Carlson Skunk Works

October 25th, 2016

AMF 14H MARANDA SN:1026 Making Sawdust October 25th, 2016

Posted by Roger in news

I keep putzing along and making progress. I am amazed that there are getting to be fewer and fewer “projects” to complete each day! I am starting to feel like one of these days the plane will be done.

So one of the unfinished items from last post was the seat and baggage area. Other than upholstery the seat and baggage area are now complete.



The back of the baggage area is a wooden frame with a 1mm plywood front. I added a couple of small wood blocks behind it on the window framing to keep it from falling backward into the fuselage. The whole assembly is easily removed to allow access to the elevator bellcrank and aileron cable ends.


Another item was the air intake which got crunched when the plane took a nose dive. This has been cleaned up, straightened and reinstalled.



I still need to safety wire two bolts and castle nuts toward the front of the assembly.

Before I can glue the plywood over the nose and dash I want to get the wiring and plumbing installed. The first order of business was to figure out how to activate the starter motor. The C-85 has a “pull starter” that requires a cable or rod to be run from an arm on the starter to the cockpit. Here is how I finally decided to do this:


I used a 3/16″ rod for my actuator and bent it at a right angle, then threaded the short end.


I eyeballed the anticipated run for the rod and drilled a hole in the firewall. The hole is large enough for a steel tube to extend through the firewall and act as a guide for the rod. Another hole was drilled in the instrument panel where I wanted the end of the rod to be accessible for starting the engine.



Of course, the rod had to go over the fuel tank and miss the filler neck, but everything just seemed to work out.

The next thing was how to actually pull the rod from inside the cabin. I had some left over pieces of Delrin, so I drilled a 1″ hole for my finger to go through and a hole for the rod to go through. I used the Dremel tool to shape the edges and make a notch to accommodate a nut and washer.


Next on the list was to decide how to control the throttle. Yesterday I spotted a throttle and mixture control quadrant on Barnstormers, so I contacted the seller and it should be shipped later today. I have quite a bit of Belden cable left from the trim control, so I started working on running some of that.




This looks like it will work out quite nicely! The next issue is how to mount the throttle quadrant assembly? So I added a piece of wood reinforcement between the fuel tank restraint and the instrument panel. I won’t be able to complete the installation until I have the throttle quadrant, but this is a good start.



As long as I have good access to things, I decided to complete the fuel gauge sender installation. I had the base of the sender in place on the fuel tank just to keep dirt out, but I needed to install the float. Following the instructions that came with the unit was pretty easy. The hard part was getting the assembled unit into the fuel tank. I ended up loosening the sender rheostat so it could slide down the support and fit through the hole. Then I could slide it back into place and tighten the screws to secure it. The other surprise was that the float now sits toward the side of the tank rather than toward the center of it. If you use one of these, be sure to take into account which way the float will extend from the support before you weld the mounting ring to your tank. The holes in the mounting ring do not allow for multiple positions of the sender!

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