Cracked step removal

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bruceh
Class D
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:11 pm
Location: Ramona, CA
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Cracked step removal

Post by bruceh »

I spent all day Sunday ripping out my baggage floors to be able to get my steps removed. The passenger side had the dreaded crack. The fabricator of these steps for Van's now has a reinforcement available for retrofit. I decided to get these done before I get my plane painted.

All of the seats come out, then the back bulkhead covers. You have to drill out a bunch of nutplates along the tunnel and aft end of the floor. Even the side covers have to come out. I managed to leave the flaps attached, but the plastic blocks that hold the weldment for the flap arms had to come out. I bought a nifty pop rivet removal drill accessory. Once I got it all dialed in for the correct depth, it was pretty easy to drill out all of the pop rivets on the baggage floor. I have a similar attachment for drilling out the regular rivets on the outside flange of the steps. I had put some proseal under the step flange and that was a real bear to free up once I got the rivets all removed. I was able to slowly wedge up the flange and then I used my thin metal ruler to separate the rest of the proseal. I had bought some "poly-gone" goo which removes proseal, and it worked very well. Today, I got out to the hangar and cleaned up the rest of the primer off of the steps. My old hangar across the field has a sand blasting cabinet that I used to fully blast off all of the old paint and proseal on the step weldments. I can't wait to get these fixed, and back on the airplane. I guess I'll start my "annual" this week, since the plane is already mostly torn apart.

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Passenger side done.

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Rivets on the step flange all drilled out.

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Proseal under here. What was I thinking?

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Pilot side done.
Bruce Hill
RV-9A N5771H flying over 700 hours!
http://www.overthehills.com/RV-9A-Project
APRS Tracking: http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=11&call=a ... tail=21600
EAA Tech Counselor

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bruceh
Class D
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:11 pm
Location: Ramona, CA
Contact:

Re: Cracked step removal

Post by bruceh »

I didn't think this job would take a month, but it did. Mostly from me having to take two business trips back to back weeks.

I got the steps back, then had some other projects to take up my time on the weekend I was back home.

The reinforcements look great. Much stronger than the original design.

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I bought some two part epoxy primer in a spray can to prime them. The original primer that I had used wasn't holding up and I already had some rust spots. I re-sandblasted the steps and layed on a couple of coats. The next day I put in about 8 hours trying to get everything riveted back in place. My daughter ran the rivet gun while I bucked on the steps.

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The difficult part was getting all of the nutplates back on the baggage floors. I had to completely disconnect the flaps and actuator to get to some of the nutplates. I had to come back today and finish up the job and get the flaps reinstalled. It took another 4 hours of work to reinstall all of the covers and get the interior back installed. I had taken off the cowling to clean up the ever-leaking oil from the nose seal. I took her up for a couple of laps around the pattern and it is really good to be back in the air after a month.
Bruce Hill
RV-9A N5771H flying over 700 hours!
http://www.overthehills.com/RV-9A-Project
APRS Tracking: http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=11&call=a ... tail=21600
EAA Tech Counselor

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