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Order of Operation

September 8, 2013

While building Vans doesn’t help you much in the later stages with order of operation.  They figure that by now you should be able to figure this stuff out.  Most times it is pretty obvious, but there are some times when you just cant figure out when you should do something.  It seems like it should be done now, but man, they dont say to do it…so should I?  I ran into one of those situations today.  This is a really bad picture, but there is no light to speak of and the flash is bright.

100_1532As you can see there are four bolts here.  They are AN3-5A bolts that hold the lower engine mount to the lower longeron.  These bolts help transfer the weight of the engine to the rest of the fuselage.  Everything is still upside down here.  Where you see the reflection is the floor of the forward section.  It would be under the rudder/brake pedals on the right side.  If you look really closely you’ll see, behind the bolt heads four rivet shop heads.

When I started working this morning I hadn’t put those bolts in.  As I started working on them I had the idea that I should have done them while I could take the floor out.  This would have made it trivial to get everything bolted in a torqued properly.  As it was, I had not done it this way.  The floor was already riveted in at several locations and it was not coming out.  This meant that I had to get two open ended 3/8″ wrenches in there and get the job done.  It wasn’t hard, it was just a pain to do because I didn’t have much room to work with.

As I went on with this task I decided that maybe this was the best way to do this.  If I had bolted everything in I would not have been able to get to the rivets correctly to buck them.  The bolt head interfere with the rivets.  If the floor had been off I would have had the bolts in place in 5-minutes.  As it was, it took about 30-minutes to get it done.  But I decided that it was the right order of operation.  Doing it the other way would have forced me to take the bolts out to get the rivets properly set.

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