Home > VansAirForceForums

-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

Old 11-19-2013, 10:34 AM
Driftdown Driftdown is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Clearwater, Florida
Posts: 398
Default Removing/Reinstalling Engine Cowling

On the average, how long does it take you to remove/reinstall, the top and bottom engine cowls?
Any tricks to make the task easier and quicker?
How often or under what specific conditions should it be accomplished?

Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 11:51 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Jesup, Iowa
Posts: 1,683
Default What I do - -

I use a battery drill with an extention so that I can hold the bit in place. Really speeds things up. I also install it with the same. I set the clutch to lowest setting and it clicks fairly easily, but snugs them up well.
John Bender
Flying RV-12 - Serial #120036
Paid in May ( 5-2021 )
Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 12:16 PM
Dgamble's Avatar
Dgamble Dgamble is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 870

Originally Posted by Driftdown View Post
On the average, how long does it take you to remove/reinstall, the top and bottom engine cowls?
Any tricks to make the task easier and quicker?
How often or under what specific conditions should it be accomplished?

Caveat: your mileage can and will vary!

Typically you will remove the top five to ten times more often than the bottom, which is good because the top is five to ten times easier.

I haven't found anything that makes the bottom easier, but the top can be made easier by determining the easiest order to do the hinge pins. In my case, the aft hinges that run from the center out to the sides go in easier if I do them before the rest. This is something you just have to determine for yourself because I think there is likely to be a lot of variation from one plane to the next.

I have found that even an oil change can be done with just the top off, but opinions will vary on how often you should do it that way because there is value in performing a good visual inspection of the entire engine now and then. I did my most recent oil change with just the top off, but I knew I was going to be doing a full undressing soon thereafter.
Dave Gamble
Grove City, OH

RV-6 N466PG Purchased already flying - SOLD!

The Book: The PapaGolf Chronicles

Built RV-12

The Book: Schmetterling Aviation

The above web blogs and any links provided thereto are not instructional or advisory in nature. They merely seek to share my experiences in building and flying Van's RV airplanes.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 12:23 PM
Bill_H's Avatar
Bill_H Bill_H is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Marshall TX (KASL)
Posts: 1,793

Top cowl. Plan on 5 minutes. Part of that is setting aside a place to put it on a pad or towel. About the same to put back, includes time to wipe the pins clean and freshly spray them with lube. One person can take it on and off, carefully.

Bottom cowl - figure 10 minutes to take off. More screws, and the oil cooler. The first couple of times you take it off and put it on you should have two people for both off and on. Those gaskets on the radiator will be tight. Then it will get easier over time. One person can then take it off. Still not a bad idea to use two people to put it on, if available, because of side-to-side insuring that paint doesn't get scratched by the piano hinges, and initially twisting it to get it past the exhaust pipe and behind the prop.

It also helps to have one person holding it closely in place on the pilot side while you reach in on the passenger side to set the oil cooler onto its bottom mounts. Then you can put in the piano pins (always clean and relube!) and reach the cooler for hand adjustments to get the bolts lined up while person 2 starts them.

I use plastic washers under all the screws on the cowling.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 12:32 PM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 3,248

I recently trimmed the last 1/32" off the bottom hinges on the right and left side of the bottom cowl (the short hinges above the "shelf" on the firewall). I was surprised how much easier it made to fit the lower cowl in place.

The only tip I can offer is that putting the bottom cowl on by myself is made easier by first partially engaging the short pins on the side so I can still jiggle the other hinges.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 01:02 PM
lewy lewy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jackson Ohio
Posts: 139
Default Cowl removal

I tape a dish towel to the lower cowl area behind the spinner plate, prevents spinner back plate from scratching the cowl.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 08:08 PM
whittfic's Avatar
whittfic whittfic is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 132
Default Lower cowl

Have a look at: entry #8.

Don't know if this would work with the RV12 set-up but it makes life a lot easier with the RV6 cowl whan I am by myself.

Clive Whittfield
New Zealand
Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2013, 01:37 AM
crashley crashley is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: hazelwood north vic
Posts: 176
Default cowls

it gets easier and faster the more you do it I can get the top off in about 3 minutes and about 5 or 6 for the bottom and not much longer to install them now ( after 325 hours ) the pins go in and out easily
Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2013, 06:02 PM
Darryn Darryn is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Columbia Station
Posts: 29

As many times as I have removed and installed them, I can pretty much do it blindfolded in under 5 minutes!
The pilot who teaches himself, has a fool for a student.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:07 PM.

The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.