Jan 1, 2016. Taped the hole in the lower cowl nose gear leg area to help prevent pressurization of the lower cowl area.
Prior to the flight, I installed 2 Reiff 100W oil sump heater pads (one on each side of the sump at the rear of the engine) and the thermostat’s ceramic cube on the back of the engine oil sump (in the center rear). I ran the heater for less than an hour this morning and saw the oil temp and CHTs rise a few degrees from 50 to 53. It looks like it is working, and this is plenty warm for starting.
Today I flew for 1.7 hours. I did 2 stalls clean, 2 stalls at 15 deg flap, 2 stalls at 30 deg flap, and 2 stalls at 45 deg flap. Stalls at 45 deg flap have a tendency to drop the right wing slightly.
I did at least two climbs from 4,000 to 10,000 feet MSL under various RPM settings and power settings.
I tested the cabin heater valve. It heats but not a whole bunch.
Noticed a fuel vapor smell in the cabin during initial climb (this smells different from an exhaust smell). This has been a recurring event and I am trying my best to locate the source. Since I sealed the remaining holes in the firewall prior to this flight, it doesn’t seem like it is coming from the engine compartment (and there are no fuel leaks in the firewall forward area that I can find. Bob says fuel vapor can frequently can come from the wing root areas and into the cabin around the aileron pushrod holes (there is positive pressure in the wings and it forces air into the cabin under the seat pans. I pulled the wing root fairings (external) several flight ago and found no evidence of fuel leaks at the wing root connections. Other ways can be if the fuel tank is leaking at the back baffle and running down the inside lower surface of the wing to the wing root area. From there if it is more than a drop or two, it can run into the fuselage cabin floor since the cabin floor underlaps the wing for a few inches (I think). I can’t find any evidence of this happening. I plan to pull the fuel selector valve covers and the fuel pump cover and look for evidence of drips around those connections. The smell doesn’t last for long and is lessened when I open the cabin fresh air vents (in rush air may help pressurize the cabin slightly).
I also noticed occasional fuel pressure dips. You can see the two dips in green here (dropped to about 18 PSI):
Oil temp was also fairly cold on this flight (150’s & 160’s). I’d prefer to see 180 and I already have 1/4 of the oil cooler air inlet taped over.
1.6 hours engine time. 1.7 hours electrical time. 7.9/9.2 cumulative.
Post flight fueling: 8.7 gals right tank from fuel truck. 10.6 gals left tank from fuel truck. Right tank 20 gals dipstick. Left tank 21 gals dipstick.
Wiped overflow on brake fluid reservoir.
Put foil tape on 4 holes in the lower fuselage surface where the upper gear intersection fairings mount (but are not currently installed) in an attempt to block any vapor entry in this location.
Added 0.25 quarts of oil to bring the oil above 6 quarts.