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Thread: Fuel Tank Covers

  1. #1
    Bugs66's Avatar
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    Fuel Tank Covers

    Anyone fabricate their own tank covers and can share any tips and tricks? My left wing is going together somewhat quickly and now I am starting to think about the tank covers.

    The Piper drawings show .032 2024 T3. My D&E manual vaguely states .032 6061 T6. On the Piper drawings I see two hat section strips for reinforcement and felt. Would angle section be an acceptable substitute? Looks like nut plates are the way to go for attachment.

    Any builder tips anyone can share?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Crash's Avatar
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    .032 2024 T3 would be my choice. The stiffeners can be done a couple of ways. You can buy the rolled original ones from Univair, or make them out of .032 2024 T3 on a brake in a hat channel shape (I make mine a pointed hat, like "-v-" sort of) with the brake lip removed, or use .125 x 3/4 solid strip riveted in place. Crash

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    Bugs66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash
    .032 2024 T3 would be my choice. The stiffeners can be done a couple of ways. You can buy the rolled original ones from Univair, or make them out of .032 2024 T3 on a brake in a hat channel shape (I make mine a pointed hat, like "-v-" sort of) with the brake lip removed, or use .125 x 3/4 solid strip riveted in place. Crash
    Thanks Crash! Couple questions.
    1. Did you mean substitute .125x3/4 flat section for the hat section?
    2. Is your hat section riveted to the cover or "spot welded' as Piper shows on drawings? I don't weld aluminum.

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    I think Dakota Cub also has the hat sections.

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    The hat section has a slight curve to it which might be a challenge to some without access to some kind of roll. I have drilled the hat sections off old cracked tank covers and spot welded them to new covers I made out of 2024T3. I have access to a high dollar spot welder that will do aluminum but it requires cleaning after several welds. If I were to do it again I would rivet them on like the Dakota Cub tank covers.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  6. #6

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    What I did with mine was to eliminate the hat section and just rolled some beads for stiffness. Could have gone with the riveted hat section but have a beader, I like the looks personally.

    Matt

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    Crash's Avatar
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    I would attach them with flush head rivets like Dakota Cub does. The .125 x 3/4" wide solid was suggested as an alternate and riveted on the same. Crash

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    Bugs66's Avatar
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    Appreciate the suggestions. Thanks again!

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