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Having just completed the quick, easy final installation of my Legacy wings, I thought I'd pass on a couple of items for fellow Legacy builders.

Fuel Supply Hose:  The AN-8 braided stainless sheath fuel hose supplied to connect the wing tank fitting to the bulkhead elbow on the stub wing presents a couple of problems.  If you leave the wings 5" or 6" apart so you can attach and tighten the hose before pushing the wing all the way in, look out!  As you push the wing in the final few inches, the hose has to twist a little.  This type of hose does not like to twist, however, and it will likely kink and crimp.  It's easy not to see this as you shove the wing home.  The only solution is to leave it loose enough so it can twist at one of the fittings, then tighten it when the wing is in final position.

Problem with that is that there isn't any room to get at it once the wing is in place.  Even if the cutouts in the stub wing bulkhead were large enough to accommodate a wrench (which they're not), there isn't enough clearance for the length of the 3/4" and 7/8" wrenches required to hold the elbow and tighten the -8 nut.

What I finally ended up doing was to buy a 7/8" box wrench and cut about a 9/16" section out of it, making it sort of an open end that would slip over the hose.  I also cut the shank off to about 4" or 5" so I'd have room to turn it.  For holding the 3/4" flats on the elbow, I also made a short-handled open-end wrench, and ground the jaws thinner so I'd have room to get it onto the flats.

That was fun!  Anyway, check your fuel supply hoses to make sure they haven't twisted and crimped.  A snake light and a little dentist's mirror may be helpful.  (The smaller, longer fuel return hose seems not to mind being twisted a little, so that one can be tightened down before pushing the wings all the way together.)

Rear Wing Bolts:  These are the ones that go through the spherical bearing, mating the two 1/4" aluminum plates on the rear spar.  Getting the bolt in is pretty easy.  In order to get a washer, a castle nut, and a cotter pin on the inside, however, will require the help of at least one alien. You know,  the ones with several long, skinny, flexible arms with eyes on the end of each one.  There's a nice fiberglass sort of arch over the inside of the bolt, placed so that if you contort yourself sufficiently, and somehow get a light up in there that you can burn your arms on, you can almost see the end of the bolt.  For this one, I used a curved-jaw, 6" hemostat to get the washer hung over the bolt.  This will take several tries, and will tax your vocabulary.  Save a few epithets, however,

Now the nut.  Well, a straight, 8" hemostat will clamp on the grooves of the castle nut, and if you get the angle just right, you can stick it up in there, feel around for it to seat over the end of the bolt, and, if you're a skilled contortionist, simultaneously turn the bolt, hoping that it will catch the first round of threads.  A helper would be nice for this one—while you take periodic breaks to retrieve the washer that fell off, and replace the nut that popped out of the hemostat, your helper will have time to control his (or her) gales of hysterical laughter.  Once you finally get it started, a long, slim box wrench will get in there to hold it.  Budget an hour or two for each bolt.

Now, the cotter pin!  Well, if you remembered to mark the bolt head for the orientation of the drilled hole before you started (forgot that, didn't you?), it's not too bad.  There's a special place you can jam your eyeball that will let you just see the nut.  Get it turned to line up with the hole it the bolt, and it's a piece of cake.  Now, I can assure you that I cut and bent that cotter pin to look exactly like the diagram in the book—short end turned down just so, and the long end gracefully arcing over the top of the bolt.  I never lie, either...So bust me.

Wing Attach Bolts:   These are easy to line up.  Just stick your finger in the hole, have your helper wiggle the wing up and down, and when the slices stop coming off the end of your finger, it's lined up.  What you won't find anywhere in the manual is that a -960 washer should go under the head of each bolt, and probably a second one on the other side.  There are those lovely spacers that go on next, and one might think they would be made to the right dimensions.  Yeah.  It's easy to get those funky-looking lock nuts (what are they, anyway?) to feel tight on the spacer, but not have the whole thing tight on the wing bushings.  With two washers, it doesn't look to me as if there are quite enough threads sticking out the back side of the nut, but with only one, I wasn't satisfied that the bolts were actually tight on the wing.

And oh, yeah, I forgot to mention, you can't get any normal sort of wrench on the outboard one.  No room -- surprise!  What worked for me was several long extensions on a 1/2" drive socket, with a universal joint at the socket.  Shouldn't cost more that $30 or $40 bucks to get these tightened up.  I also found that a piece of 1/2" 5052 tubing slipped over the allen wrench on the inside made it easier.  You let the allen wrench jam against the spar as you tighten the nuts, then you can just bend the tubing a bit when you're done, which will make it easier to extract the allen wrench.

Attaching Ailerons:  (OK, I know this isn't on the same subject, but just so you don't start thinking things will get easy when you've got the wings on . . . )  When you go to attach the aileron pushrod to the aileron, you'll find that the bracket it connects to has been cleverly designed to foil your every attempt.  The vertical blades that the rod end goes between are short, so that when the AN3- bolts are in place to hold the bracket to the aileron spar, there isn't room to get a wrench on the bolt that goes through the bracket blades and the rod end bearing.  Even the smallest, thinnest 3/8" socket I own will not go over the bolt head, because it won't clear the attaching bolt heads.  Nothing fits over the nut, either.

After much head scratching, I came up with two different solutions.  One is to remove the bracket, countersink the mounting holes, and re-attach it with flathead 10-32 screws of the right length.  (I actually only thought of that one this morning, but it would only solve half the problem.)  The other is to use a phillips-head, 10-32x1" screw instead of an AN3-10A bolt.  With a long #2 phillips screwdriver, you can get in the open (inboard) end of the aileron to get the screwdriver into the screw head.  There still isn't room for a wrench of any kind on the nut however, so a real kludge was in order.  I jammed a large, flat screwdriver blade between the aileron skin and the flat on the nut, and was able to keep it from turning enough to get the screw tight.  Gee, that was fun, too!

Aileron Idler Arms:  Another fun job!  For this one, you get to thread the two little wedgie spacers on each side of the rod end bearing, up where you can't see and can't reach.  What would we do without wheel bearing grease?  For a little extra fun, the second one won't go on unless you spread the blades of the idler arm just a bit with a screwdriver or wrench, or something.  The first one of these assemblies (bolt, spacer, rod end, spacer, washer, nut) took me 1 hr 27 min.  I guess I learned something from that, because I was able to get the second one done in under an hour!  You'll really need that little mirror for this one, and you might want to put a smaller bulb in your worklight so the burns on your arms heal faster.

Heads-up on Flaps:  When you put in the AN3- bolt that attaches the flap pushrod to the inboard side of the flap, leave the little round inspection cover off so you can make sure that at least one full thread comes through the nut plate inside.  The bolts called out in the construction manual are too short, and mine were different one side to the other.  It will probably take an AN3-15A, -16A, or -17A, and these are not in the hardware kit, so you have to order them.  Having these bolts work part way out during flight would be interesting, but I'll pass on experiencing it personally.

User-friendly is not a word I'd use for any of this stuff.  I wouldn't even call it bad design—it's more like no design at all.  Like things just came out wherever, and so what if you can't access anything for assembly, inspection, or servicing.  An hour and a half to assemble one bolt—please!

Unless I run into any more fun stuff like the above, I'm hoping this thing will fly pretty soon. 

Jim Cameron
Legacy N121J


















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