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Thread: Building the EX3 - Tips & Hints

  1. #131
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Broken Arrow, OK

    Default Re: Building the EX3 - Tips & Hints


    To test your FUEL FLOW ...... go to my post #171 here The form to calculate it and a good link to the EAA website video/seminar on this is posted there.

    FIRST, turn your fuel valve selector to OFF position.

    After weighing the plane for the weight and balance calculations, I put 2-1/2 gallons in the right tank first after putting the plane in level, flight condition.

    NOTE: I found that this little 46" high stepladder is absolutely PERFECT for leveling my EX3 with 31" tires and Baby Bushwheels! Just put the level on the inside of the door opening and the bushwheel in the paint can holder at the top of the ladder and done! You can always add some shimming material if you need to raise it or change main tire pressures as well. I use tire pressure to level the plane left to right when working wing rigging, weighing, etc.


    With the plane in level flight conditions, the wings are of course at a positive angle of attach so the fuel will go to the back of the tanks. With 2-1/2 gallons in the tank, I marked the fuel sight gauge with a sharpie (Gordon Gilchrist gave me this idea. Thanks Gordon). You can see in the photo below that it just barely came into the bottom of the sight gauge.


    Turn the fuel selector valve to the RIGHT tank.

    With this small amount in the tank, I can check for any leaks anywhere before putting alot of fuel in because.......sure enough......I had a small leak in the quick drain at the rear of the fuse. It didn't leak at first but after I used the fuel strainer cup to check for fuel at that location, it starting dripping.

    (Crazy iphone photos I can't get to display correctly! Tilt your head 90 degrees left and it's right! LOL. This is the rear drain.)

    So, I drained the fuel out at the gasolator drain and removed that quick drain fitting and sure enough, there was some crud on the oring. From now on I will really clean those orings before installing those fittings but at least I didn't have 44 gallons of fuel I had to drain.

    I leave off the covers at the bottom side of the wing roots until after I've done this so I can look and feel up in the wing root to check for any leaks. I just taped those piece on for weighing earlier.

    Move the fuel selector valve to the LEFT tank first.

    Next I put 2-1/2 gallons in the left tank and checked for leaks anywhere in the left wing root. Also look real close UNDER the fuel selector valve to be sure there are no leaks around that valve. It will probably show up on the outside of the fuse under valve area on the outside of the fuse and where the boot cowl meets the fuse. Keep a close watch here for several weeks to be sure there isn't a slow leak there that seems to be occurring alot with these valves because of dirty or faulty orings inside. Spin the fuel valve around several times to all the positions.

    If everything looks good at this point and I have marked the 2-1/2 gallon mark, I then went to the gasolator with the fuel selector valve set to the right tank....and drained all the fuel out that I could. In the level flight position, I got just over 1-1/4 gallon back out of the 2-1/2 gallons that went in.

    That means that in level flight, there would be 1-1/4 gallons unusable in each tank or 2-1/2 gallons total out of the 44.
    HOWEVER, when flying.....the vented fuel caps pointed into the wind will pressurize the tank and most likely force more fuel out??? You think? However, read below after I filled the tanks to see that the tanks REALLY don't hold 44 gallons!

    I understand that the engineers calculated that there would actually be 2-1/2 gallon each tank....or 5 gallons unusable total (39 usable out of 44 total) because of fuel available during certain maneuvers such as a hard turning, high angle of attack situation such as a climbing turn take-off. So I will still set my G3X up to show a total of only 39 gallons of usable fuel but I do know that I will have 2-1/2 gallons more. I plan to fly a tank dry completely during flight testing just to see how much fuel will remain in flying condition (level, stabilized flight).

    If all is good and after having done all this with the 2-1/2 gallons in the tanks, move the fuel selector valve to OFF and I'll go ahead and put 2-1/2 more gallons in each tank and again mark the fuel sight gauge where it is exactly. So now in level flight, I will know EXACTLY when I have 5 gallons and 2-1/2 gallons in each tank.

    You can see that the 5 gallon mark is actually just under the 1/4 mark on the placards.


    The next thing to do is to fill the tanks completely full and let's see exactly how much the tanks hold. I already have 10 gallons should be able to get 34 more gallons in BUT I WASNíT ABLE TO.


    I was extremely careful when filling the tanks. The fuel pump I was using at my airport had just been calibrated 2 weeks ago, so hopefully it was right on. After filling 5 gallon portable fuel tanks with this pump and putting in the airplane, When I filled the tanks the rest of the way, I filled 1 side to the rim and then went to the opposite wing and filled it. I then returned to the first wing and topped it off again since some fuel can cross fill to the other side while I was filling.

    THE FULL FUEL CAPACITY THEN IS 42.5 WITH ADVERTISED 5 GALLONS UNUSABLE IN ALL CONFIGURATIONS THAT MAKES 37.5 GALLONS USEABLE AND NOT 39 AS ADVERTISED. I do know from my test though that actually there was only 2.5 gallons unusable in the static, level configuration for 40.0 useable.

    Maybe the advertised 44 gallons would be the capacity of the fuel tanks in the level flight attitude but we donít fill the tanks in that attitude but the 3 pt.



    I put the 2-1/2 gallons in each tank to check for leaks and then added 2-1/2 more gallons each side and marked the sight gauges as before. So there is now 10 gallons in total.

    Then, in the flight level positio, I drained as much fuel as I could through the gasolator with the fuel selector switch on BOTH. I drained 3-1/2 gallons out which means only 1-1/2 gallons remained in BOTH TANKS (so about 3/4 of a gallon on each side).

    SO, in this the static, level position the unusable fuel is only 1-1/2 gallons.....not the advertised 5 gallons. NOTE that that does not necessarily mean it will be this in a configuration other than static, level position.

    NEXT, I started the engine and ran it for about 15 minutes to the fuel pump and filled the tanks. It held 33.9 more gallons so that means it held 43.9 gallons plus the amount I had burned starting the engine and running it to the fuel pup......probably less than 1/2 a gallon. So with the tanks and fuel lines full, it did indeed hold 44+ gallons full.

    Both tests were done identical but with different results. I have no idea why so test yours to see what it will do.


    If you have the G3X with the GAP 26 Pitot with AOA then you will need to install it. Hopefully you left enough of the blue and green tubes so they were long enough to stick down through the mast so you can grab it and push it into the pitot tubes. The BLUE tubing goes to the FRONT aluminum tube coming up from the pitot and this is the pitot tube. The rear one has the GREEN tubing of course and this is the AOA tube.

    You can see this on page 34 of the EXECUTIVE GLASS MANUAL.

    You will need to cut about 8" off the aluminum tubes coming up from the pitot and heat the blue and green tubes so soften so you can push over the pitot tubes. The length callout in the manual is for about 5.0Ē on the shorter, aft tube for the AOA and about 5.50Ē for the forward, Pitot tube on the Gap 26.


    You locate the bracket you installed on the wing and then cut out the center where the mast will go as well as the inspection hole to the outside of that. The mast will go up, into the wing and then down through the bracket and you locate and punch out/burn the holes in the fabric and install the 4 screws from the mast into the bracket.

    Then reach in and push the blue and green tubes down through the mast and put them on the pitot and then screw the pitot into the mast with the 4 screws.

    In the manual you will see that the BLUE tube is the pitot line and goes on the longer, FRONT (forward facing) tube going into the GAP26 pitot and that leaves the GREEN tube for the AOA going onto the shorter, AFT (aft facing) tube on the Gap 26.

    I also put some silicone around the connection of the blue and green tubes onto the aluminum pitot tubes just to help seal and keep them secure. I let that dry overnight before pushing the pitot up into the mast and securing.


    Before securing the belly pan, we need to finish the installation of the servos and install the pilot seat.

    NOTE: You will have to go into the configuration menu to AUTOPILOT and change the direction of the PITCH servo to ďREVERSEĒ as it act backwards from normal. Go to the Installation Manual to around page 700 for instructions and on page 705 then test the autopilot.


    Follow the instructions that comes with the pitch servo kit. You have to install the cable onto the servo and onto the elevator cable. It isn't that hard but hard to understand. The cable has a little metal "tit" on it in the middle. Just turn the servo round part until the hole in the center of it is facing down and put that cable "tit" into that hole. Then as you look up from the ground, route one wire around the left side of it (under the cable guards), keeping it in the slots. You will have to go under 2 of the cable guards and leave it sticking out towards the rear of the plane up at the top. This cable will attach to the elevator cable there on the aft side.

    Do the opposite with the other cable. Note the instructions say to have the cable a "minimum of 1 complete wrap". This always confused me on how to get each cable a full wrap but it isn't "each cable"'s just the "cable". So if the tit is on the bottom and 1 side wrapped 1/2 way around and sticking out 1 side at the top....the other will wrap 1/2 way around and be sticking out the top in the opposite direction.....that IS 1 full wrap.

    Cubcrafters ships some better, metal pieces that holds the 2 cables together. Use them instead of the white, plastic ones that come with the kit from Dynon. You can see 1 side has a bigger slot cut in it and 1 side smaller. Just put the bigger 1/8" elevator cable on the big side and the smaller, servo cable on the other. Just attach one side or the other and before tightening up the 2nd cable, pull it tight but be sure that tit is still in the center of the servo round part and that it is centered downwards, right over that bottom cable guard.


    Also not that the cable from the servo will be very close to touching that 1 fuse cross tube.



    To make it work and keep the clearance.....look here how you install the cable clamps more upwards...towards the floorboard bottom. Just move the clamps back and forth (or front and aft I guess) until you are sure you have good clearance of everything and check when you move the stick full forward and aft.

    By pushing the clamp up sort of parallel with the elevator cable, it will bring that little cable up high enough to not rub on that crosstube.

    You have to do that with the rear one as well.



    This one is much easier. I taped the correct rivet to the torque tube back during fuse construction so I wouldn't have to look it up and hunt it down now.

    Center your stick/ailerons and then look down into the seat base so you can see the torque tube and where the servo arm attaches. We loosely installed the bracket and arm onto the torque tube during the fuse build. With the ailerons/stick centered, move the bracket on the torque tube until it's perpendicular (90 degree angle) to the servo and so that the arm coming up off the servo is about centered between the "stops" on the servo bracket.

    Snug up the bolt and nut on that torque tube bracket and then gently go move the stick right and left and be sure you have clearance and not hitting either stop and then torque the nut on the torque tube bracket.

    Drill #30 hole through the bottom of the bracket and install the rivet. Good's very hard to get the rivet gun up there around the tubes, etc. to grab that rivet!! The way I got it to work was to have 1 arm of the rivet gun up above the bottom tubes and the bottom arm below. It took about 10 little squeezes to get the rivet snugged up and pulled since you can't clamp down all the way on the handles because of the tubes in between. Move the stick back and forth to one side of the other and find the place where it puts that rivet hole in the easiest way to get to.




    There are 2 parts to the belly pan. The first place to see where to drill the 7 holes that go through the boot cowl, forward part of the belly pan and into the fuse is first described in figure FN6 on Page 29 of the FINISH MANUAL. The 2nd part of the installation is on PAGE 287 of the FINISH MANUAL.

    There are a couple of ERRORS though with this figure FN6. First, it shows the 7 screws used in the 3/32" holes to be drilled are HDW-S4R.375TA but if you go to the section on Page 287 about installing the belly pan, it calls for HDW-S6R0.5TA, which of course are larger and the correct ones.

    The 2nd mistake is either where the FN6 shows to drill these 7 hole .5" from the front of that lip on the fuse OR...the mistake is the callout of the tinnerman nuts HDW-A1784-6Z-1 because these tinnerman nuts will not span 1/2" (.5") as called for because the distance from the edge of the tinnerman to the center of the hole is only 1/4"..... so, you either have to drill the holes at .25" from the edge or get different tinnerman nuts. It works OK with a 1/4" edge space, just be careful to give yourself enough room.

    Use 12 of the AN5261032R8 screws with NAS1515H3L plastic washers to install the belly pan to the fuse. I almost always have to widen or move a few holes to make it line up correctly.

    Drill the 2 holes that go on either side of the boot cowl that takes the HDW-S4R.25TA screws with a 3/32" bit.

    Also, I would put some plastic washers on under the heads of these screws to protect the paint like we do everywhere else where we place screws onto painted surfaced.



    Last edited by Daveembry; 10-30-2021 at 06:51 AM.
    Dave Embry
    "You only live once.......but if you do it right.........once is enough."..

  2. #132
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Broken Arrow, OK

    Default Re: Building the EX3 - Tips & Hints


    Yesterday I finally got my local FAA FSDO Inspector by to do the inspection and issue the Special Airworthiness Certificate & Operating Limitations. I had to wait over 2 weeks due to the backlog from the government shutdown and was afraid if he didn't show up quick......we might have another one!


    I have attached a copy of it so you can see what it says. These documents along with the Registration Certificate fit nicely into the plastic, see-through pocket above the passenger seat.

    I do want to note one thing which has been addressed with Mitch. The PASSENGER WARNING placard......required wording actually changed in July, 2017. Cubcrafters hasn't changed their placards yet so be sure they have or order you one from EAA or AMAZON.

    Here is the link to the FAA Order 8130.2J. Looks at section D-14 around page 161. FAA removed the wording including "Amateur Built" .... or "Experimental Light Sport", etc ad now it just says....ďPASSENGER WARNING―THIS AIRCRAFT DOES NOT COMPLY WITH FEDERAL SAFETY REGULATIONS FOR STANDARD AIRCRAFT.Ē

    Before I go flying I need to go over a few things on the plane. After discussions with Cubcrafters about initial start-up and adjustments needed of the EX3 on my first one, I wrote up a document and sent it to Mitch and he has made it a part of the Dropbox files in a folder called EX3 SETUP and named BEFORE FIRST FLIGHT I think.

    I attached a copy I had of a pdf. Note that it should read a "2mm wrench" instead of a 7mm down in the next to last paragraph where you adjust the electric fuel pump. Mitch has changed this on the dropbox file.

    During the build and engine install, I suggested doing a couple of items back then.......on increasing the oil pressure and I also adjust down the electric fuel pump pressure as far as it would go.

    I also went ahead and checked to be sure there was good grease in the prop hub before the first flight and will do the first 1 hour of flying with the spinner off as I will need to service the prop hub grease again after an hour of flying. See the last paragraph on how to do that.


    On each side of the hub there is a little bolt/plug that you can unscrew and grease nipples covered with these red covers. Take the grease gun and attach to the nipple and then give it some grease until you see it coming out the opposite side where the plug was. Do this on each side (do it 2 times) of the prop hub. I check this before the first flight and again after the first hour. I just keep the spinner off for all the engine/ground test and first flight (which is 1 lap around the pattern) and then after first 1 hour flight after that first test flight.

    Before starting the engine the first time (and after having done all my fuel flow tests), remove all 4 of the bottom spark plugs. You should have added 6 quarts of the Aeroshell 100 mineral oil (for break-in). After break-in, you can run the Aeroshell 100 plus.

    My first EX2 & 3 both did not have marked dipsticks for oil levels but this latest one did. On the ones that did not have it, I put in 5 quarts and the next day (allowing it to completely settle) I filed a mark across the dipstick and then added a 6th quart and marked it the next day as well. I did this in the normal, 3 pt attitude where it would normally sit. If you check it in level flight attitude, you will notice it shows about a quart less (so 6 quarts shows up on the dipstick as 5). They say on the oil placard the quantity is 6. At 5.5 add a quart.

    UPDATE March, 2020.

    Well, I wanted to inject in here that I will be putting in brand new plugs and not use the used plugs sent with the engine. The engine factory does a run-in of about 2 hours on the engine and then ships the engine with the same spark plugs they did the run in with. During break-in, the engine is very rich and the plugs seem to be getting fouled.

    After the first start of your engine, you will shut it down pretty quickly and be sure there are no oil or fuel leaks. Then you will start it and have to taxi to a compass rose or other place away from all electrical interference and metal and calibrate the magnetometer. This all has to be done before the first flight, so a lot of idle time.....with a rich engine.

    I always start the engine and lean back to where they engine almost quits and leave it that way until engine run-up and takeof. but on the last 2 engines, I have had plugs foul. On the last plane, plug fouled after about 2 hours. The current airplane fouled 2. I did the engine run-up and did a mag check and all good. I took off and when i turned downwind, I did an inflight mag check and sure enough, the top of #2 showed no egt when on that box. I landed and replaced it and went out and did a run-up and take-off. All good until downwind, another mag check and now the bottom of #3 dead!

    This is usual because usually plugs foul at low rpms and not when they running high rpm. So from now on, I ill just install new plug right off the bat and stop all this.

    You will have to adjust the mixture of the fuel servo and idle speed. The engine will no doubt be too rich fro the factory but I usually dont adjust that until after the first lap when itís warm when I test the mixture at shut down and then adjust the idle and having paid attention to maximum rpm at takeoff, adjust the prop to get to 2700 on takeoff.

    With the plugs removed, turn your ignition breakers (under the seat base) & FUEL SELECTOR OFF and crank the engine until you see the oil pressure come up. When it's cold and the mineral oil is thick, it may take a looooong time. I crank maybe 10 seconds and stop for a bit and then do it again and again until the oil pressure shows up. This will push out some of the remaining preservative oils still in the cylinders and will gets a good oil coating on everything before the first engine start and already have engine oil lines all filled and ready to circulate immediately upon the first start.

    Once you see the oil pressure then stop and install the plugs and we are now ready for the first engine start. It will only start to register like 4, 5, 6 lbs, etc. I think I got maybe 14 lbs max. Not a big deal, just get some oil pressure for a few seconds to get it primed up before 1st start.


    Go to this link for the Garmin G3X Touch Installation Manual and go to section 35 where it discusses the configuration on the ground for the magnetometer, ADHRS, autopilot and AOA. You will have to complete the AOA setting IN FLIGHT according to the manual.

    The AUTOPILOT (will not show up on display and servos will not work), TRANSPONDER should work before calibration, the ADAHRS & MAGNETOMETER will not work until you have calibrated the magnetometer and set up the ADHRS and have a GPS signal, including the magnetometer calibration moving it 360 degrees at the compass rose (or a place away from any magnetic./metal sources with a know heading to north).

    They give good, detailed....step-by-step instructions in the manual.

    Most everything will be set up on the file you should have downloaded into the G3X that we went over back when installing the wiring. One thing that is kindof hard to figure out is ďHOW DO YOU CHANGE THE DEFAULT MAXIMUM FUEL QUANTITYĒ. One feature I really like is on the EIS page (where all you engine monitoring info is). When you are on that page, touch the tab for the FUEL and you can see where you can reset the quantity of fuel in the tanks and it has a default you can just touch when you fill it up.


    Here is a YouTube link where Jon at Cubcrafters tells how to reset that default quantity.

    Based on the fuel info I got when measuring the fuel in my actual tanks which was 42.5 less 5 unusable, Iíll set my default fuel at 37.5 and not the 39 Cubcrafters states as the usable fuel.

    I always reset this when fueling. In flight, this page gives you lots of info like miles per gallon at the current setting, fuel remaining, time of flight remaining, etc.

    You will probably have to calibrate the fuel flow transducer for the correct amount of fuel flow. I fill the tanks completely and reset the fuel quantity here and the next time I refuel, Iím sure to completely fill the tanks again and write down the actual fuel burn and note the difference between the actual and what was calculated here. After 4 or 5 tanks and comparisons and I seem to have a consistent difference, then use the formula that comes with the fuel transducer instructions or in the G3X manual to make the corrections that will go on this same configuration page as above.


    You will also need to set the trim gauge indicator that displays on the display (bottom, left area). It will be "X'd" out until you do. This is also shown in the Installation Manual around page 800, 35.159. Essentially, first position the stabilizer where it's "about" centered or in the centered position according to the manual, then go to the calibration page and select the trim position option and then "calibrate". On the left, selection NEUTRAL and then have it save the current position. Then run the trim all the way up and then select "FULL UP" and the same on the down and save it all.

    You will probably have to re-calibrate the neutral, or take-off position later when you know what it really is. If you want the trim to show in the center position when flying level, then just adjust the trim to neutral when you are cruising and then land it without changing the trim so the stabilizer remains in that position and then go in and re-calibrate the trim position for the neutral position and it will then show it centered on the gauge when in the neutral position when cruising.

    If you want it to be the take-off position when centered on the gauge, then find the trim position you like best for take-off; leave it there and re-calibrate to that point.


    The G3X Touch set-ups in the configuration should have been done first. To start the new fuel injected engine when cold normally:

    - Be sure and push in your ignition breakers under the seat
    - Mixture, idle cut-off
    - Crack throttle 1/2" or so
    - Master switch ON
    - Electric Fuel Pump switch ON
    - Move mixture to FULL RICH for about 5 full seconds (until you see the fuel pressure go up to the normal 23 psi area) and then back to idle cut-off
    - Electric Fuel Pump switch OFF
    - Crank engine until it catches and then move mixture to FULL RICH and retard throttle to 1,000 rpm.

    I normally then lean it waaaaay back to where it just barely runs so I don't foul plugs. By running it very that if you go to give it a little more throttle to taxi, etc., the engine will miss....REMINDING YOU THAT YOU HAVE IT LEAN. That way, if you go to run up or take-off and have forgotten to run the mixture back to full rich, it will tell you real quick.

    Watch the oil pressure which should come right up since we already primed the lines.

    The first start I had to run the fuel pump routine 3 times to get fuel up into the system. I'd prime it for 5 seconds and try to start and then do it again until it started.

    After the first start and oil pressure and all temps look good, I immediately finish configuring the magnetometer by going to the compass rose (or getting out away from all metal with a known heading) and putting the G3X back into the CONFIG mode (turn on while holding down the MENU button), then go to MAGNETOMETER and then CALIBRATE and follow the directions on making right turns and holds as directed.

    Then go to the ADHRS button and run the config for vibration at full throttle.

    Once these are successful, then the G3X will be ready to go and you can then go back and finish your Auto Pilot ground checks per the manual.

    Give it a full inspection everywhere for any leaks.

    Hot Starts are different only in that you don't do any priming with the electric fuel pump. Just crack the throttle a little less with the mixture at idle cut-off and feed in the mixture to rich when the engine catches. It works quite well.

    Next, follow the instructions on the DROP BOX file that I referred to earlier on setting the fuel and oil pressure, prop max rpm speeds, mixture and idle settings, etc.
    Last edited by Daveembry; 02-05-2021 at 10:05 AM.
    Dave Embry
    "You only live once.......but if you do it right.........once is enough."..

  3. #133
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Broken Arrow, OK

    Default Re: Building the EX3 - Tips & Hints


    I had a question from a builder about how to install the new type latches on the EX3 oil door. Here are more detailed pictures of the parts, etc.




    We drilled out the holes in the oil door when we installed the hinge before paint. Now we need to fit the receptacles for the latches by riveting them to the oil door after match drilling and countersinking the rivet holes.

    Insert the outer portion where the spring loaded screws are into the oil door hole and put the retainers on the back side to hold them in place.




    You will notice on the receptacles parts have what looks like a long rivet holding an outer ring OUT from the inner portion of the receptacle. Leave this there until you have the final adjustments to the DEPTH of the receptacle, then pull that pin and discard it. Once you pull the pin, it lets that outer sleeve go down and lock in the inner portion that screws in and out.



    So place the receptacle on the inside of the cowl and after being sure the holes are correct so the oil door screw will fit down into the receptacle, lift the oil door out of the way and match drill the 2 holes with a #40 bit and rivet in place.



    Next we have to adjust the depth of the inner portion of the receptacle. You can screw it in or out from the backside (see the slots inside where a big screwdriver will fit) or put the screw into it and turn it......but it needs to be screwed out far enough so that you can close the oil door and take a screwdriver and push the screw (with the spring) down into the receptacle and turn it to the right and it should stay down. If it won't stay down and the spring just pops it back need to screw the receptacle outward more until it does.

    Once you have the outer screw into the receptacle and it will stay DOWN when you turn it to the you will notice the screw head is probably not down completely into the countersunk tinnerman washer. Now, just continue turning the screw to the right (clockwise) and you will notice it will turn the inner part of the receptacle and the screw head will go down into the washer. Just turn it until its down nice into the recessed washer. With one hand, just hold the inner part of the receptacle if you can and test the screw a few times being sure when you turn it counter-clockwise (left) that it will come out of the receptacle and pop up with the spring and will again latch and stay down when pushed in and turned right. If all is good, now pull that pin out from under that outer ring around the receptacle and it will now keep that inner portion from turning and you are done.

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Daveembry; 02-19-2019 at 11:07 AM.
    Dave Embry
    "You only live once.......but if you do it right.........once is enough."..

  4. #134
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Broken Arrow, OK

    Default Re: Building the EX3 - Tips & Hints


    One thing I always hated was putting fittings on coax cable. I finally broke down and bought the right tools but luckily, Cubcrafters are now shipping all the cables already cut to the right length with connectors on them.....EXCEPT this ELT. I have the Kannad 406 antenna and place it under the seat. I just installed the elt base that comes with it with some big, commercial strength velcro in the seat base.

    Here is a photo of one of sthe connector type (90 degree) they shipped with the kit/elt on 1 kit but on my latest kit they shipped an RFB-1110-C1 and if you have that one, the stripping instructions are difference so see the last photo drawing here for that one.




    (Use this drawing for part #RFB-1110-C1, 90 degree connector)

    I got a pin crimper so I could crimp the pin onto the center of the cable and another crimper that will crimp the sleeve over the connector.

    Note that one thing I didnít know and most Youtube videos showing how to install the BNC connectors did not mention it, is that after you have the center pin crimped onto the center wire and go to push it up into the connector, it should ďsnapĒ into place when itís fully seated.

    Note that the ELT coax cable they sent me for the ELT antenna was RG142 and not RG58. The center wire is .037 and if you try to use an RG58 crimping tool for the pin, it will not work. Itís much larger than the center wire in the RG58 and it will pinch the pin off. Also, they say that the center wire is "solder resistant" which means you can't sold the pin on.

    I found an inexpensive crimper that has the correct center pin crimping size on Amazon pretty cheap.

    Also, before you do the crimp on the ferrule behind the connector, take your multimeter in continuity mode and test to be if there is a short in the connector itself to be sure you donít have some of the shield touching the center wire or if you have not gotten the pin all the way and snapped into the connector. To test this, put one lead touching the outside of the connector and the other connector on the center wire only. It should not sound off. If it does, you have a short and should take it apart and check it out before crimping the ferrule.

    You can also test the continuity of the entire cable by testing the center wire on one end with the other end (positive) and the outside of the connector on each end of the cable. These should all sound off the multimeter.

    Even if there is continuity on the positive and negative of the entire cable, it can still have a short at the connector if there is a problem with your installation (ask me how I know).


    Just a tidbit. To top off the master cylinders I used one of my turkey injector syringes and put a piece of fuel hose over it and then a smaller piece inside of it. Then just suck up a little and it's easier to top off. For the initial filling of the brake system with brake fluid, see a previous post. This just refers to topping it off. Donít get it but about half full in the reservoir to allow for the cap. It seems that if I fill it more than about half way, it always goes down there anyway by coming up through the air hole on the cap.


    Last edited by Daveembry; 04-13-2020 at 09:22 AM.
    Dave Embry
    "You only live once.......but if you do it right.........once is enough."..

  5. #135
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Broken Arrow, OK

    Default Re: Building the EX3 - Tips & Hints

    NOTE: I just learned this last night and everyone building should check their engine for this because itís been found to be a problem on a few of the cc363i.

    Check the magnetic timing ring on your flywheel before installing it to be sure it is screwed tight to the flywheel. You will be removing the flywheel before building the cowl section, so that would be a good time to check it.

    Apparentely some of the engines have been coming with this ring loose because the 6 screws that hold it on were too long and bottomed out before getting the ring tight. This caused problems with the magnetic sensors picking up the magnets correctly and causes some cylinders from firing.

    In the photo here, itís the gold ring that I have a red arrow pointing at.


    The screws are countersunk, so if the correct, shorter screws were used, the screw heads should be flush or slightly countersunk and the ring tight and secure.

    Mine did not have this problem but be sure and check this before installing it because itís easier to put the 6 correct screws in now than when testing your engine for the first time.
    Last edited by Daveembry; 02-22-2019 at 09:21 AM.
    Dave Embry
    "You only live once.......but if you do it right.........once is enough."..

  6. #136
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Broken Arrow, OK

    Default Re: Building the EX3 - Tips & Hints


    Well, after a week of troubleshooting an ignition problem (bad mini-sensor) today Bluebird got to make it's maiden flight........AND.........I got my 4th Carbon Cub Kit on the same day!! Test flight in the morning on my 2nd EX3 and unload the crate for my 3rd EX3 in the afternoon! Life is Good......

    A big shout out to Gordon Gilchrist for letting me "borrow" his great Oshkosh, award winning paint scheme! I think he's about as passionate about this stuff as I am.

    As far as I know, this is the first plane ever painted in single stage DUHS that is a PEARL, METALLIC paint. A HUGE amount of pearl that you really can't see in the photos, that makes it a translucent blue. The color was a match to "BMW BLUE". Very difficult to paint.......uggg. But it's by far the coolest looking paint I've ever seen on an airplane.

    TOTAL BUILD TIME FOR THIS AIRPLANE WAS 457 HOURS AND 35 MINUTES. Again, this was actual build time and did not include any paint time but it did include the covering and prep for paint. It did include all the time spend building in my work area including reading/following the manual during the build but no time spent not building, reading manuals, research, etc.

    (Park the airplane and unload the next one!)







    Last edited by Daveembry; 03-04-2019 at 09:03 AM.
    Dave Embry
    "You only live once.......but if you do it right.........once is enough."..

  7. #137
    Senior Member Mark Keneston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Saratoga Springs, NY

    Default Re: Building the EX3 - Tips & Hints

    Quote Originally Posted by Daveembry View Post

    Well, after a week of troubleshooting an ignition problem (bad mini-sensor) today Bluebird got to make it's maiden flight........AND.........I got my 4th Carbon Cub Kit on the same day!! Test flight in the morning on my 2nd EX3 and unload the crate for my 3rd EX3 in the afternoon! Life is Good......

    A big shout out to Gordon Gilchrist for letting me "borrow" his great Oshkosh, award winning paint scheme! I think he's about as passionate about this stuff as I am.

    As far as I know, this is the first plane ever painted in single stage DUHS that is a PEARL, METALLIC paint. A HUGE amount of pearl that you really can't see in the photos, that makes it a translucent blue. The color was a match to "BMW BLUE". Very difficult to paint.......uggg. But it's by far the coolest looking paint I've ever seen on an airplane.

    (Park the airplane and unload the next one!)







    its gorgeous Dave bravo. I'm well familiar with BMW paint. Awesome!
    Cub Crafters
    Factory Direct New & Used Aircraft Sales
    NorthEast & Great Lakes Region

  8. #138
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Broken Arrow, OK

    Default Re: Building the EX3 - Tips & Hints


    I thought I'd just go over a couple things before the first flight.

    I'm attaching 3 documents not in Dropbox that are very good. The first one is about the CC363i engine and the 2nd is the BREAK-IN Procedures from Aero Sport Power (the assemblers of the engines made by Superior). Also attached is the Superior XP360 Engine info. You can read these in depth.

    We already talked about using the Aeroshell 100 mineral oil. They list it as M100 but there really is no "M" in the number. They just list it as Aeroshell 100, mineral oil and after 100 hours you can go to the Aeroshell 80 this document says. The 80 and 80 Plus is an SAE 40 weight oil. Also I read somewhere that the Aeroshell 100P (Plus) was also good in hotter climates. These Aeroshell 100 oils are actually SAE 50 weight oils and they say use 50 wt for temps above works for me most of the year.


    Obviously a rigorous, total inspection of everything being especially certain to check the movements and directions of the controls, especially the elevators where the direction of travel will be reversed if you hooked the cables up incorrectly at the elevators. It's kindof important that it go UP when you pull the stick back on your first take-off.

    Not to insinuate that most any pilot wouldn't know this....but....stick RIGHT....right aileron goes UP. LEFT stick......left aileron goes UP.

    BACK STICK......elevators go UP. FORWARD STICK.....elevators go DOWN.

    Be sure to check every locknut....on and torque sealed and every cotter pin installed and set correctly. Rock the wings up and down for both sides...any funny noises or movements?

    Brake cylinders have fluid and no air and work? Lock them and try to push the plane using the big tires. On every pre-flight, beside just looking, I reach down and run my hand under the brakes on each tire and be sure there is no brake fluid leak. GThe rotors are painted and you can try and sand that powder coat/paint off before hand but it's hard and I just go out and drag the brakes the first taxi test and they will squeal as they grind off that paint. It doesn't take much and they say you should burn them in by taxiing this way. Give them a few really good, hard pumps (while stationary) to get any air out that may be in the lines. If you have filled them the correct way from the bottom UP, there should be no air. I always reverse the lines location at the rotors to put the input line at the top instead of the bottom, to keep it up and out of the way of rocks, etc. that could hit and damage it when they are at the bottom.

    Again, go to the dropbox file under the folder of EX3 SETUP and the file (the only file there) entitled "Before First Flight". In an earlier post, I attached a copy as well. I wrote up this and gave it to Mitch and he attached it here.


    Let me also add this if you have a LYCOMING assembled engine before the first start. First we are going to remove all the preservative oil from the engine.

    - Remove the bottom spark plugs
    - Disconnect ALL the spark plug leads
    - Turn ON the MASTER SWITCH and turn ON the ELECTRIC FUEL PUMP
    - Set throttle at full open (forward) and mixture full rich
    - Pump fuel through the injector, fuel manifold and nozzles for at least 30 seconds. The preservative oil will exit the system through the nozzle vents and fuel nozzles.
    - Close the throttle and set the mixture at idle cut-off postions and turn off the electric fuel pump and master switch.
    - Reconnect the spark plugs and ignition leads.

    The first paragraph mentions turning the oil pressure up and we addressed that also in an earlier post when installing the engine. This last engine I got, I think they may have adjusted it up already now at the factory from the first engines, because I did turn it up but then on the first flight I see it's a little I'll lower it again. So maybe go fly first and see if you have good enough oil pressure to get that oil into the prop for the first time.

    The engines have been "run-in" by the manufacturer already and the engine documents should include the run sheets showing each run they did and the results. On the Aerosport assembled engines, I think they run them about 2 hours total in several different runs and only 1 hour on the Lycoming assembled ones, but the last one is at high rpm for an oil consumption test. So the engines have been run and tested good for 2 hours before we get them. They are not "broken-in" yet though, so we will run them rich and hard until the oil consumption comes down. I have never had much of any oil consumption on any of the engines (the 340 or these new ones) though. I don't install the cowl yet and won't put it on until the first flight.

    The engines/fuel servos were set by the manufacturer when they did the run-ins but they usually come to us on the rich side since they didn't have some accessories on (alternator, starter). They also suggest keeping the lower rpm engine runs as short as possible at this time, so my first run up was to check the fuel pump operation and check for leaks. I only run it for a outlet minutes to be sure oil or fuel isnít spraying out somewhere.

    If all is good, then Iíll start it back up and taxi it while dragging the brakes to get the powder coat paint off the rotors and to get it warmed up enough to do the idle mixture checks. I go ahead and do the magnetometer calibration and vibration tests before heading to the pump and shutting down. I wrote earlier about the cold/hot starting procedures for the engine. It's a very easy engine to start either hot or cold.

    When you do the vibration test for the magnetometer, they have you do a full throttle run up. Be sure you are chocked if you haven't burnished your brake rotors yet as it may not hold.......but now is a good time to note the maximum rpm's. As the set-up document states, you want to see around 2660-2680 rpms on the ground. This should get you to the 2700 on take-off (which usually shows up after liftoff). You can adjust the prop per the document easily. Leave the prop spinner off until we have the first hour on it and then service the prop as described. Earlier I showed photos of the nipples and bolts on the prop hub that you use.

    After this first run-up, the cowl is still off and you can inspect for any fuel/oil leaks or anything else.

    Before the first flight, check the mixture and idle speed. The document goes over it in detail but it's important to note that you have to first set the mixture correctly before setting the idle because small mixture changes will change that as well.

    650-750 rpm is the correct idle speed and you should just use the throttle control to get it there and then pull the mixture back slowly and note the total rise in rpms before it shuts off. Anything more than 25-50 rpms and it's rich and the big knob on the fuel servo gets moved UP (clockwise) to lean it. You just have to keep adjusting and testing it until you have it right. Be sure and do this with a warm engine as well. You will note the set-up sheet says idle at 600. That was what I was told by the factory guy originally but later checking the engine documents I noted it should be a little higher and I agree. I'll ask Mitch to change that.

    Once you have the mixture set, then just turn the idle screw (the big screw that stops the movement of the arm there on the servo) until you have the 650-750 or so rpm idle speed.

    In BOLD here I will copy and paste some info on the oil cooler I added later.


    Put a piece of 2" metal tape across half of your oil cooler. We use to do this to the CC340 engine to try and get oil temps up higher so it would burn off moisture in the oil but with cooler/freezing temps here in the CC363i, I also ran into a problem with it being untaped.

    The oil coolers are so efficient, that I guess they will actually get the oil "too cool". In my case, I was flying along around 28 degrees and the oil temps slowly went up to around 220 or 221 and then would quickly fall back to around 170 or so......then slowly increase again to the 220/221 and repeat. Back and forth.......

    What was happening was that the vernathem would allow the hot oil to go to the oil cooler when it heated up but the oil in the oil cooler was so cold that it essentially clogged up and wouldn't let the hot oil pass through quickly. Then it would evidently warm that oil up enough to get it moving out of the oil cooler and cycle the oil through there until the vernathem shut it off again......the oil in the cooler would gel up again ...... and on goes the cycle over and over.

    I covered half the cooler with the metal tape and the oil temps now stay PEGGED at 185. So I'll just leave the tape on year round unless I'm getting into the hot, southern summer temps and only if the temps go up. I've suggested to Mitch to add this to the EX3 SETUP FOLDER in Dropbox.

    That's about it for the set-up. I taxi as briefly as possible to avoid a long ground run at this time. A run-up to 2,000 rpm is necessary to get the oil to the prop. It seems that the very first time you cycle oil into the prop, it take a little bit more (we discussed this in an earlier post as well) and you may need to go on up to 2200 or 2300.....and pull the prop lever back and hold it until the first sign of rpm's decreasing. It's important that these props not be cycled very far. They actually suggest only about 100 rpms. Once oil is through the governor and into the prop for the first, it's much easier and responsive after that. At 2,000 rpm run-ups, I just pull the prop lever about half way back and then immediately back forward and you'll see the prop fall off several 100 rpms just like that. Don't bring it way back and hold it there like many of the other planes we flew with constant speed props.

    On the ground roll I try to pay special attention to be sure the oil pressure, fuel pressure, etc is up and normal and I again check out the max rpm during climb out to see if I'm going to need to adjust the prop again or not. I run it around the pattern (keeping it tight and close just in case.....) and then I land. Try not to bring the power back until you have to .....keep it running hard.

    I taxi back to the hangar, remove the cowl and give it a very good inspection for any fuel or oil leaks and when all is good, I put my smiling self back into it and take off again and orbit the airport (gliding distance to the runway) for a full hour running it hard. Seating rings in engines are best done while working the engine hard. We use to put new rings on race car engines, hit the track and hammer it as hard as we could. Rings seat better when worked hard. Keep the mixture full rich (as long as it runs OK that rich) and about 75% power (25/25 or so depending.....).

    Of course your eyes will be glued to the engine data watching the temps closely. With this's a dream. Temps stay even and cool at full rich. We won't start leaning until later......after the first 2 hours of break-in when we will run in 75 degrees ROP. After break-in, I set mixture LOP for best fuel economy keeping it out of the "red box" (read Mike Bush at Savvy Aviation). These fuel injections engines will run LOP but I could never get the 340 carbureted one to.

    The checklist says to turn on the electric fuel pump for take-offs and landings. In an earlier post and on the Set-up sheet, we adjusted the electric pump pressure to as low as it would go before we installed it. Now we test it......after take off and climb to a safe altitude, I turn off the fuel pump. Note the fuel pressure on the gauge when just the mechanical pump is work. Then switch the electric pump back on and see how much it rises. Even though we adjusted it as low as it will go, it will probably still be several psi above the mechanical pump. As long as it's still down within a few psi, that should be fine. Mine runs about 23psi at 75% power mechanical and about 28 psi on the electric. One problem is that you have the electric pump on during landing and it's making the mixture too rich for some reason, it could flood out the engine when you abruptly blip the power. (ask me how I know)

    After the hour, land and again pull the cowl and check everything out. Note again the idle rpm and rpm rise at shutdown to see if any more mixture/idle speed adjustments are needed when you pull the cowl off. Now you will need to service the prop again per the sheet instructions and then make any final prop rpm adjustments needed and install the spinner. Now it looks cool.

    The 2nd hour vary the power every 15 minutes from 65%-75% and after that run it it from 65-75% and 75 degrees ROP until break-in.

    The best document for this is the attached Superior Pre-Start and Break-In Guide.
    Last edited by Daveembry; 06-02-2021 at 10:16 AM.
    Dave Embry
    "You only live once.......but if you do it right.........once is enough."..

  9. #139
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Broken Arrow, OK

    Default Re: Building the EX3 - Tips & Hints


    Well, bad weather and other family obligations has me still not done with the 40 hour fly-off but it will be soon. With winds 35-70 forecast, thought I'd spend some time going over a few things you could run into when testing out your system and some of the items I had problems with on this build. This is all relatively small in the overall scheme of things but problems non the less.


    One thing I use to always say to managers of my company. There are 3 things you have to do when you have a problem:

    1. Admit you have a problem. This simply means.....don't ignore it because it probably isn't going away all on it's own.
    2. Fix the problem. Self explanatory.
    3. Come up with a policy or procedure to prevent that same problem from recurring again. This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of handling problems I think. No sense to keep potentially facing the same problem over and over.

    In this case, most of us aren't going to build more than one airplane but maybe you will! So when I run into a problem, I try to figure out a way to prevent it next time so I won't have to put that fire out again!

    Hopefully, I can help you guys prevent these problems on your current builds as well. I will go over the problems and the fix and prevention here in this post but I will also go back and copy/paste it in earlier post where they would be encountered.

    1. Put a piece of 2" metal tape across half of your oil cooler. We use to do this to the CC340 engine to try and get oil temps up higher so it would burn off moisture in the oil but with cooler/freezing temps here in the CC363i, I also ran into a problem with it being untaped.

    The oil coolers are so efficient, that I guess they will actually get the oil "too cool". In my case, I was flying along around 28 degrees and the oil temps slowly went up to around 220 or 221 and then would quickly fall back to around 170 or so......then slowly increase again to the 220/221 and repeat. Back and forth.......

    What was happening was that the vernathem would allow the hot oil to go to the oil cooler when it heated up but the oil in the oil cooler was so cold that it essentially clogged up and wouldn't let the hot oil pass through quickly. Then it would evidently warm that oil up enough to get it moving out of the oil cooler and cycle the oil through there until the vernathem shut it off again......the oil in the cooler would gel up again ...... and on goes the cycle over and over.

    I covered half the cooler with the metal tape and the oil temps now stay PEGGED at 185. So I'll just leave the tape on year round unless I'm getting into the hot, southern summer temps and only if the temps go up. I've suggested to Mitch to add this to the EX3 SETUP FOLDER in Dropbox.


    2. When installing your wiring for the G3X under the boot cowl, be very careful with the manifold pressure line where it goes from the inside/cockpit side of the firewall to the "Y" where it intersects with that tube that goes to the pressure sensor (mounted above the ignition boxes on an Adel clamp that shares a common bolt with the ignition box bracket). Iím going to suggest that this sensor also be relocated to another area to make it more accessible and easier to remove that bolt holding on the ignition boxes as well. It is pretty much impossible to get that Adel clamp off and back on again if you ever have to. (See below on that subject)

    Since the rubber tubing connects to the blue nipple fitting installed in the firewall, you have to install it before sliding the boot cowl over the panel and flush up to the front of the fuse. This means there is some slack in the rubber hose when the boot cowl is slid up over the panel. The rubber used is very limp and pliable and easily just folds overs and creases the line so air will not flow. So after you push that boot cowl up.....check to be sure it is straight with no kinks itself of that it has pushed the little yellow hoses it connects to (that goes into the ignition boxes).

    This MAP line comes from the engine and goes to the ignition boxes. If they don't let the "suction" from the engine (when running) register in the ignition boxes, the engine will still run fine but the ignition system will not adjust the timing with the changes in manifold pressure as it should.

    I had flown probably 3 flight sessions and finally decided to take off and get away from the airport. About 45 minutes out, I went to make a power change (since the 2nd and subsequent hours on the new engine should be varied from 65-75% power) and noticed that when I moved the throttle the manifold pressure didn't change at all at first but slowly would over some time. After getting back and checking it out, I noticed the line had kinked over and blocked the air suction on the line.

    (You can see the kink in the black line here just to the left of where it connects to the yellow line)

    So just be sure it's OK. I'd like a stiffer rubber hose myself so it wouldn't be so easy to fold over onto itself.

    3. Test your trim position sensor when testing the rest of your G3X wiring install.

    I went to configure the trim position sensor and it wasn't the calibration mode in the configuration menu (see below) you can actually see the voltage change as you move the trim motor as it pulls the string out or in. I pulled the connector that attaches to the sensor.....from the wire harness I installed down the fuselage stringer on the left side and checked the voltage with the master switch ON. It did not have power as it should. The blue/white wire is the ground and the orange/white wire should have 5v. The white wire is the variable voltage out of the sensor (it measures how far the wire is in or out of the pot).

    The trim sensor is a "string pot". There are 3 shielded wires in that harness that goes from the GEA24 unit in the panel (engine management module) to the trim sensor that is mounted behind the trim motor. The circuits are totally separate from the trim motor, so neither has any effect on the other.

    The trim sensor "string" is attached to the elevator trim so that it moves the wire when you move the trim on the front of the elevator stabilizers. The Executive Glass Manual shows that it should have a 4 pin connector on the front and aft end of the wiring harness....but this is wrong. The sensor is a 3 wire sensor and the 4th wire is the "shield" wire around the 3 wires. They just kill it in the harness at the sensor location but the front of the wires have a 4 pin plastic connector that connects to another 4 pin connector in the harness that is coming out of J433 inputs of the GEA24 until (just behind and left of the G3X GDU display). The 3 wires go into the unit pins but the 4th is the shield which goes onto the outside of the clamshell as a ground.

    For some reason, I did not have 5v at the orange/white wire at the end of the harness where it connects to the sensor so I went up to where my trim sensor wiring harness (the one going down the left side of the fuse in the stringer) connected to the white, 4 pin connector coming out of the GEA24 and disconnected the wiring harness connector and again measured the voltage of the wires there..........and it was a good 5v on the orange/white pin with the negative lead on the blue/white pin.

    So, now I know the wire harness is bad. These are very small 24 ga wires and it doesn't take much for them to mess up. I had a new harness in my new kit I'm about to start so I connected it (outside the plane just to test before taking all the left side interior panels out and running the new wire down the stringer!!!!!!) and tested it at the 3 pin connector that attaches to the sensor and it was all good. So.......I went ahead and attached it to the connector to the sensor just to test AGAIN.....and IT DIDN'T WORK!!!

    I took the new sensor I had from my new kit and attached it to the connector and it worked just great. So.......I had a bad wiring harness AND a bad sensor! What are the odds of that??? Not too good. I bet the wiring harness bad wire had something to do with the sensor going bad. Anyway, now I get to have all the fun of trying to get up in there and replacing the sensor as well as the new wiring harness.

    In the future for me, you better believe I will test that sensor before cover and boot cowl install. The trim position sensor has to be configured in the G3X. In the Garmin Installation Manual around page 800 is where itís covered.

    Go into the configuration mode (hold MENU button while turning on G3X) and then down to the last item which is AIRFRAME & Something. Scroll down and you will see TRIM INDICATOR (or something similar as I go from memory). This will open another screen and you will see CALIBRATE button on the bottom, right side. Touch it then on the left side of the screen, you will see where you can select NEUTRAL, FULL UP and FULL DOWN. With your Master switch ON, run the trim motor until your elevator/stabilizer would be about in the middle. It really doesn't matter because you will re-calibrate it later.

    With it somewhere near the center, select NEUTRAL and then touch to STORE IT. Then run the elevator FULL UP and select the option of FULL UP in the box and then press STORE IT and the same for FULL DOWN.

    Touch SAVE and then the BACK button on the G3X until you are back to the main configuration screen and then press "SAVE AND RESTART".

    Then, after it reboots, you should see the trim position indicator down on the bottom left area of the display. Run the trim motor up and down and be sure the indicator works and you are done. Easier to see if you have a problem now than later. I tested everything..... all the light wires for continuity and power, trim motor, etc. but I didn't test this and sure as hell.......

    4. Ignition system and mini-sensor. This was a pretty interesting situation. Back in the post when installing the G3X wiring and the wiring harness in general, I tested almost every wire going ďsomewhereĒ light lights, trim motor, etc. but as mentioned before.......not the trim sensor and I didnít ever test the ignition system other than to test the wiring per the instructions on the operation of the switch, backup battery systems, etc. but I didnít think of .......or know of a way to check to see that the mini-sensors worked...........and I wished I had..........and I will in the future.

    Hereís what happened:

    On the first engine run-up the engine fired right up and ran fine. I did a quick ignition check........on BOTH......ran fine. On LEFT.......ran fine. On RIGHT..........bam.........really bad miss and huge drop in rpmís.

    I switched to LEFT and looked at EGTís and all showing green but when I switched to RIGHT......... cylinders 3 & 4 EGTís dropped off to nothing. Hereís the procedure I used to work out the problem.

    Understanding the ignition system, here is how it works. The RIGHT ignition box has 2 cables going to 2 coils at the bottom side of the engine and this box fires the BOTTOM spark plugs in the engine. The LEFT box goes to the 2 upper coils and fires the TOP spark plugs.

    So on the 2 bottom coils that are controlled by the RIGHT box, the pilot right side coil controls bottom cylinders 3 & 4, which are the ones I had a problem with so I first suspected a coil problem so I swapped that coil out with the coil on the bottom, left side (that controls cylinders 1 & 2) and the problem did NOT move to cylinders 1 & 2 but stayed with 3 & this eliminated that it was a coil problem.

    When I experience a problem, itís seems itís usually the simplest thing that causes it so I always look at the simplest things first before going to the hardest. In this case I'll test..... the coil, spark plugs, spark plug wires, ignition wires, mini-sensors and lastly........the ignition box.

    Coil eliminated so i next checked the spark plugs (fat chance that 2 plugs were fouled at the same time ....right?) and they looked fine but I went ahead and put 2 new ones in anyway.

    Next I did a continuity check on the spark plug wires going to these 2 cylinders (fat chance that 2 spark plug wires were bad at the same time.....right?). All good.

    Next I removed the right, forward interior panel to expose the ignition boxes and I had previously labeled each box as RIGHT and LEFT by writing this directly on the boxes with a sharpie. The left side box was the LEFT side box so I removed the right side RIGHT ignition box ignition wires (BNC connectors and on the forward side of the box) and did a continuity check with the positive side of the connector at the coil (blue connnector attached to the center wire of the cable) and the center of the BNC connector and the negative (yellow connector) with the outside of the BNC connector. I really thought I might find the problem here where I had installed the connectors but it was all good.

    Next I double checked the mini-sensors I installed at the flywheel to be sure the gap was correct. The tolerance is .030-.060 from the flywheel being sure it stays parallel to the flywheel across the mini-sensor. They tell me that the closer to the minimum gap the better, so I used .032. All good.

    Next....... crap.......guess itís the box and it doesnít look like fun removing that bracket. Mitch and CC was great and overnighted me another box and instead of actually removing the existing boxes, I just attached the connectors to the new box temporarily to test it. I didnít bother removing and installing the yellow manifold pressure lines from the existing box to the new box because it wouldnít affect the engine only affects the engine timing. NOPE.....not the box!!!! NOW WHAT?

    OK....emails out to Klaus who owns Lightspeed. It was was a Saturday and i didn't expect to hear from him at all.....much less on a Saturday.....but within an hour or so he replied and said..... ďour boxes and mini-sensors never failĒ and he suggested running the tests listed in the Lightspeed manual that comes with the system (and from CC). I looked them up and pulled the INPUT cable from the back of the box and checked the pins listed to see if power was coming into the box from the aircraft wiring harness........... ALL GOOD!

    OK....NOW WHAT?

    Has to be a mini-sensor right? But Klaus says they never fail. Only problem is I know a guy who did have one bad so I knew they could be bad. If you recall, there are 2 mini-sensors installed 180 degrees apart from each other up behind the flywheel.........1 for each for the LEFT and RIGHT ignition boxes. The sensor on the RIGHT side of the engine is for the RIGHT box (and my problem area). On the aft side of the flywheel there is a plate that is installed that has magnets in it. These magnets are picked up by the min-sensors as the engine rotates and this signal passes from the sensors to the ignition box which decides when to send a signal to the coils to fire.....which then goes through the spark plug wires to the spark plugs ......and the engine fires. This timing of the firing is changed by the ignition boxes and the changes are based on a multitude of data.

    Digging into it more, I discover that each ďmini-sensorĒ unit is actually comprised of 2 sensors in the housing.......1 that is for the cylinder 3&4 coil and the other for cylinder 1 & 2 coil. So my 1 & 2 side of the sensor is working but the 3 & 4 side is not???

    (This mini-sensor is really a housing that contains 2 separate sensors....each with it's own wire going to the connector)

    Once again Cubcrafts comes through and overnights me a new sensor to try (even though they never fail........). Iíve got the new sensor and see that the cable is long enough that I can install it on the right side of the engine and just run the cable on the outside of the plane to the box inside to just test it before actually going though the hassle of getting it thought the firewall clamshell, etc.

    So I remove the existing connector from the right sensor where it goes into the ignition box. Iím inspecting the wires going into the connector and see that there are 2 wires coming from the sensor into the connector, no doubt 1 from each side of the mini-sensor so 1 is for that 3 & 4 coil and the other for the 1 & 2. Hmmmmmm.......what if......

    (These 2 wires are coming from the mini-sensor to the 2 pins that are side by side.)

    Yep.....with my magnifying glass, I look very closely at the solder connections Lightspeed has made where the wires attach to the connector.....the pins are side by side and looking closely, I see a bit of solder has bridged the 2 pins and Iím sure that shouldnít be. A soldering iron to melt the solder and a small piece of sandpaper between the pins and itís all back together and working great! What a relief but it has taken me almost a week to get this one sorted out.

    SO......... in keeping with my #3 item on the problem solving list above on how to deal with can I test this in the future when installing the engine/wiring? Believe me........I DID NOT WANT TO HAVE TO CHANGE OUT AN IGNITION BOX after having looked up there and seeing how hard it was going to be to access the bolts/nuts/clamps. I will also change the way I install the ignition boxes in the future to make it easier if I ever have to (and will discuss that later below).

    So from now on, I will test the mini-sensors/ignition boxes, etc. Looking at the Lightspeed manual, there is a test you can do that will show if a signal is passing from the sensors to the box when a magnet passes by it. i think this can be done while wiring the units and before installing the boot cowl. Essentially, you remove the input connector from the box that is coming from the sensor. The manual shows which pins to attach a meter to and when you pass a magnet (maybe a magnetic pickup tool?) by the sensor, you will see voltage show up. CC has the power wires, etc. they have installed into this connector that you have to connect into the wiring harness, so be sure when you test that those wires are connected to the wiring harness and that you have master switch on and battery power of course.

    Another test of the system once you have the engine installed (prop can be on or off)......either remove all the spark plugs (especially if no prop on and you want to turn the engine over by hand using the flywheel) or remove the spark plug wires from the spark plugs. Also remove the spark plug wires from the coils. With the master switch ON and the ignition switch on BOTH, turn the flywheel around quickly and you should see the 4 coils ďsnapĒ or fire/spark each time the flywheel magnets pass the sensors. All 4 should work.


    I would take particular note in the EXECUTIVE GLASS MANUAL, Page 24 of the screw locations that hold the ignition box brackets to the fuse. All the bolts/screws used to secure the brackets to each other and to the fuse, I would not use nuts but clipnuts on all the areas so that you can simply unscrew the screws because the nuts are almost impossible to get to when the boot cowl is on. Just imagine you only have access from inside the cockpit through that front panel area and see how hard that would be to do.

    Also, when securing the sensor that the manifold pressure line goes into, I would NOT install it with an Adel clamp on the top, aft ignition box bracket. That is pretty much impossible to ever get back on if you have to remove the boxes.
    Last edited by Daveembry; 09-07-2021 at 05:54 PM.
    Dave Embry
    "You only live once.......but if you do it right.........once is enough."..

  10. #140
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Shiro, Texas

    Default Re: Building the EX3 - Tips & Hints

    I see that Mitch confirmed the call-out for CR3213 rivets in bottom machined clip for rib 5, but is there any reason not to use CR3212 ( countersunk)?


    Quote Originally Posted by Daveembry View Post

    Tail ribs. Just note that the first one that goes onto rib #1 is part number -002 which is a rib from the RIGHT WING. It is different from the rest of the tail ribs which are -001's (just like the first nose rib was from the right wing).

    You will need to cut the top of the #2 rib back from the inside edge of the spar so later the false spar lip that goes over and rivets into the fuel bay will fit.

    Attachment 7986

    Do NOT put the rivets in the SIDES of the tail ribs on ribs #8 & #9. Later in Section 22 you will be installing the tail rib reinforcement brackets on the joints of these 2 tail to center ribs. When you put these brackets on your will be installing 7 rivets into the sides and if you put that one on the side first, before these brackets, they will interfere with the brackets sitting flush with the center rib.

    Also, it's noted in the manual that you will NOT put any rivets for these 2 ribs into the rear spar. Just put the top and bottom rivets in where the tail ribs join the center ribs but not into the rear spar. You will see when you try to install the brackets you will need to slide and twist these tail ribs a bit to get the squeeze riveter in.

    Manual page 109, photo 126 is really not true. They use to use meth to glue the double ribs together so you had to cut the tabs off further to fit but now that we are riveting the double ribs, they will fit between the center ribs perfectly don't bother doing this step.

    You can see here how I have modified by squeezer by cutting it down in areas as well as cutting down the edge of the dies so I can have good clearances like in the places here where we have to dimple and then set the rivets in the tail ribs to center ribs.

    Attachment 7801

    Attachment 7802

    Here you can see the "dimpling" dies used on the holes on the top and bottom tail to center rib connections. NOTE: Go ahead and put the top and bottom rivets in these ribs on the #8 & #9 but not the side ones as we are going to do that in the next section when we install the rib reinforcements which will rivet in from the sides. Also DO NOT install any of the SS rivets into the spar for the rear center and tail ribs. You will see why in Section 22 when we have to install the reinforcement brackets. To make room to get in and squeeze the side rivets for these brackets, we will need more room so by not installing the rivets, we can slide the center and tail ribs out away from the cross tubes to give us room to work. The manual says "the #8 rib may be moved inboard 2" in the rear to clear the rear strut attach fittings", this is what it's referring to. You can "Temporarily" move it over to work on the can't really MOVE IT OVER 2" permanently.

    Attachment 7803

    These modifications make it so that you can get the squeezer up close to the ribs (under the top of the rib) like here.

    Attachment 7804

    I drill and install all the top and top/side rivets first before drilling the bottoms so everything stays lined up. Note that when you drill the top holes from the tail rib to the center ribs that you first hold the tail ribs (and later the NOSE RIBS you do the same) straight out (perpendicular.....90 deg. angle) from the rear spar before drilling the holes.

    When I'm finished installing all the top and bottoms rivets I go back with a pair of pliars and just straighten the tops of the connection points so they are more level and the edge isn't sticking up because the fabric will be laying on these areas and you don't want the edges sticking up.

    Attachment 7805

    MACHINED CLIPS. Section 24, Page 113.

    This is a little confusing but really simple. At rib #5 put the clip SK31055-001 on the top like the pictures show in the manual. Drill 2 #40 holes up at the top towards the inboard side, dimple and install the rivets. Just center these holes on the parts you are drilling into and keep an edge distance of 2 times the width of the rivet. The bottom, outboard hole and rivet that goes into the machined rib will be installed later after the capstrip is installed. Donít do anything with it right now.

    Put the SC31055-001 clip on the bottom and do the same except there will be 2 of the CR3213-4-2 Cherrymax rivets onto the back of the clip into the machined trailing edge rib. DON'T pay attention to the Figures W19 - 21 on pages 81 and 82. Those figures are only to install the screws and back rivets but ARE WRONG where it references rivet part numbers for the bottom clip! The bottom clip uses the same MS20436AD3-3 rivets from the clip into the center rib and uses 2 of the CR3213-4-2 Cherrymax . The 32124-2 rivets are countersunk heads and the 3213's are not so I don't understand why they are not using the countersunk rivets there instead of the non-countersunk ones as this is going to leave bumps under the fabric. NOTE: MITCH CONFIRMED THAT THE FIGURES ARE CORRECT SHOWING THE CR3213-4-2 BOTTOM CHERRYMAX RIVETS WHICH ARE NOT COUNTERSUNK. THIS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME SINCE THE BOTTOM FABRIC WILL CONTACT THE BOTTOM AND THE 3213 RIVETS WILL LEAVE A BIG BUMP THERE .......AND....THE MATERIALS ON THE BOTTOM ARE THE SAME....SAME THICKNESS....SAME EVERYTHING. All other parts of the airplane where the fabric sits.....uses countersunk rivets????

    Just ignore the capstrip and center hole talk in the manual for now. Later we are going to be sure there is a hole in the center of it going through the cap strip that will go on. That hole is just for a fabric rivet later so don't worry about it now. Also the part number called out for (even though you don't need it now) the capstrip is wrong. It's now a "PC" part just FYI.

    Attachment 7807
    This is the bottom clip on rib #5

    Attachment 7808
    This is rib #12 clips. Note the location of the single cherrymax rivets on the sides going into the machines tail rib and there is only 1 hole in the top and bottom of the clips and its on the machined rib side. There are no rivets from the top and bottom clips into the center ribs.

    Attachment 7809
    This is a view of the outboard side of the #12 rib showing the 2 rivets that go from the sides of both the top and bottom clip into the center rib.

    16 hours and 40 minutes into the build at this point.

    Attachment 7810
    Quote Originally Posted by Daveembry View Post

    Nose Ribs.

    The manual is pretty self explanatory here. Just a note that you do NOT want to install the bottom rivet in the #8 rib nose rib (and remember we left it out also on the bottom of the center rib there on the front rib). You will see that when you go to install the bottom rivet of the nose rib to center rib for that #8 rib that you are going to need to slide the bottom over just a little to get your squeeze riveter up into position to set the rivet because the tubes are in the way. After you install that bottom rivet in that connection, then you can install the 2 SS rivets in the bottom of the #8 center and nose ribs.

    Also just pay special attention that the nose rib on the #1 rib is actually the -002 rib that normally goes on the right wing. All the rest are the -001 nose ribs.

    CAPSTRIP #5. Page 121, Section 27

    There are a few typos, figure and photo referrals here. Looking at my printed manual, the first sentence should refer to Fig. W45, not W46. Also note that Fig. W45 shows the rivet that goes through the capstrip, cap and machined rib is listed incorrectly. It's shown as a CR3212-4-2 but if you look at Fig. W46 it shows that rivet should actually be the longer CR3212-4-3. If you look at Dropbox however, Fig. 45 in the printed manual is actually W46 and the incorrect rivet number has been removed from W46 and is correct in Fig 47.

    Attachment 7811

    NOTE: If you use the Dropbox version of the manual (as you should as there are current changes there that is different from the printed manual) it's much easier to enlarge the page and figures to read them. It's pretty hard to see these figures and small print in the manual but you can make it HUGE onscreen.

    Page 121, middle of 3rd paragraph the referral to Photo 193 is wrong. I think it should be photo 142.

    Page 122 says to install the 3 CherryMax rivets per Fig. W45 and that should also be W46.

    Page 124 refers to W45 in th first line and should be W46 also.

    - Mark and drill a #30 into the clip on the #5 double rib per the manual (W45) .25" from the top of the machined rib radius on the top, centered on the machined rib.

    - Get the capstrip PC31054-001 and the end with the 2 holes in the center and at the end goes on the rear spar end. There are 2 holes there pre-drilled....1 is smaller than the other. Circle it with sharpie. Measure 3.5" aft and mark the capstrip and another mark another 3.5" aft (see Fig. W46). Drill out this smaller hole with a #30 drill bit and place the capstrip onto the double #5 rib and cleco this one you just drilled to the hole you made.

    Attachment 7816

    - Next get a small square and square the flap/aileron hangar with the rear spar and use clamps to hold the capstrip and machined rib in place. Drill out 2 #30 holes in the 2 spots (each 3.5" from the first hole) and cleco.

    Attachment 7817

    - Center the capstrip on the double rib and clamp in place. If it's off just a little, it will flex over a little as you go. Just center the first foot or so from the aft spar and get some cleco's in, then keep moving the rest of the capstrip over to the center as you go until you get to the end. There are 25 holes you will need to drill and cleco.


    - If you are going to rivet your fabric on, then take a long #30 drill bit and matchdrill the 3 fabric holes (come up from the bottom) in the machined rib through the capstrip and also drill out the other 4th fabric hole that is the larger hole in the capstrip that is directly over the clip underneath. Just match drill down through the capstrip hole through the clip.

    Attachment 7818

    - Measure 1" past the forward side of the front spar and cut off the rest of the capstrip and drill a #40 hole through the capstrip into the nose rib and install a MS20426AD3-3 squeeze rivet (countersink first).

    - Remove the clecos and capstrip and debur all the holes and then put the capstrip back up and cleco in place again. You can dimple all the rivet holes (but NOT the fabric holes) or you can countersink them with the microstop if you want. Install the rivets. CherryMax rivets are 3 in the tail end aft of the rear spar; 25 squeeze rivets into the center ribs and the 1 squeezed rivet in the nose rib.

    - Again, if you are going to use rivets in the fabric, use a long #30 drill bit again and from the bottom, match drill through the fabric holes in the top of the center ribs. It doesn't really matter which rib you use, but only use 1 rib....don't drill out the holes in both of the double ribs.

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