- Fuel Tanks
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Task: Riveted left fuel tank together
in February we began construction of the fuel tanks.Cutting,
fitting, fluting, match-drilling, sanding, dimpling, clecoding
together, taking apart,... has all led up to this day! We
finally began phase 2 of fuel tank construction (Phase 1 was
sealing/riveting the stiffeners). We first put tape just outside
of each rib so as to prevent excess ProSeal from getting in
places we didn't intend. After mixing the tube of ProSeal
we started with the center rib by first removing it, spreading
ProSeal along the entire rivet line, clecoing the rib back
into place, and then riveting from leading edge to trailing
Once the middle rib was in place, we decided to do 2 at a
time, so we removed the rib inboard of center, and outboard
of center, laid the ProSeal and then clecod the ribs and riveted
in place. All in all, it went pretty fast once we got the
hang of it.
After getting about 4 of the ribs riveted in place we created
the fillet around both sides of the ribs as well as covering
the shop heads of the rivets. Most leaks in fuel tanks come
through the rivet heads, so it's extremely important to ensure
a seal around each shop head.
the bottom of the fuel tank, the rivets look great!! The bald
head would be Dewey, the bucking bar master.
the top of the tank! You'll notice the outboard end rib is
not in place yet. Back when we were dimpling the tank skins
we had am minor "oops" and added an extra hole.
After talking to Van's, they said it was not an issue. I'm
intending on drilling the hole completely through the rib,
dimpling, and riveting. While it is close to two other rivets,
we don't think it will be an issue (nor does Van's).