Work Log 4

Mears Spitfire

Brake Test Video
Work Log 5
Final Progress
The Kit
Landing Gear
Fuel System
Work Log
Work Log 2
Work Log 3
Work Log 4
Engine Log
Other Habits
Firewall Forward
First Start Video







10/14/2007  Haven't updated in a while, but have been working. finished the right side of the cowl. All looked good so I removed the whole thing to work on the engine. Mounted the EC2, ground out the intake manifold to match ports, mounted the re-drive, measured hose lengths, figured AN fittings and ordered, and received, installed AN fittings and radiator hoses, Made oil cooler hoses from firewall to engine, mounted oil cooler lines through firewall, studied and measured my ass off on the oil cooler lines and still haven't made a decision where to drill the entry hole, messed with the fuel tank trying to figure out how to mount the gas cap, started planning on where to install sensors. gotta ground some cast iron for the oil pressure fitting to fit in the standard place. Its just plugged on a 20B, installed temp sensor in normal place. Somewhere I must get water pressure (two places) oil temp (two places) and water temp in one more place. I have figured out both oil pressure points.  Still thinking I'll start this thing by the end of the year. (594hrs)

10/15/2007  Pulled entire engine and mount off plane to mount the two new vertical brackets under the engine mount. What a pin in the butt that was! Installed the two fuel pumps, fuel filter, and lines to the fuel rail. (602 hrs)

10/18/07  Spent most of the day installing the four oil cooler lines up to the firewall. Had to remove the cooler bolts to move the cooler around enough to get the lines screwed on. then cut all the lines and install the AN fittings. Hook them up to the y's and then to the firewall. Had to drill all the holes in the fuse for the lines. to go through. Had to be a contortionist to do all this. Bleeding hands and arms finished after about 8 hours. Plus, found out from Germany builder Hans, my landing gear legs were supposed to be trimmed. They're too long. Great...(612hrs)

11/01/2007  Pulled wire harnesses through firewall, set up general placement in fuse and around engine. Wrapped some of the harness and anchored to fuse. (614hrs.)

11/25/2007   Installed insulation on firewall. Then attached, fuel regulator, another wiring harness spicket. Installed nuts in firewall for fuel Y, solenoid, and the new spicket. Built fuel hoses to regulator and regulator to tank. (620hrs.)

.11/27/2007   Assembled battery box as well as I could. No instructions, no drawing. Box is simple, but 6 braces of different length that can go lots of different ways. E-mails Supermarine and the answer I received was to put the battery in a location to help the CG....duhhhh. Not what I ask....I'll try again. built and installed fuel tank pickup tube adaptor. Installed overflow tube in tank. Inserted all the fittings in the tank. Ran the fuel line from the fuel pumps to the fuel valve.
Built another shutoff for my combat plane...but I wont count that =)   (622hrs.)

12/19/2007 Drilled LH side of dash panel for 6 new flight critical breakers. Installed flight critical circuit breakers. Wasn't crazy about my cheap wire ends so I removed the circuit breakers and rebuilt harness ends with aircraft style ends. Installed and routed and re routed wiring harness several times. Bolted on oil filter tower. Finished the last oil hose connection to the oil filter tower. I think all I lack in wiring is the ox sensor, the warning light for the 'EC2, and the main power wire for the flight critical bus. All sensors are installed. all gauges are installed. I'll get a couple of helpers over here this weekend to help me double check all the electrical before I hook a battery to it. If it checks out, all I need to do is install a prop, and make a temporary fuel tank and I can attempt to start her up! (632 hrs)


1/06/208  Well was sick from Christmas till New Years, so got behind. Felt good today so I hit it hard. Finished the wiring. Took all day to do it, but its done and after much fear, I hooked up the battery. Checked one system at a time and it all worked great. What a relief! I haven't finished checking all the ECM functions, but at least nothing is blowing fuses. Engine monitor lights right up and all readouts look right. Gauges move around and go to 0. I'm down to a throttle cable and plumbing the re-drive unit for oil drains and I'll be ready to bolt a prop on and fire it up. (642  hrs.)

1/10/2008  Built an exhaust manifold gasket out of aluminum and installed it. Built two brackets two hold the two bottles (water and oil) and installed them. Built the oil pressure line for the re-drive and installed it. Messed with the air filter I bought and determined I wasted my money. Hooked up two of the three re-drive drain hoses. (648 hrs)

01/12/2008   Installed real battery. Built real ground cables and positive cables and installed. Ran diagnostics on computer which failed. Reread entire manual again. Tinkered, prodded, got tired and went to bed. (651 hrs)

01/19/2008 Mounted inside throttle cable. built bell crank for throttle cables and mounted. Installed fan belt.  Getting ready for a first start. Have sent in the EC2 for updates but I'm getting everything prepared for its arrival. I filled my oil coolers first, then I slowly got a quart of oil down through the oil filter tower through both ports. Filled the motor with coolant and bled out the air. To my surprise I could get 50 lbs of oil pressure with just the starter! Did reveal on small oil leak around the banjo fitting that feeds the re-drive. I'll mount a temporary fuel tank today. Cant wait to hear it (I think) (656 hrs)

1/27/2008  Had an oil leak and had to pull the pan off. was trying to be too neat with the silicone. Had to drop the radiator and the pan and re seal it. Still waiting on ECU so decided to start on a wing. I'm so pleased that the manual does a good job in the wing section. Does a step by step procedure. Little problem with not identifying some parts in the manual. But go back to the parts sheet and it describes the part name and # that the manual refers to. I've trial assembled the left wing, took it back apart, and started preparing the parts for assembly. All the holes must be cleaned up. Must have used a dull drill bit, holes rough on both sides. Maybe must have drilled fast since its done on a cnc machine. But at least they're already drilled and dimpled and fit together excellent. Got the rear spar cleaned up and etch primed. (665 hrs)

2/07/2008  Removed the paper off the windshield. Was afraid I left it on too long. and I did. Took about an hour to get all the glue off the glass. Started assembling the rear wing spar. clean and etch prime the ribs. Took forever to get that damn whit plastic off the parts. I had one rib that I finally just melted the stuff and scraped it off with a plastic razor blade. That one rib took over an hour. The clear plastic comes right off, but that white stuff is a killer. (671 hrs)

2/08/2008  Started pulling the white protecto tape off the upper wing skin. Lots of heat and lots of time. Etch primed the wing skin and simi- clecoed it in place. decided I don't want to build my wings on a bench will make a couple of wing stand so I can rotate the wing as needed. (673.5 hrs)

2//15/2008 Pulled off more tape, etch primed more parts, clecoed on to wing. All parts are fitting great. Very pleased with the wing construction. INCLUDING the manual. Whoever did the wing section was spot on with assembly order and direction. (676 hrs)

2/16/2008  Had to buy 300 more cleco's. and that still wasn't enough. but have most of the wing clecoed together. Parts are all etch primed. ALL the frickin' tape removed. Last night I actually drilled my ladder to hold the wing skin, and placed the whole thing in front of my kerosene heater. Between that heater and my heat gun, I don't have any hair on my hands any more. So ladies...there's an idea for ya! (681 hrs)

2/17/2008  Hit it hard all day on the Spit. Assembled the left wing. assembled and installed pitot tube assembly. riveted 90% of the top wing skin. All of bottom wing skin is clecoed on and ready for rivets. Wheel well is assembled and installed. All instructions are clear and in correct assembly order...FINALLY.   Really made assembling the wings a joy. Had a ball with it today. Still need another day and the wing will be finished. Then I'll have to do the flaps and ailerons. My little parts sacks have dwindled down to nothing! (693 hrs)

2/18/2008  Put all the nuts in the inspection hatches in the left wing and the wheel well (695hrs)

2/21/2008  Installed all the rivets is the top of the wing. drilled, cleaned, and dimpled the gap strips. Installed the packers. Took all the clecos out of the bottom forward wing skins to install the light wire that I forgot to do. Re-clecoed. Drilled and Countersunk the aileron hinge. Wing is almost scary its going together so well. (703hrs)

2/23/2008  Started riviting bottom of wing skins. (706 hrs)

2/24/2008  Finished off the rivets in the left wing. Hung the wing on the main spar. pulled tape off aileron parts.  (712hrs)


2/25/2008 etch primed ribs and spar of aileron. Assembled, unassembled, assembled, unassembled....and so on. Temporary mounted to hinge. (714 hrs)

3/02/2008  trial fit aileron, and both flaps bout 20 times. Tweaked, filed, sanded. And still not satisfied with my fit. Did build a couple of spacers to go between the tabs of the main spar. Kit is supposed to come with them, but mine are missing. I like my square spacer better any way. I am able to use shims and align the wing as I see fit. (724hrs)

03/06/2008  Drilling and aligning aileron. (726hrs)

03/09/2008   Well after messing with the aileron, and outboard flap for several days and not getting them to fit as I think they should, at least with the existing pre-drilled holes, I gave up and re-drilled the holes to make the parts fit. Been scared to death to do this cause seemed like to me they should fit as drilled from the factory. Though the flaps and ailerons are not pre assembled like the wing. They are semi assembled from the factory. A few rivets installed and you must drill them out. The idea is to show you how its assembled. That part is a good idea. I just wish the manual might say something like...the original holes may not line up and you may have to relocate the assembly holes for proper fit.... After I gave up and re-drilled it all fits very nice. Sure I hope I don't find out later that's a mistake. I drilled so many holes today I ran 4 battery packs out on my drill. And the drill was so hot it was hard to hold on to. And I'm no where near actually installing the flap or the aileron permanently. The flap is totally drilled 1\8th now but still lacks disassembly, dimples, re-fit, and rivet. The aileron is drilled 1/8th no and ready for removal. then dimple, etch prime, re-install and rivet.

3/14/2008 Drilled aileron and inboard flap 1/8th. Dimpled and etch primed. Drilled 3/32 mounting holes for tip. Spent around 2 hours pulling off tape on tip and one side of center section wing skin. (744hrs)

3/16/2008        Mounted all my labels on my switches. Finished off the wiring harness tie wraps and final location. Mounted my fuel tank overflow, drain, and vent tubes. Permanently mounted my landing gear screen. finished off my throttle cable bell crank and throttle cable mounting to it. Build a new throttle cable bracket for the throttle body and installed. All throttle cable works excellent. Vacuumed  and cleaned fuel tank area preparing it for tank installation. discovered I need to install one more fitting. I planned on running my fuel return to the fitting in the top of the tank. Well that's the vent tube. So somewhere I need a vent tube. Will get a fitting next week and install it. Then I should be ready to install the tank. Ran my Pitot tubes for preparation of permanent location. Spent two hours pulling tape of upper center section panel. Only got about a 6" square pealed off. this is gonna really be a bitch. I'm contemplating just buying some more aluminum  and making a new sheet. I guess some of this aluminum had been laying around for a while before it was used in my kit. Then it sit 3 years before I got to these parts. plus I think it sit in Florida for 2 years before I purchased it. Anyone else building a kit I would suggest to remove this stuff as soon as you get the kit. Then put the part #'s back on it with a sharpie. Just the white stuff is what's so damn hard to get off. The clear falls right off. Of course your panels don't have any protection after you peal it off. So far I've only had this panel and one rib that was like this. But at this rate it will take me a whole day to remove the stuff off this one wing panel. (756hrs)

3/20/2008  Today was a downer. I spent most of the day getting the brake system up and going. The local EAA chapter is meeting here for our next meeting and I wanted to do the brakes, so I can mount the real fuel tank and be able to start it up for everyone. Mounted the rudder pedal in position, mounted the brake lines, and started to install the fluid. The bleeder valves wont seat! None of them. (there's 4) So today's work was wasted. I'll email Supermarine and see what they say. Also the brake line is so brittle (plastic), when I pushed the rudder pedals, the line broke off at the master cylinder. Ain't lookin' good :(...(762hrs)

3/22/2008  Finally got brake fluid to knock off that stuck protecto tape. Super hope my other panels don't have this problem. So far its just been one rib and on skin panel. Prepared to install the tank. Hooked up lines and hose clamps. Will fuel it tomorrow and look for leaks.(765hrs)


3/23/2008 Well sure enough, had some fuel leaks. Looks like around the threads of the fittings. So I remove the hoses (a real bitch with the tank in place...) and tighten the fittings all that I can. Re-fuel...still leaks. So I remove the hoses again and the fittings, put silicone on the threads and reinstall. Will refuel tomorrow and look for leaks again. Bob White made me a 90' wire harness that worked least I don't have to modify the tank now. Grant Rankin (New Zealand builder) emailed me today to help him identify a part. It didn't look familiar, nor could I find the # in the assembly manual. As I was digging around in the few parts that I have left not installed, I ran across the part. The parts list said it was a stiffener bracket around the flap motor cover. Hell that work was done a couple of years ago! I guess it is an updated part not listed in the manual....and of course no info about it anywhere. So I hope I can crawl under the plane, drill out all the rivets where its supposed to go and install it. More back tracking :(    ( 768hrs)

3/27/2008  Clint's idea of the kerosene soaking the aluminum sheet worked best with enough time. After about 3 days the plastic started lifted somewhat. air pressure will take much of it off. So I spent a couple of hours with a plastic razor blade getting the rest of it off. Drilled the wing tip 1/8th, lined up the ailerons and flaps some more, started on the inboard flap, ran the engine about 30 min., got my father over to help me finish bolting in the left oil cooler, finished mounting the fuel tank. (784hrs)

4/3/2008  drilled. dimpled, aligned, re-aligned, re-aligned...and re-aligned ailerons, outer flap and inner flap. They're all ready to rivet I think. Gotta get it right. Worked on canopy about an hour too. It still don't satisfy me. Put all the nose cowling back on....just cause I wanted to. Did a compression check while the motor is new for  comparison in the future. (792hrs.)

4/10/2008 Removed the water pump housing. had a micro leak at the weld. Reinstalled it but don't want to start it up until the silicone gets good and dry ( 800hrs)

4/12/2008  Started installing rivets in aileron and outboard flap. Fired up the engine again and let it get to 26lbs. of coolant pressure. that's about 190 degrees. This engine starts so easy. And smooth. really like my power plant. anyway, it now has another micro leak, so I'll have to pull off the housing again. The leak is so small that it wont leak when its hot. It has to cool down and still have 15lbs of water pressure, then you can see a drip forming. (807hrs)

4/18/2008  Spent all day on the lower fuse scoop. cut, grind, and sand for hours. build the brackets to rivet to the fuse and to the scoop. Very pleased with the turnout. (815hrs)

7/11/2008  finally did some work on the Spit. Finished the trailing edges on the ailerons and flaps. Installed and sanded pro bond on leading edges. finished installing wing tip. Drilled centersection top skin and ribs. (821hrs)

8/15/2008  Finally did some work on the Spitfire. Removed the brake calipers, installed the cabin heat system on the left side, installed some barsleak in the radiator to stop the aluminum from seeping and did another  engine runup. Ran it for about 30 min. 200 degrees. looks like it did the trick, no more seeps. (827hrs.)

9/06/2008  Finally got some more time in on the Spitfire. Pulled the wing off thanks to my buddy Lester that gave me a great idea of how to do it by myself. built the aileron control rod. Measured it twice and then cut it an inch too short anyway. What a dumb ass I am. Now I have to order another one. Did get the rear wing mount and the front mount finished and lined up. Also mounted the flap bellcrank and built the control rod for it. Operated my flap a few times just to see something work. Had to mount and remove the wing four times to get everything lined up. If I can get some buddies here Sunday I can pull the fuse out of the garage and turn it around to start on the right wing. Finished my 13th hour of flying lessons today. Only bout 90 more before I should flu the Spitfire! (835 hrs)

9/9/2008 Sawed the left landing gear off tonight. went better than expected. Tried the emergency landing gear system as bad as I hated to. Installing the spring on the lock pin was a bitch adn I hated to have to do it again. Never the less, I needed to test it so I did. All went perfect. Glad to see it works so well. Plus since I've discovered what the actual install tool is from Supermarine, installing the spring is a no brainer. Still have to trim around the wheel well area for the wheel to fit in the wing. (836hrs)

9/18/2008  Messed with the landing gear most of the day. Cling sent me the specs and made me more confidant that I was on the right track. Cut the legs, installed the springs and snubber, Aligned the wheels, checked the measurements. If I can get the help this weekend I'll turn it around and start on the other wing. (842hrs)

10/05/2008  Started removing the protecto plastic on the right wing panels. Was really dreading it since they have been on the shelf for four years. I expected to have the bad experience with them as I had with some of the other. I am so excited that the tape came off fairly easy. Just heat it up and it cam off in large sheets. Just so happy about it I could just crap Post Toasties! Removed all the tape off all the skins in a couple of hours. (844hrs.)

10/07/2008   Removed the rest of the plastic off the wing panels. All went very well. The ribs are all covered in the clear plastic on this wing so they should be problem free also. I've cleco'd the wing together tonight.(846hrs)

10/08/2008  Started taking right wing apart after trial fit. Removed the protecto tape off the aft ribs. This wing has all clear tape instead of white....BIG difference. Life is good =). Dimpled rear spar, scotchbrite rear spar and ribs. Etch prime everything and cleco together. (848.5 hrs.)

10/09/2008    Wore myself out on the Spit today. Great day! Disassembled the test fit wing. Scotch brite all ribs and etch prime. Drilled and dimpled trailing edge packer. Assembled rear spar and dimpled. Etch primed both. Scotch brite and primed both rear wing panels. Removed stubborn whit tape off stiffeners and scotch brite and primed. Riveted vertical stiffeners on inboard rib. Also had to build front rib support, prime and install. Trial fit leading edge about 14 times. (854.5hrs)


10/11/2008  With the help of my best friend I got the top skins mounted on the RH wing. Scotch brite'ed (is that a word?), etchprimed and 50% riveted. It takes 1 1/2 hours to just pull the rivets on 50% of the holes on one side of the wing!  (858.5hrs.)

10/12/2008  Prepped all the bottom wing panels. Mounted and riveted 50%. Will have to remove the rest of the cleco's and rivet the rest. Built the wheel well and riveted it in place. Built both wing hatch panels. The wings, being pre-built, are really an easy task. Time consuming...but easy. Everything fit well. (866.5hrs.)

10/15/2008  Finished riveting the bottom of the wing. Installed the wing on the airplane. Ran the engine about another 15min. mounted the mounting brackets on the wing. Drilled the aileron 1/32. (872.5hrs.)

10/19/2008  Made pretty good headway on the Spitfire today, considering I didn't get in from El Paso until 6:30 this morning. Went drag racing with my brother. Loooooonnnngggggg day. Did get to watch and listen to a 20B rx7 racing. They're just not as loud as a two rotor. That's good news! Today I've drilled the aileron. outboard flap. and inboard flap 3/32. Temp mounted them all, disassembled, etch primed, re installed and will drill 1/8th later. I drill 1/8th on the wing to insure correct alignment. (879.5hrs)

10/23/2008  Built the wing tip. Went much faster than the other one since I know that it must be cut up and does not fit as sent. Its cleco'd and ready to drill 1/8th. (883.5hrs)


10/26/2008  Worked on the right aileron. 9hrs.  Wow! you say. how do you work on one aileron for 9 hours??? Not to mention that it was already test fitted and on the plane. Well, Ill elaborate. I drilled all 440 holes 1/32, I built the trailing edge piece for the aileron and drilled it 3/32. I lined the aileron up with the wing tip and the inboard flap. I then drilled all 440 holes again 1/8th. I then removed the aileron and disassembled it, and cleaned up each and every hole of burrs. I dimpled 440 holes in the wing skins and another 440 in the ribs, leading edge spar, and doublers. I counter sunk the holes in the trailing edge. I re- etch primed the holes. I also drilled and dimpled the hinge. And I really wanted to cleco it all back together tonight and install it with cleco's. But I just ran outa gas. With the exception of my back killing me and my feet killin' was really a fun day. (892.5hrs)