8.4.11 Dimple firewall and rivet parts on

Vans use flush rivets on the firewall to make adding parts in the engine bay easier and it helps to keep the bay clean too. So first task was to dimple the firewall panel.

Next I cleco’d all the parts onto the firewall panel.

Once it was clamped it was time to rivet the parts on. True to their word at the beginning of the fuselage instructions Van’s don’t tell you which riveting method to use for the firewall so I followed other builders logs and started with back riveting. Unfortunately, I didn’t get very good results so I switched to riveting using a flush set in the rivet gun with my tungsten bucking bar. For me, I got really nice results so I stuck with it.

That’s the firewall finished. For now!

8.4.10 Prime all firewall parts

Apart from the main firewall panel, all other parts should be primed so today I plan to prime all the parts of the firewall. So I mixed up some etch primer and sprayed all the parts.

Once that had dried I then primed it with top coat primer.

And then left all the parts hung up to dry.

8.4.7 – 9 Fabricate doublers for firewall

Today I diligently followed the instructions and made the doubler for the brake pipes…

Next step in the instructions it says to make another doubler which I did without thinking…

Once I made the part according to the drawing I then wondered what this doubler was for. A quick look through some of the other drawings and I found this…

Wait, what!? The words “if req’d” staring back at me. Why would it be “if required”? Well, because you only need this plate if you are using the Van’s fuel pump. I’m planning on using the Andair fuel pump as this is NOT required!!! Doh!!! Hey ho, it shows how important it is read ahead in the plans and understand every step fully. Lesson learned, probably!

8.4.1 to 8 Match drill firewall

I officially started the fuselage today by making the very first parts which are brackets for the firewall. The instructions are very clear right at the beginning that there is no more hand-holding from this point onwards. Van’s expects the builder to be able to read the plans and do the essentials without being reminded at every step. I get that right away with this part where the instructions say fabricate bracket. The drawings give all the information needed.

Once the part was made I found the hundreds (!) of parts needed to fit to the firewall and then match drilled everything.

That’s enough for today.

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