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Old 02-19-2021, 09:34 AM
JackinMichigan's Avatar
JackinMichigan JackinMichigan is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Canton, MI
Posts: 237
Default Fuel leak indicators

Currently doing my annual. We've lined the center tunnel with black sound-deadening foam, and that coupled with the blue anodized fuel fittings makes searching for fuel leaks neigh-on impossible with just a flashlight and a pair of eyeballs. I can neither see nor smell anything out of the ordinary.

I thought of lining the tunnel floor with a couple of white paper towels so at the next annual I could see leaks much better, but instantly rejected that as a fire hazard (we all know how hot that tunnel can get).

Trying to come up with a better way to do this. Suggestions anyone?
Jack and Dave Groat, father and son
RV-10 N1861G
Build #41389, started Oct 2012
Current status: 1st Flight 11/10/17
50 hour oil change: 8/29/19
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Old 02-19-2021, 10:11 AM
Ron B. Ron B. is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,490

You're worried about the paper towel fire hazard but not the foam?
Thanks Ron
RV-14 Flying
AirCam flying
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Old 02-19-2021, 02:25 PM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,991

Yank the foam and paint the tunnel white.
Mike Rettig
EAA Chapter 301
VAF Dues Current
RV-10 - Working on engine / prop installation
F-14 (Pedal Plane - Daughter's Project) "Flying"
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Old 02-20-2021, 10:31 AM
lr172 lr172 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 5,783

Originally Posted by Ron B. View Post
You're worried about the paper towel fire hazard but not the foam?

I would much rather have 2 sheets of paper towel burn than all of that black foam. WAY less toxic. Also, if you are leaking fuel in there, I would suggest that your fire risk is much higher than paper towels. Fuel will light much easier than paper.

Either way, the risk is low. If you have a source of heat that can spontaneously ignite a paper towel in your tunnel, you have much bigger problems than the fumes from the paper towels.

Just one mans opinion.

N64LR - RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
N11LR - RV-10, Flying as of 12/2019
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Old 02-20-2021, 01:49 PM
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9GT 9GT is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern Michigan
Posts: 2,079

I wrapped the fuel fitting joints with a small piece of white paper towel and scotch taped them in place. Opened them up every time I had the tunnel cover off to check and verify no blue stains from a leak and replaced them. Like mentioned, you have bigger issues if you have a fuel fire in the tunnel than a couple small pieced of paper.
David C.
Howell, MI
RV-10: #41686 Under Construction
RV-9A: #90949 Under Construction
RV-10: #40637 Completed/Sold 2016
Cozy MKIV:#656 Completed/Sold 2007
"Donor Exempt" but donated through Dec. 2021
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Old 02-20-2021, 02:19 PM
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Roadjunkie1 Roadjunkie1 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Erie, Colorado
Posts: 91

Find the thread on foam insulation reacting with the aluminum tunnel and floorboards and, well, for lack of a better term, rotting them away! The pictures looked VERY scary.
RV-4 2860
1946 C-90 J-3 Cub
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Old 02-20-2021, 04:43 PM
Ralph Inkster Ralph Inkster is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 1,223

My method of checking for fuel leaks at fittings is to wrap my (clean dry) finger around the B nut and check for dampness, I don't solely rely on visual cues. & is my practice to touch every fitting during annuals, & usually every time the cowling comes off too.
built a few RVs, rebuilt a few more, hot rodded more, & maintained/updated a big bunch more
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