Thanks Thanks:  0
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: New Fuel Gauge, or How the Snowball Started

  1. #1
    Amy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    WI/MN/SD
    Posts
    762
    Post Thanks / Like

    New Fuel Gauge, or How the Snowball Started

    After bringing the Oklahoma Kid home in mid-April, things fell into place nicely with a local hangar opening up fortuitously and getting the airplane and her accoutrements (floats and skis) settled in. Pushing the airplane in one evening, I noticed the air box was wet with fuel. During the pre buy, it had been determined that the airplane had the wrong throttle body but the correct bowl on the carb. As such, a rebuild was in my future no matter what. I decided to do that sooner rather than later, and ended up purchasing a new needle and set plus the rebuild kit with gaskets, shims, etc. After the carb was rebuilt, it was time for a test flight. Things went well so I wandered off and did some landings at a beautiful all-grass airport and then headed back home.

    Lo and behold, heading up the river to return home, the airplane lost power. I had a WTF? moment and then it came back. I figured there might be water in the fuel that got stirred up while the mechanic was taxiing the airplane around for run up and wrote it off. Then, she did it again, at which point in time I pulled the carb heat on and entered the world's sloppiest makeshift pattern. The airplane ran all the way to the ground and taxied normally, but, suffice it to say, I had to remove some seat cushion upon exiting the airplane.

    The first step was to check the fuel for contamination--no luck there. Then, time to fill it up with gas to see if I was just a bonehead that ran out of gas. 2 gallons left--lower than I normally get, but seemed to be too much to count as running out of gas. Brought the airplane back to the hangar for further evaluation.

    The mechanic disconnected the fuel hose to the carb (brand new with the carb rebuild) and tested the flow and pressure. Sure enough, at 1.5-2 gallons, the pressure dropped. This seemed odd but, given that the airplane is fairly modified, also plausible due to possible quirks from the modifications. D'oh!

    While we were at it, we decided to calibrate the fuel gauge. At 8 gallons, the gauge barely indicated (it's an 18-gallon tank). The gauge was also a rather age-hardened and yellowed piece of plastic tubing, so I decided it was time for the ultimate upgrade--a Dakota Cub sight gauge (http://dakotacub.com/index.php?optio...display_id=101). Should be easy, right? 1-2 hours and we're off to the races.

    Continued . . .
    Proud owner of a collection of airplane pieces (sometimes in one big piece) known as the Oklahoma Kid.

  2. #2
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    4,520
    Post Thanks / Like

  3. #3
    Amy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    WI/MN/SD
    Posts
    762
    Post Thanks / Like
    Time for sight gauge installation--hand the parts off to the mechanic and think this will be a nice little quick addition (quit laughing). About 30 minutes later, I get a call.

    "Hey, you said this thing just plugs into a hose at the top and bottom to the tank, right?"

    "Yes. . . ." (thinking, really? This was supposed to be easy)

    "There's no bottom fitting off of the tank."

    Hmmmmm.....

    After much weeping and gnashing of teeth, it's determined that, SURPRISE! I have a Pacer tank! (Thanks to Steve Pierce, Tom Ford, and Mark Erickson for the identification assistance)

    Turns out the gauge that was installed had been run to a T off of the back fuel line fitting, with the top fuel line from the header tank run as a vent to the top of the sight gauge.

    The first step was to get the tank modified to accept the sight gauge once it was determined that we could do so. Speedy Dave from South Dakota welded threaded fittings in, like what is done on the new Dakota Cub tanks. This is nice because the original fittings could crack and would then require welding; I'm told they can be a pain to fix. He also machined an aluminum cover plate to cap off the place where the Pacer electric fuel gauges. In unrelated news, I might owe him ice cream for life.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2172.jpg 
Views:	102 
Size:	917.2 KB 
ID:	16776   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2191.jpg 
Views:	105 
Size:	582.6 KB 
ID:	16777   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2193.jpg 
Views:	93 
Size:	781.7 KB 
ID:	16778   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2194.jpg 
Views:	103 
Size:	626.2 KB 
ID:	16779   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2195.jpg 
Views:	102 
Size:	628.1 KB 
ID:	16780  

    Proud owner of a collection of airplane pieces (sometimes in one big piece) known as the Oklahoma Kid.

  4. #4
    Amy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    WI/MN/SD
    Posts
    762
    Post Thanks / Like
    Continued Further . . .

    Upon removing the tank, it was apparent that the felts were in need of replacement as they were falling off of the tank straps. Thankfully I remembered the wisdom of Steve Pierce--take lots of pictures during disassembly so you can remember how to put it back together

    Before engaging in the tedium of scrubbing old adhesive off of tank straps, I cleaned out the shavings from inside the tank. This included Speedy Dave's recommendation to wrap a piece of duct tape around a finger and swish it around inside the tank (this was probably extremely comical for my hangar neighbors, who effectively got to see me dancing with a fuel tank), and then a few rinses with the hose.

    Scrub . . . scrub . . . scrub . . . I swear there was 1/8" of old felt and glue stuck to the tank straps. It was several hours of sniffing MEK and scrubbing with Scotch-Brite, which was a thankless task. A few people asked why I didn't use a Dremel tool and the answer is . . . I just don't trust myself with power tools inside a wing

    Pictures: Tank rinse! Partially scrubbed tank strap. All clean . . . Then time to prime.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2252.jpg 
Views:	101 
Size:	1.34 MB 
ID:	16781   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2264.jpg 
Views:	99 
Size:	885.7 KB 
ID:	16782   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2287.jpg 
Views:	92 
Size:	633.8 KB 
ID:	16783   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2295.jpg 
Views:	91 
Size:	938.5 KB 
ID:	16784  
    Proud owner of a collection of airplane pieces (sometimes in one big piece) known as the Oklahoma Kid.

  5. #5
    Amy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    WI/MN/SD
    Posts
    762
    Post Thanks / Like
    Next time--put new felts on!

    Painted new fuel cap . . . not quitting my day job
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2312.jpg 
Views:	90 
Size:	596.8 KB 
ID:	16786   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2308.jpg 
Views:	88 
Size:	630.3 KB 
ID:	16785   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2314.jpg 
Views:	76 
Size:	857.5 KB 
ID:	16787   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2460.JPG 
Views:	79 
Size:	1.71 MB 
ID:	16788  
    Proud owner of a collection of airplane pieces (sometimes in one big piece) known as the Oklahoma Kid.

  6. #6
    Amy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    WI/MN/SD
    Posts
    762
    Post Thanks / Like
    Gauge went in . . . I did the decals. Again, not quitting my day job. It's, well, functional. The round dot is the 6-gallon mark, also known as the "You do know where your next fuel stop is, right?"

    Now, she lives!

    As for the plumbing? Early-model Super Cubs were plumbed without the front fuel tank pickup (s/n 1-46 but later models (469 and up) utilized both the front and rear. Since I already had the hard line run up the front of the window from the original installation, we elected to use the front pickup as well as the rear (can't hurt to use it!). The unusable fuel is now somewhere around a quart or so.

    The Oklahoma Kid finally returned to the skies on Wednesday the 13th . . . and I'm vowing not to open another can of worms for at least a few months.

    Many thanks to the Cub Club, Steve Pierce, Tom Ford, Speedy Dave, and Mark Erickson for helping me through the process. It's taken longer than expected, but it's been wonderful to realize how many awesome people there are in the Cub community. I'm immensely grateful for their help and we wouldn't be back flying without them!

    --Amy
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2462.jpg 
Views:	108 
Size:	1.86 MB 
ID:	16789   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	N3213N_20140817_0078_A_FC.jpg 
Views:	96 
Size:	181.2 KB 
ID:	16790  
    Proud owner of a collection of airplane pieces (sometimes in one big piece) known as the Oklahoma Kid.

  7. #7
    574cub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Eagle River AK
    Posts
    149
    Post Thanks / Like
    It's funny how small simple things turn into a little more then you thought. The positive part is you know it was done right and you won't have problems with it.

  8. #8
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Sandpoint, Idaho
    Posts
    5,470
    Post Thanks / Like
    A couple of sayings come to mind when working on old cars and airplanes.......

    "Might as well as....." and "but first....."

    As long as we have the tank out we "might as well as" fix the fuel pick up, and we "might as well as" replace the felt "but first" we need to clean the old felt off, and "but first" we need to weld on a new fitting, "but first" we need to clean the tank, and on and on. It just seems with these old airplanes everything falls into the "might as well as" and then its....."But first" we need to ..........

    Glad it worked out and congrats on getting your baby back in the air.

    Bill
    Very Blessed. "It's not an obsession, it's a passion"

  9. #9
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Graham, TX
    Posts
    21,188
    Post Thanks / Like
    Welcome to mine and Tom's world Amy, almost everyday. Glad it all worked out.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  10. #10
    cubdriver2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    upstate NY
    Posts
    10,833
    Post Thanks / Like
    Knowledge. Facts, information, and skill acquired by being a poor Cub owner. Your living the dream kiddo.

    Glenn

  11. #11
    PerryB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chico, CA
    Posts
    2,030
    Post Thanks / Like
    After recently finishing a total rebuild, that started out as a simple fabric and paint job, I can certainly sympathize. I love your title, it reminds me of the old Rocky and Bullwinkle stories. "Meanwhile, back at Frostbite Falls ......".

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    502
    Post Thanks / Like
    OK now that you have passed the first of many initiations its time to change your photo to include the OK kid in it

  13. #13
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Graham, TX
    Posts
    21,188
    Post Thanks / Like
    The snowball is our motto. We reap the benefits of helping others with their snowballs.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20140820_135959.jpg 
Views:	332 
Size:	1.48 MB 
ID:	16800
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20140820_135959.jpg 
Views:	75 
Size:	907.4 KB 
ID:	16799  
    Last edited by Steve Pierce; 08-20-2014 at 02:17 PM.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  14. #14
    cubdriver2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    upstate NY
    Posts
    10,833
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    The snowball is our motto. We reap the benefits of helping others with their snowballs.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20140820_135959.jpg 
Views:	332 
Size:	1.48 MB 
ID:	16800
    Who's trying to steal the food from who ?

    Glenn

  15. #15
    fly_cubs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    402
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    The snowball is our motto. We reap the benefits of helping others with their snowballs.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20140820_135959.jpg 
Views:	332 
Size:	1.48 MB 
ID:	16800
    Tom is going awfully bald in Texas. He must have been right about Paco being stressful to work around on a daily basis.

  16. #16
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    4,520
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by fly_cubs View Post
    Tom is going awfully bald in Texas. He must have been right about Paco being stressful to work around on a daily basis.
    It's because of the dry heat.

Similar Threads

  1. Need help with electric fuel gauge
    By JimW in forum Cafe Supercub
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 06-21-2012, 11:56 PM
  2. fuel sight gauge
    By RAC cubs in forum Cafe Supercub
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-22-2012, 01:23 PM
  3. ELECTRIC FUEL GAUGE - WHERE DO I GET ONE
    By OVEREASYGUY in forum Super Cub Sick Bay
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-13-2005, 09:16 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •