1. I completed the mod solo with no problems. Just took time.
2. Be sure to tape the fuselage in the vicinity of the stabilator leading edge to avoid scratches.
3. I used two adjustable sawhorses and some closed cell flexible packing foam pieces to support the stabilator and to shim the stabilator to precisely align the mounting brackets and bearings.
4. A couple of sacrificial AN4 bolts with the threads removed and shaped into a bullet are helpful when reinstalling and to temporally mount the stabilator for balancing.
5. Remove the trim motor tray and apparatus. I just let mine hang on the cable off to the side. You might be able to work around it if left attached to the bulkhead, but why suffer the aggravation.
6. Upon initial removal, note the position of the PITA (MIL SPEC term) washers you used in original assembly. These are the glued washers, thick and thin, used to space the stabilator and ensure no end play. They will fall off! Fortunately, I also wrote a note in the plans as to which ones I used and where.
7. I didn’t weigh the kit before assembly. Should have in order to “ballpark” the amount of weight I’d eventually remove from the counterbalance weights. Account for the long bolts.
8. Balance the stabilator, it’s just not that hard and lets you precisely determine the amount of weight to remove from the weights. Follow the KIA. FOLLOW THE KIA.
9. Don’t forget to reinstall the trim tray and REST the actuator arm on the bolt per the KIA. It won't work if the arm is connected. The weight of the arm is not insignificant – 3 oz by my measurements.
10. I drilled three 3/8 holes in the lead counterbalance weight to achieve the reduction indicated by the procedure in the KIA. I drilled out the existing/unused bolt hole and one above and below that area. On the last one, I was carefully weighing the shavings until I achieved the desired reduction. The third hole did not extend all the way through before I got there.
11. One head scratcher. Checking the final balance, I found the stabilator to hold position as long as the trim arm rod end was perfectly positioned on top of the retaining bolt. Slightly off that position the stabilator would slowly settle forward or aft. In other words, the rod end would “push” the stabilator if off center. I reposition the rod end with the trim motor to confirm the stabilator balanced in any position as long as it was top dead center on the bolt.
12. Lastly, go slow and gentle when positioning the stabilator when reinstalling. Seemed easier than when I did it originally. Didn’t knock of any washers!
13. For those who think installing the mod with the stabilator attached in order to avoid the hassle and PITA washers, think again. It would take at least three trips into “the hole” and you’d need a helper to remove/reinstall the counterweight bar from the stabilator spar. For the really adventurous among you who might think you can perform the entire mod (fitting the braces and reducing the weights) from inside the tail cone, seek counseling. At the very least, file a flight plan so your loved ones know where to find you.