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  #11  
Old 07-02-2019, 07:46 AM
redhawk redhawk is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 207
Default Weldment Cracks

I apologize everyone as in my header for this post I meant to say weldment cracks not firewall cracks. The weldments on the earlier RV4s are a weak point in the aircraft and I am looking at buying one that actually has cracked weldments and was looking for owners with experience at replacing these.
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2019, 11:16 AM
gmcjetpilot's Avatar
gmcjetpilot gmcjetpilot is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,688
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redhawk View Post
I apologize everyone as in my header for this post I meant to say weldment cracks not firewall cracks. The weldments on the earlier RV4s are a weak point in the aircraft and I am looking at buying one that actually has cracked weldments and was looking for owners with experience at replacing these.
You are good... me and Charlie got side tracked... My bad....

So if you are not a builder there is time to kearn. That thread I linked to was pretty good start. Search these forums for more threads. There are threads going back over 10 years. You might reach out to those members.

It is kind of a big job. I "supervised" my hanger neighbor do this. You are going to take the engine and mount off (someone may have different opinion). You have to support the plane. It is a matter of unbolting and drilling out rivets. Removing the weldment and installing new ones (back drilling to match existing holes). There is a lot of fiddling and possible shimming. Do you have drawings and builders manual? You can get RV-4 drawings and manual on USB drive if you are registered owner from Vans for not too much money. Someone on the fourm might have manual and drawings to loan you.

Many people upgrade their engine mount and gear at this time. However that is more expense and time, with new brake lines, fairings... etc.... However the longer gear helps prop clearance and landing/takeoff angle of attack... Looks better to.

I would put out feelers on these forums (classified) and call Van's for hired hands if it comes to that. Good luck.
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Last edited by gmcjetpilot : 07-02-2019 at 11:28 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2022, 10:15 AM
Steve 144RD Steve 144RD is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: SPRINGFIELD
Posts: 1
Default RV4 Firewall cracks

Hey guys. My RV 4 has the dreaded firewall and weldment cracks.

Has anyone who has done this repair kept a blog or record of the repair process? I did not build my 4 and my mechanic/friend has no RV repair experience. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, we'd like to learn from others if possible.

Thanks in advance for the help!!
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2022, 05:15 PM
Slats Slats is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Milton Ontario
Posts: 61
Default Weldment cracks

Mine has the weldment cracks but my firewall is fine. Pls include me in the circulation of any repair logs.
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  #15  
Old 01-16-2022, 09:57 AM
andoman andoman is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Payson, AZ
Posts: 55
Default

Hopefully someone chimes in with a link to a documented repair effort.
My short geared -4 came from Canada and the weldments were replaced some years ago. I’ve built a 7A so I’ve installed those weldments.
Steve, since you’re weldments are cracked you must make the repair. It’s a fair amount of work but but a straight forward project that you and your mechanic friend can handle.
Slats, as stated earlier in this thread, the FW is not structural. Lots of -4s flying with cracked and wrinkled FW’s.
You may want to consider reenforcing the lower weldments to preclude replacement going forward. The weakest aspect of the gen 1 weldments is that they were split at their vertex where they nest into the lower longeron. The newer ones were welded closed.
Adding a doubler angle on the inside that effectively ties the split closed is likely all that needs to be done. Structural screws can be used to replace the rivets.
Others have reinforced the weldments with external gussets.
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  #16  
Old 01-16-2022, 10:27 AM
butch 76 butch 76 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: medford, or. 97504
Posts: 11
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I have replaced firewall weldments on 3 RV 4s over the years .Would talk on the phone about the process. Butch 541 326 7851.
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