Wing - Left Fuel Tank

2004-04-17 - Assembling and sealing the tank - Baffle. (8.5 Hrs).

Woops, looks like I needed to do a little more prep before doing the baffle. I needed to rivet on the T-407 access cover stiffener ring. I was waiting to do this sometime when I had some ProSeal left over, but I never really had any left over during the rib work. I re-thought the idea of using ProSeal on the stiffener ring, and decided there is absolutely no advantage to adding ProSeal under this ring. The T-408 access cover totally covers this ring, and it would just be a waste of ProSeal. I riveted the stiffener ring to the end rib, without any ProSeal, just like Van's instructions said to do.

After the stiffener ring, I cleaned-up everything inside the tank to make sure there were no pieces of ProSeal laying around that would get in the fuel line. This prep work took a few hours in the morning, and I figured it would take a few hours to do the baffle, so I decided to take a break and come back this evening to finish the baffle. I started on the baffle around 6:30pm. The two hour baffle job took 6 hours! There's a lot of rivets, plus, I had forgotten to debur and scratch-up the baffle, and grind down the pop rivet tool.

T-407 stiffener ring, ready to rivet on, with no ProSeal.
Inside of tank before doing the baffle. Notice the goop on the wires for the fuel senders.
And another.
T-408 access cover and fuel pickup. One problem here--I think that I forgot to put ProSeal on the end of the nut to lock it in position. I'm not sure if I needed to do this or not. I really don't like a nut without some sort of locking mechanism on a critical component such as the fuel pick-up. Maybe I should email Van's support.
The other side.
Someone forgot to deburr and rough-up the baffle earlier, so I took care of it before mixing the ProSeal for the rear baffle. This took awhile, so the 6 hours really weren't all spent pushing ProSeal around and riveting. Seems like the prep work takes forever, but it is best to have everything absolutely ready before tackling the last piece on the tank.

Lots of goop in the corners. You can see a hole in the end rib here. Someone forgot to put ProSeal in the hole, and this will be the first leak that I detect. Not really a leak, more like a big hole.

Goop on the end of all ribs.
Goop down the sides, even over the holes.
Goop on the end. Note, this is where I will discover my first real leak. I don't see how this rib is going to leak at the end of the tank with all of that goop, but it will.
All done with the rear baffle, at least I thought so.

I think I am done, but it looks like I forgot one thing. I can't believe that I actually took this picture without noticing the unfilled tooling hole--doh!

Not all rivets set perfectly flush, even with the extra countersinking. By this time, I think the ProSeal was actually starting to set up a little. A key thing here is to clean off the rivet head before you fully set the rivet. Anyway, it came out ok, not perfect, but probably good enough. I will have to do a little work on the rivets that were too proud to sit down and take a proper set.