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Volume II Issue I January 1997

The KROnline Newsletter is intended to serve as a conduit for information and building ideas about the KR family of experimental aircraft. It is meant to share the knowledge that has been hard won by those who have gone before us. Education is the cornerstone to a quality built KR.

The article submissions each month are from KR builders and suppliers. Opinions express are solely those of the individual authors and not of KROnline. Any ideas or techniques discussed are to be duplicated and used at the sole risk of the experimental aircraft builder. KROnline does not endorse or warrant any certain outcomes.

Rand Robinson Engineering is in no way affiliated with KROnline and as such, does not formally endorse any information published in KROnline.

In this issue:

and much much more!

Adrean Carter's 100% Scratch built KR2

Composite fuel tank construction by Mark Langford

Fuel tank/forward deck. My tank was scratch built using 1/4" thick 4 pound density Clark foam with two layers of 5.85 oz glass cloth wetted with Safety Poxy II sandwiched on each side.. Hexcel's Safety Poxy II is no longer in production, but 2427 is the new replacement. One 5 quart epoxy kit is all that is needed for layups and assembly. Also, vinylester resin is reputed to be fuelproof, and is very inexpensive. Given recent discussions on delamination of Hexcell products, I would use vinylester next time. I modeled my tank in 3D on a CAD system in order to maximize fuel capacity, while providing ample room for instruments, avionics, and legs. I put my avionics cutout on the left side, because with a center stick, my left hand will be free to operate GPS and radios. Given my experience with the pitch sensitivity of the KR2, I don't think it's wise to try to fly one hands off. Originally, the fuel capacity of my design was 21.5 gallons, but after reflecting on the consequences of having that much "volatility" in my CG range, I decided to reduce it to 17.5 gallons.

The first step to constructing the tank is to spray or brush a layer of PVA (polyvinyl alcohol, available from Aircraft Spruce East and others) release agent onto a quarter inch piece of glass. I picked up a 3' x 3' piece of salvaged glass for $15. This glass sheet is required so that when the resin is pulled down to the glass surface, a perfectly flat surface results. Trying this on polyethylene will result in voids and pinholes. After the PVA cures, lay up two layers of 5.85 oz fiberglass on it. Be liberal with the epoxy resin here. A little extra weight is worth the headaches of several tiny pinholes. Immediately micro one side of a large pice of Clark foam and stick it to the fiberglass. Squeegee the clean side of the foam to ensure direct contact between the microed side and the uncured epoxy/fiberglass. Then apply micro to the top of the panel and lay up two more layers of fiberglass, and squeegee again. The end result is a "plyfoam sandwich", with two layers of fiberglass on each side of the 1/4" foam.

Construction Templates
Decide on the shape of your instrument panel and draw a template for it. This is basically a mock instrument panel, and will extend to the outside of the two longerons, and will represent the outer shape of your forward deck. I made mine 7.5 inches taller than the longerons, with a nice elliptical shape, and it extends about 2" below the top of the longerons. Use the firewall template from the plans (or design your own more pleasing shape, like I did) as the front template for the tank. Once your templates are drawn up, cut out a firewall and instrument panel contour out of 3/4 inch particle board to be used as sanding guides, and clamp them in place. The aft end of the tank will be something that looks like a cross between the firewall and the instrument panel. If you make it a little large, it will simply be sanded to contour with the rest of the top of the tank.. The aft end of my tank is 17" from the rear of the firewall, which yields around 17 gallons of fuel, 7" of space for instruments, and 14" of space for radios.

You also need two baffles for the interior. Don't forget to leave openings at top and bottom, for air and fuel to circulate through. I made the bottom of my tank slope down as it goes aft, so that in a level or nose-up attitude, the fuel pickup will always be covered with fuel. There is also a sump in the center. This ensures that in straight and level flight, only about two ounces of fuel is unusable.

Position the foward end of the tank against the firewall, and the aft edge about 7" forward of the instrument panel. Cut out the two pieces which will sit on the two plywood firewall shelves and one which connects the two pieces together. Edge glue them together (with the smooth glass-like surface facing the inside of the tank) using flox and resin, and layup two layers of glass tape at each seam, overlapping in the corners. I used one strip of 1" tape, and one layer of 2" tape on top of that. The end result will be four layers of glass in each corner, with losts of resin to ensure against pinholes.

Install the two tank sides and the two baffles along with the aft end of the tank, edge glueing all joints with flox and resin and clamp lightly together.

Here, the bottom is being temporarily installed while two more layers of glass tapes are used to create flanges between the side walls and the bottom. Peelply is used to prevent the bottom from sticking to the flanges. After curing, the bottom is removed so that the top can be constructed and sealed from the inside. Later, lots of resin is spread on the flanges, and the bottom is reinstalled permanently.

A view showing the bottom of the tank temporarily installed during flange creation. Duct tape was used during the process to hold the bottom tightly against the sides of the tank. No tapes are installed on the outside of the tank yet, but there's no reason why they can't be.

The top of the tank is constructed from two inch urethane foam, with the bottom side laid up with two layers of fiberglass on glass again, as before. It is then trimmed to fit into the top of the tank in three or four pieces. The fiberglass layer on the bottom of the foam should be a nice tight fit inside the top of the tank.

Flox them in place with a generous fillet in all corners. Then, working inside the tank from the bottom, immediately install the two fiberglass tapes around all joints again.. For mounting, I installed piano hinges between the longerons and the tank sides, where the two meet. The fuel tank is now removable by simply pulling the pins. Until these hinges are installed, the tank is actually resting on the ears of the front and rear tank walls.

Sand the top of the tank to contour using a sanding block long enough to span both instrument panel and firewall plywood templates. Cover the longerons with duct tape to prevent damage to them.

The resulting top surface is now ready to be 'glassed.

Lay up the top of the tank with one layer of 5.85 oz fiberglass cloth and one layer of fine weave 1.5 oz cloth on the outside. Squeegee on peelply over the tank top to absorb excess resin. After curing, use micro to blend the edges of the tank to the fuselage sides. Install the fuel cap either forward or aft, depending on whether your gear is conventional or tricycle, and flox into place, reinforcing from the inside with fiberglass tape. Locate the fuel cap a few inches from aft or foward edge, to ensure that the tank can't be filled completely full. This allows a small air space for expansion of fuel after it warms up. Otherwise, fuel will be expelled out of the vent tube. Install the fuel sending unit. I used a universal VDO adjustable sending unit, available for about $25.00. It has a range of from 6-24" or so. Don't forget to connect a ground to it. Ensure that there are passages at the top of the baffles on each end for air to pass through, and apply epoxy to any exposed foam. Install a 1/4" aluminum tube as a vent. It entes the tank at a high location, and should end internally at the highest point of the tank. After installing the finger strainer in the tank bottom, epoxy the bottom on, and reinforce with the now familiar two layers of 'glass tapes.
You should now pressure test your tank with about 1 psi of pressure. Too much and it'll blow! I used oxygen from my acetylene tank, because it has a very accurate pressure regulator. Yes, the area was well ventilated.

The finished product with canopy and frame installed. The canopy also needs to be at least blocked in place during the panel mockup exercise so that the front deck will conform to the canopy's natural shape. This way stresses aren't introduced into the plexiglas that could later cause cracking or crazing.

For more info on my project, visit my web site at

Cure those Composite Parts with a little Heat!

By Abby Gayle

I've been lurking long enough, Its about time I try to make a contribution. Hopefully this will be beneficial to someone. As the temperature in the North Country starts to plummet, I am forced to

resurrect my "cure chamber" to permit my epoxy to cure in a thermally controlled environment. It is neither original, complex or expensive. It is cheap, simple and provides temperature control to +/- 3 deg F. I do both wet lay ups and vacuum bagging depending on the part / application. I have used a plethora of resin systems. My current favorites are manufactured by PTM&W (Aeropoxy) I prefer to cure at a min. temp. of 95 deg F for 24 hrs. Raising the ambient temp. of my hanger is cost prohibitive and I feel that localized heat in the form of heat lamps or space heaters is to haphazard. The obvious solution (at least for small and medium size parts) was a cure chamber / oven.

Chamber Configuration

1) The chamber base / bottom is .125" thick X 4' x 8' aluminum. It is supported on a wood frame. I added legs to raise it to a convenient work height.

2) The back, top and front of the chamber are 1" x 2' x 8' Styrofoam from the local builders supply.

3) The sides are 1" x 23" x 24" Styrofoam.

4) The sides, back and top are secured in position w/ tooth picks (no adhesive)

5) The front is removable and is held in position by the weight of the top and an occasional tooth pick. This "5 sided" Styrofoam box is not secured to the aluminum base.

6) Parts are held off the base of the chamber by wooden racks and / or hooks.

7) I inserted several thermometers at strategically located positions to monitor temperature.

8) Conductive heat is supplied to the chamber by directing any combination of heat lamps and / or infer red heat (Mr. Heater-propane) at the underside of the aluminum base. (ie--aim the heat up at the exposed aluminum from underneath)

9) Some testing is required to determin the proper combination of heat sources.


1) I know I lose some thermal efficiency as the base is larger than the chamber, but I like the extra space for a staging area. If increased efficiency is a primary concern:

a) An internal heat source (light bulbs) could be utilized if care is exercised to avoid localized over heating

b) Styrofoam "skirts" could be added to enclose the area between the chamber base and the hanger floor.

2) I use a smaller chamber of similar construction (internal heat) to store my epoxy at a relative stable temp.

3) This chamber has the advantage of being a temperary structure if you are space limited.

The scoop on Multi-Grade engine Oil

There is a unbelievable amount of oil 'misinformation' that resides in our collective 'knowledge'. There are all the arguments about which break-in oil to use, whether or not to use 50 weight (auto) oil in a V-6 converted for airplane use, which (if any) additive is necessary, how often to change oil, etc.

There was an article in the General Aviation News & Flyer recently authored by Kas Thomas (editor of TBO Advisor). The article cites recent studies that show the multi-grade oils as not being as good as plain old SAE 30.

'Now it turns out there may be solid scientific evidence that single-weight oils protect engines better than their multi-viscosity counterparts. A recent study published by the Society of Automotive Engineers (the folks whose initials adorn the top of every can of oil sold in this

country) casts doubt on the theory that multigrades are better all-around lubricants than straight-weight oils.'

'Last March, Mercedes-Benz engineers Rudolf Thom and Karl Kollman, along with Shell Oil engineers Wolfgang Warnecke and Mike Frend, authored SAE technical paper 951035, which discussed recent research results involving a variety of oils. Among the many interesting findings presented in the paper was a graph showing cylinder-wall wear rates versus cylinder wall temperature in an operating engine.'

'Three tests in a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz OM 616 engine compared three kinds of oils. In one test sequence, a straight 30-weight oil was used; in another, 10W-30 multigrade; and in the third, straight 10-weight oil. In each case, the engine was operated at fixed speed, torque and temperature conditions until constant wear rates were observed. Wear rates were then plotted against cylinder wall temperature.'

'While two of the oils turned in very similar wear performance, one oil stood out as protecting the engine against wear at the extremes of temperature. That oil was plain SAE 30 (straight-grade 30-weight). At either extreme of temperature, the maximum wear rate with 10W-30 was more than double that of the straight SAE 30 oil. The worst performance was turned in by straight 10-weight.'

'These finding should come as no surprise because , in general, thicker oils make for thicker oil films and the thicker the oil film the better the wear protection. What's surprising is that a 10W-30 oil, which is supposed to have viscosity comparable to an SAE 30 oil at high temperatures, does not provide wear protection at least equal to that of a 30-weight unmodified oil. The simplest explanation, it appears, is that the base stock from which a 10W-30 multigrade is made (namely, 10-weight oil) is fundamentally not as good a lubricant as a 30-weight base stock. It would also appear that viscosity-index (VI) improvers are not, in and of themselves, robust lubricants.'

It should be noted that some multigrade oils are made from base stocks that have higher viscosity than 10W. Shell's 15W-50 starts life as an SAE 30 and Phillips X/C starts life as a 20-weight.

What I Did With My Time While It Was Too Cold To Cure Epoxy

By Rick Junkin

RMI's Micro Encoder

The first time I saw an advertisement for this instrument (about 8 years ago), I thought to myself, "How in the world can anyone justify paying that much for a KIT, and who needs all that high tech, failure-prone electronic stuff anyway?" At that time it seemed to be a matter of status to have an instrument panel literally jam packed with radios, gauges, switches, and lights. The more that was there, obviously, the more redundancy you had and the more you could do with the airplane (I now refer to these crowded panels as "eye-magnets"). Time and experience has taught me, however, that the less there is to look at inside the airplane, and the easier it is to assimilate the information presented by what is there, the safer and more enjoyable the act of flying becomes, and the more prone you are to spend most of your time looking out the window for traffic or sights on the ground. I resolved a few years ago that no matter which aircraft I decided to build, the cockpit was going to be as uncluttered and complete as possible, within the constraints of budget and weight, and it was going to be digital. Ron Mowrer of Rocky Mountain Instrument markets a pair of instruments designed to do exactly what I'm looking for - make my flying experience more enjoyable, less fatiguing, and most importantly, safer.

Let me start by showing you what data the RMI instruments present to the pilot, the standard instruments they can replace (in VFR applications only), and a little bit about value. The comparison table I put together should give you a good idea of whether the expense associated with these projects can be justified in your personal application. As a point of reference, the prices I used came from the 1996 AS&S catalog, and I looked for average priced TSO'd components. In some cases I've noted the price of a non-TSO'd component for your reference. The right hand column of the table is my "realistic estimation" of the standard instruments the typical KR builder/pilot would actually buy to put in his airplane, which also helps point out the capabilities you will get for "free". Also note that the RMI prices I'm using are the latest prices for the kits -- if you want to buy them preassembled, add another $300 to the price of each (or contact me, I really enjoyed putting this thing together ;-}). Oh, and by the way, the price for the Micro Monitor (which I haven't built yet) does not include all of the sensors and probes needed, so I didn't include probe and sensor costs with the "standard instrument" prices, either. Expect to spend another $200 to $500 on these items, depending on how much capability you desire (EGT/CHT on every cylinder, carb temp, fuel flow, etc.).

Some of the features of the RMI equipment are not available in standard instrument form (or at least I couldn't find them), most notable of which are the many alarms that are built into the monitor and encoder to help the pilot monitor the health of his power plant and the accuracy of his altitude control. Without my getting too melodramatic, let me propose that these alarms could potentially save you from making an error that could get you violated, or more importantly, from missing an indication of an engine problem that could cause you to lose your airplane or your life. In the case of the Micro Encoder, it has three altitude alert modes: hold altitude, converge altitude, and approach altitude (check out the web page at for more details), as well as programmable airspeed alerts and alarms for just about every V speed. You'll have to assign your own value estimation on these features. Ok, time to get off the soap box and on to the details of the fun I had building this contraption.

Micro Encoder Kit Composition. RMI has been around for a number of years, and they have done extremely well at refining their kits to the point that just about anyone can assemble them. The documentation is excellent, and written in such a way that you don't have to know a thing about electronics and you will still finish up with a working instrument. The assembly manual starts out with a list of tools you will need, and then goes into just the right amount of detail telling you how to make a good solder joint. If you've never soldered before, you will learn enough to be proficient. If you're already an expert, you'll appreciate the review. I personally appreciated the many "piece of mind" notes sprinkled throughout the assembly manual, particularly the one telling you that the parts you have left over in your anti-static box when you've finished construction of the main unit are for the temperature probe you will construct after the rest of the kit is complete... (ever take a carburetor apart and have a few pieces left over after you're through putting it back together?? You know the feeling...). Other notes let you know that you won't be filling all of the component positions on the printed circuit cards. Sure helped me sleep better while I was building. After I quit and went to bed, that is....

Speaking of printed circuit cards, there are three of them in the Micro Encoder, and all are silk screened to show both where the components go and how they are to be oriented on the board. The components themselves are shipped in three formats -- static-sensitive components, such as integrated circuit chips and the display driver circuit board, come in anti-static protective containers and bags; large non static-sensitive parts come loose in a plastic bag; and small resistors and capacitors come on sort cards, neatly labeled and arranged in the order they are needed for assembly. They really make this easy for you.

Construction Details. First of all, make sure you have ALL the tools the manual tells you that you will need, and heed their advice regarding a quality soldering iron. They recommend a temperature controlled iron (which runs about $230+!!!), but say that a professional quality 25 watt iron will work just fine. They were right, I paid $35 for a Weller professional quality pen-type soldering iron, and didn't have a lick of trouble with it (NOTE: I had two other soldering pens in my shop, but both were inexpensive [read that as CHEAP] tools I had purchased to make some emergency repairs in the past. I bought a high quality iron for this project, and you'll thank me for advising you to do the same!). Make sure you get a 1/16" screwdriver tip like they recommend, and keep it clean during the construction process. Check out, Mouser Electronics, and request a catalog. They have soldering irons as well as all (and I mean all) of the switches, lights, and electronic components you will need for your airplane. The rest of the tools and equipment you probably already have, with the exception of a 4 and a half digit multimeter. This is another big dollar item, and is best borrowed from your neighbor with the home electronics repair shop in his basement. Don't worry if you can't get your hands on one, the manual tells you how to work around it. More on that later.


Figure 1. Here's everything that comes with the kit. The black bags on the right hold the static-sensitive components. The white cards in the front hold all of the small resistors and capacitors, identified and sorted in the order of assembly.

Figure 2. You will be doing a lot of detail work, so make sure your work area is well lit. Also, observe the anti-static procedures outlined in the manual to the letter!

Figure 3. Here are the two main circuit boards with all the components soldered in place, mounted in the chassis and ready for the IC chips to be installed. Notice the socket pins for the chips. The pins come on plastic strips that hold them together in place while you solder them to the board. It's a lot easier than it looks!

You don't need a large work space. I completed the entire assembly on a card table-size work area in my basement. Good lighting, on the other hand, is essential. The manual says to allow 15 to 20 hours for construction (it took me about 11), and all the work you will be doing is detail work, so make sure you do everything you can to avoid eye strain. I couldn't locate a pair of those flip-up magnifiers that you can wear on your head; I will DEFINITELY find a pair before I start on my Micro Monitor. I used a hand magnifier to examine my solder joints, and that slowed me down considerably. Which brings up a good point -- TAKE YOUR TIME!!!!! This kit goes together very quickly and easily, and the people who wrote the assembly instructions are experts at keeping the horse in front of the cart. I was tempted to skip ahead a few times, and work on something that seemed to make sense at the time, but fortunately that voice in the back of my head remembered the line at the beginning of the manual that said "Don't skip steps!". In hind sight, following the directions EXACTLY saved me some rework.

Gotchas. There were a couple of things in the manual (albeit very small things) that I commented back to RMI on. Out of all of the components in this kit, there was only one with markings that did not exactly match the call out in the manual. Actually, the nomenclature didn't match at all. A call to RMI revealed that they had recently changed suppliers for this particular part (a resistor network), and the new supplier's markings were different from the original suppliers. No big deal, it fit where it was supposed to go.

The other items pertained to testing the completed kit. The manual tells you to hook your kit up to a 12 volt car battery charger as a power source to perform the initial testing. I found that the battery charger I had didn't have a steady voltage output, and this caused the indications on my unit to be unstable, i.e. the altitude wouldn't hold steady, and the VVI was jumping around constantly. The manual tells you that if you have problems, you should hook your unit up to a car battery and see if that stabilizes it before you call in for technical help. I opted to use two 6 volt dry cell batteries wired in series instead, since I didn't have a spare car battery in my basement. The steady voltage source solved my problems.

The last gotcha (which cost me another phone call) has to do with the 4 and a half digit multimeter I mentioned earlier. There is a 4 volt test point on the air data PC board, and the manual says to adjust it with the digital voltmeter to exactly 4 volts. I assumed (and apparently a number of other folks have as well) that the reason for using this precise voltmeter was to make sure you got the voltage adjusted to exactly 4.000 volts. The real reason is that the voltage adjusts from 3.997 volts to 4.003 volts, and you can't see it unless you have a meter that reads to the appropriate number of decimal places. The manual doesn't tell you this (at least not yet, Ron was revising it when I called him), and this step comes right after you adjust the voltage on the display board, which you can take from 0 to well above the required 3.8 volts with the variable resistor. Well, I didn't have a $300 4 and a half digit voltmeter, I had an analog meter that's been around for a long time. I had just set the voltage on the display board with it, and I wanted to at least check to make sure that I hadn't blown anything on the A/D circuit board, so I hooked it up and started adjusting the resistor -- nothing. No movement of the needle. I thought I had cooked the resistor. Ron set me straight with a laugh, and said something about wishing he had left that out of the circuit.... The bottom line is, the manual tells you how to set the resistor to midrange without a voltmeter, and that's what I finally did.

Figure 4. The display is very readable and intuitive. The photo on the left shows all the display segments illuminated; and the photo on the right shows a typical operational display. The top of the display shows altitude information, with programmable airspeed alarms for Vne, Vno, gear extension, flap extension, and flap/no flap stall speeds. The middle of the display shows altitude information, with three altitude alert modes. The bottom of the display shows the altimeter setting, which can be set in millibars or inches of mercury, and OAT read from a sensor you construct, displayed in degrees Celsius or degrees Fahrenheit. And finally, the right side of the display shows vertical velocity both digitally and graphically. The VVI graphic presentation sensitivity and range is programmable, and magnetic heading input from an external compass engine can be displayed in place of the digital VVI. Actuation of the switches at the bottom of the unit display the indicated information, as well as provide access to the "set" and programming modes for the alarms and indications.

Overall impressions. I can't say enough about this project. The kit is 100% professionally done, and I don't know how they could make it easier to put together. Customer service was great, and Ron answered my emails all within one day. As for the finished product, if you don't tell people you built it from a kit, they will NEVER guess. As far as functionality in the cockpit, I can only speculate at this point. But based on my experience with head up displays and digital avionics, and after running my unit in its demo mode for a couple of hours, I am extremely happy with my choice. The display is intuitive, as are the unit controls; it's easy to operate, and the alarm/alert modes alone will be worth the cost of the whole unit when flying in the congested areas here around St Louis.

Recommendations. Take a look at the cost comparison table and make your own assessment. Don't forget to consider the benefits in safety of flight and reduced cockpit workload. And don't shy away from the technology just because it's electronic and you've never built anything before -- it's really as easy to build as I described. Weight savings over conventional instruments may be there, but I didn't take the time to research it fully. I had originally estimated my weight savings at about two pounds by using both the Micro Encoder and Micro Monitor instead of conventional instruments. But I'm planning on using the optional backup battery for the Micro Monitor in my installation, so the weight difference will most likely be a wash. I feel the backup battery option is really a must, though, as we all agreed (I think?) when we were discussing this issue a month or so ago on KRNet. A redundant power source for instruments displaying critical engine and flight parameters only makes sense.

On the other hand, take a look at what your personal instrument panel plan and flying applications are, and determine if you need what this product has to offer. If you live in Nebraska and are planning to only fly for pleasure around the local patch, it doesn't make sense to invest that much money in something like this, unless you are a techno geek and just WANT one (no offense, I are one too ;-}). At the other end of the spectrum, if you are planning on a full IFR setup, remember that the Micro Encoder should only be used as a replacement for only your VVI, nothing else! The prudent aviator will still need his/her standard A/S and altimeter, so make sure your panel layout will make sense. The utility of this unit in IFR conditions is obvious, but panel space is limited, and a full panel is already expensive enough.

And last, take a look at the RMI web page, All of the information you could possibly want is available there, including downloadable versions of all the manuals. All of the contact information is there as well, but for completeness, here it is:

Rocky Mountain Instrument, PO Box 683, Thermopolis WY 82443

Phone/Fax (auto detect) (307) 864-9300

Email,,, or

I talked to Ron about volume discounts, and he said that they start at 5 units. You may be able to save some money if you can get enough folks here or at your local EAA chapter interested. I'll be buying the Micro Monitor kit sometime next fall (that's when my engine installation is scheduled for), and will be canvassing to get other interested folks together at that time.

I hope my insights and opinions have been of value to you. After looking back over what I've written, I think it's important to mention that I am NOT on the RMI payroll, and I'm not getting any promotional fees or considerations from Ron!! I am just really impressed with the RMI products, and truly believe they are a the best value for the money on the market. Not only that, but way down deep inside, I'll always be a techno geek….. KR's to infinity and beyond!!!

VW Plenum Cooling System update!

By Jon Finley

Hi all ,

I wrote to the list last fall regarding the plenum box cooling system that I made for my Revmaster Q2. All the testing that I did (CHT temperatures) was with two CHT senders. One was a bayonet type that was secured to the left side aft cylinder head and the other a gasket type under the spark plug of the other aft cylinder. At one time I even tested the gasket type with boiling water, it was accurate.

Well, a couple weeks ago I installed four new CHT senders(gasket type) and a four way switch(I haven't tested these). Today I flew(thank God for one flyable day in Minnesota during the 9 months of winter). Boy, was I ever surprised. Seems things are running very HOT. Two cylinders were hot at

around 400 the other two were closer to 500. I didn't bother to figure out which two were the hottest(frustrated and didn't feel like crawling under the panel). I imagine it is the front two. Last fall I had reduced the two - three inch cool air intake tubes to two inches. This had warmed things up quite a bit(old senders) and I could reach 400 CHT in a climb(50-60 outside temp). I think the front two cylinders are not seeing the necessary air flow and are running hot. Apparently the bayonet sender (mine) was far from accurate. I blame its placement. The other was accurate but on the wrong cylinder.

I wanted to alert everyone/anyone that may be installing a similar system. I plan to convert to a Subaru next winter and the last thing that I want to do is spend the summer working on cooling the VW. I am debating what to do, either install the old style baffles or spend a little time trying to fix what I have. If I figure it out I will post it here. Sorry for the misleading info.

Last week I modified the cowling inlet and hot air exit. The inlets are now back to 2" diameter and the exit is much larger and a ramp typedesign(about 3"x21"). I flew yesterday and temps were significantly better without any internal baffling in the plenums over the cylinders.

Outside temp: 25F

Climb CHT: 400(high cylinder) - 350(low cylinder)

I didn't spend alot of time cruising so don't have any numbers there yet.

Jon Finley
N54JF 1835cc VW Quickie
N90MG 2100cc Revmaster Q2
Bloomington, Minnesota

Me Too!

I have had this same experience with my KR-2 (2180 CC). I found that the cylinder to cylinder temperatures to be different by way over 100 degrees F. I now feel it is extremely important to monitor all four cylinders with sparkplug gasket thermoucouples during the first 40 hours or so of operation. If you don't do this you may think you have CHT's in the 350 degree range, when in fact one or more cylinders are really running at over 500 degrees F. I ended up making small baffles, temporarily pop riveting them in, and by trial and error iteratively modified the internal airflow in my cowling by modifying these internal baffles. After about 20 test flights I finally got all the cylinders to run within 20 degrees F of one another.

Craig Sellers CFI KR2 N34SS VW 2180

Well folks that all for this issue, as mentioned before we are just trying to kick the issues out as quickly as possible to get caught up! I apologize for the lack of tidbits and other neat things that are missing. But as we catch up we will have more time to post the great ideas that have been submitted for the Tidbits Section. I hope everyone enjoys this issue and the February issue is soon to follow!

I also changed the text size to 12 verses 10, do you like it better or would you prefer that I take it back down to the smaller size? The size of the font has no relation to the size of the file, its just easier to read. Also I have started using Adobe Acrobat and uploading the Acrobat version of each issue to my server, Acrobat is a great little program and I hope you are downloading the Acrobat Reader and utilizing this awesome tool! Acrobat files are much smaller than MS Word documents (Jan issue in Word 7.5 meg, Jan issue in Acrobat 700k!) and the reader is free, it is available for windows 3.1 WIN 95 WIN NT and of course Apples and MACs. What a great way to get this newsletter to anyone regardless of their PC platform!