Various avionics steps

I added a circuit breaker in the "spare" location for the AFR, and also connected it to the essential bus - the label doesn't look as pretty as the engraving, but oh well:

Center panel with a new circuit breaker for the AFR sensor

then attached the ECUs:

EFII System32 ECUs attached in place

For running wires into the Bus Manager, I didn't like the idea of squeezing and bending them through the edge of the existing opening, so I made dedicated holes with a grommet for each post:

Bus Manager with ports drilled next to the terminals I'll use

Ring terminal aligned with the Bus Manager ports

Labeled Bus Manager ports

I still really dislike the box they made for the Bus Manager (e.g. hard to attach securely), so some day I'll probably make a new one with the same attachment holes as the ECUs - but that'll have to wait.

I also attached all the electrical items to the firewall, and the larger grounding block to the inside:

Insulated firewall with all components attached

Ground block attached to the firewall

I got more cables from Aircraft Specialty for passing through the firewall and connecting to the starter relay (I'll later also get cables to connect to the alternators and starter, but first I need to have more of the engine put together to know the best routing):

Main alternator/starter cable going through the firewall

Firewall cables connecting to the post inside the cabin and the starter relay

In preparation for installing the main wire bundle in place, I thought it was best to wire as much as I could of the alternator regulators at this time, while they were still accessible (somewhat, and painfully - those last two wires going to the alternators will be a major pain later):

Alternator regulators with most of their wiring attached

Attaching the GPS antenna doublers inside the overhead console required some planning - we couldn't reach the holes easily, so we ran some string through 2 of the screw holes for each one, pulled the string forward with the vacuum, attached them to the corresponding screw holes on the doublers, then applied epoxy+flox to the top side, and very carefully pulled them in place, while using the grounding wire to guide them (and avoid the overhead conduits which are just below the edge of two of them):

String running from the GPS antenna screw holes

GPS antenna doublers with strings attached for pulling them into place

Applying resin+flox to the top of the GPS antenna doublers

That was quite successful, and we secured them with the two other screws first, then cut and pulled the string out with the vacuum, attached the remaining screws and tightened it all to let the resin cure:

GPS antenna doublers screwed in place to let the resin cure

Finally, we applied some resin to finish covering the ground plane extension which was still slightly exposed:

Ground plane extension filled with resin

The next big thing on avionics is actually installing the main wire bundle and starting to connect all the EFII wires.

Time lapse:

Total avionics rivets: 161
Total avionics time: 161.0h

Front seats assembled, and first in-plane selfie!

I received the seats from Aerosport after about a year, and they look awesome!

Aerosport front seat back

Aerosport front seat bottom

I attached them to the seat bases:

Aerosport front seat assembled to seat frame

then attached the rails and the seat (temporarily for now), which allowed me to sit in the plane for the first time!

Pilot seat rails temporarily attached in place

Pilot seat attached in place

Me sitting in the plane for the first time!

While I had the front seat mounted on, I took the opportunity to find out how far forward on the forward overhead insert the GoPro mount had to be, by taking pictures with it at multiple positions, with the seat full forward:

GoPro picture from the rearmost part of the top console insert (seat full forward)

GoPro picture from the center of the top console insert (seat full forward)

GoPro picture from the forwardmost part of the top console insert (seat full forward)

With that, I decided that it's good enough to have it far back, just forward of the O2 distributors (which is probably close to the center position above).

While doing tailcone avionics work, we also attached the rear seat belt cables:

Rear seat belt cables attached in place

With this, the only thing left for this section is final attachment of the seats, later on when the whole interior is complete.

Time lapse:

Total seat and seat belt time: 6.1h

Engine is hung!

We attached the oil pressure hose and sensor:

Oil pressure hose and sensor secured to the firewall and manifold block

then attached the rear alternator (which, contrary to what others have said, would've been really hard to attach with the engine in place due to the lower-left nut):

Backup alternator installed in place

and finally, attached the engine in place:

Engine attached in place, held by the hoist

A few days later, I got the courage to actually remove the hoist and let it stand on its own 3 feet (it was in place but loose before, to avoid the engine going to the floor just in case something was still loose, but still putting the full weight on the mount):

Engine attached in place, with no hoist!

Also, just in case it saves someone else time: after a lot of research trying to find why some of my mounts had code "CD2319" while others had "CD2144", and the interwebz falling short, the prevailing theory is that it's just the manufacturing date - 2-digit year and 2-digit week number. All photos I found online of this and similar mounts match that numbering pattern:

Engine mounting isolator showing mysterious code

Also in case it saves someone else time: the old plans call for AN310 nuts and cotter pins, and I thought that was a better option than the newer all-metal lock nuts, but forgot how annoying it is to get the nut both within the torque range AND aligned with the hole at the same time - so this took a while to get right. If I were doing it again, I'd go with the all-metal lock nuts instead.

I also safety-wired the Andair tach opening cap, which I should totally have done before attaching the engine (or even better, before the alternator) but didn't remember to:

Tach cover cap safety wired in a tiny space

Tach cover cap safety wired in place

I also tried to attach the EFII throttle body, and realized it won't work in the orientation I expected - so I'll follow what others have done and have the control attachment at the bottom:

Throttle body connector hitting the sump in my intended position

I also had to rotate the adapter so the MAP outputs are on the right side (since that's where I mounted the MAP sensors), which was a bit annoying to do as apparently Barrett had already sealed that up:

Throttle body adapter in its original position

Throttle body reinstalled after changing adapter orientation

I also started attaching the B&C alternator and starter - but the alternator needs belt tensioning before its bolts are tightened, and I'm missing one Lycoming washer to finish torquing the starter:

Main alternator and starter attached to the engine

Torquing the starter nuts required some creativity - once the whole thing is ecure, there's not even room for the nut itself to go into that space, let alone a crowfoot, so I used a wrench + weight scale (18ft*lb / 3.6in wrench = 60lb):

Hard-to-access starter attachment nut

Another hard-to-access starter attachment nut

Torquing the starter attachment nuts with a weight scale

Also in case it saves someone time: the alternator arm attaches behind the EFII crank sensor, so. you can't attach the sensor until after that bolt is in place (and possibly torqued), which in turn you can't do until the flywheel and prop are in place to set the belt tension correctly:

Alternator arm attachment bolt behind the EFII crank sensor

Last but not least, we attached the governor, using the gasket and N25-66 sealant (special thanks to Bobby Hubbard who sent me some sealant so I didn't have to buy a whole can!! :) ):

Applying Neil sealant to the governor gasket

Only after it was in place and ready to be secured with washers and nuts did we notice that the studs are actually too long! That means the nuts wouldn't even reach the washers:

Governor attachment stud with threads not reaching its base

Not wanting to waste the gasket/sealant, I added 5 washers and torqued it so the sealant got compressed the right amount, and I'll replace those washers (one stud at a time) when I figure out what to replace them with:

Governor attached to the engine (for now, with many washers)

Main things left on the FF1 section are securing all the above items properly, and then the heat valve cables.

Time lapse:

Total engine installation rivets: 63
Total engine installation time: 20.8h

Aerosport rear seat fixup

I cut the pins to attach the rear seats:

Rear seats attached in place

I sent the seat backs to Aerosport to have them covered, and later received them back - they look great!

Aerosport seat bottom

An issue I found is that apparently they riveted a metal backing to the rear seats, without removing the plastic from the metal or deburring the metal - so I removed the rivets to clean it up:

Metal plate riveted to the rear seats by Aerosport WITH the plastic still on!

Once I removed the upholstery that covers that part and removed the rivets, a few different issues became apparent - not only did they leave plastic under the rivets and the full back side, but also the holes were not deburred, some rivets were set at an angle, they hit the seat back aluminum angles with the drill bit on every hole they drilled on the corrugation (this one is not a big deal, I admit, but them not being careful with my work was a bit upsetting), and some holes were below the minimum edge distance.

Aerosport rear seats after pulling up the upholstery

Plastic underneath the rivets that Aerosport set on the rear seats

Rivet set at an angle (one of many)

Hole without deburring (all of them)

Damage to the rear seat angle from drilling the corrugation (on all holes)

Plastic backing left on the back of the part that was riveted on

Rivet hole too close to the edge of the aluminum

All of this was true for both seats, so I can't believe it was an oversight. I reached out to Geoff from Aerosport with this feedback, so I'm confident it'll be addressed if it hasn't been already.

After fixing all of that and rounding the corners, I applied some primer and riveted the backing plates back on:

Aerosport backing plate with primer applied

Aerosport backing plate riveted back to the rear seat

Last but not least, while reassembling the seats I noticed one of the velcros on one of the seats was swapped (the same side was on both mating parts, which prevents attaching that bit (not a big deal, there's many other velcros around it that will secure the upholstery just fine):

Mismatched velcros on the backing plate

With this fixed, the only left for the rear seats is final-attaching them in place.

Time lapse:

Total rear seat rivets: 124
Total rear seat time: 17.9h