Engine cooling baffles.....20 hours
I've been busy building not computing for a little while. I finally managed to complete the cooling baffles today. They don't look like much but I wasted a lot of time scratching my bald spot just trying to work out how to fit it all together. I bought the baffle kit from Sonex, however their plans are not entirely correct which stuffed me up at first. I ended up remaking one of the rear baffles as the plans showed it bending in the opposite orientation to what would actually fit, plus the cutouts for the intake manifold was completely wrong. I also used the Onex oil cooler baffle as the Sonex one just wouldn't fit. This photo shows the first few pieces folded and placed into postion.
A lot of my worry was spent trying to work out how to make the motor easy to work on. I didn't want it to be open heart surgery just to change a spark plug or check the cylinder head bolt tension. On the SAAA aircraft they installed rubber gromets in line with the head bolts, however the location of the intake manifold means that these have to be removed to get at two of the bolts anyway, so I elected to make the baffle in two pieces. The rear baffle stays in place as it is not in the way plus the ignition wires, oil pressure and engine breather pass through it and I don't want to have to disturb them unless absolutely necessary. The next photo shows the completed installation, with rubber gromets sealing the entrance points for the wiring plus the rubber gasket fully attached. I'm using the horizontal split cowling which initially I was dreading as just how I was going to work out how to trim the baffles to the right fit with the inside of the cowling. It isn't nearly as scary as it seems. I kept trimming them a bit at a time with a nibbler fitted to my drill, taking a bit off at a time and it really was pretty easy to judge it. I'm really pleased with the overall fit of everything so far.