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  #1  
Old 02-25-2021, 01:18 PM
AeroDog AeroDog is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New London, NC (near Charlotte), Longmont, CO
Posts: 284
Default Engine before avionics?

I have bought and started installing the firewall-forward kit before purchasing the avionics kit. Right away I see that I'm supposed to connect wiring to parts from the avionics kit since the prescribed build order has avionics before engine. I've read that others have done this, but I'm wondering if building out of order will present much of a problem. Any opinions or advice will be welcomed.

Jerre
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2021, 04:37 PM
DaveWelch DaveWelch is offline
 
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Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 448
Default

In my view it depends on your “build speed”, which will determine any “risk” that the avionics (if purchased and installed first) might advance/evolve/improve while you hang the engine.
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2021, 09:00 PM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 2,979
Default

When I bought my airframe kits at OSH in 2010 the lady in the booth said, I dont think Ive ever sold all the kits at once. At the time I realized continuing improvements would complicate my build trying to retrofit them.

My friend bought his empennage kit at the same time and is still building. Hes dealing with A LOT of changes!
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  #4  
Old 02-26-2021, 07:33 AM
John-G John-G is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 742
Default

Jerre,

I suggest purchasing the avionics last and try to time the purchase date with the expected lead time for the avionics so you won't find your project stalled.

New products/features are always coming down the pipe. Just since I've built my RV-12 Dynon introduced the HDX as an upgraded Skyview, introduced the AP and Knobs panels, came out with the ADSB-470 which was then upgraded to the ADSB-472 for dual-band, the GPS-250 antenna was upgraded to a GPS-2020 so ADSB would be 2020 compliant and Garmin introduced the GTR 200 which was later upgraded for Bluetooth support as the GTR 200B.

One thing to remember ... in the world of electronics, the technology advancement is at such an accelerated pace, the item is virtually obsolete the day you receive it ... just a fact. Wait as long as you can to potentially benefit from upgrades, new features or new products.
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Last edited by John-G : 02-26-2021 at 08:03 AM.
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  #5  
Old 02-26-2021, 07:58 AM
funflying funflying is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: arvada, co
Posts: 477
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Jerre
I was one of those builders between Dynon D180 and Skyview. I waited till the conversion work was completed and moved on with firewall forward. There were no downside to do this for me, but I do recall having to pay attention to those instructions involving what I would receive later in the avionics kit.
Sometimes it was wiring from the engine compartment to the avionics bay that had to be tagged for later, or wiring that should have been available from the avionics bay. I just put tags and notes to get caught up once the Skyview avionics package was available.
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  #6  
Old 02-26-2021, 09:38 AM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sidney, BC, Canada
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The engine technology isn't going to progress anywhere near as fast as the avionics are. Engine first, Avionics about a picosecond before you want to hit the starter for the first time if you want to have the latest hardware in your panel.
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2021, 10:35 AM
JwWright57 JwWright57 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 207
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AeroDog View Post
I have bought and started installing the firewall-forward kit before purchasing the avionics kit. Right away I see that I'm supposed to connect wiring to parts from the avionics kit since the prescribed build order has avionics before engine. I've read that others have done this, but I'm wondering if building out of order will present much of a problem. Any opinions or advice will be welcomed.

Jerre
No problem at all Jerre. There will be a few steps in either the avionics or powerplant build where you will need the other. Just tag those steps for later on.
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  #8  
Old 02-26-2021, 07:37 PM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 2,979
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Rob has a good point on evolution of avionics versus engine. Sometimes I wish I had waited for the Skyview, but on the other hand I had a mature design in the last of the D-180s and my build was very straightforward without trying to figure out new mounting for the AHRS and how to interface the D-180 harness to the Skyview. All certainly possible, but it would have slowed me down. As an old guy running out the clock in retirement Id rather fly than build!😝
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2021, 09:08 AM
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Tony_T Tony_T is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lacey, WA
Posts: 1,397
Default Easier

I think it might even be easier to install avionics after the firewall forward kit. All the sensor positions and forward harnesses will be there and eliminate any confusion about best routing, etc. I have some experience with that as I completely changed avionics on a flying -12. That was a D180 to Skyview upgrade.
The search function is not finding my old thread on this so I'll include a link in case anyone is still contemplating such a change.
https://vansairforce.net/community/s...d.php?t=142898

My experience and comments relate to the legacy 12 and not the Super 12.
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2021, 03:13 PM
dsm8 dsm8 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Madison CT
Posts: 74
Default Engine Before Avionics

I had a very similar question with respect to installing the cowl prior to hanging the engine. I agree with all the advice given, delay the purchase of the avionics and complete the engine installation unless you can complete the project over the next couple of months.

If financing is an issue talk to your bank about the timing of the purchase and the issues. I have found that institutions such as Pilot Bank will work with the builder and the kit company to make things work out.
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