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(21) Fuel Tank ( Mike)

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:06 pm
by planecrazzzy
Hey Guys,
I got a sheet of 5052 - .05 Aluminum.... ( About $60 bucks )

I'm ready to start fitting a tank in this Bird... I'll be extending it larger than the prints show....

It starts with a mark on the Firewall.... I put plywood under my heels.... feet on the rudder pedals...

and with a little clearance... mark the firewall... Now I have one dimension of the tank...

Next , I cut a pattern... and double checked it to my feet...

This was a good start... I have bulged the tank like the Tailwind guys do....

Later , I'll use this template to use the last few inches of material to form the "Upper" extension I'm planning to add...( Jim C's mod )
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Gotta Fly...

Re: Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:22 pm
by planecrazzzy
Hey Guys,
My shear won't cut a stock 4 X 8 sheet... So I gotta whittle off a piece I can handle...

This Nibbler was cheap and works great for this.... it doesn't warp the material...

I usually stand up the sheet on milk crates... clamp my straight edge on ( Pretty tight )

and a drip a little oil in the path being cut....

One hand on the tool and one hand holding the shop vac... I make the cut....
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The shop vac is important to me.... I got one of those little half moons in my foot , in the house....

I don't wanna be tracking THOSE in the house anymore !!!!
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I put a bend in the beginning just for strength....and it will help during welding...

Re: Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:30 pm
by planecrazzzy
Now the piece is ready to be rolled... I layed out the area this is needed , and drew lines across the sheet...

this will help keep things "Square"... in a curved sorta way....
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After , the pattern was used to determine where to bend the extra material ( Using the full 48 inches )
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Then , time to slip the tank in place.... With it in position... I marked how "high" I wanted the upper extension to be....

Then , back to the brake to make the bend....
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. Gotta Fly...
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Re: Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:38 pm
by planecrazzzy
This three in one tool is paying for it's self...

Actually , it could be sold after the project , and re coupe most of the money.... I'll keep mine

It's the 40"..... anything less , wouldn't do the job.... anything more , cost too damn much...

Re: Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:18 pm
by planecrazzzy
Hey Guys ,
If I did it again.... I'd do it different... I tacked the center baffle in place... I should have had the end caps in place first...

I didn't realize how much this thin Aluminum would warp... Aluminum is not my strong suite ....Especially thin stuff...

I made my end caps... I put three bead lines in them... to stop "oil Canning"...

and I used the beader to roll the edge... this saved making a plywood plug and beating the edges over....

I still had to tap the edges... but not much ...

When I went to put the end caps on... I had to pull on the main tank pretty good...

When I started doing the other side... it was "off" too much.... I had to cut a tack loose from the center baffle...

But I ended up with both caps "on" and they are tack welded...
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Gotta Fly...
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Re: Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:22 pm
by planecrazzzy
mo pix

Re: Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:29 pm
by planecrazzzy
Hey Guys ,
At this point , I tapped the caps with a rubber hammer , bowing them "out" slightly...

After I have a root pass around everything.... I'll add a cover pass....

But for now , I want to get the tank pieces all together...

I have some trimming to do , and pieces to make...

The parts I ordered for the tank will be here in a couple of days...
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Gotta Fly...
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Re: Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:51 am
by planecrazzzy
Using the Nibbler with a vacuum hose taped on it .... it grabs the little half moons before they go flying...

I put a drop of oil about every 6 inches... and clamp the straight edge tight.
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This is the last piece to seal the tank...
Gotta Fly...
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Re: Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:55 am
by planecrazzzy
Using the "Beader" , I put a step in the edge that will tuck under the top flat piece of aluminum on the tank...

This will support it better...
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Gotta Fly...
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Re: Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:14 am
by planecrazzzy
Hey Guys,
I got the last piece drilled and deburred...

I'll wait on welding for now... I'll be getting my parts later today... I need to make sure my "sender" arm has room...

Also , I need to cut a hole , weld a plate and Flange on the bottom for the fuel line , So there's some clean up that's needed...

I replaced the cleco's that were close to the firewall with #6 screws , These will hold it temporary while I check "fit-up"

and lay-out of the tank straps.... Looks like about 4 inches from the end... Can't go much more than that or it'll bow the cross tube...
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Gotta Fly...
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Re: Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:45 pm
by planecrazzzy
I got my parts from Aircraft Spruce today...

First I worked on mounting the Sender...

I picked a spot that I thought was best... Passenger side , and in an area that is furthest from welding...

Maybe the surface will stay flat...

Something I didn't realize... the five bolt pattern is NOT even.... Something isn't symmetrical...

I didn't find out until I went to put the gasket in place , to trace the center hole...

Some how , I lucked out.... it was like I wanted it...

I have full stroke , empty to full
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Gotta Fly...
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Re: Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:46 pm
by planecrazzzy
I also got the plate and flange welded today...
Gotta Fly...
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Re: Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:51 pm
by planecrazzzy
Hey Guys,
I finished welding the Tank.... Although , I still need to weld the "Filler" and vent tube on it...

But First... I need to test it... I put the sender in place ( to seal the hole )

and I put a ball valve at the bottom... I added air until I heard a "pop"

That didn't take long... I didn't over pressure the tank...

I used Palmolive soap ( Diluted ) to spray it down and look for leaks...

I found two... one was on an edge... I should have seen it...

The other was a tiny spot at the outlet...

I got them both re welded... and tested it again... No Leaks....

I left the air in the tank overnight... it held...

I'll be making the straps to hold the tank in place...

After I get the filler tube welded and the flush cap in the windshield... I'll fill it with water...
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Also , Since the tank is so big.... I took back a little by Denting in the "Toe Area" with a Ball peen hammer...
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Now I have plenty of room... Also , This helps "Funnel" the last fuel towards the outlet...
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Gotta Fly...
Mike & "Jaz" in MN
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Re: (21) Fuel Tank ( Mike)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:51 am
by planecrazzzy
Hey Guys,
Ok... Lets mount this thing...

I changed the way the straps are normally done.... and it doesn't look like I need straps going over the top of the tank...

The "step" I formed in the aluminum tank, keeps it from rising when tightened...

I used Stainless steel straps... one inch wide... ( it fits the Rubber channel I bought from ACS )

and I made the front straps so they will "unbolt"...

Another "mod"... the tube that the threaded rod goes through was welded on a plate first..

This will spread out the load of my "Heavier" than stock Tank....

Another note... I was going to put the straps towards the inside a little more...

But denting in the bottom of the tank in the toe area , made me decide to keep the straps towards the outside....

otherwise they interfere with the extra toe room....
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Here's some pix...
Gotta Fly...
Mike & "Jaz" in MN
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Re: (21) Fuel Tank ( Mike)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:04 am
by planecrazzzy
mo pix