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To drill or not to drill, what have you done?


Well Known Member

Photo: The R-606PP Reinforcement Plate clico'd between the flanges of R-902 Rudder Spar, and with the R-405PD Rudder Horn behind them. Notice the two undrilled holes in the Spar. Those two holes were factory drilled.


Photo: Same three parts shown from the Rudder Horn side. Note again two factory drilled holes in the Rudder Horn are undrilled in the Spar.

My natural assumption would be that these holes should be match drilled in the Spar to either the Reinforcement Plate or the Rudder Horn before riveting. However:

1) These two holes do not appear anywhere that we could find on Rudder DWG 7, Revision 5. Drawings of the three aforementioned parts and the builder fabricated R-917 Shim that fits between the Spar and Rudder Horn do not show these two holes.

2) The written instructions for Rudder construction do nowhere mention the two holes. The three clico'd holes next to them are specificalled out for match drilling to the spar.

With the holes not shown on the drawings and not mentioned in the instructions, while three holes next to them are, I became confused and telephonedf Vans for clarification. I was told the two holes are "most likely tooling holes" and not to drill them.

Is this a potential gotcha? What did you do?
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Those holes are not on my rudder parts or plans. I assume they are for another m9del and suggest leaving them. When in doubt, ask Vans.
Do the holes in question line up in the reinforcement plate, and the rudder horn if you remove them from the spar??

Have you looked farther ahead in the plans to see if these are addressed later--------or if there is something that is going to be in the area that would interfere if there were rivets there?
I matched drilled the spar for those holes and added rivets, but I also made a new larger shim that included the two extra holes.

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Same extra holes on the recent 8 rudder parts...no reference in plans. Plans have you create a shim for one set, not both. I just made the shim wider as well and riveted all. I looked at my current flying 8 and the extras are not there. Change must have been made some time this year.

Would you please post Vans response and maybe a link to this thread to the new "Sticky" thread so others coming along will benefit? Use a subject line with the part number and plan page to make it easier to search. Thanks
To drill or not to dril RV-7 Rudder R-606PP and R-405PD

Hi all,

I have a similar problem. From the research on these forums I can only deduce that the parts changed some time in 2014. But the plans received (delivered to me in Late 2014) do not show the extra 2 holes in these parts.

It would seem loking at all the web blogs, these holes do not exist in any builders parts prior to this time. I have also checked with many builders in Australia. I asked them to go and look.

But I see on this thread there are several builders around that have parts with these extra two holes.

What decision have other made in this scenario?

Kind regards,

Mine's a 9A, and it has the extra holes as pictured. I elected to match-drill and rivet these holes and the shim. Van's is the final word of course, but there's plenty of material there, no interference issues and the rivets are widely spaced.
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Just looked up those P/N on the RV-14 plans and sure enough we have them. The extra holes are all used in this model. Same part used in different airframes.

Thanks very much guys. It is good to have this clear in mind before kicking off wiht the drill. I really appreciate your response.

I am just finishing my VS and Rudder - so still a new builder.

BTW - seems to be a great forum. Hoope to return the favour to other newbies when I am further into the build.

Just looked up those P/N on the RV-14 plans and sure enough we have them. The extra holes are all used in this model. Same part used in different airframes.

That's correct...

The R-606PP Reinforcing Plates are used as a common part in the RV-4, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 14 aircraft. The Rudder Horn R-405PD is also used on the RV-7, 8, 9, and 14. The 2 holes you are referring to are only riveted on the RV-14. The best rule is to build from the plans that you are issued even if the part has been slightly modified. In this case, the 4,6,7,8,9 builders can ignore the 2 holes if their kits have these updated parts.

Hope this helps...

Thanks very much for your very clear reply. I am off and running (soon to be flying) again. You guys at Vans have been a great support through these early days of my build. A special public thanks.