Saturday, April 23, 2016

Leaks sealed (i think)

I called Van’s the other day and went through my options.  They were happy to do warranty work, but I didn’t want to spend the time to ship the tank to them, wait for them to repair it, ship it back, etc.   Not to mention the shipping costs.  They did send me 3 oz of Pro Seal, which I used last Thursday.  I elected to remove the face plate, rather that drill out all of the rivets for the top again.  Although I did OK the first time, I’m very cautious about drilling rivets—there are always some that get oversized holes and that’s just an opportunity for even more leaks.   The front piece is screwed on and is designed for maintenance, so that’s the way I went in.

While I was on the phone with Van’s, I was asked about the serial number.  I said ‘none’, but when I was removing the face plate, I realized that there was a number engraved on the front:  “385B 13/09”.   I’ll have that ready for tech support if I need to call them again.

IMG 5034


It was a bit challenging to get to the back of the tank, but I got the majority of the old sealant out of the inside of the corner.  I do note that there are no scuff marks as called out by the assembly instructions.  That was addressed with a straight wire brush on a dremel extension.  Inside corner got gooped; face plate got gooped and tightened, then the outside corner was scraped, sanded and cooped.

I didn’t get nearly as much of a bead of sealant around the plate (compared to the factory seal) when I reattached it.  I’ll watch it carefully, as that’s all I can do.   The tank was cured for 36 hours at 85 °F (guest bathroom with a space heater).  During the meantime, I looked up the technical data sheet for the stuff and was greatly relieved to see that it’s officially ‘cured’ at 4 hours (although the testing is done after 14 days at 77 °F and 50 % RH.  Go fig.)

Tank was reinstalled (30 min), plane refueled with 8 gal.  No visible leaks.

Ready to roll....

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