Jan 10, 2015 Build Report: EAA800

Jan 10 2015 build report EAA800: Overhauling our engine
Overhauling our engine
We received the Skytec starter with strings attached: we needed to send Meyer Aviation a non cut starter shaft. They sent us their cut shaft that is needed for the Sky-tec. To do this, it was either purchase one for $25.00 from Colorado Air Parts or take our engine apart. Being very frugal (cheap) and knowing our engine had issues we decided to do the latter. And it was a good thing we did.

Jan 10 2015 build report EAA800: Overhauling our engine
Overhauling our engine
The tear down group consisted of Jerry F as the lead, Jake and Brian M, and Bill D. They surmised the cylinder hold down nuts were genuine Ace hardware nuts, and were torqued to various torques. Some had the treads pulled in the nuts and were hard to remove. This was no surprise as I found all kinds of hardware from the local hardware store on this engine. The good thing is the engine looks good on the inside. The previous builder did get carried away with some sort of build lube and also with case sealant as it ran into the case. We are going to have some serious clean up. There is some question at the end of the day about the condition of the cam shaft and lifters. They are used, the only old parts I see. The main bearings have what looks like wear but are new. They may just be polished due to turning the shaft during the time it was stored. I have not determined this yet, as they need to be cleaned. The good news is the starter gear shaft is out and will be sent to Meyer Aviation by Jerry.

Rudder pedals:
Anthony and Pat worked on the rudder pedals and Anthony learned how to shoot rivets with a rivet gun and bucking bar. He did an awesome job after much practice on a scrap piece. Pat also learned a lot, (like he will be real glad when they are finally installed. Both Pat and I have way to much time in a simple rudder pedal project). I might add I only had to re-do two rivets, which was not bad. Pat and Anthony also learned how to fix rivet boo-boo’s which is what this project is all about. Pat and Anthony are in the background in the pictures

Ray P and Kim Worked on the C-90 off the PA-11 so we can use it as a mock up and install it on the Hawk to do all the engine control, exhaust and other firewall installations while we work on the final engine.

Don C brought Bill Shepard to the hanger. Bill is one of the Red Tail pilots. He flies the P-51 for the Red Tails (Tuskegee Airmen) and was really interesting. He joined the local CAF and I think he is really impressed with our project. I will say this: I was really humbled just to meet him. He did promise to make a pass with the P-51 when he is in the area. Our runway is a little short for it. He says they are limited to no less than 4000 feet.

All in all it, was a really good session, And the build goes on.

Jan 7, 2015 Build Report

We are moving along. We are installing the engine controls, but have hit a snag in that the carburetor we have is a Marvel Schebler MA3-A and we need an MA3SPA the difference is the MA3SPA has an accelerator pump, and the MA3-A does not. The MA3SPA is the carb on a Cessna 150 and using it we can get by without a Manuel primer. [It requires] Just a couple of jabs on the throttle.

The engine has its own set of problems, in that we need to have the cam reground and the lifters rebuilt. [It was rebuilt using] a lot of regular hardware bolts and nuts, plus [the rebuilder] did not rebush and T and C the rods. I hope Weststar will MAGNAFLUX all the steel parts. We will have to get new rod bolts. I bet we put at least $1000.00+ in the engine before we get it running what with the carb and parts issues. Now its back to scrounging parts. Don C brought a VCR tape in on how to overhaul a O-200.

Pat, Bill and Jake are working on the dual brakes. This has been a real head scratchier. But they have the geometry figured out and it will have working brakes soon. They used my Cessna 150 parts manual. Between it and Jerry’s 150 they figured out how to rig them so the rudder pedal stays the same (vertical) throughout their full for and aft positions. Lowell Mannery flew in from Delta and gave us some valuable input on brakes. Thanks Lowell (He was more than surprised about what we have accomplished with the build).

This Saturday most of the kids went to Delta to get free glider rides. they have been invited by the Grand Mesa Soaring Society. So our work session was only adults. Boy were the kids missed. They came back all smiles and the adults that went also got rides. This has been more than a build. It is an educational experience for all. I will say this, all the participants in this project can hardly wait for Saturday to roll around. Me included. This has become more than a build, it is a social club, and you never know what will transpire. Each week is different.

We had a HAWK society directors meeting after the work session and went over the paperwork so we can present it to HAWK Society members to be voted on after the normal February EAA meeting. This meeting is important as it is to start setting policies, dues and other things for the HAWK SOCIETY. Brian and John Caldwell submitted the paper work for the 501C3 apparently if we do not give out more than $50,000 in donation receipts and do not have over $250,000 in assets we can file for a smaller filing fee of $400.00 versus the $800.00 that we were originally looking at. After 3 years the restrictions are lifted. Or we can pay the difference and have unlimited donations at any time. The only problem is the time frame it takes to get a Non Profit status out of our Government. Apparently Congress has cut funding for Obamacare, and the Lois Learner fiasco has not helped so the IRS is making everyone wait a long time for non-profit status. The Grand Mesa Soaring society apparently waited 9 months for their non-profit to be born.

It is funny how things keep coming out of the woodwork. We need a light weight alternator and in talking to one of the chapter members, he thinks he has one for an 0-200 that he is not going to use. [He] also [has] an engine monitor, and lifters for the engine. Lowell offered us some hardware and a carb airbox, if it will fit. It is really amazing what is available by just asking. Also I just got word from Brian that Ralph Mulford has offered to oversee our rod [email protected], if he can get help as he is getting up in age. (Did I say Ralph is one of the best engine machinists I know of. He still has his shop – Precision Machine, in his back yard. But only does what he wants, He used to do all the aircraft engine machine work for Wegner Aircraft, and Monach Aviation- Now West star. He also did all the machine work and balanced most of the best racing engines around including mine back in the day. I never had an engine problem, As a side light, he was one of the original founders of Air Methods, the Helicopter ambulance company used by hospitals all over the US. Ralph a very accomplished pilot in his own right and has owned various airplanes. A true gentleman).
And the build continues.
A quick note about Don Wegner!

Wegner Aircraft was owned by Don Wegner. I started working for him in 1965 and it is where I got my A/P- IA. Don was absolutely the best mechanic I ever saw. He had lots of STC’s and could fix anything.
In WWII he was a Sea Bee in the Pacific and repaired pilots wrist watches flown in to him from all over the war theater. He was proud of the fact he never failed to get the watch back to the correct person. He used Benzene which is a known brain cancer causing agent and he knew it. He died from a brain tumor. He would not work on anything with benzene if anyone was around.

The man was totally amazing but his family life was a mess, and he stayed at the airport all day and late into the night. His boy was as good a mechanic and was really talented but experimented with all drugs and spent most of his life in prison, he passed away in prison. I wish I had learned more from Don. I learned to TIG weld fixing boat props from him, and sheet metal repairing wrecked airplanes for him. I also rebuilt engine accessories for him. He made all his own special tooling and equipment. Our shop was a hoot. OSHA would have had a fit. Nothing had guards on it and we all survived..