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Door Latch Installation - Sean's Design


Well Known Member
I have been impressed with all the new design ideas that have come out and are still to come. I saw Sean's early on and really like the concept but was worried about the difficulty of retrofitting a finished painted door.
I knew that another RV-10 builder in Oregon, Ed Hayden, ordered a 90 degree kit so I waited to hear how his went before making any decisions. Ed had already started on the Van's SB kit when Sean (www.planearound.com) came up with his concept and decided to stop and order his kit. Ed called the night he finished and he could not say enough about how great it worked. He said that the first time he closed the door he was not sure if the pins were threaded into the rods because it closed so smooth but they were. He also said that it would be impossible to shut the door with this system and not have both pins in because of how effective it pulls the door in. Ed did not have to remove the door handle assembly or his blocks in the door. So with that 5 star recommendation I ordered the 90 degree kit.
The first thing you will find is that the kit is very well thought out and the instructions are easy to follow.
The quality of the kit is great.

My doors are stock. I have the seal, door handles and pins from Van's.
I removed my doors and pulled back the seal on the bottom of the door and marked the area where I would make the cut to insert the gear assembly.

I used a cutoff wheel in the drill to slot the top and bottom. I drilled two holes that gave me enough room to insert the blade of a small air driven saw blade (purchased at Harbor Freight, but wished I bought a nicer one, I love this saw)
I then used a file on the top of the opening (inside of door) until it was flush and did not have a lip. I left as much material on the bottom (outside) as I possible could.



You then make a measurement to place the hole for the shaft and make the slot. I drilled a smaller pilot hole before using a unibit to open it up to 1/2". My unibit was short enough to make it to the 1/2" step perfectly before hitting the outside of the door. I then used the same saw to cut the slots.
A round and flat file was used to clean up and square off the hole.


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Now you use the outside of the gear box to match drill the four screws with a #12 and counter sink the holes. I did not counter sink them all the way and will most likely make a nice cover to put over this like I did on the door latch assembly. (see first picture, I made this from a piece of aluminum with a thin piece of foam covered with vinyl)


You then disconnect the rear pin from the door latch assembly and pull it out the back. I did not get a picture of this but I then placed the assembly on the top of the door. The instructions are great and tell you how to place the rack for the new latch in the forward position(door open) and mark the current pin where you will cut out the section that the new rack will replace. You then cut the pin and re-knotch it just like you did when you built it.
Again, a thin file worked great to square up the knotch.



Once I had both rods constructed I took the front rod and placed it on the door and marked where you drill the hole where you insert the pin with the ball detent that locks it into place since you cannot safety wire the back side of this pin.

To add addition strength around the hole Sean includes two blocks that epoxy into place on either side of the gear assembly. Ed mentioned that he replaced the fiberglass hollow block with a wooden block for additional strength. Sorry, no picture for this.

I then inserted the new rod in the rear block, and placed the new rack into the hole I cut. I found there was plenty of room to insert the pin with needle-nose pliers and safety wire the pin. I then pulled this assembly back and inserted the front pin into the hold and worked it to the forward assembly and pinned it.

When you connect everything together and put the screws into the new gear block I left the safety wire hanging out of the hole where the detent pin is inserted and worked the system and it working perfectly.

I don't have finished pictures yet because I am replacing my original Van's door blocks on the plane and ran out of time last Sunday. I received a few e-mails to post pictures now and plan on finishing the door blocks this weekend and will post final pictures and video. Again, I was super happy because I did not have to remove any of the blocks on the outside of the door since my doors are painted and a couple of my screws are filled in. It was a piece of cake.

Installing this kit was way easier than I had imagined in my head. I did both doors in about 3-4 hours. Of course the second door took half the time just like everything else you do on the plane when you repeat a step.
I'll post more later.
180 vs. 90

I am not completely sure on this but I'll give it a shot and maybe Sean can add to it.
First of all, you need to keep the racks that attach to your door handle longer for the extra rotation and throw on the pins on the 180 kit. That is why he sells two 180 kits. The retro kit comes with new racks.
The kit also comes with blocks for your door that has an extension for the pins to retract into on the 180 kit. I've seen these blocks at his shop and they look very nice. If you did want to add the 180 kit to a painted door and you did not want to remove the blocks he talked about supplying a tube that would allow you to ream the current hole in the block and press fit / pin a tube into it.
I'm sure he would work with someone if they wanted to do this.

So the 90 degree kit allows you to keep the forward pin exactly like you built it and you only need to modify the longer pin (that goes into the back of the plane).

What is nice about the 180 kit is the cam that he supplies will be fully engaged before the pins extend into the blocks and frame.

So other than the blocks in the door and longer racks for the handle assembly on the 180 kit, it is the same.
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Nice work Scott,

The 180 kit comes in two forms:
New 180-Handle moves 180 degrees. Uses your original Van's handle rack gears if they are uncut. Delrin door pin blocks are also included. Extra pin extension up to two inches and full cam engagement. Cam engages first 30 degrees of rotation. Timing the cam and pin extension timing is easily adjusted by the builder.
Retro180-Handle moves 180 degrees. Comes with extra handle rack gears to replace the builders' cut racks. Delrin door pin blocks are also included. Extra pin extension up to two inches and full cam engagement. engages first 30 degrees of rotation. Timing the cam and pin extension timing is easily adjusted by the builder.
Retro 90-Handle moves 90-110 degrees. Uses original CUT Van's handle rack gears which have been installed. Can be used with after market handles. Does not come with door pin blocks. Original UHMW door pin blocks are used. Cam engages first 30 degrees of rotation. Timing the cam and pin extension timing is easily adjusted by the builder.
I also have Pins and Pin Guides for sale.
All kits can be used with Van's door pushrods or IFLYRV10 pins and guides or any combination.
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First Test of New Latch

One door was finished today and tested with the new system and I can see why Ed was so excited about the results. The door can be closed with one finger now. Once you pull the door in enough to pull it over the block that the cam uses to pull the door in, your are done, just close the door.
I am very happy with the result, more than I had expected.

I still need to finish up some of the details but wanted to get this video out to everyone tonight.

I modified the blocks so they would fit flush against my door lip. You can see how they come in the kit (part closest ) and how I modified it.

Installing the block is easy.

I did change out my door pins and door frame blocks which took 10X the time and effort it took to install the third latch.

I also smoothed out the cam at the point where it is fully engaged. I probably did not have to do this but thought it might make it even smoother.

I know the seal is not glued back into place but I took some video of closing the door to try and show how slick this works.

Here is the video link. (Sorry about the music, I tried to make a boring video more lively.)
After watching Scotts video I don't know why anyone one would choose to do anything else, It's a great design. By the way nice choice of music Scott.:D

Steve Stella
#40654 Wings
N521RV reserved
I modified the blocks so they would fit flush against my door lip. You can see how they come in the kit (part closest ) and how I modified it.

Since you moved the block closer to the door frame, wouldn't that create a corresponding gap between latch and the block? Or did you shorten the arm as well?

It's hard to tell from the picture but it looks like about 1/8" was taken off. I suspect this may also be quite different from one build to another depending on how much filler was used between the mid cabin deck and the cabin cover. I've seen some with a nice round fillet as oppose to more of a 90 degree corner.
The cabin block is made out of Delrin so it is pretty easy to sand on a disc sander. Much easier than UHMW. When you get the kit you will see the cam is fully adjustable on the shaft. It has an 8-32 set screw to temporarily position the cam in out out and any clocking position. After you are satisfied with the operation you can mark the shaft and cut it and polish it. You then drill through a pilot hole that is on one side of the cam and push a roll pin in that is supplied with the kit. That's how you can change the position of the block on the cabin lip for different builds.
This thread (although old) seems to be a good place to ask my question of the day:

How have people safetied the pins holding together the rods and racks in the door latch mechanism? I have the Planearound latch and can't decide how to route the safety wire which holds the various pins in place. Nothing I've come up with looks sturdy, neat, and easily removable (particularly for the pins that are hidden).

Are people looping the wire through the eye in each pin, around the pushrod, and then twisting it? Are you just putting a little loop through the eye and twisting it?

A picture or three would be very helpful.