Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Removing the Panel and instruments

I'm a little out of sequence with this post because removing the panel and instruments was the first thing I did having gotten the fuselage into the workshop. This was not because I felt that it was the right place to begin, but because fellow Taylorcraft owners, Martin and Mick needed to get a new panel made up for their Taylorcraft and they wanted to use mine as a template. Incidentally I intend to replace mine and already have a new blank panel waiting in the wings so to speak. Start by removing the yokes, this is done by disconnecting them at the 'H' frame and pulling them through the panel holes. The panel is then removed by undoing all the screws that hold the panel to the coaming, the instruments in place and finally four screws that attach the panel to the yoke mounting frames. The panel should then just pull away to be put on one side.

This leaves a mess (or mass) of instruments dangling by various wires and pipes which were removed one at a time and put aside for later use.

Looking at the panel, you can see why it needs replacing; more holes than a Swiss cheese and a lot less tasty. The replacement panel will feature a basic triangle of instruments (ASI, tacho, altimeter, oil pressure and temperature and ignition switch) with a panel mount radio and transponder on the L/H side of the pilot's yoke. I personally like the idea of a clean panel with no glove box on the R/H side but this may change as the interior is fitted out just because it gives more storage space.

With the panel out of the way, the top coaming was removed to give me more room to get at the instruments and newly exposed fuel tank and fuel lines. The coaming is a heavy cardboard, and I've been told that this is original. Again this is put to one side so that it can be used as a template for an aluminum replacement.

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