Reinforcing the Glass Strut Fabricating NG-30 Installing Worm Drive Assembly Box Assembly
Nose Floor & Sides Rudder Pedals Master Brake Cylinders Completing Nose Gear
Pitot & Static System Closing the Top Nose Door
Since I am using Jack Wilhelmson's EZ Nose Lift, I will use this Section to document my installation efforts (instead of the Worm Drive Assembly). Note that this effort is a bit out of sequence, I actually jumped over to Section 4 (i.e. attaching NG-30 onto the fuselage), then I came back and completed this section.
I shaped F-0 and F-5 per plan. [Hindsight: I have to re-make F-5 because the dimension per plan does not accommodate the thicker glass layers. Therefore, the width dimension is a bit too narrow. Eventually, I traced out the F-5 from the NG-30 and all is well.]
I followed several builders before me - I floxed both F-0 and F-5 to NG-30 on the bench. Since I have not received Jack Wilhelmson's nose gear yet, I only have two bolts holding the NG-30 together, namely the NG-6 and the lowest hole for the nose gear bracket. To make sure the spacing between NG-30 stays uniform, I cut up several 3" wood spacers and clamped them in between the NG-30s during cure. I also weighed down F-0 to make sure it is level and flat.
Jack Wilhelmson's nose gear finally arrived together with the MKNG-6 I bought separately. So I floxed in the roller bearing enhanced MKNG-6 to the strut (NG1-L) per plan. Note the spacer board I clamped between the NG-30? The spacer board has a center line drawn on it and it is inline with the center line of the strut. That means the strut is lined up to the center of NG-30.
Jack's MKNG-6 came with 4 pre-drilled holes - the Brock one does not have pre-drilled holes. I clamped the NG-5 in position, then drilled and countersank all 4 holes onto NG-5. It turned out OK.
Jack's instructions stressed the importance of the dimensional precision between the center of MGNG-6 to the bolt hole of MKNG-3. Jack's plan stated 6.72" & 6.78" respectively while the Cozy plan stated 6.71". Since those two locations are not on the same plane, trying to get to .01" accuracy is somewhat difficult with the tools I have. Just the thickness of my laser will wipe out that kind of precision... Anyway, I drew two parallel lines and lay the strut centerline along one of the 2 lines. I used my cross hair laser to mark the center position of MG-6 on the reference (i.e. the parallel) line. I marked a 6.72" point, on the reference line, from the NG-6 center. Then I moved the cross laser onto the new mark, which in-turn projects the NG-3A hole location onto the strut.
A new NG-3A came with Jack's EZ Nose Lift and its much narrower than the Brock equivalent. I have to sand down the strut a bit such that it will fit snug against its sides. I also have to squeeze the NG-3 to fit between the new NG-3A and a vise. Took quite a bit of work... eventually I got it to fit OK.
I clamped down and floxed both NG-3A and NG-4 per plan. I think I got a bit carried away with clamps that day, but I don't think they are going to move during cure .
I powered up the landing brake (Chapter 9) with a 9 volt battery - though I was warned not to (I did it anyway) and it worked fine. The electric nose lift is for lifting up a nose of the plane plus a passenger. I don't think I can get away with a 9 volt battery this time.
I requested power source recommendations from the Cozy forum and received quite a few public and private responses. Generally, there are two approaches - power supplies (battery chargers and open frame power supplies) and garden tractor batteries. Personally, I prefer the battery charger approach because I just have to plug it in - no fuss and no mess. I went to e-bay and found a 'smart' battery charger that has 4 current settings (2,10,25,&75 Amps). Perfect, I thought... As the closing date approached, the bid went higher than I could buy it from Sam's Club, what are these people thinking? Obviously, I bought the one from Sam's Club...
I opened up the battery charger and hooked it up to the landing brake (I had been powering it with a 9 volt battery), flipped the down switch ... nothing! Don't know why I thought it would work with the nose lift actuator - but I hooked it up anyway...and nothing again! Not wanting to cook my new actuator, I decided to read the manual promptly. These smart, microprocessor controlled battery chargers can now sense what is being hooked up on the other end, such that it won't create a spark or cause any injury. Since I am not hooking it up to a battery or it did not sense a power source on the other end, it did not give me any juice!
On to the second option - get a battery... Susann suggested to stop by K-Mart during lunch and check out their battery section. To my surprise, they had a garden tractor battery on sale for $32 with a 6 month warranty. I hooked the battery to the landing brake and the EZ Nose Lift respectively. They both responded without hesitation. I later built a crude bus bar so that I can power up both the landing brake and the nose lift (and many more) at the same time. My battery charger will be used to keep my garden tractor battery charged at all times.
While I was trying out the electric nose lift, I decided to flox in the nose fork (MKNG-15A) which was supposed to be done in Section 8. I took time and sanded down the end of the strut to fit snug into the MKNG-15A socket. Then I applied flox and clamp down for cure.
The EZ Nose Lift came with a pair of mounting brackets to be bolted to the NG-30. However, only one of the three holes are pre-drilled. Jack Wilhelmson leaves it to the builder to determine the other two hole locations due to dimensional variations between builders. In addition, the instructions (that came with the nose lift) are for retrofit and not new builds. Recall the discussion I had earlier regarding the mystery holes? Now that I am at the point of mounting the actuator, I am not quite sure how to go about it.
The problem is that I didn't want to carve out the nose gear cavity until the sides of the nose are carved and glassed. Therefore, I cannot pull up the gear fully. On the other hand, once the nose side walls are built and glassed, I'll have a tough time match drilling through the NG-30 & mounting brackets due to the limited space. I need some dimensional baseline to bolt down the mounting brackets now!
While pondering over the mounting location of the brackets, I got an unexpected e-mail from Wayne Hicks, announcing his business visit to the Los Angeles area in a few days. Couldn't ask for a better timing, I thought, I'll give him a pop quiz when he arrives... better yet, I'll get my list of questions ready and give him an exam instead .
Wayne arrived in the afternoon as expected. He took a quick inspection of my projects and gave me a thumbs up rating - that's a good sign! Then I sprung the quiz on him... since he is using Steve Wright's electric nose lift, he needed a second (or two) to assess the situation. Then he asked what is the FS of the nose gear when fully extended. We looked it up at the back of the plans and it is FS16... BINGO !!!
At this time, my actuator is already mounted on the mounting bracket which in turn, mounted on NG-30 by the pre-drilled bolt (i.e. one of the three). The actuator is also connected to the nose gear strut (NG-3) and is at its fully extended position. So, according to Wayne, if we can swing the mounting bracket back and forth until the nose gear is at FS16, that's where the mounting bracket should be! Why didn't I think of that...
Here's the FS16 alignment approach:
- mount the mounting brackets (from Jack) onto NG-30 at the lowest hole location (i.e. at the pre-drilled hole);
- mount actuator onto the mounting brackets;
- extend the actuator down electrically to its limit switch stop;
- link up the actuator ends to the nose strut (NG-3/4);
- now, if you swing the mounting brackets/actuator back & forth (at its pivot point - i.e. the pre-drilled bolt hole), the nose strut will move fore and aft accordingly;
- drop a plumb line down the center and forward face of F-22;
- extend that center line forward 6" on the floor (i.e. FS16);
- swing the mounting brackets until the center of the nose wheel bolt is lined up with F-16.(Since the nose strut is above the floor, I used a vertical laser beam and projected the FS16 position from the floor up to the nose wheel bolt location. ;
- once aligned, you just established your bracket position!!!;
- clamp the mounting bracket (temporarily) onto NG-30 sides;
- exercise the nose lift a few times to make sure it stops at FS16 every time (Note: make sure you don't extract the strut all the way, because we haven't carved out the bottom for the strut yet, remember?)
- mark the hole locations on the brackets;
- remove the brackets and match drill the holes on a drill press;
- make sure your nose wheel fork is centered and leveled before making your measurements.
Here's Wayne Hicks getting down on his knees, demonstrating the FS16 alignment approach. If you look close, you can see the F-22 plumb line and the laser mark at the nose wheel bolt. This approach was surprisingly simple and effective! A big hand to Wayne !
Here's the result of my EZ Nose Lift hole locations vs. plan locations:
Hole 1 - pre-drilled location --> same as plan;
Hole 2 - middle hole is 1/8" fore of plan hole location just to make sure it is 3/8" from hole center to the edge of the bracket per Jack's instructions;
Hole 3 - top hole is 3/8" fore of plan hole location.
If you are making NG-30, you may want to elongate/move your hard points forward a bit to accommodate the new hole locations. I was lucky in the sense that the new holes are still inside my hard points.
[Hindsight: Now that I have cut the hole under the fuselage for the nose wheel. I can say for sure that the above alignment procedure works. When the nose gear is raised, using the EZ Nose Lift Control, it will stop exactly per plan without any micro switch adjustment. In other words, the wheel bottom protrudes slightly (under 1/4") below the fuselage bottom surface. Refer to Section 8 of this Chapter]
Per Jack's procedure, I need to cut out a 5/8" wide 1" long slot on F-22 for the manual extension rod to go through. The position of the slot (on F-22) is determined by putting a long rod joining NG-3 mounting hole (when the strut is fully extended), through the actuator mounting hole (wood dowel supplied) and projected onto the face of F22. I found this approach is somewhat cumbersome (for a new build) because I need to remove the actuator off NG-30. That also means I have to secure the strut (independently) at its fully extended position. There's got to be a easier way... Well, there is (for new builds).
Here's what I did:
I left the actuator in place and had it fully extended electrically, as shown. I took my cross hair laser and lay it down on its side on a work bench (foreground). I rotated laser body until its horizontal line connects up NG-3 and the actuator mounting bolt - see the red laser line in the picture? I also clamped a block of wood along the center line of F-22 to catch the rest of the laser line. Note the laser line on the block at the front face of F-22? That's the initial mark per Jack's procedure. This approach is much simpler and more accurate than the supplied instructions. I also drilled a 1/2" slot instead of the 5/8" slot per instructions and it worked fine.
[Hindsight] I did not re-visit the Manual Extension Rod arrangement until I was in the middle of Chapter 22 (Electrical). With the advancement of aviation electronics, most of the round gauges are replaced by a radio stack. The radio stack filled up the central space behind the Instrument Panel, thus blocking off the extension rod to the Instrument Panel. Many Cozy builders turn to a double universal joint arrangement - bringing the manual extension rod to a lower position of the Instrument Panel - therefore not requiring the 5/8" wide 1" long slot on F22. Looking back, I would recommend delaying cutting the slot until Chapter 22.
Many Chapters later, I tested out the nose gear. It can be viewed here: