Did some maintenance today. Had a sneaking suspicion about the left brake rubbing. Opened left wheel pant since it was just a tiny bit wobbly. Found brake caliper and wheel pant mounting bracket all 3 bolts loose allowing up down motion of whole brake assembly. Removed wheel and tightened bolts. Reinstalled. Noticed this very tiny motion two months ago and we should have checked sooner. Lesson learned: if anything changes even a little bit investigate. Left tire at 22 psi. Right tire at 15 psi!! Filled to 35 each. Since the pressure was low the bulging wheel managed to rub and take another small chunk of the fiberglass wheel pant off on both sides. Trimmed and cleaned a bit more using the sanding wheel in a die grinder on both left and right main wheel pants. Reinstalled both wheel pants. Will test fly it tomorrow AM during instrument lesson. Should probably check nose tire pressure but I didn’t have time before leaving today.
Decided to remove and regap all 8 sparkplugs which made a big difference in ease of starting. Most had gaps bigger than 0.022. Reset to 0.016.
While working around the plane the led work light stand tipped into the wing and put a dent on the top side of the leading edge of the right wing outboard of the fuel tank. It’s smaller than a dime and doesn’t affect airworthiness but I’m feeling pretty bad about it. I plan to research options for removing the dent via auto body service like dent masters or filling the dent with bondo and recovering with a small vinyl patch.
Replaced and re-glued the screens over both left and right fuel vent intakes.
There was a small weep of oil at the oil cooler / oil hose connections. I used steel fitting in the oil cooler (instead of aluminum) and did not get the oil lines tightened enough. I tried tightening them just a bit more while holding the steel fittings with another wrench. This seems to have stopped the slow weep.
I re-installed the engine air filter which had popped up from a small engine backfire during a previous start.
The alternator wire was chafing a bit. Fixed.
Changed oil. Took oil sample (was from end instead of middle of draining by accident). Changed oil filter. Did not change or check suction screen during this oil change.
Removed all 8 spark plugs. Determined 3 of 4 bottom spark plugs had lead build ups and decided to replace them (200 hours). Gapped the 4 upper plugs to < 0.020 and > 0.015 quickly but not very precisely.
Installed lower cowl heat shield material from Vans on the inside of the lower cowl to protect the fiberglass from the exhaust areas where it was starting to discolor.