Thursday, April 25, 2013

Finished Fuel Tanks

Well.....I finished building the Fuel Tanks. I still need to test and then install them. But, for now, I'm done with Proseal, MEK, and the slow process of tank building. I don't feel as excited or relieved as I thought I would be when I finally finished these things, maybe I'll feel that way when they are tested and installed. Other than being a complete PITA, the tanks assembled in a straight forward manner without much head-scratching. The one hang up I had with the tanks was the very last step when installing the Fuel Drain valves. In my mind the valves should have screwed all the way in, when in reality they leave about a 1/4" of thread exposed and kinda stick out from the tanks (sorry no picture). So, in an effort to monkey torque these in I galled up the threads a little....oops. I still have plenty of thread engagement and I installed them with Proseal so hopefully no leaking issues....there is always something that leaves you nagging in every section.

Saturday April 20th - 3.25hrs - Finished Vent line install, installed fuel sending units, finished fillet seal edges on last rib.

Sunday April 21st - 6.25hrs - Scuffed baffle, spread Proseal on baffle, riveted baffle, riveted mount brackets

Tuesday April 23rd - 1.5hrs - Finished sealing baffle and shop head of rivets.

Wednesday April 24th - 1.5hrs - Cleaned shop and wiped down tools with MEK to remove all the Proseal. I'm counting this as Fuel Tank time since the tools only required that level of cleaning because of the tanks.

12.5hrs to Fuel Tanks = 75.25 hrs Total Fuel Tank Time

LH Fuel Level Sending Unit Installed. Notice the extra bend near the float I needed to create so the wire wouldn't hit the bottom of the tank.

RH Fuel Level Sending Unit. Same as Left.

Getting ready to install aft baffle.

Fuel Tanks complete!
I slid the fuel tanks under the fuselage for safe storage. In a few weeks, when I know all the Proseal is cured, I will test them and mount them to the wing.


  1. Excellent work, Justin! How is this fuel tank now? Or perhaps, I should ask how is the homebuilt airplane going? It’s been a while since you committed yourself to this project, so I assume it’s finished or at the very least, almost done by now. Whatever the case is, just make sure you’ll fly safely!

    Kenny Isbell @ Apache Oil Company

  2. Kenny,
    The fuel tank is sitting in my shop's loft for storage. The airplane is coming along. I still have many months left before it's finished and work on it on almost a daily basis. My posts have slowed a bit since the work has become a bit repetitive and there isn't much to report about. My latest post was only a week or two ago and I'll be back out in the shop this weekend to make more progress.
    Thanks for following along!
    - Justin