12.1.2 Engine Installation

This entry is part 5 of 50 in the series 12 - Engine / Propeller

Now that the engine cowling is on, the location of the engine has to be determined. The reference point will be the center of the opening in the cowl for the propeller.

With the cowling in place, a plumb line is run from the center of the opening to the floor where I put a mark. Then a measurement is made from the mark on the floor to the center of the opening.

Then the upper cowling is removed and the engine is lowered into position. The engine is then leveled side to side by laying some weight on the left or right cylinders. The plumb line is then dropped down over the end of the crankshaft and the engine to moved side-to-side until the plumb bob is over the mark on the floor. Then a measurement is made from the mark on the floor to the center of the crankshaft.

Once all the dimensions are correct, holes are drilled through the engine frame into the firewall.

Robbie from next door was drafted to help hold the engine in place while I drilled the first hole. After that he got a picture of me drilling the second hole while Malcolm held the engine.

Once all four holes where drilled, temporary bolts are used to hold the engine in position.

Then we put the top cowling back on to check the fit. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit as well as we hoped. The intake tubes on the rear cylinders prevent the top cowling from fitting.

I’m looking into having the intake tubes modified to lower them. If that doesn’t pan out, I’ll have to create some… “bulges” in the upper cowling. 🙁

Next the engine is removed to prepare the firewall for the fiberfrax and titanium. Fiberfrax is a heat resistant ceramic fabric that is applied to the between the firewall and the titanium. Fiberfrax is good up to over 2,000 degree Fahrenheit.

Here’s the firewall with the fiberfrax in place.

The titanium is put over the fiberfrax and screwed in place.

Then the engine is lowered and bolted in place.

The green tape is used to indicate where the center spar caps are located on the other side of the firewall so it’s easy to know where NOT to drill.

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