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Attached Stiffeners and Goofed Up

July 5, 2012

Yesterday was Independence Day in the US.  To celebrate I decided to start getting my stiffeners attached to my tank skin.  This is a pretty easy task and it fit into my schedule.  In the afternoon it was off to some friends for a 4th of July party.

I mixed up 30g of proseal per line of stiffeners.

Two rows of stiffeners.

Stiffeners are easy to set.  I mix my proseal in small batches.  30g is enough to do one row of stiffeners.  I then use a tongue depressor to scoop out some and then apply to the stiffener.  I try to put a nice even amount on the whole faying surface.  It isn’t hard to leave the ends a little thin.  After I get them in place I put clecos in all the holes and the proseal squishes out from all sides.  This is good since it is spreading out to fill any voids.  If I’ve mixed it properly there aren’t any real bubbles in the mixture.  I then let everything sit for about 30-minutes.  After that I come back out to the hot garage and set the rivets using the back rivet set.  I only messed up two rivets.  Drilling out rivets with gooey proseal everywhere is a mess.  Chips and shavings of aluminum get stuck all over the place.

Rivets all set….uh, oops.

At this point I’m thinking about the BBQ and beer, but I am enjoying the look of nicely set rivets.  Somewhere in this I started thinking about the rear tank spar and how I messed it up.  I figured I better go in and order it from Vans while I was thinking about it.  I was studying the plans because I needed to be sure about which part to order and thats when I noticed the BIG boo boo.  You can see it in the top picture.  The second row of holes from the left are dimpled.  They aren’t supposed to be.  They are supposed to be counter sunk.  I just realized that I screwed up majorly.

I went back through the instructions and found the exact line that I ignored.  This is what worries me.  Complacency because I’ve done it before and think I remember what I did.  In reality I dont remember what I did and messed it up to the tune of about $130 before shipping.  New tank skin, new stiffeners and new rear baffle are now on order.  I guess I could reuse the stiffeners, but I’d have to get them off and clean them perfectly.  I know I’d mess up at least one and I’d be ordering them from Vans anyway.

I look at it this way.  At least I noticed now and not when I got all the ribs attached and the fuel filler and the drain sump. Then I really would have been upset.

Oh well, now I wait for FedEx to bring the stuff Monday.

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