Brake Cylinders

Time: 1.25 hrs

Things done today:

  • Installed the 1/8″ MPT to -4AN 90deg fittings onto brake cylinders
  • Installed brake cylinders onto rudder pedal assembly


Using -4AN fittings on the brake cylinders. The manual calls to use Loctite 577 which I found at Tooldex for around $20 for a 50ml tube. The -4AN fittings and hose (still on order) came from Summit Racing. I used a rubber tubing wrench to tighten the fitting onto the cylinders which seemed to work very well and it didn’t damage the aluminum fittings.


Here are the fittings installed in the “correct” position I hope.


Cylinders installed. I initially torqued the bolts to the correct torque settings, but noticed that nothing moved, so I backed off on the bolt torque until things loosened up a bit. I’ll have to double check with the factory, but I believe this is OK. I noticed in an older manual that they used to use castle nuts and cotter pins which I thought is what you need to use here, but the new manual and hardware are locking AN365 type nuts.


Just wrapped the fitting ends with some plastic wrap to keep dirt out.




All done and the pedals move very smoothly.

The stainless steel braided hoses with the -4AN fittings should be here in a week or so. Once that arrives I’ll have to cut and build the hoses to fit.


Control Stick Wiring

Time: 2 hrs

Just did some wiring for the control sticks. I’ll be wiring in pitch trim, flaps, PTT, and an auto-pilot disconnect to the pilot and co-pilot sticks so I did a main run that splits to each stick (the wires were run a while ago). I previously just did butt splices, and wrapped it with some silicone tape, but I didn’t like how it came out. Even though this part will probably never be disconnected I decided to use a connector to make the splice look a bit better. I found MX150 molex connectors (also available in a sealed version) that didn’t cost much (maybe $3-4 per connector for the unsealed version). These are used on the VPX electronic circuit breaker system that I will be using, so now I have the crimper and some pins for it as well. The crimper does a good job of crimping the conductor portion of the pin, but not so great on the part that crimps onto the insulation so I little manual crimping is needed to tighten it up. Also I had crimped the male pins just fine, but when it came time to crimp the female side the pins didn’t fit into the crimper. I had to lightly file the block that holds them… just to remove some burrs. Gotta love the fine craftsmanship of Chinese made products.


Here’s the selection of parts I purchased, The crimper, some 8 and 12 pin connectors and the male/female pins. There is one set of pins for 20-16AWG and another for 22 AWG, There is an addition one for 14 AWG as well, but I didn’t purchase any of those.

Crimping is pretty easy, just insert the pin into the tool and lighting crimp. Insert the wire and crimp. You can’t see if the wire is pushed in enough or too little so I just pushed the wire in until it stopped (insulation hitting the next set of crimp tabs) and then just pulled the wire make a very small bit. This seemed to work pretty well.

Male and female ends done with heat shrink for strain relief. I think a thin walled heat shrink will work better in the future, it was a bit difficult to push the wire into the connector with the thick heat shrink. The ones that are labeled use a thinner heat shrink which was much easier.

One the thing to note about the MX250 connectors. It’s important to only insert the wires in until you hear one click. The locking of the pins is done my pushing down on the insert inside the connector until that clicks. This is pretty apparent on the female connector which comes with etc insert sticking out of the body of the connector. However for the male connector (pin side) it’s not as noticeable. When assembling the connector you won’t really see the pins sticking out of the connector which is the way it should be. If you pull the pins through with needle nose pliers that the connector can’t be snapped shut. If you do pull the pins through (like I did) all you need to do push them back a little and then the insert will snap when you push on it.



Connector all done with a little silicone tape to keep the wires secure from vibration.

More Rudder Pedal Work

Time: 1.25 hrs

Done today:

  • Riveted closing brackets for rudder pedals
  • Riveted the closing brackets for the shirt elevator control tube
  • Drilled out some missing holes in the luggage floor channel



When I was fitting the closing brackets a few days ago for the short elevator tube I noticed that it had tighten up quite a bit when adding in the left most closing bracket. I was going to remove some material from it but noticed if the rib was moved a little it freed it up quite a bit. So I decided to cleco on the rear fuselage rib 2 just to see how things would fit when it’s all together. Amazingly the control tube moved beautifully… glad I didn’t just start removing material. With this done it was quick work to rivet the closing brackets on. I did need to remove rib2 to get to the rivets though. I’ll drill and rivet the collars later after I install the push rods so I know its all lined up correctly.



When drilling out the 1/4″ (6mm) holes in the luggage channel I had noticed that I was also missing the holes for the rivets into that vertical piece. Since I had rib2 in place it was a good time to mark and drill these out as well.


That went pretty quick… all done with that.


img_3185Well the closing brackets are installed. The pedals still seem a bit tight. I’m thinking it will be OK, but I’m tempted to derivet them and try a few more things. Riveting them was a real pain because there isn’t a lot of room and all needed to be hand riveted. I hate hand pulling the larger rivets… very difficult to get the mandrel to break. I think the rudder pedals have been the worst part of the build so far. I spent quite a bit of time on them and nothing really seems to help with the tightness. The only thing I can think to do at this point is remove material from the black bushings themselves.


Rudder pedals

Time: 4.0 hrs

Things done:

  • Riveted rudder pedal base to floor
  • Riveted rudder pedal assembly together
  • Fitment of closing brackets



Most of the rivets in for the rudder pedals. I had previously did a fitment of the closing brackets prior to painting them, but noticed that I had probably took off too much. Fortunately I had an extra set from the non toe brakes set that came with the kit. Spent a lot of time trying to get the pedals to move freely. It seems pretty good but still a bit tight. I’ll have to work on this more tomorrow. I’m waiting on the Loctite for brake line fittings so I don’t want to install the brake cylinders yet.

Luggage floor

Time: 2.5 hrs

Things done:

  • Repainted rudder pedal base
  • Riveted supports to luggage floor
  • Installed sound proofing on luggage floor
  • Installed M3 rivnuts in luggage floor for inspection covers



Had to notice out one of the support so that the rivet for the parachute box will fit



Looks like it will fit now


Yup it fits now



Sound proofing ll done. I left the backing on the part where some bracket still need to get riveted.


Added the left over cut-out onto the back on the inspection covers.

Parachute Box

Time: 1.5 hrs

Things done today:

  • Riveted the gear channel uprights
  • Riveted the parachute box
  • Installed the AN3 rose gearing for the autopilot servo on the control stick tube



Parachute box all riveted. I noticed that I’m missing the rocket cover and I guess the rocket mount comes in the finishing kit. The manual says that the holes along the U shaped channel need M4 rivnuts. I was originally thinking that I would just wait until I get the cover to be sure, but it will be hard to ream them out if this is installed in the plane.



AN3 bearing loosely installed in the control stick tube.