“He fixes the cable?”

8 hours.

Yes, the title is a line from “The Big Lebowski.” You’ll find a few of those in here. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Got some solid work in during the Xmas holiday, at least up until Christmas eve. My ACS order containing a bunch of suppplies came in during the week, so this involved making the firewall penetrations for the throttle, mixutre, and governor cable.

Since I got to firewall forward, I’ve pretty much been on the “here be monsters” part of the map, so drilling the firewall where it says to on Van’s plans was a non-starter. For one thing, the governor’s up front. For another, the Superior Cold Air sump and the AFP servo pretty much negate the use of any standard Van’s bracketry or control cable lengths.

In a way, it’s a kind of freedom: Since the plans don’t apply, you’re not bound by them. What you must do, however, is follow the rules, and that means keep things from chafing, don’t glom fuel lines on to wiring, keep things from flopping, and whatever you do, insure free and correct travel of all controls. I got some good cable routing for the throttle and mix by bringing them down through the angled part of the firewall recess. This has the effect of lifting the cables up over the rudder pedal crosstubes, then a smooth S downward and slightly to the left, which lets me bring them in more or less right behind the engine above the exhaust. I’ll show pics as soon as I get them off my phone.

I used the eyeball-type firewall pass-throughs from ACS, but in this case, even the biggest one they had wasn’t enough to accommodate the fat green cables from Van’s, so they had to be drilled out. Installing them required Shelley’s help, since getting these things in requires the holding and alignment of more things than I have hands, and putting in fasteners as well. Smashing success though, the cables work smoothly with full travel.

Here, you can see the one for the governor cable, doing its thing:

You can also see the purge valve cable, running alongside before taking its right turn. The bracket for the purge valve cable and the number 2 injector line is an idea I stole from somebody on VAF: A piece of aluminum angle bolted to the case and drilled for Adel clamps in 2 places. Of course, this means replacing the case bolt with an AN4 one of a length I don’t currently have, but I guess that’s why it’s good that ACS is only an hour’s drive and 2 days’ delivery away. That brown hose snaking out over the baffling is the fuel purge return line, which will get a corresponding hole drilled in the baffles.

Once the cables made their way through the firewall, they needed to be attached to the quadrant. Somehow. I knew there was going to be some metal fabrication (yay!), and way back when I built the rails for the quadrant, I figured there would be some sort of hare-brained rig holding it all together, and this weekend was the time to actually build the thing.

This is the shape it wound up in:

This started out as 3 pieces of 2x2x1/8″ angle. Through a series of moves that involved cleco-clamping, measuring, marking, and finally cutting, I came up with a structure that gave me a bracket with 3 holes for the cable ends, each with enough room to turn the nuts on the cable. I managed to get the measurement for the attach angles by securing the cables into the part with the 3 holes, then drilling the attach angles to the angles holding the quadrant itself.

In its final form, it looks like this:

The clevises on the cable ends are special ones with 10/32 thread, and finding them was kind of a bitch. They give you the range of travel you need, but it’s a bit of a puzzle to get them all installed without them interfering with each other. As it was, I had to squeeze the middle one in the vise (not much) and come up with an arrangement for the clevis pins that allowed the maximum amount of space between them. I still wound up grinding down the middle one (blue handle, prop rpm) so that it didn’t catch on the left one (throttle), because these things binding on you in flight would be a major downer, possibly literally. But the control cables are in, they work, they’re smooth and functional. One thing I am going to have to do at some point is make some cover plates for the sides of the quadrant, because the levers are basically three little guillotines, hungrily awaiting careless fingers.

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