Monday, September 8, 2014

Shiny Spinner

We completed the wiring of the panel mounted Garmin 396, programmed the JPI, installed the alternator fail light on the panel, re-installed the nose gear doors that I managed to install incorrectly, and polished the spinner. We have lots of paperwork to catch up on and our mechanic needs to sign off, but we're very close to flying.
Notice the piano hinge. It was a late night after a long day and I couldn't get my head around why the landing gear truss was scraping the gear door. I continued trying to fit a square peg in a round hole by adjusting the tie-rod, then finally gave up. Glenn had the aha moment on Saturday and realized I had attached the wrong side of the piano hinges. After we flipped the hinges and re-adjusted the tie-rods, the doors worked perfectly. Now about that ugly scratch, we'll touch it up.

The GPS is wired and mounted and the JPI is programmed. We'll record our exact fuel usage for a few flights the old fashioned way and fine tune the electronic fuel usage accordingly.

The spinner is shined and mounted. Nice work, Glenn. More photos next time.

Monday, August 25, 2014


Red letter day on the Mooney--we cranked up the engine after nine months of giving it love and attention. A few puffs of white smoke from the oil that was coating the pistons and then it was purring. The new alternator and starter worked great and the engine analyzer worked perfectly. It's time for our mechanic to complete his inspection so we can start flying her. First stop--the avionics shop to get the radios swapped out.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Closing the 'Business End'

We made nice progress over the weekend completing the installation of the JPI and replacing the nose bowl. It almost looks flyable.
There were several systems to connect to the nose bowl including the light, ram air cable and oil cooler.

...and cowl flaps.

Fresh parts including gasket to seal the ram air opening.

This panel insert has the JPI mode switch and data port, a set of headset jacks and a push-to-talk that we installed by the co-pilot's right hand. Nifty. When we turned on the JPI, the cylinder heads and exhaust ports read 97-98 degrees--we knew they were registering properly. It was HOT this weekend.

The prop had been gathering dust since November.

The prop and governor have really neat mechanical components. The bolts that hold the assembly on the engine are designed such that they can't work themselves out, and then safety wire is used as a redundancy. I'm confident the prop will not come loose or fall off.

Spinner set in place for photo.

We pulled the spark plugs and turned the engine over to make sure we had proper oil pressure. This also tested the new starter. We'll be firing up this old bird within the week and do some more system testing. Then back under the microscope by our mechanic before she takes flight.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Finalizing the Installation of the JPI EDM 700

The blog posts have slowed down during the dog days of summer, but we made some nice progress yesterday working towards the completion of the engine analyzer. Among other variables, we'll have fuel flow, cylinder head temps, exhaust gas temps, oil pressure, rate of cooling, voltage, and particularly lean of peak settings. Next--completion of wiring to the gps and the JPI unit on the panel.
The new2"  hose from the muffler shroud to the cabin vent was installed.

Two yellow wires connect two sensors, the CHT probe and the EGT probe, per cylinder.

All bundled neatly.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Almost Down to the Punch List

The interior is essentially complete, except for a few plastic covers that will go under the panel after the avionics are finished. The exhaust is installed. We're currently installing a JPI engine monitor and wiring back seat intercom terminals. The JPI installation requires mounting various sensors and wiring them to the instrument on the panel. It will allow us to keep a close eye on the internal happenings of the engine and allow us to run lean-of-peak, extending engine life and saving gas--all good. After that, the prop and hub go back on before running the engine. It's more work than it sounds, but we're really not that far away.
The taupe/black welting was a big monkey on my back and was tedious, but turned out great.

Preparing to drill holes in the exhaust for sensor probes.

Glenn working with our new friend Tony.

That spider web of yellow are the wires to the sensors.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Bright Light Ahead

I haven't shared in a few weeks due to lack of enthusiasm and what seems like such boring work, but this last weekend, I could clearly see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was able to install the back seat (no small task) and the overhead console (easier than it seemed). I've begun thinking about a final punch list to make her ready for ground testing, which includes wiring the back intercom terminals, completing the beat welting trim around the door and installing the plastics surrounding the nose wheel well (currently waiting on avionics work for easier access). Glenn's jobs will center around installing the new JPI engine analyzer, reinstalling the prop and governor, and then reassembling the rest of the front end and underbelly paneling. I should be finished with the interior and will help where I can. But before we start closing her up, our mechanic will need to go over it all for another close inspection. Concurrently, we'll be testing the avionics and determining which units need shipping off for bench repairs.
The pull handle is fashioned from a leather belt I found at Goodwill. The color clashes terribly, so I'll find a replacement at some point. They're easy to switch out.

Under the overhead console. That old speaker was replaced.

After. The upgraded speaker was a tight fit under the grill.
With the rheostat knobs, the overhead light and the speaker, there were a lot of dangling wires up there, but because I kept some notes and drawings, it all came back together nicely.

Only four bolts hold the backrest in place--they took five hours to install. The bottom seat cushion is stretched into place with retaining clips. All snug and very comfortable. May I never have to remove this again.

This is the first time the right wing has been clear of parts for seven months. The front seats won't go in until the very end.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Front Seats and Front End

The front seats are complete and ready for installation, but won't go in until several things are accomplished in the cabin. Glenn is back on the front end having installed the new oil cooler and painted the nose bowl. We're inching along.

The backrest adjustments are made by the knob on the left of the photo. Turn the knob and a cam moves the white support arm, adjusting the backrest.

These will be about the last thing to go back in. The belts seem exceedingly long.

We sure hope Glenn's paint work that he's doing on particularly hard pieces will save the paint shop their time and our money.