Today was a day to get closer to the first flight, the new fittings arrived for the oil cooler and were installed back on the airplane, oil and filter were changed, Added the forward bumper buffer for the top cowl by using a small rubber hammer, cut off the handle, and cut a 1/2" piece of plywood in a cirlce just larger than the hammer , screwed the two together and fiberglassed it onto the top of the cowl, when inverted into the normal position the base of the rubber hammer will just rest on the top of the engine block, this will provide positive support for the forward part of the top cowl. Added two 1/2' wide wood support strips to the center top of the cowl to minimize the flexing as the top of the cowl is almost 6' in length, We are also adding similar wood support strips to each side of the lower cowl to minimize the flexing when closing the cam locks. On the lower right side of the cowl we have made and added a small box with a door and an opening in the bottom, power cabels to the oil pan heater and the battery maintainer will be housed in this box and allow access without having to remove the lower cowling. Little by little it is all coming together and we need to stop making minor changes and get it done! Will be posting photos soon.

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Comment by Bob Pustell on May 2, 2010 at 1:56pm
Sounds like you have that base covered, Phillip. I have not seen a Jabiru 8 cyl in the flesh yet, but it sounds like quite a rig. The only flat 8 I have any experience with was the monster Lycoming 720, which was very smooth (especially for a Lycoming). The problem that engine ended up having was the crankshaft sometimes warped due the length of the unit and the rotational stresses. Hopefully, Jabiru learned from the long crank and problems on the big Lycoming and will not have the same issues. I used to have a flathead straight eight (a monster long engine in a 1950 Pontiac, smooth as silk) that was flawless. May that be the model for your engine!
Comment by Phillip Owens on May 1, 2010 at 5:23pm
Dear Bob, Thank you for your coments, if I were running an engine like a lycoming or a Continental wich vibrate a lot your suggestion would be very true, however, I am running the jabiru 5100 8 cyl 180 HP engine and I can tell you from first hand experience this engine is almost as smooth as a turbine, there is almost NO vibration! The engine mount is less than 1/2" away from the exhaust stack and from startup to full power and back ther is no movement, my A&P who has over 40 years experience was VERY Impressed!!! Just an added note the bottom of the rubber bumper will just slide around on the top of the engine if at all.
Comment by Bob Pustell on May 1, 2010 at 4:07pm
If I visualize what you desribed correctly, you might be creating a problem. The engine vibrates and moves around quite a bit. The cowl should be (more of less) sitting still. By supporting the forward cowl with the engine, you will be forcing the cowl to move about a lot and may, in the long run, cause cracks or problems in your cowl structure. Just a thought................

If you really need to support the cowl at the front, maybe you should find a way to support it from something that sits still, such as the engine mount. Most cowls are supported at the firewall only and cantelever out to surround the engine.

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