Build Log RV-10 #1

Blog for a Vans RV-10 Airplane Build

Capacitive Fuel System

Started July 17, 2010 22 hours total

The RV10 kit normally utilizes a float gauge fuel system.  This is not a bad thing but many people do not like the inaccuracy of that type of system.

After doing much research I have decided to try and work on a capacitive type system.  The type of fuel system is a system that is made up of 2 sender plates that are put into each tank.  One goes on the inboard and one on the outboard rib.

Since there is not a kit made for the RV10, I looked at all was involved in the kit that is made for the RV 9 and purchased that kit.  Pretty much comes with all the basic components but there is the need to fabricate 4 new sender plates to fit the bigger ribs of the RV10.  To do this I purchased a sheet of 2024-T3 Alclad .020 Aluminum.  I cut out one piece as and made many adjustments and cuts until I was satisfied with the shape.  It is necessary to make sure that when the plates are installed onto the ribs that they are a mimimum distance of 3/16" clearance to the rib.

Once one plate was made with with the holes drilled for the nutplates, I clecoed 3 other pieces of aluminum to it and then cut all the pieces together utilizing a band saw.  Once the main shape was made, I cut the groove to make space for the tanks stiffener with a Dremel sander.  Then to make ran them across a belt sander and then the scotch bright wheel.  Now I have 4 plates that are all exactly the same.

Then took each plate and matched them up to the ribs and while being held in place with Cleco Clamps, I drill the holes in the ribs to accomadate the screw that will attach the plate to the rib.  I used a number 19 bit to do this.  Once all were drilled I went back and drilled the holes to a 1/4".  Do this just to the ribs ONLY and not the plates.

Marked each one so that I know which plate goes to what rib.  You do not attach these at this time, you have to wait until the ribs themselves get riveted to the skin.  At that time you attach the plates to the ribs with screws and spacers.

I then attached k1000-08 nuplates to the plates with 426-3.5 rivets.  To have the rivets flush on the plates, I did countersink the holes.

As of now, cannot really finish anymore until the tanks are ready for final assembly.  I will finish putting the rest of the components together just before the rear baffle of the fuel tank goes on.

Well, the fuel tanks are just about finished.  Have some very minor things along with the rear baffles to final attach.  So, Now is the time to get the rest completed.

First step involves attaching a wire terminal to wire then attaching that to the most outer plate with a pad head screw.  The screw goes through the back side of the plate and into the wire terminal.  Once this was attached, fillet the terminal end with proseal so fuel cannot enter the terminal.  I also convered the rest of the connection with proseal.

The second thing was to install the capacative plates to the ribs.  One towards the inner side and one to the outer side rib.  When attaching the plates, you must make sure that the aluminum of the plates do not make contact to the aluminum of the ribs.

This is done by cutting pieces polypropelene tubing that will slide over the flush head screw.  Once that is on, you slide one plastic spacer, insert screw into the rib, then 3 more spacers before finally screwing into the nutplate on the plates.  I have 4 screws for each plate. 

One the outer plates were attached, ran the wire around the aluminum vent tubing and through grommets to where the inner plates are attached.  I then attached these inner plates in the same manner as the outer plates.  I did this just after attaching the wire from the outer plate and another wire terminal that will go to the BNC terminal at the inner most rib.

Now that the inner plates are installed, I again wrapped the wire around the vent tubing all the way to the inner most rib.  Drilled a hole in that rib for the BNC connector.  Installed the BNC terminal, tightened and then soldered the wire coming from the inner plate to the terminal.  Once done, covered all the wire conenctions with pro seal.

Once everything was installed, I did check the plastes with an ohm meter to make sure that the plates were not grounding to any of the tank structure.

For now, this part is done until final connection to the EFIS system.  This process was much easier than I initally thought.  Would definitely go this route on my next build.

Click on images to view full gallery.