HP-24 Project

Update 3 November 2003: Packing Heat!

This weekend I finally started to shake off the fatigue that settled in during my bout with the flu the weekend before. I was really starting to worry that the worn-out feeling would never leave, but when Saturday morning dawned I was up and in motion. I didn't get much done on the wing plugs, but I did make some progress towards creating a habitable environment where I can work on them.

On Saturday, I spend the morning locating the outlet vent and installing the ceiling hangers for the unit heater, which I should be installing next weekend.

I took Saturday afternoon off to pull the engine out of my Subaru snow car for what I thought would be a routine clutch change. Unfortunately, it turns out that the bad-clutch feel was actually because the spherical pivot stud for the throwout arm had broken off the bell housing. So instead of putting the engine back in that night, I ended up on parts hold needing a new pivot stud and two new throwout bearing clips. I also needed to remove the remains of the old pivot stud from the bell housing.

Sunday morning, a trip to Kragen Auto yielded a new EZ-out set and some cheap Ti-coated drills. The broken stud yielded to logic and the ministrations of a tool-bearing mammal.

Furthermore, I can actually fix the old pivot stud on the lathe by drilling and tapping it for a plain threaded stud of the same size and pitch, and I may do that. But since I have to go to the dealer anyway to get the wire clips, I'll probably just get a new pivot stud while I'm there. Hopefully, the engine will go back in next weekend.

One other thing I did on Sunday morning was to cleco together the unriveted parts of the left wing spar of the old HP-18k project, and stow them away in the rafters of my garage. In rearranging the spars so both would fit, I had to get down the finished right spar. Man, that thing was heavy - it must've weighed about 60 lbs. By comparison, the equivalent part of the HP-24 weighs about 16 lbs. As much as I like aluminum construction, there are some aspects of it that I'm not going to miss.

On Sunday afternoon, I came back to the shop and cut a preliminary vent opening through the wall, and used that to pass through an extension cord to get power on the back side of the building. That let me use a power drill to bore some 1-3/8" holes to route the gas lines through. Then I re-plumbed the propane pipes on the back of the building (which also houses two other shops and an auto repair business) to go only to my shop. When I was done, I had the old propane manifold capped off, and new pipes installed to the heater location, with a gas shut-off valve installed. So now I'm ready for the gas company to do the leak-check and bring in the tank.

What was funny, except not in a ha-ha sort of way, how expensive the heater installation is getting to be. It seems that it takes about 25 or 30 odd little items of hardware, and ten or fifteen feet each of various types of rod, pipe, tubing, wire and conduit, and by the time you leave the hardware store for the fourth or fifth time your wallet is about $120 lighter. And one time, I flashed my Ace Hardware discount card, and the price actually went up two dollars. That one took some software skills to beat down.

Anyhow, this year, winter arrived in the Sierra with a bang. Last weekend, the ski lifts were running T-shirt clad mountain bikers up the hill. This weekend, temperatures reached the high 50s, and the lifts were carrying up the first skiers and 'boarders. It's gonna be nice having a heated shop to carry on the Work in.

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page updated 3 November 2003 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2003 HP Aircraft, LLC