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  #1  
Old 05-20-2022, 01:47 PM
Mile High Relic Mile High Relic is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Arvada, Colorado
Posts: 325
Default F-603, F-6103 or F-703

I'm in the planning stages (for many months) of a panel upgrade in my RV6.

In a thread on replacement panels from a couple months ago, Paul Dye and Mike Starkey recommended that a DIY approach was well worth it, and that it wasn't necessary to hire out the panel cutting to someone else. I'm going to give it a try. I may order an extra blank or two though...

I'm not sure which panel blank I need. The plane currently has an F-603 panel, which is 11" tall. I want to keep that format. Searching F-603 on the Van's site only yields the F-6103 OVSZ. Per the description, F-6103 OVSZ can be used in the 6, 7 and 9 tip-ups, and measures 14"x42", but has a (confusing) Q&A response stating it is 11"x42" (see the picture).

The F-703 description only shows the 7 and 9 tip ups.

Can I use the F-703 in a tip-up RV6?

I've been told some trimming/shaping is required no matter what I get, but it seems like if the F-6103 OVSZ works in the 6, 7 and 9, then F-703 would too.

I'm planning to give Vans a call later today, but thought someone here might be able to help.
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Last edited by Mile High Relic : 05-21-2022 at 04:34 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2022, 04:24 PM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,309
Default

Buy the F-6103 OVSZ. That is the only one they keep in stock for the -6 anymore. It is 14" tall. Just cut away what you don't need. The panel for the -7 will not work.

Side note, if you do have the panel cut for your 6, make it is a bit oversized. I have yet to design two -6 panels that were the exact same shape. Unlike the newer models, they are all a little different. Plan to file-to-fit.
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Colin P.
RV-6A #20603
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  #3  
Old 05-21-2022, 11:44 AM
rv6n6r's Avatar
rv6n6r rv6n6r is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Gearhart Oregon
Posts: 503
Default

Nice to see some people still cutting their own panels.
One tip: make a dummy panel from .025 .032 AL. That was worthwhile to me not only to test fit things for fit but also check the ergonomics.
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RV-6 / O-360 / CS, 1600+ hrs, 1st flight Sept. 1999
Outstanding Workmanship OSH 2000, Craftsmanship award AWO 2000
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Last edited by rv6n6r : 05-22-2022 at 02:26 PM.
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  #4  
Old 05-21-2022, 04:22 PM
Ralph Inkster Ralph Inkster is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 1,795
Default

Yes, go F6103 OVSC, more material is always a good starting point, & its wide enough to accommodate either slider or tip up, what ever your flavor.

Strip down your old panel & use it as a template for trimming it. Note, pay special care that the upper curve shape so your new panel doesn't interfere with the tip up canopy frame.
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built a few RVs, rebuilt a few more, hot rodded more, & maintained/updated a big bunch more

Last edited by Ralph Inkster : 05-21-2022 at 04:26 PM.
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2022, 04:24 PM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,886
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rv6n6r View Post
Nice to see some people still cutting their own panels.
One tip: make a test-fit panel from .025 or .032 AL or even thin plywood. That was worthwhile to me not only to things for fit but also ergonomcis.
I've used Luan plywood from the local orange box store. Cheap and easy to work with to make a prototype.
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Marietta, GA
2001 RV-6 N46KB
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  #6  
Old 05-21-2022, 07:23 PM
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PaulvS PaulvS is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 1,073
Default DIY panel

It is not too difficult at all to cut your own panel, but as they say measure twice... which is what I did and got it right the second time.

If there is a sheet metal supplier/fabricator nearby then you can purchase one or more pieces of .063 aluminum sheet 13" x 42" (it does not have to be 2024-T3 alloy) and have them put in a 1 inch bend along the edge. This may be more cost effective than shipping from Vans, especially if you buy 2 or 3 to keep as spares.

Note the tolerances for the openings for the glass EFIS displays can be quite tight, so it's worth going slowly when filing the opening to final size. I put masking tape over the surface of the aluminum sheet to avoid scratching the surface with the jigsaw when making the preliminary cuts. The round instrument holes were made with a normal bi-metal hole saw in a drill press, and the smaller holes for the switches were done with a step drill.
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Flying my Aeroprakt A-22 STOL and the aero club's RV-9A while I build
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  #7  
Old 05-21-2022, 08:15 PM
Mile High Relic Mile High Relic is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Arvada, Colorado
Posts: 325
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulvS View Post
It is not too difficult at all to cut your own panel, but as they say measure twice... which is what I did and got it right the second time.

If there is a sheet metal supplier/fabricator nearby then you can purchase one or more pieces of .063 aluminum sheet 13" x 42" (it does not have to be 2024-T3 alloy) and have them put in a 1 inch bend along the edge. This may be more cost effective than shipping from Vans, especially if you buy 2 or 3 to keep as spares.

Note the tolerances for the openings for the glass EFIS displays can be quite tight, so it's worth going slowly when filing the opening to final size. I put masking tape over the surface of the aluminum sheet to avoid scratching the surface with the jigsaw when making the preliminary cuts. The round instrument holes were made with a normal bi-metal hole saw in a drill press, and the smaller holes for the switches were done with a step drill.
A Father/Son team I used to play neighborhood poker tourneys with own a sheet metal business, but I haven't talked to them in years and they've grown into a big operation with a 64,000 sf building. I'll give them a call, but I need to order some stuff from Van's anyway.

I appreciate the tips though. I wasn't sure what normally gets used to cut edges or square corner holes in this the panels, but if a jigsaw works, great. Did you put anything sacrificial underneath to support the sheet when cutting? I've cut galvanized steel for new ducts and shortening a steel door, but didn't really care about the quality of the edge since I was going to bend and hide it. Any thoughts on how tough 24 gauge (.025) steel is versus .063 Aluminum? I know I'll need the correct blade...and some practice runs.

I thought I might cut from the back to reduce scratching. Do scratches show through primer and paint?
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  #8  
Old 05-21-2022, 10:05 PM
PaulvS's Avatar
PaulvS PaulvS is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 1,073
Default Cutting tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mile High Relic View Post
A Father/Son team I used to play neighborhood poker tourneys with own a sheet metal business, but I haven't talked to them in years and they've grown into a big operation with a 64,000 sf building. I'll give them a call, but I need to order some stuff from Van's anyway.

I appreciate the tips though. I wasn't sure what normally gets used to cut edges or square corner holes in this the panels, but if a jigsaw works, great. Did you put anything sacrificial underneath to support the sheet when cutting? I've cut galvanized steel for new ducts and shortening a steel door, but didn't really care about the quality of the edge since I was going to bend and hide it. Any thoughts on how tough 24 gauge (.025) steel is versus .063 Aluminum? I know I'll need the correct blade...and some practice runs.

I thought I might cut from the back to reduce scratching. Do scratches show through primer and paint?
I supported the panel blank on a Black & Decker "Workmate" portable workbench while cutting, and worked from the finished side. The bench top has an adjustable gap in the middle and I just positioned and clamped down the panel so the blade would go through the gap. The masking tape protects the surface from scratching and I cleared away the chips frequently. If there is any minor scratching then the primer and paint will hide that. The aluminum is much softer and easier and quicker to cut and file than steel sheet.

If cutting a rectangle I mark it out carefully first with a fine sharpie, then drill a 3/8" or 1/2" hole in from each corner with a step drill. These holes are for the jigsaw to get started. The jigsaw cuts are made about 1/16" in from the marked line and then get filed up to the line with a mill file or vixxen file. The internal corners can be filed last, just enough to match the rounded profile of the EFIS case. A round chainsaw file of the appropriate diameter (5/32, 3/16, 1/4 etc.) works well for this.
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Building RV-6A #22320 O-320 FP. Wings and tail complete, fuselage almost done, working on canopy.
Flying my Aeroprakt A-22 STOL and the aero club's RV-9A while I build
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