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Thread: Building and finishing my 2+2/PA 14

  1. #121
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Tonight was a big milestone in my quest for an aircraft to fly. I welded the last (as far as I know) piece onto my fuselage. I'm now ready to prep for paint. So, how much time has this taken to this point? Including the tail feathers, the fuselage construction from day one has taken 1503 hours! The wings (ready for cover) have taken 1477 hours. As I totaled up the numbers, I was very surprised that the work so far has been pretty evenly split. No telling how much work and time is ahead of me but I feel like I'm rounding a corner as I prep for paint. When I started this project, I had no idea how much time this would take. Time to keep moving forward as I start the paint prep tomorrow.

    Marty57

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  2. #122
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Excellent, Marty!
    Gordon

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  3. #123

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    You will be flying before I am finished. Good job.

  4. #124
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Blasted fuselage ! or Fuselage blasted. It's all in the order of things. Primer tomorrow, top coat in a few days.

    Marty

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    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com

  5. #125
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    keep those pictures coming, Marty!
    Gordon

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  6. #126
    Larry G's Avatar
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    Hi Marty what are you using for primer and paint

  7. #127
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Hi Larry,
    I'm using Stewart's Ekoprime than Stewart's Ekopoly top coat. I'll be painting outside for this phase; I'll set up a paint booth for the rest of the painting after I cover.
    Marty
    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
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  8. #128
    Marty57's Avatar
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    I shot primer today on the fuselage. If it were a baseball game I would sum it up as a Spring-training game with lots of runs and lots of errors I'm not disappointed at all; this is a learning process. First, new DeVilbiss Finishline 4 right out of the box. Great gun but I need to learn how to use it. Primer is great for that. I was in a hurry and unable to control the runs because rain was on the way and I was outside. I really like the primer (single part Ekoprime). It goes on nice and is tough; I'm finding that out as I sand out the runs. Regarding the runs, most will be covered and never seen so not a problem. The runs in the cockpit area will be sanded and re-primed in a couple days. A side benefit of the primer coat is it brought out a crack in a weld. Now, that may not sound like good news but it is. Now vs later is much better. I'll just grind out the weld and re-weld. I had a problem with that weld when I first welded it so I'm not surprised. It cracked when first welding and I thought I got it ok but not. Lastly, while spraying and rushing to avoid the rain my compressor stopped working, would not start up just buzzed. So, I cleaned up and put things inside and then looked over the compressor. It had running strange when at top pressure; it wasn't shutting off correctly. It turns out that two of the wires on one of the capacitors had come loose. I fixed the wires and now it runs great, much better than when I was sandblasting. So, the adventures continue. Here's a couple pictures, one of the primed fuselage and one of the crack.

    Marty

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    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com

  9. #129

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    Lompoc 2017? �� Keep up the good work!

  10. #130
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Yup; I hope to make that one. I'll keep at it.
    Marty
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    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
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  11. #131
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Today I did my first top coat with Stewarts Systems paint on my fuselage. All in all, I like the paint and the way it went on. there are a lot of things I have learned as I go through the painting process and I'll share some here. First, I discovered that painting a fuselage with a large gun (Devilbiss Finishline 4) is difficult at best to get to all the nooks and crannies in a fuselage. The Stewarts system top coats go on first with a light, fast fog coat through color saturation followed by a wetter top coat. While this will likely be pretty easy on a wing or fuselage, it was difficult on the fuselage. It is nearly impossible to maintain the proper distances of 10-12" for the fog coat and 6-8" for the wet coat; the gun just gets in the way. I have been watching the Stewarts videos and they are very helpful and easy to follow. My only suggestion is a video on shooting primer and color on a tube fuselage. This is way different than a flat surface like a wing. I called Stewarts today to ask about the amount of paint I would need to mix to top coat the fuselage, they asked what type of gun. When I told them what I had, they said they usually shoot a fuselage with a small, $50 touch up gun to avoid over spray, wasting material. That little tip may be obvious to those of you who have shot a fuselage before but not to me. So, I used the big gun, set for a small pattern as they told me on the phone and it worked well. I also had to shoot outside as I don't have a spray booth yet. For the wings and fuselage fabric I'll be shooting in a spray booth built from a Costco Carport tent. The booth will be outside my shop but have fans, lights, etc so should work pretty good. I did have some orange peal but no runs, no matter what angle I shot with the gun. For the color wet coat, I opened up the material a bit more and moved the gun more slowly to allow the gloss to come up just after I passed over an area; just as the video instructed. The finish on the larger , flat areas like the door frames have a nice, high gloss finish and should be good. there are some places on the fuselage where the finish is more flat as I did not get a good wet coat due to issues of getting the gun in a good position. I suppose that a smaller touch-up gun would have made that step easier. A quick look over the fuselage tonight shows some areas where I can see that the top coat is thin but those areas will be covered by the fabric, interior panels, etc. This being my first build leaves me at a disadvantage as I don't have experience in what will actually be seen or not. I may do some re-painting in a couple days if there are any areas where I am concerned. It seems that there really is very little on a fuselage that is visible when covered. I will be doing some fabric work inside the fuselage so any visible areas can be addressed at that time.

    So my overall impression of the Stewarts system so far is very good. We'll see if there are any areas I missed and address those with some more paint. As to quantity of paint used; I used about 20 oz of color so far. I will need to purchase more for the other parts so a gallon is in order. My color's are Sun Valley Ivory with Evergreen trim. I'm going for a more traditional Piper look that was from the factory for the PA12's and 14's.

    Any questions or comments on the Stewarts paints, let them fly. This is all about learning.

    Marty57

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    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com

  12. #132
    D.A.'s Avatar
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    Awesome Marty!

  13. #133
    Marty57's Avatar
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    It seems like a lot of summer went by with out any progress. Lets see, Built a shed, built second storage shed for my overflow from shop, went to Alaska, did some remodel in my son's house before his baby was due, welcomed G'kid #6 .... busy summer. Back at it last week. Built my sand blasting cabinet and did a bunch of blasting in yard and cabinet; there sure are a lot of pieces to paint. I primed and painted about 30 pieces from big to little. I'm really liking the Stewarts paint! For this second batch of painting, I used a touch-up gun from Harbor Freight (#46719). It worked great! Much easier to use in tight, small areas over the DeVilbiss Finishline I used on the fuselage. I need to shoot a final coat on the fuselage tomorrow; a lot of areas were undercoated with the big gun. After I'm done with the painting, I'm going to let the paint cure for a while and build the fuel tanks for my wings. I do have a question; what is the sequence next on the fuselage? I suspect floors, rudder bar, brake master cylinders. I have to do all the front sheeet metal work and build the doors yet ...... so I need to come up with a plan. Lots of work ahead.
    Marty

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    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
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  14. #134
    Marty57's Avatar
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    I started fitting my floor boards the past few days. I'm using 1/4" Baltic Birch; measures about .234" or so actual. Baltic Birch is a nice cabinet grade plywood with solid veneer layers and no voids. The sheets come in 5' x 5' and are very good quality. My cost was only about $17 per sheet compared about $150 sheet for 1/4" Birch ply from Aircraft Spruce. I would not use the Baltic Birch for my wing as it is a bit thin and has a few knots but it's perfect for floorboards. I'm using a trick for making the patterns that I saw done when I had new counter tops installed. Cut some strips of cheap Luann plywood (I used 1-3/4") in what ever lengths you happen to have. I set the front cross piece in place and clamp that first followed by the rear cross piece and made sure they were parallel. Next, the side were cut to follow the side tubes. I used a short piece to cut around the tubes as necessary. The strips are then glued with a hot glue gun. Next, the area around my flap handle mount were formed up the same way and glued with the glue gun. The pattern was than removed and checked to see that it would be removable. The pattern is placed on the birch ply and cut. I drilled out the corners of the opening for the flap mount and than cut that area with my jig saw. The band saw was used to cut the remainder of the sheet. For the cross grain I first scored the ply slightly to prevent any chipping of the top layer of veneer. The band saw cuts across grain don't need the scoring but the up and down action of the jig saw can cause some chipping when cross cutting. The Baltic Birch has a relatively thick surface veneer so there isn't as much chipping as domestic birch ply. Another option would be to use a pattern router bit to cut ply but with the thin Luann ply used for the pattern I felt it was too risky. After cutting, I block sanded and hand planed the edges to match the first piece. I also had to do a little bit of trimming so it would fit easily but that was pretty quick and simple. I will be using the this process on the remaining panels and floor boards. It's nice to be moving forward on what feels like "assembly".

    Marty

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    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com

  15. #135
    D.A.'s Avatar
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    Pretty clever Marty, looks great.

  16. #136
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.A. View Post
    Pretty clever Marty, looks great.
    I've decided he guy's simply a genius!!! Explains everything.
    Gordon

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  17. #137
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    I also used baltic birch. Have to order it from Rockler as I cant find it locally.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

  18. #138
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Plywood for the floorboards are all cut, fitted and sanded. I also added shims to the underside of the ply at some of the brackets where screws will attach floor to frame. When I was first fitting the seat tracks to the floor I found that the inconsistencies of the brackets caused the seats to not slide easily. The tracks are mounted on Oak mounted on top of the birch ply. Where needed, I placed a birch ply shim under the floor so that the ply is dead flat and solid at all bolt points for the tracks. Each track has five bolts and the seat belts are all fastened directly to the frame. I also started varnishing today. I decided to use a urethane spar varnish. I read all the posts and decided to go with a finish that I know and have used before. First coat on most of the wood tonight; will sand and second coat tomorrow.
    Marty

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    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
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  19. #139
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    Beautiful workmanship, Marty!

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  20. #140
    Marty57's Avatar
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    More progress to report. After installing all the nut plates in the frame and gluing shims to the underside of the floor, the finishing is done. The floor is ready for assembly. I attached the first major assembly tonight, rudder bar is in place. The difficulty was figuring how to get the rotation free with little friction. I used bearing blocks made from High Density Polyethylene Sheet (HDPE) sandwiched between .040 steel. I cut shims out of .007" aluminum (cat food cans) and fitted them as needed between the HDPE to get a nice easy movement of the rudder bar. After some trial and error, I came up with 4 shims at each bearing block. The bolts all have drilled heads and will be safety wired so everything will stay put. Next steps will be installing the stick torque tube assembly than on to the seat tracks. Feels like I'm actually moving forward with assembly. Sure have a lot of work ahead of me.

    Here's a few pictures of the floor and rudder bar.

    Marty


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    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com

  21. #141
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Marty

    Man, that looks great. I love seeing your progress reports.

    Keep the faith!

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  22. #142
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Bill,
    I followed your build, read everything. Today it paid off, again. The past couple weeks I worked on the torque tube but had lots of issues with binding. I remembered your post about using shims on your torque tube, used that on the rudder bar yesterday. I used the same technique today on my torque tube. First, two shims on each side (.007" aluminum from cat food cans). Assembled everything but had just a bit of slop. Unbolted, removed one shim on each side of the bolts, reassembled and perfect fit. No play with very smooth and easy movement. Thanks Bill!

    Marty

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    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com

  23. #143
    Marty57's Avatar
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    More progress. Stringers are on and I'm working doors. I picked up the first of my fuel tanks today to test fit. The fit is perfect! The workmanship on these tanks is outstanding. I had to design my own tanks as the control cables run in front of the tank through the tank bay and I eliminated the cross brace through the tank. Having these made gave me the time to move forward on the fuselage. Making good progress now.

    Marty

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    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
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  24. #144
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    I can imagine that beauty flying this summer. Keep on truckin' Marty!
    Gordon

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  25. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty57 View Post
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    Looking good Marty. I know you're still progressing but just a reminder not to forget a nice curved shape between the top stringer and the leading edge of the fin. It makes for better aesthetics as well as easier for the fabric installation.
    N1PA

  26. #146
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Looking good Marty. I know you're still progressing but just a reminder not to forget a nice curved shape between the top stringer and the leading edge of the fin. It makes for better aesthetics as well as easier for the fabric installation.
    I just got the fairing from Jay that goes between the fin and the top stringer. The fin isn't bolted in yet; also need to set up the trim indicator wire back there. Waiting on some electric trim switches and mounting hardware from Jay and I'll be able to finish up that area. The list prior to cover is getting shorter!
    Marty
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  27. #147
    Larry G's Avatar
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    Hi Marty looking really good. How is the durability of the paint you used holding up as you assemble.

  28. #148
    Marty57's Avatar
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    I"m real happy with the top coat so far; no chips in the paint yet with assembly. There have had some blemishes where I have had to be aggressive (or had to sand something on the floor and took off some paint) but it's easy to fix. Since most of this is covered I just brush on some primer and move on. I do the same if I have to drill a hole or ream something. Any bare hole for a bolt or nut plate gets primer. I have a small amount of Stewart's EkoPrime in a container with a brush always at the ready.

    Marty
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  29. #149

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    Looks great Marty! Just beautiful

  30. #150
    C-FIJK's Avatar
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    When i did this i added a grease fitting on top of each block to keep it well lubricated seemed to work well , awesome job your doing great build

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty57 View Post
    Bill,
    I followed your build, read everything. Today it paid off, again. The past couple weeks I worked on the torque tube but had lots of issues with binding. I remembered your post about using shims on your torque tube, used that on the rudder bar yesterday. I used the same technique today on my torque tube. First, two shims on each side (.007" aluminum from cat food cans). Assembled everything but had just a bit of slop. Unbolted, removed one shim on each side of the bolts, reassembled and perfect fit. No play with very smooth and easy movement. Thanks Bill!

    Marty

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    Gerry Marcil

    Every day spent flying is a great day !

  31. #151
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Gerry,
    Did you make your own blocks? I got these from Wag; the top seeks a little thin for a grease fitting. I came up with a real nice fit but grease would be nice down the line.
    Marty
    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com

  32. #152
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty57 View Post
    Gerry,
    Did you make your own blocks? I got these from Wag; the top seeks a little thin for a grease fitting. I came up with a real nice fit but grease would be nice down the line.
    Marty
    1 drop of oil once a year is all you need

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  33. #153
    Marty57's Avatar
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    My wife is camping this weekend with the Girl Scouts and I just picked up my fuel tanks ............ shop is getting pretty full ......... anybody think she will notice? They won't be staying long; guess they could be called guests, right?

    Marty

    Click image for larger version. 

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    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com

  34. #154

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    Marty give us some better pictures of them babies. Show us whats under the blankets.

  35. #155
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Here's a couple better pictures of the tanks. These were made to match the wood model I made that fits my tank bay. I went with custom tanks so I could run the cables in front of the tank rather than through the tank. I also eliminated the cross brace through the tank and built the wing with a sheer plate under the tank bay. Capacity should be between 16-17 gallons; I'll test fill to verify. The quality is amazing. The gentleman who built my tanks has been fabricating Indy Cars and top fuel dragsters since the 60's! His gas welded tanks are accepted by the NHRA. The large fittings were heili arc welded. The tanks are .062, A bit thicker than needed but it's what he likes to work with. The are about 12 lbs each. My cost was less than the stock tanks from Wag Aero and not shipping charge. Very happy with the decision to have these made.

    Marty

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    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com

  36. #156

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    Very nice, very very nice. I dont know if you ground your plane when filing gas, many dont. My Dakota tanks have a small ground lug welded to them for a jumper wire to complete the ground circuit to wherever you want to ground when filling. Again just an idea. I ground when i fill at home here but i made it real simple. a wire from the tank to the spar and then i have atlees tiedowns, there like a tab looking for something to be hooked to it so i do it.

  37. #157
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Grounding is good. The Atlee Dodge tanks also have ground lugs for bonding to the airframe.
    Gordon

    N4328M KTDO
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  38. #158
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    You can ground the tanks by eliminating the rubber hose connector tubing. Just use a long nipple on the tank with an elbow on the end connected directly to the aluminum tubing. The aluminum tubing is grounded to the airframe at the selector valve, the belly quick drains and the gascolator.
    N1PA

  39. #159
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    S/S external braid Aeroquip hose would do that also. I have both that and a grounding wire - belt and suspenders
    Gordon

    N4328M KTDO
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  40. #160
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Yes but how are you grounding the external braid to the tank and airframe? There still needs to be a connection.
    N1PA

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