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Old 10-29-2022, 08:55 AM
Surfdoc Surfdoc is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Fly-In Port Orange, FL
Posts: 45
Default Center Section Spacer and bolt fit

Attempting to assemble (final assembly) the F904 Center section on the -9. For the life of me I cannot get the bolts for the F904j center section spacer to get through the prepunched holes in F904A and F904E (forward and after center section / bulkhead assembly). My tech counselors said to drill the prepunched holes out but there is a big green sticker that says "Do Not drill". I reached out to Vans but no answer. I have since locked out the tech advisors as they have costed me too much money in replacement parts and starting to question whether they really built or not. Any guidance is appreciated! Would love to post photos but have no clue how. Dwg 16 for reference.
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Old 10-29-2022, 09:09 AM
PilotjohnS PilotjohnS is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Southwest, USA
Posts: 2,592
Default just me

If It was me I would not go against Vans direction. Others have used bolts from Lowes or Home Depot to line things up when building up the center section. Store bolts bolts are a few thousands smaller in diameter.
I used the bolts supplied by Vans, but I would not do this again because it was very hard to remove them once assembled; a lot of heating and cooling.

I think it is better to wait a few days and talk to Vans, then to get 4 years into the build and realize the center section is damaged.
John S

WARNING! Information presented in this post is my opinion. All users of info have sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for their use.

Dues paid 2023, worth every penny

RV9A- Status:
98% done, 2% left to go
To Go: wing mounting, engine baffles, wing tips, move to airport

Last edited by PilotjohnS : 10-29-2022 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 10-29-2022, 10:05 AM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 5,141

Originally Posted by PilotjohnS View Post
If It was me I would not go against Vans direction. Others have used bolts from Lowes or Home Depot to line things up when building up the center section.

And I would make some tapered pins to start the alignment process.
Kyle Boatright
Marietta, GA
2001 RV-6 N46KB
2019? (actually 2022) RV-10 N46BX
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Old 10-29-2022, 10:34 PM
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RVbySDI RVbySDI is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Tuttle, Oklahoma
Posts: 2,764

1. As for inserting the bolts, freeze your bolts. The colder the better!

2. As for posting pictures, at the top of the tool bar in your post, click on the paper clip icon. Choose the file location and click ďuploadĒ. Thatís it.

Live Long And Prosper! 🖖🏻
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Old 10-29-2022, 10:46 PM
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bruceh bruceh is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ramona, CA
Posts: 2,702

The provided bolts are close tolerance. Donít use them until the wings go on for the final assembly. Use regular hardware store bolts for initial fitting. Donít drill the holes! Get some dry ice when the time comes for final assembly and they will slip in barely. You may need to apply some force with a mallet to get them started in the holes.
Bruce Hill
RV-9A N5771H flown over 1000 hours!
APRS Tracking for KJ6YRP and Flying Over the Hills Blog
2022 VAF donator
EAA Tech Counselor, Pre Buys, Build assistance - canopy/tanks/fiberglass/electrical/repairs
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Old 10-30-2022, 09:27 AM
Desert Rat Desert Rat is offline
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Wichita KS
Posts: 1,101

couple of things;

close tolerance bolts aren't necessarily bigger, just what the name implies, they are closer to exactly the same size as the hole. Save those bolts for when you are installing the wings for the final time.

For earlier operations, I went to the hardware store with a flat granite countertop sample and a micrometer, then went through the whole bin of bolts looking for the straightest ones that were also on the small to middle end of the tolerance range.
Terry Shortt
AGI, CFI, CFII, MEI, A&P, Janitor
RV7 Empennage & Wing done
Fuselage almost done
Avionics almost done
90% done, 90% to go
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Old 10-30-2022, 10:26 AM
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airguy airguy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
Posts: 6,078

As suggested - take hardware store bolts to begin with, grind down the threads to make a tapered pin, that will help centralize the bolt holes and get them all lined up. Then freeze your final bolts for final assembly.

Do not drill the holes!
Greg Niehues - SEL, IFR, Repairman Cert.
Garden City, TX VAF 2023 dues paid
N16GN flying 1,200 hrs and counting on 91E10; IO360, SDS, WWRV200, Dynon HDX, IFD440, G5
Built an off-plan RV9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.
Repeat Offender - 10 empennage in process.
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