Well the big day has arrived. I’ve put it off long enough and I think I’ve prepped all I can. One of things I did to prepare was read as many blogs as possible and read the Van’s instructions repeatedly.
Once I think I understood it all sufficiently I made a step by step list that was easy to read during the work.
My Dad came to help so I ran through all the steps one by one with him just so we were both clear. It also helped make sure I had everything lined up and ready. After that I mixed a Semco cartridge of sealant by hand as per their YouTube video. It took 60 strokes to get it all mixed! Once mixed I fitted the nozzle and trimmed the nozzle until I got it to match my 3/16 lines drawn on the pad.
Once all the z-brackets were clecod we used the modified pop rivet tool to set all the blind rivets with AD-42H blind rivets. Once they were done we then had to rivet the outboard brackets. The outer 4 AN470AD4-4 rivets on each bracket could be done with the hand squeezer. Unfortunately the inner 4-5 rivets has to be set with the rivet gun which meant quickly firing up the compressor and rivet gun tools. It’s ok I just wasn’t prepared for that.
Once they were bucked I cleaned up the sealant in the outside corners and dabbed sealant on top of each blind rivet head. That was it, after a big cleanup the left fuel tank is finally closed. Looking inside and the sealant seems to have behaved as expected. Not such a bad bead there.
And the best bit? We get to do this all over again on the right tank! 😂