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Old 03-25-2014, 04:39 PM
blueflyer's Avatar
blueflyer blueflyer is online now
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 1,083
Default I have fuel tanks!

well, it took me 4 months to get up the mental fortitude to finishing the fuel tanks. I still have to close up the inboard rib and rivet that back row of rivets (and test it), but I feel like I'm over the hump on these things. One question though, Do I need to proseal this row of rivets do I? I don't think so, but I just want to confirm it.

And here's a pic of the tanks on the wings. I just couldn't resist this shot. I feel like I'm back rolling again. Man, that was tough mentally to have to deal with all that proseal. I hope they pass the air test, but I'll just keep at it if they don't.

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Old 03-25-2014, 05:34 PM
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rmartingt rmartingt is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,131

Originally Posted by blueflyer View Post
One question though, Do I need to proseal this row of rivets do I? I don't think so, but I just want to confirm it.
I would seal them, but then I also applied more sealant along the baffle joint, including over the holes before pushing the baffle in place. Put a dab inside each rivet hole (using a toothpick) before inserting the rivet, then rivet it. Cover all the shop heads and fillet seal everywhere around the baffle just as you do on the inside. Once it's set up for a day or so, put wax paper over your spar caps and push the tank down into place. Leave it for a day or so, then remove. That'll help make sure you don't have sealant interfering with the caps.

On the last three tanks, I also dimpled all those holes instead of countersinking per the manual--I found the rivets turned out nicer that way and the fit of the skins doesn't seem to be affected.
RV-7ER - canopy and wiring
There are two kinds of fool in the world. The first says "this is old, and therefore good"; the second says "this is new, and therefore better".
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:54 PM
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wirejock wirejock is online now
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 4,758
Default Tanks

I'm right on your heals. I just set both baffles too.
Riveting starts tomorrow!
I'm also crossing fingers and toes hoping for leak free tanks.
I'm tired of proseal!
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 01/01/2021, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (2,000+ hours)
Empennage, wings, fuse, finishing kit, now FWF
I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:16 PM
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blueflyer blueflyer is online now
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Shreveport, LA
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Larry, good luck with yours. I hope you pass me up, because I work slower than a snail! Let us know how yours turn out.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:27 PM
rapid_ascent rapid_ascent is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Dublin, CA
Posts: 1,618

Well I think I'm almost there too. It's been a long time. The first tank had a leak and after debating for forever I realized it was in the chamber with the filler cap and I could add more sealant on the inside to fix it. Yes I am a lucky guy.

I put the balloon in the tank finally got a good seal by using safety wire and duct tape. Did the leak check with soapy water. It was good for 2 hours. I came back later and the balloon had hit the end of the safety wire and popped. So I have to start over with sealing the balloon. Some things just test your patience. I'm pretty sure it's fine now but I still need to finish the test.

The one thing I would tell others is make sure you put enough sealant down before you install the baffle. I was cautious due to the warning in the instructions about not putting too much sealant, but I think that the cause of my leak.
Ray Tonks
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Titan IOX-370, Dual PMAGs, 9.6:1 Pistons, FM-150
RV-7 Fuselage in progress
* Cabin Interior - In progress
RV-7 SB Wings
* Both Wings fully skinned
* Fuel Tanks Complete - No leaks finally
* Ailerons Complete
* Flaps Complete
RV-7 Empennage - Complete (a little fiberglass work left)
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:02 PM
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wjb wjb is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Posts: 1,120
Default No more pro seal!

Congrats on finishing up the tanks! I tracked them separately in my build from the wing build ... 92.5 hours total. I'm now confident in my pro-seal skills now, and am happy to report leak free tanks. Sure was a slow and interesting process. I'm super happy now that I just have to deal with primer and rivets to get the rest of the wing built. Early on, I was sure that there was no way to get the ribs into the skins for the tanks .. that 32mil skin was sure a pain! With some gentle and persistent effort, everything fit and worked OK.

Best decision was to buy 50 big syringes from a vet supply house to apply the pro-seal. I used up about 30, 2 boxes of latex gloves, and a good many tongue depressors to mix up the goo. Nothing in this world is sticker and gooier. I dedicated an old set of jeans to the task .. and was very gratified to toss them when done.

Pro seal is pretty awesome stuff, tho. I'm sure our paths will cross again. It's better than 'glass. ;-)

Recommendation: get a set of pro-seal "spoons" from one of the suppliers ... it helps alot to get everything smoothed out and and all the shop heads covered
Bill Bencze
N430WB RV-7 @KHAF, Flying 100+ hrs
VAF 2021 donation happily made

Last edited by wjb : 03-25-2014 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:36 AM
datsclark datsclark is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Redwood City, CA
Posts: 94

Congrats, I know thats such a good feeling to be done with the tanks. It was a big task for me, and I had a lot of leak issues that seemed to drag on and on.

One suggestion if you haven't sealed your baffles yet. I used a large syringe as has been suggested, which worked great to meter out a nice bead of sealant. I'm certain that the few leaks I had were in places that there was an air pocket in the pro-seal inside there, and when it syringed out, I had a leak. Make sure you do a really good job getting that bead on the tank wall before closing the baffle!
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:57 PM
543TB 543TB is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 74

If you didn't already dedicate your Sunday to the task, also make sure you go for broke with sealant in the corners! Better to have too much than to have too little and deal with plugging a leak. It is such a great feeling when you finish the tanks, now on to bigger and more exciting things!
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Andrew and Florence

RV-7 Completed 4/2021. Phase 1 completed, flew it to OSH '21!.
RV-10 Emp. in progress
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