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Old 04-01-2020, 04:45 PM
whd721 whd721 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 233
Default Leaky Left Tank of an RV9A

My left fuel tank appears to be leaking on the Inboard Tank Access Plate. The only penetration on that Tank Access plate is the Fuel pickup fitting. The blue dye stains appear to be coming from around the fitting not from the fitting itself.

This is the best estimate I can arrive at, without the plate being removed

My question is, Is it possible to remove the Tank Access Plate without removing the entire tank? Has anyone actually done it? Tips, Hints or guidance would be helpful.

The alternative is to remove the entire tank, I guess?
Sherwood, Oregon
As Bill Stout (designer of the Ford Trimotor) used to say, ?Simplicate and add Lightness?
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Old 04-01-2020, 05:03 PM
74-07 74-07 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 562

Just did a complete reseal on both plates on a RV-8 without removing the tanks. Not terrible on an 8.
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Old 04-01-2020, 05:37 PM
N941WR's Avatar
N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,887

As 74-07 (Rob) said, it can be done without removing the tank.

You can buy a small batch of proseal from Van's and a cork gasket to reseal the tank with.

A couple of suggestions; when you reinstall the cover plate, use 8-32 cap screws. Verify that SB 04-2-1 and SB SB 06-2-23 are complied with and write on the cover with a Sharpie that they have been as well as making sure their compliance is noted in the logbook. If either has not been complied with in that tank, you will want to open up the other tank. (Later in the production run, Van's added an anti-rotation bracket to the fuel pickup, so if the safety wire is missing, verify that you have the newer means of compliance.)

Good luck.
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC
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Old 04-03-2020, 09:28 AM
whd721 whd721 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 233
Default Leaky Tank Access Plate

Thanks 74-07 and N941WR,

Thanks to your encouragement I pressed on and was able to get the Tank Access Plate off. Two screwdrivers and a small Micro pry bar were sacrificed and modified in the process.

My RV9A was a project I bought to save time , BOY WAS THAT A BAD IDEA!!!!
I spent about 1/3 - 1/2 of the time to finish the RV9A, repairing something else I "discovered".

Fortunately I decided to remove the tanks and pressure test them before skinning the wing. Many leaks, Many leaks. My repairs lasted about 7-8 years, till now.

The current problem was the Anti-Rotation bracket. It was attached with two pop rivets, not blind rivets and no ProSeal. It took years for the fuel to work its way out through the rivets. On the Out side of the bracket, the rivet heads were covered with pro-seal applied around the exiting fuel line fittings. The rivet heads were buried at the very edge of the pro-seal, but totally covered, except for the blue stain. Also, the rivets did not leak when the fuel level was below the center the fuel Tank Access Plate. I scratched my head a lot chasing this leak.

Vans said this was an educational project!!
Sherwood, Oregon
As Bill Stout (designer of the Ford Trimotor) used to say, ?Simplicate and add Lightness?
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:48 AM
dan.caine dan.caine is offline
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: KHEF
Posts: 4

Following up on this... Is this what you saw? 8A left side under wing access panel.
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Dan "Razin" Caine
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Old 11-28-2020, 08:11 AM
josnooze josnooze is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Posts: 21

I just had the same thing happen on my RV9A. It was a quickbuild wing that had sat unused for about 17 years prior to my finishing the kit as the 3rd owner. Never though to check the cork and rubber gaskets around the access plate and the fuel sender. Both started weeping after I got the aircraft flying. After talking to Vans the answer was to remove both and throw away the gaskets and just bond the access plate and sender in place with proseal. It was not hard to do just messy but is working well so far.
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