic on the left shows two old and two new door opening tabs.  The old ones were worn in the slots, this led to the exterior door handles rattling.  The pic on the right shows where these items fit.
These tabs were originally removed by un-brazing them from the handle spindles to facilitate removal of the magnesium handles from the spindles by driving out the pin through the handle.
door-catch2.JPG (45740 bytes)
door-reinforce1.JPG (49286 bytes) The doors were also reinforced where there is a semi-circular cut-out for the diagonal tube.  There is a tendency for the doors to flex here, so a good beefy aluminium patch is riveted in to minimise this.  Note how much smaller a cut-out is actually required as compared with the factory original.
Note also the  flush rivets used on the outside where the door closes against the frame.  However, some modification required to the interior window frame is required to avoid the shop head, and a new right-angle piece is fitted to allow for the locally increased thickness.  Note the epoxy primed door handle in the right-hand photo, this was primed very soon after magna-dyning (see earlier text).
door-reinforce2.JPG (57310 bytes)

More door mechanism photos:

door-catch3.interior.JPG (59940 bytes) door-catch4.interior.JPG (64546 bytes) door-catch5.interior.JPG (69264 bytes) door-catch6.interior.JPG (61405 bytes) door-catch7.interior.JPG (47970 bytes) I am going to have my interior handle pointing forward to keep out of the occupants' way.

March 2003 Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 

JonJason&Rob.jpg (58654 bytes) JonJason&Rob2.jpg (31865 bytes) JonJason&Rob3.jpg (53088 bytes) Jon Timlin and his son Jason pay a brief visit to inspect progress.  Jason is conscripted to help make a new fairlead.
Check out Jon's Taylorcraft website.
wheel.jpg (36100 bytes) More small parts get the white this case the wheels.  The same 2-part Acrylic used on the cabin tubes.

Late March 2003:  Summary of interior cabin fabric: Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 

fabric-cabin3.jpg (53154 bytes) fabric-cabin4.jpg (40527 bytes) fabric-cabin5.jpg (39321 bytes) fabric-cabin2.jpg (62458 bytes) fabric-cabin1.jpg (34253 bytes) Fabricking of the fuselage interior.  Quite difficult around the D windows and fiddly around the wooden skylight frame.
fus-interior-masked1.jpg (55273 bytes) Interior fabric during the "pink goo" stage of the Stits process. fabric-cabin6.jpg (35175 bytes) Aluminium frame is glued in, to be covered in fabric.  This frame will allow access to the wing tank fittings from inside the cabin.  Frame is inside the wing root area so that it will not be seen from inside the cabin. fabric-cabin12.jpg (44282 bytes) Fabric patch placed on the inside of the wing root.
fabric-cabin7.jpg (43712 bytes) The cabin interior fabric goes silver...
fabric-cabin8.jpg (37778 bytes) ...and a white undercoat is sprayed on the silver to act as a base for the red topcoat...
fabric-cabin9.jpg (39744 bytes) ...followed by a mist coat of the red top coat...
fabric-cabin10.jpg (33908 bytes) fabric-cabin11.jpg (55124 bytes) ...and three coats of the final colour, in this case, Poly-Fiber "Christen Eagle Red".  To improve gloss level, a small amount of high-temperature retarder is used, and all liquids were soaked for 24 hours in a cold room (my fridge).  These measures slow down the solvent evaporation rate, and improve the gloss level.
fabric-cabin13.jpg (36178 bytes) fabric-cabin14.jpg (49318 bytes) After removal of masking, the effect is quite pleasing.

April 2003, Fabric work on the fuselage exterior commences. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 

The order for covering the fuselage is somewhat dictated by the need to join the two sides of the fin to the fabric that lies on top of the fuselage.  I received a lot of help and advice from many folk on this, but my own choice was dictated by the need to cover the top of the fuselage before the sides.
This was because, as can be seen from previous photos, I had painted my interior before covering the exterior, and if I covered the sides first, I would ruin the interior where I would need to attach the side fabric.
By attaching the top fabric before the sides, I would protect this finish.
Besides, someone I know has an Auster fuselage in the covering stage at the local airport, and the following sequence is approved by the CAA, so I could use this as a guide!

fus-fabric1.jpg (44986 bytes) I decided to do the bottom first (this had no bearing on the top/sides discussion).  This would give me a bit of practice without the end result being too visible.  First thing was to cut a bolt from the roll to somewhere approximating the shape and size needed.  Cheap plastic clamps help throughout this procedure.
The green label marked "Cable!" (bottom centre) is to remind me to install the elevator pulleys and elevator & rudder cables prior to closing up the fuselage.
stringer-block.jpg (23467 bytes) The existing aluminium section stringers were reused (these looked like they were from screen doors).  I blocked each attachment point with wood so that the split pin would not be taking all the fabric tension loads.
fus-fabric2.jpg (36014 bytes) fus-fabric3.jpg (31318 bytes) The fabric was carefully glued around the extremities, and also the important cut-outs.
fus-fabric4.jpg (53740 bytes) An important step...calibration of the iron, using heat-sink compound to ensure good contact between the iron plate & thermometer...
fus-fabric5.jpg (54537 bytes) ...and then heat taughtening in two stages in accordance with the Poly-Fiber manual (although a similar process is used in the Ceconite system).
fus-fabric6.jpg (57713 bytes) The finished result viewed the correct way up.  The fabric is wrapped a long way around the longerons.  This means that adhesive need not be applied too close to where the fabric departs the longeron on its way across the width of the fuselage....such gluing can "grab" the fabric in a dip and spoil the visual appearance.
fus-fabric7.jpg (52357 bytes) fus-fabric16.jpg (43027 bytes) Now for the top.  I decided to do the fin halves separate from the fuselage sides because this was the only way to ensure the top was complete before the sides.  The longitudinal seam at the base of the fin will be hidden by the horizontal stabiliser.  Having smaller pieces to handle was also useful!
I also made a fin alignment jig, to ensure that the fin remains vertical when taughtening the fabric.
The "pink goo" stripe is there because I considered stitching before the final heat taughtening, but this proved unnecessary.
fus-fabric8.jpg (42512 bytes) I heat-taughtened the fin sides to the first 250 degree stage and then started gluing the top fabric.
fus-fabric9.jpg (56375 bytes) After gluing the top fabric to within a foot or so of the fin, I marked out where I wanted the 2" glued overlap to come.  This is somewhat guesswork, but is generally dictated by where the minimum amount of compound curve lies.
fus-fabric10.jpg (41628 bytes) The fin fabric is then trimmed to size, and a pre-coat of adhesive brushed on to its underside (up to the pencil line) to aid adhesion.
fus-fabric11.jpg (39148 bytes) I have glued the top fabric to within a foot or so of the join.  The as-yet unshrunk top fabric is lined up with my fin fabric, and the join line pencilled in.  A brush-line of glue over the pencil line ensures that when cut, the top fabric will not unravel or feather.
fus-fabric12.jpg (23304 bytes) After trimming to my aft pencil line, the top fabric is glued to the fin fabric, and the last foot of gluing the top fabric to the upper longerons is finished off.
fus-fabric13.jpg (50072 bytes) The top fabric can now be heat-shrunk to the first 250 degree stage, after which the fin sides and then the top can be shrunk to the full 350 degrees.  A small amount of low-temperature ironing smoothed out the last remaining unevenness of the glued joint.
fus-fabric14.jpg (36532 bytes) fus-fabric15.jpg (43044 bytes) And here's the end result, a neat 2" overlap with the top fabric on top of the fin fabric.  This join will need to be taped with a 3" tape for security.  The upper fin rib will need stitching too, where I previously applied a strip of pink goo.

fredJrob2.jpg (60959 bytes) In April, Fred Johnson and Dave Bland take valuable time out from some top-level ale-drinking to inspect progress.  Fred owns two Taylorcrafts in the States, one of which is undergoing restoration.  Both these chaps were in the UK as part of top-secret global investigations into Taylorcraft and Pitts construction methods.

May 2003, Fuselage fabric continues. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 

fus-fabric18.jpg (38327 bytes) fus-fabric23.jpg (39209 bytes) Starboard side fabric laid out and gluing starts.  It can be seen how much slack that can remain during the gluing process.   This slack will all disappear with heat shrinking.
fus-fabric21.jpg (71381 bytes) Those little T-Pins, available from covering suppliers, are virtually useless I bent mine (with padded pliers) to get them through the fabric.  They leave quite a large hole, so only insert them where a covering tape will later go.
fus-fabric17.jpg (42834 bytes) fus-fabric25.jpg (53891 bytes) Around protrusions, a seam of Poly-Brush is applied to prevent the threads unravelling.
fus-fabric19.jpg (33167 bytes) fus-fabric20.jpg (53670 bytes) Gluing around the D window and the door aperture.  Note fabric goes under door catch.
fus-fabric24.jpg (31576 bytes) Here's where the side fabric joins the fin.
fus-fabric22.jpg (40031 bytes) The finished side.  Now for my Inspector to inspect the fuselage interior before closing the fuselage up on the fourth side.

Mid May 2003,  panel Work. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 

While I await my Inspector, I continue with the instrument panel.  I had previously removed the old paint and hammered out some dents and generally tarted it up a bit.
panel1.jpg (44095 bytes) panel2.jpg (58069 bytes) We wanted a transponder in the right hand glove-box for touring in Europe, where many countries now make transponder mandatory. The transponder was installed in 2001 for a tour of Germany and Austria.
So a new, smaller glove-box door is made, with an angle-piece to support it.   I will be making a new shallower glovebox in which we can put a chart, spare batteries, toothbrush, condoms etc, and other essential touring supplies.
You may note in the right hand photo above, a small rectangular hole to the left of the transponder... this was put in some years ago so that we could withdraw the rod that goes through the fuselage fuel tank.  This small rectangular hole means that the whole panel does not need to be removed to drop the tank.
The hole will be covered by a plate with the "fuel transfer" label attached to it.
panel3.jpg (35886 bytes) New shallow glove box for the space above the transponder.  Before riveting up, the aluminium has been acid-etched and treated using Poly-Fiber "Aluma-Dyne", which leaves no colour.
Blanked-off hole is for any future electrical / power supply access in case we put a gadget inside the box. Anyone designing a hand-held / portable transponder?

glove-box1.jpg (35226 bytes) I make a new left-hand glove box.  In this we install two gel-cell batteries, an intercom, PTT connections, GPS power supply and all necessary fuses.  One battery will operate the Icom hand-held radio, the other one powers the GPS.  If the radio battery gets low, a throw-over switch changes the radio source to the GPS battery and vice-versa.  The GPS is quite happy to continue to draw power from the battery that the radio was draining, because the GPS has a lower power requirement.
gauge-oil-pressure1.jpg (55386 bytes) The instruments are given the this case the oil pressure gauge has been stripped and the corroded case cleaned up and epoxy-primed before reassembly.  I still need to repaint the needle, and I will be marking the limits on the gauge face instead of on the glass as was previously the case...
panel5.jpg (44930 bytes) ...and here it is marked up with the limits and a painted needle.  I used regular electrician's insulating tape for the markings, referencing the type cert and Service Manual to ensure I put the correct limits in.
panel4.jpg (33460 bytes) The instrument glass faces getting prepared for a clean up.

Other things this month:  Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 

windshield1.jpg (22739 bytes) The windscreen attachment brackets get installed.  Because of the new wooden door frames, some minor fettling is required to get these brackets to align properly.  And I was so convinced that I had made the holes in exactly the same place as the original wood!  Here you can see I need to move the bracket inwards so that the outer face is flush with the outside of the red doorpost.  Note the stainless countersunk washers to spread the load.  The woodwork was rebated to permit these to lie flush, and the washer presses the painted fabric into the rebate for a neat finish.
windshield2.jpg (35416 bytes) I can now start to see how the windscreen fairings will need to be modified to align up correctly.  I will be making all new pieces here, because of the aluminium corrosion.
cabin1.jpg (53559 bytes) The pilot's eye view is improving...who needs instruments, anyway?  And I always wanted to be open cockpit, non-radio...
aerial1.jpg (62275 bytes) aerial2.jpg (39660 bytes) The whip antenna is serviced...including removing 1/2 lb of excess cable.  It is mounted on the wing root fitting so that the whole fuselage frame acts as the ground plane, no aluminium sheet required.  The whip sticks up over the wing band fairing.  Length of whip is approx 21".  I might put in a proper ground wire due to the paint on the frame.  An old ELT whip is used on one of our other Tcrafts, this works fine.

We operate an Icom IC-A20 Handheld, connected through a Flightcom intercom, all powered by 12 volt gel-cells. 

There is no secret about hooking up the Icom IC-A20 with an intercom...but you need from Icom the "magic box" that contains the necessary electronic wizardry, it is called a Switch Box HS-61. It comes complete with a PTT on the end of a long coiled cable for attachment to the yoke, and the intercom plugs into it with standard headset plugs (all fitted)...or you could forego the intercom & plug the headset straight into the HS-61. The box has adjustments for mic gain.

HS-61_1.jpg (46235 bytes)  HS-61_2.jpg (38114 bytes)

An excellent combination, with better range and clarity than most certificated permanent installations.  We have 3 Taylorcrafts operating with exactly this installation, all are perfect.

rudder-bar1.jpg (35635 bytes) The rudder bars & brake pedals are gloss-coated white and finished off with some 3M grippy paint, which I acquired from unnamed sources, but some sand mixed in with regular paint would do equally well, I'm sure.

Early June spent doing really important a weekend trip by Taylorcraft & hire car around the Somme battlefields in northern France, and a long weekend fly-out to the Le Mans 24 hour race.  Also my annual fly-in at our home field, Leicestershire Aero Club, where I flew the Howard T Minus...a pre-war Taylorcraft airframe with clip wing and 135 hp engine.

Mid - Late June 2003 Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 

panel6.jpg (99469 bytes) panel7.jpg (63898 bytes) The panel gets a final clean-up, etch prime and three coats of wrinkle paint (it looks a lot better than this photo).  Note transponder slot on the right hand side.  Also painted in smooth semi-gloss black are the panel bits, including here the two glove boxes (smaller glove box fits above transponder).
panel8.jpg (85563 bytes) The panel almost fully fitted out.  I dismantled all the instruments and serviced the internals, cleaned the faces and glass and repainted the needles & bezels.  Oil temp gauge is also complete, but will not be fitted until the panel is installed.
panel9.jpg (94444 bytes) panel10.jpg (104931 bytes) The panel fully fitted out except the temp gauge & transponder (both to be fitted when I install the panel in the fuselage).   Plate on left hand side hides the two gel cells, intercom & power switches.   Flexible cable is ptt to be attached to the yoke.  White rectangle between airspeed & tacho is the compass correction card.
Note the fuel transfer label plate that hides the cut-out for fuselage tank rod removal.  Further description here.
panel11.jpg (52634 bytes) The panel goes in for a trial fit of the boot cowl, coaming and windscreen.  Much fettling required, I fear.
panel12.jpg (50140 bytes) The windscreen needs some minor re-drilling of the mounting holes.

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