Wing - Left Fuel Tank

2004-04-04 - Assembling and sealing the tank - First Rib. (6.0 Hrs).

I ProSealed the first rib today. I wanted to do more, but I had a few problems, and decided to quite after the first rib. I actually spent two hours dimpling and cleaning the ribs, and another hour assembling the tank before mixing the ProSeal. Don't ask me how this could take so much time, but I have to say that those ribs are very clean.

Oh, I forgot to mention the countersinking of the bottom skin. I have the tank dimple dies, which I used to redimple the top of the tank skins. However, since I already riveted the stiffeners on the bottom of the tank skins, I did not want to try to repound the bottom dimples. Therefore, I had to use a countersink on the bottom of the tank skin dimples. This actually turned out really nice, but it is an extra step. With the dimple dies it only takes one step to get good dimples in the tank skins. I think the $32 is probably worth it, but not a requirement.

Here's a bad picture of a normal dimple, next to a normal dimple that has had the countersink run in it. This makes the hole just a little deeper, and gets rid of the requirement for the tank dimple dies. The hole in the center has been dimpled/countersunk.
This is the single rib that I ProSealed and riveted. I had a lot of trouble riveting this rib. First, this is the smallest tank bay, so my bucking bars would not fit in here. Next, I could not see. Then I could not reach the bottom rivets with the bucking bar while driving the rivet from the outside. I mangled a few rivets (too high pressure, slipped off one rivet, etc). I tried riveting with the whole setup on my table. Then I put it on the floor, and kneeled down to rivet. Nothing seemed to work very good.

I actually came back after dinner and drilled out and redid one rivet that somehow got mangled on the outside. This was extremely frustrating, but I finally got it done. The thing that makes me feel really stupid is that I could have just removed the rib on the end of the tank, and reached everything easily. Hopefully, the other ribs will be easier, since the bays are a lot bigger.

This is the other side. I spent an hour putting ProSeal over the end of each rivet, and ended up just ProSealing the whole flange.

Finally, I spent a half-hour cleaning everything up. I don't think ProSealing is going to be something that you work on a little bit each night after work--this is a weekend task.

One more rib done.