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Long EZ N28EZ...The Engine Cowlings

Fitting the cowling to the plane.

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The Fuselage, wings, canopy and the engine (with the flywheel and prop extension attached) were all assembled in my back yard in order to fit the cowling to the parts. Note the temporary cowling support blocks mounted on the firewall with bondo. At this point, the airplane could probably fly...If we could find someone big enough to throw it, that is! :-)
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The pre-formed cowling was fitted to the assembled aircraft, with proper spacers to keep the prescribed distance from the engine, then cut, fit and assembled. Here is the result.
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And, here are the cowlings after being filled, sanded and finished painting:

Painted Cowlings

Now all I have to do is find where I put all those Camloc fasteners when I removed them, and put them back in the cowlings so I can mount them to the plane!

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And now, on to the Engine...a Lycoming O-235


But, meanwhile, the RX-7 was donated to charity, minus the engine. The Mazda engine now resides on an engine stand in the back of my garage. I've rebuilt the Lycoming O-235 you can see in the first photo above to get the plane flying. Installed new pistons and rings, and generally cleaned it up and replaced all the gaskets, screws, bolts, etc., to make it look purty!

Front view of Engine

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Here's a view of the back, showing the P-Mags I'll be using instead of the Slick magnetos. Note also, the auto spark plugs. Of course, there is a lot left to do to it before turning it over for the first time...the wiring and harnesses, carburetor, exhaust pipes, starter, alternator, fuel pump, vacuum pump, baffles and a bunch of little things I can't recall at the moment, but I'm well on the way to firing it up!

Rear View of Engine

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This is a picture of myself and a friend's son, Matt, who appears to be quite interested. Despite his age, I liked his work so much, I hired young Matt as the shop manager, and you can see him giving orders in another section of this website (the Wings page).

Harley and Matt

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I converted the engine baffle plans to CAD drawings so I could easily copy them in case I made a mistake...or two or three mistakes as I usually do. Spent the day fitting the rough cut out plans to the sheets of 6061 aluminum that I have for them.

Next step is to drill the holes for the strain relief, mounting bolts and rivets, then sit down in front of the TV with a good pair of shears and cut them all out!

Engine Baffle Layout

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Cut the pieces out and bent them on a cheap metal brake that I got from my local Harbor Freight Aircraft Tool supply department. They fit much better than I expected on the first try...have to notch out over the exhaust pipe a little more to get that side to fit right, bend a little bit more here and there (like around the cylinders), then remove the paper and the clecos. Also have to get a starter and mount and fit that yet, as well. After I mount the engine back on the fuselage, I can put the cowling back on a half at a time, and fit and mount the flexible components of the baffling that seal it against the cowl halves.

Engine Baffle Fitted

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FINALLY! After 30 years, the plane is finished. Although parts are scattered all over from here to Canandaigua, all I have to do is pull them together, mount the wings, do the weight and balance and call the FAA! Today I ran the engine. Checked all the settings, instruments and readouts, and they are all as expected. After the checkouts, I took this video just for effect...


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Comments are welcome, please contact me at: Ageless Wings, Harley Dixon


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© Copyright Harley M. Dixon 1981-2017.
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