Misc. Photos, Maintenance, and Repairs

Added 8/6/2017

With summer in full swing it's been tough to get to post any updates for a while, so these have sort of piled up on me.
I'll just comment in-line with the photos.

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First I wanted to just show some pictures of how I do my oil changes.  It's a similar procedure to what I do on the RV-10, but the RV-14 has less available room to work in.  This has worked well for me and takes only a little extra time.

To drain the filter, I don't deal with any of those puncture things...I certainly could, but I don't want to waste time waiting for things to drain.  I do start all oil changes with hot oil, so that does help.  I have a small ziploc type storage container that I wiggle in behind and then under the filter.  One side of it has the lip shaved off so it fits tighter agains the engine.  I stuff a couple of paper towels along the side of the filter adapter as well.  Now I can simply spin off the filter and I try to tip it up when it comes off and lift it out of there a.s.a.p. without it dripping everwhere.  Now I have a little container there sitting with some used oil in it, that is really hard to get out. 

At this point I grab a section of plastic tubing and suck the oil up and squirt it into a container.  One of these days I'm going to buy a nice big ear syringe for the task, as that would work perfectly.  Once I sucked out most of the oil, I wipe the rest out and yank the container...then simply wipe the adapter one last time, use some dow grease on the new filter, and spin it on.  It takes as long to type this up as it takes to do the whole process.  No drips, and it's over with very quickly.  Incidentally, I do regular oil analysis and I find the IO-390 is a very clean engine with completely different test results than my IO-540 that has more blow-by.  I'm really liking my IO-390.

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First, my Left main tire wore out much quicker than the Right so far.  At about 120 hours or so, it was worn far enough that I should have flipped it a short time ago.  I decided to replace it before Danielle's solo, but also decided to get a little improvement on tire life when I did the replacement.  I purchased a Desser tire monster retread in the 5-5.00 size.  These have a bunch more rubber on them.  I was concerned about the extra height fitting inside the wheel fairing, but wanted to try it anyway.  

Pulling the fairing apart I got a surprise.  The below pics show a big hole in the bottom of the wheel fairing.  It does not appear to have anything to do with the tire, or that the hole for the tire didn't have enough spacing around it.  I'm not sure exactly how that piece got broken out of it, but it was time for a repair.  With not much time to spare I just did a simple fiberglass patch repair on it and then threw a piece of white tape over it rather than take time out of the spring to repaint the fairing, so I will have to re-visit the cosmetic portion of the repair later this year.  The hole happened BEFORE I put on the monster retread. 

So, with the monster retread taking up more space in the fairing, I decided to also use this time to expand the clearance around the tire to prevent any future issues while using the monster retread.  Once I got done, I was very satisfied with the result. The tire fit just fine, it has lots of meat, and it's now ready to go. I'll have to watch it closer and flip it before it gets too worn out this time.

While I was pulling the fairings off, I also greased the wheel bearings and was surprised to find that my Right brake shoe was worn almost to limits already also.  I had gotten around 170 hours on my RV-10 brake pads on my first run of it, later improving my braking style and being a little more careful not to ride the brakes.  But these wore out much quicker than those on my RV-10 did.  I have to keep in mind that this RV-14 basically has been used as a trainer for it's first 125 hours or more, so I should expectsome extra wear and tear on tires and brakes.  I did run into an issue when punching out the rivets from the press plates.  The Grove press plate isn't as tough as some I've done in the past.  I wasn't perfectly aligned with the rivet when punching it out, and ended up pressing the hole into an oblong shape.  So, I ordered 2 new press plates.  I threw on some Rapco brake pads and now I will carry a spare press plate and brake pads right in the plane with me.

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Next we have a small variety of fun pictures.  First, we took a short x/c flight to go look at and subsequently purchase a 2014 Chevy Volt for my wife from a car dealer in our state.  I have had a 2014 Chevy Volt since Sept. 2013 and I loved it, and so it was time to share the EV experience with my wife.  They are wonderful cars and we've spent almost nothing on gas in them.  In fact, since buying this car, it was purchased with a full tank of gas, and we have now driven it nearly 2 months and still have over 1/3 of the fuel tank remaining...with the next likely gas fill being sometime in September or October.   Not bad...4-6 months without any fuel filling.  I routinely went from March/April until Nov/Dec each year without ever filling my tank, so it's a significant savings.
Unfortunately, within a couple weeks of buying this car, a teenage driver fiddling with their phone rear-ended mine, and totalled it.
So, now I'm patiently awaiting a move to a Chevy Bolt EV. 

The pictures of the device on my wingtip are of the PlaneAround.com GoPro camera mount.  I had purchased one of these from them for my RV-10 but it was time to get one on the RV-14 as well.  You can simply remove a couple of wingtip screws and this plate screws right down on the wing.  Then a double jointed camera mount securely mounts the camera on the wing.  If you're looking for a good camera mount, check them out.

Below are also a few pictures of one of Danielle's solo flights.  We saddled up in the 2 airplanes and flew to a nearby airport based restaurant.  Hangar 54 Grill at KEAU.

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One airplane specific device that's nice to have working well is a funnel.  If you've ever been stuck holding on to a funnel trying to keep it in the dipstick hole well, you'll know how nice it is to find one that fits in and stays in place through the cowl hole.  I just happened to find this one at the local FleetFarm store.  I took pictures in case some of you RV-14 guys want to find this same funnel for your plane.

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Once again it was time to saddle up for a flight to dinner.  This time we took the 2 airplanes up to Voyager Village, a golf course restaurant up North.  It's a nice 50' wide strip buried in the trees that gave the girls a good workout getting it into a narrower strip.

The last picture above is just a quick one of Danielle zipping past in the RV-10 during a solo flight touch and go.

Finally, with OSH on the horizon, we were jamming to get done with something I've wanted to do for a while.
I wanted some good RV-14 T-Shirts, and I had decided a while back to have some screen printed with the RV-14 logo that Danielle and I designed to be embroidered on our seats.  The shirts came out great and we got them just in time for OSH. 
Additionally, I took an aerial photo from just before OSH 2016 and did a bunch of hand tracing and coloring of it on a photo/paint program and had an embroidery stitch pattern made for that airplane as well.  If you saw me at OSH, chances are almost 100% that I was wearing RV-14 wear this year, as we only brought the one airplane to OSH 2017.  OSH 2018 however, should be another 2-airplane year!

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