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  #1  
Old 06-27-2022, 11:47 AM
Steve Crewdog's Avatar
Steve Crewdog Steve Crewdog is offline
 
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Default Aircraft vs non-aircraft parts: when is it ok?

We all joke about getting supplies from the National Aircraft Parts Association (NAPA auto parts store), but while working on my avionics lately I've been using a mix of Adel clamps from Home Depot and ACS (you never have the right part at 9am on Saturday morning with the rest of the weekend scheduled and free for working on the plane, and I am planning on going back over and replacing the HD clamps with ones from ACS later.).

I'd never use a non-aircraft rated part in a critical area such as the engine compartment, but as I fought to secure an ACS Adel clamp in a difficult location I thought about the 1" HD clamp sitting on the bench that had far less resistance and would be far easier to use.


So what do you think? When, or would it ever be, ok to use an a non-aircraft vs aircraft rated part in an aircraft?
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Last edited by Steve Crewdog : 06-27-2022 at 12:04 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-27-2022, 11:56 AM
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Mel Mel is offline
 
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Location: Dallas area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crewdog View Post
We all joke about getting supplies from the National Aircraft Parts Association (NAPA auto parts store), but while working on my avionics lately I've been using a mix of Adel clamps from Home Depot and ACS (you never have the right part at 9am on Saturday morning with the rest of the weekend scheduled and free for working on the plane.). I'd never use a non-aircraft rated part in a critical area such as the engine compartment, but as I fought to secure an ACS Adel clamp in a difficult location I thought about the 1" HD clamp sitting on the bench that had far less resistance and would be far easier to use.
So what do you think? When would it be ok to use an a non-aircraft vs aircraft rated part in an aircraft?
That decision is strictly up to you. If it is in question, then I suggest you not use that particular part.
I would further strongly suggest that you point out any "hardware store parts" to your inspector and let him/her make a decision.
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  #3  
Old 06-27-2022, 12:15 PM
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rv8ch rv8ch is offline
 
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While a lot of HD and ebay parts look like the equivalent, sometimes (not always) they are made of inferior materials, and can fail when exposed to vibration or heat or fire.

I find it's always useful to ask myself the question "what happens when this fails at the worst possible time?"

Here's an example where I used some components from a hardware store.

http://www.rv8.ch/heat-shield-home-made/

Click image for larger version

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So far it's holding up well.
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  #4  
Old 06-27-2022, 12:19 PM
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Untainted123 Untainted123 is offline
 
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Location: Azle, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crewdog View Post
I'd never use a non-aircraft rated part in a critical area such as the engine compartment, but as I fought to secure an ACS Adel clamp in a difficult location I thought about the 1" HD clamp sitting on the bench that had far less resistance and would be far easier to use.
Reminder to use the right clamp in the right place. "Far less resistance" probably means it is made of a weaker material. Refer to the "Everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask" handy guide to make sure you are using an appropriately rated clamp in critical areas.

When using anything non-aviation intended, I always try to ask myself "If this fails, will it be an annoyance, ruin my day, or will it kill me". So you if are stacking zip ties together to hold your cup holder in just the right spot, that's probably ok. If you are using a stack of zip ties to hold the fuel line off the muffler, might want to reconsider that approach...
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  #5  
Old 06-27-2022, 01:09 PM
harleyl harleyl is offline
 
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Location: Lower Alabama
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Default Cracked Rubber

I had a handful of never used Adel clamps from HD that sat in my hardware bins for 3 or 4 years. The rubber dried out and cracked on all of them within a couple of years. My .02.
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  #6  
Old 06-27-2022, 02:45 PM
coffeeguy coffeeguy is offline
 
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We were in a Chipotle last evening kind of late and the chairs were stacked upside down on top of the tables. The metal legs of the chair were secured to the wooden seats with adel style clamps. I was tempted to look for the ms number. My next thought was, poor soul that put those together.
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  #7  
Old 06-27-2022, 02:45 PM
rocketman1988 rocketman1988 is offline
 
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Default ...and

Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyl View Post
I had a handful of never used Adel clamps from HD that sat in my hardware bins for 3 or 4 years. The rubber dried out and cracked on all of them within a couple of years. My .02.
For another data point, I have a box of misc Adel clamps that my Dad got from a rep 40 years ago...there are black and silicone red clamps as well as some of the solid white coating (unknown type). They all seem to be useable with no apparent cracking or splitting. I will say that the rubber is a bit harder when compared with a new Adel...
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  #8  
Old 06-27-2022, 03:00 PM
AviatorJ AviatorJ is offline
 
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I used the aircraft grade stuff on anything I deemed critical... engine compartment, control surfaces, etc.

I used Ace Hardware stainless screws and bolts for things I didn't feel were critical... interior, panels, even wheelpants. In 300 hours of flying I think I've lost maybe 4 screws out of the wheel pants, mainly because I don't over tighten them.
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  #9  
Old 06-27-2022, 03:02 PM
bellamy bellamy is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 17
Default Adel clamp tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeeguy View Post
We were in a Chipotle last evening kind of late and the chairs were stacked upside down on top of the tables. The metal legs of the chair were secured to the wooden seats with adel style clamps. I was tempted to look for the ms number. My next thought was, poor soul that put those together.
I just bought a new tool that made it really quick and easy to install eight Adel (MS, not HD) clamps: SMA Tools Cushioned Clamp Installation Pliers
It seems quite a few companies distribute them, including Wicks on Amazon with one day free delivery.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076PSC658...roduct_details

I ended up using the pliers and awl to close the clamp and align the two mounting holes. Then I inserted a screw, released the pliers and was able to move the clamp to position it so I could start the screw in a nutplate.

I also bought a Handee Clamp which looks like it will work with Adel clamps. I think the SMA tool will be quicker and I received it first so I haven't tried the Handee clamp with Adel clamps. I did use the Handee Clamp to start a nut in a hard to reach spot.
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  #10  
Old 06-27-2022, 08:52 PM
David Z David Z is offline
 
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Location: Thunder Bay Ontario
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I've used non-aviation parts where there doesn't seem to be an aviation equivalent and I can't find a way to use aviation specific parts. I'm talking about foam padding and other non-critical components. Recently I was looking at fuel fittings from Jegs or Summit Racing, but went a different direction (literally?). Even then, I was paying attention to quality and they were still "AN" style fittings, 37* flares and all.

Non-aviation paint is pretty common.
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