Grinding Away at the Punch List

My punch list hovers at about 75 items. It seems that as I knock a few off the list, I encounter a few more that I need to take care of. The good news is the big ones (ex. install wings) are mostly gone and now I really have many small tasks (ex. install data plate) to go.

My father and I have torqued all the wing bolts, fixed a small issue with a baffle bracket, begun the install of the ELT and added RTV to the engine baffles.

We installed the axle shims to remove the toe-in on the main gear. They helped, but I decided to order two more shims ($28 each) to try to get it perfect.

Another issue I finally fixed was with one of the two bolts that hold the aft baffles to the top of the engine. When I originally installed the bracket and the baffles I couldn’t get one of the two AN3 bolts to go into the nut plate on the bracket. After lots of attempts (and a lot of cursing) I took the bracket off and discovered that I had the wrong size nut plate installed. Once I replaced the nut plate with the correct one, the bolt went in much easier.

I also started getting serious about all my paperwork for the FAA and the inspector. I didn’t realize that I needed a bill of sale for the airplane from Van’s (1 week delay) and that the registration has to be completed prior to the inspection. I think the paperwork set me back about two weeks.

We found a small fitting on the fuel distribution spider (with the red cap) that needed to be replaced with a plug. The stainless steel plug was only $6 (for a package of 4) on Amazon. Easily the cheapest thing I have bought lately.

The ELT was a litte bit of a bear to install. We installed it just forward of the vertical stabilizer in the tail. I could get three of the four screws for the bracket installed. I had to ask Marianne to install the last one (her hands are significantly smaller than mine). I still have to do the wiring to the ELT and install the antenna.

This Artex 345 ELT is significantly more sophisticated then the old ones I am used to. It takes an input from the GPS for better accuracy and sends out a coded message. The batteries last six years (but cost $220 to replace).

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