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YellowJacket RV9 12-29-2012 04:16 PM

Elevator Horn alignment
Hi all,

From searching and reading Smitty's log, I see that I am not the first person to realize that the e-902 and e-906 elevator spar and rib are pre-drilled for the wd-605 horn. However, when I test fit everything together (ie I have not yet riveted e-902 to e-906), the holes in wd-605 and e-906 are about 1 hole width off. I have cleco'd the horn to the spar, and then hold the rib in place to check alignment. I am hesitant to rivet the rib and spar together yet before I am sure that they will fit the horn. Perhaps riveting e-906 will compress the flange enough that it will bring the holes together but I doubt it. Has anybody else run into this? It would almost be easier if e-906 was NOT pre-drilled here.

Planning on emailing Vans but thought I may get some advice here before the weekend is over.


Mel 12-29-2012 05:05 PM

Just looking at the picture, it appears that the forward flange of the rib may not be sufficiently bent. Additional bending of the flange will allow the rib to move forward slightly.

YellowJacket RV9 12-29-2012 05:25 PM

Bending the flange a bit more did help line things up a little, I am now only about 1/2 hole width off at most. Looks like once things are snugged up and riveted the alignment should be just about right, I hope. Thanks for the tip.

Dex 12-30-2012 02:20 AM

how about with the skins in place?
Have you tried the alignment with the skins in place too? Just thinking the skins might also force things into alignment better (ie: they might adjust the flange even more than you have already).

RetiredRacer 12-30-2012 09:37 PM

I don't remember this being a problem with my build
.....But then that was a couple of years ago and at my age my memory is not that good :D

If I had that problem during the build I would use cleco's (in every hole) installed in a sequence to compress the components until everything lined up. Sometimes changing the sequence of installing the cleco's would do the job.

Hoping my 2 cents is of some help.

mvidalr 12-30-2012 11:39 PM

A little tweaking might do

Originally Posted by RetiredRacer (Post 729725)
If I had that problem during the build I would use cleco's (in every hole) installed in a sequence to compress the components until everything lined up. Sometimes changing the sequence of installing the cleco's would do the job.

I agree. Sometimes the parts right after stripping them off the blue vynil don't line up perfectly. Some tweaking and handling, along with proper deburring and/or filing do the rest of the job. Some other times a little extra pressure in some areas will help them allign.

If they still won't fit nicely, Van's will most likely help you further, and in most cases, replace the damaged or defective parts.

Sometimes mechanical production is not as perfect as we all wish it to be. Van's is aware of this, and will definitely replace a part rather than compromising somebody's safety :)

Rupester 12-31-2012 10:48 AM

More agreement here ...
... when it came to that point in the HS assembly, the more skins, spars, and ribs I had clecoed, the better EVERYthing fit. IIRC, the holes for the elevator horns did end up pretty snug, but I was able to get clecoes in all them them. My advice is to keep massaging and "convincing" the recalcitrant pieces .... eventually the horns will line up.

YellowJacket RV9 12-31-2012 01:01 PM

Thanks everybody. By clecoing to the horn first and then working the assembly onto the spar I am getting pretty close. Have not had time to try with the skin on but I'm hoping that makes the last bit of difference. If not I'll give vans a call later this week. Thanks!


JENSWAY 01-04-2013 07:21 AM

Elbow grease!
I remember this was a tight fit. I inserted the cleco's into all the holes. This aligned the horn to the predrilled holes...

I don't know how to upload the image from my hard drive...:confused:

YellowJacket RV9 01-09-2013 06:00 PM

[Update - I think I've finally got it. I will describe how I did it in case anybody else has the same issue.] First off, I botched the first spar doing the countersinking, so I am on my second spar and rib. Still had the same hole alignment issue. I tried riveting the spar and rib together as per instructions, still no luck, even with the skins all cleco'd on. So I carefully drilled out the spar to rib rivets, and the I used my sheet metal bender to bend the flange of the rib beyond the normal angle, ie, I overbent it. Then I was able to cleco the horn first to the rib, and then wedge the assembly onto the spar, wedging the spar between the horn and the rib. Now all the holes line up, but the flange of the rib is bent up and away from the spar, which would inhibit proper riveting. So I cut the end of a large dowel at an angle and used a mallet and the dowel to slowly tap the flange of the rib down flat onto the spar. Have not quite got it flat yet but almost. Hopefully this will be the difference in making everything line up.


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