While coming home from work today I stopped by Home Depot and picked up some nylon spacers to use between the tie down bracket and the bottom of the tie down eye bolt. The two styles I bought were both 1/2" outer diameters. One had 3/8" inner diameter and the other one had 0.328" ID. I likes the one with 0.328" ID because it had more meat to it (thicker side walls). I decided a good way to go would be to tap out the spacer and thread it onto the bolt. This would also keep everything together if (when) I take the tie downs off to gain some more speed. The first thing I did was enlarge the hole in the leading edge to 1/2" diameter. I needed to shave down the spacer slightly to make it fit. (I threaded it onto a scrap 3/8" eye bolt from Home Depot and spun it while the bench sander hit it. Then I placed it into the hole of the leading edge to see how much I needed to cut off of it. I did a little more than needed because I want to skin to be able to move freely, without it hanging up on the tiedown bracket. I cut the spacer to length and threaded it onto the eye bolt, all the way up and tight. Then I screwed the eye bolt in. The initial fit was perfect, but as I tightened the eye bolt, the spacer expanded slightly and puffed out. This caught the skin and pulled it inward slightly. I didn't like this, so I enlarged the hole to 9/16". The fit is a little loser (1/32" all around, who cares?!?!?) but it worked GREAT. The one thing I want to do is pick up a nylon washer to put between the spacer and the eye bolt to prevent the skin from moving up and getting scratched by the flange on Van's eye bolt.
I then match drilled the leading edge to the ribs and spar. It didn't say to do it to the spar, but from reading forward all the way to the leading edge riveting, it doesn't mention it. I figured I wanted the leading edge as close as it will possibly be while I fit the tank.
I then did the same thing to the left skin. Now I can move into the tank.
This is the tie down eye bolt from Van's. Not bad for $4 or so.
And this is the nylon spacer from Home Depot. 1/2" OD x 0.328" ID x 1" Long. $0.25.
After tapping it, it fit onto the tiedown bracket nicely.
Here is the gap that needs to be dealt with. No, I didn't build the thing wrong. I think that Van's doesn't want the tie down bracket against the skin is to prevent some chatter/interference. The tie down bracket is perpendicular to the web of the spar, and the leading edge skin tapers inward.
After enlarging the hole to 1/2", I put the spacer in and marked it.
This is a shot of how the spacer fits the gap nicely.
This is how much of the spacer I need.
This is the eye bolt with the spacer installed. Fits awesome!
While match drilling the skin, I noticed this nice scratch on the leading edge tip . It looks a lot worse than it is.
The location of the tie down bracket was almost dead on for the left side.
And the left leading edge prep is finally done.
Last Modified: June 5, 2023