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"Hopefully" Simple Repair

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Old 04-27-2010, 11:24 AM
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hrrcflyer
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Default "Hopefully" Simple Repair

Hello,

I have a small problem I'm sure someone in this forum will be able to help me out with. Last Saturday, I was given an older Byron's Sukhoi with a fiberglass fuselage by a friend of mine. As you can tell by the attached pictures, a couple of the air vents for the motor have broken off and are missing. I'd like any suggestions for how I can fix them so they match the rest. Please keep in mind that I have no experience in working with fiberglass other than the necessary cutting work associated with some ARF's so any help will be very appreciated.

TIA....

David
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:59 AM
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I would use some modeling clay and fill in the vents on the first two louvers which are just forward of the broken area...Then I would mask off the surrounding area, apply two or three coats of Vaseline and make a plaster splash of those two louvers...Let the plaster cure on the plane for a day then pop it off and seal the plaster with three coats of sanding sealer....Once the sealer has cured if you need to smooth your splash up a little you can sand with some 180 or 220 paper...Once she's slick enough add one final coat of sanding sealer...After the final coat of sealer has cured I would wax and PVA per normal mold prep procedures and then do a little lay up with some light cloth and epoxy laminating resin....The goal of your laminate would be to match the thickness of fiberglass that the original fuse has...I'm guessing approximately three layers or .75 oz glass cloth might get you in the ballpark but you will have to kinda judge that yourself...Once your laminate has cured pop it out and you should have a pretty nice re-production of the original louvers...

Now you need to trim the broken area on the plane enough to remove any loose or fragmented glass...Clean the hole up so that you can trim your new "repair" louvers to fit the opening sorta like you were doing a repair on balsa sheeting...If you can I would try and stay in the white painted area so that you won't have to involve the red paint when the finishing time comes...Once it's all fitting nicely epoxy the new louvers into place...The ultimate would be if you can reach the back side to apply a layer of glass to tie everything in...After all that has cured then trim the vent holes, prime and paint as necessary...

I'm short on time so I know this is somewhat "highlighted" information...It's kinda based on the fact you are aware of most "standard information" such as normal prep procedures like scuff sanding, cleaning, applying mold release (ect.) whenever those things are applicable...There are allot of threads which have that sort of information contained in them...

Good Luck...

Chuck
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:55 AM
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Hey Chuck,

Thanks for coming through for me again... I will read through some of the other threads in this forum to get the "basics" of fiberglass repair and mold making. The biggest problem I have with the plane and your fixing technique is the fact that I only have very limited access to the inside of the fuselage so there isn't any way I can get modelling clay behind the louvers on the inside. If there are any other of you out there that are familiar with the Byrons Sukhoi, you understand my problems with access to the inside of the fuse.

It's not looking like it is going to be a simple fix. Does anybody else have any more tips or suggestions? I sure would appreciate.

Thanks
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:44 AM
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I'd make replacements out of light ply. Or balsa doubled with 1/32" ply.

Paint to match when done.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:50 PM
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Daven,

Thanks for the tip, but I don't think balsa or plywood replacement parts will withstand the vibrations of the fuselage,bit I think I'm going to stick with the fiberglass method.

I also remembered something today that will make the repair a little bit easier. The firewall for this kit is bolted to a former that is glassed into the inside of the fuselage. It's a little bit of extra work, but if I remove the motor and the firewall I will have plenty of room to make the necessary repairs. Better yet, I will be able to glass the replaced part into the inside of the fuselage. I also think it will be easier to make a mold of the vents on the opposite side of the fuselage which are still intact. Then I can cut out the ones on the side which are broken and replace them all as a single unit. What do you guys think? The biggest problem that I will have, which Chuck pointed out is staying away from the red becaue I know the chances of finding paint to match the fuselage will be impossible.

Anybody else have any more suggestions?

Thanks
David
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:35 PM
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Default RE:

Dave, are you sure they are 'glass? I swear I remember the ones on mine were ABS that you glued on and faired in. It has been a long time ago, so I could be totally wrong.
In fact, remembering more detail, that plane is crap, and I will give you $25 bucks for it so you won't be so disgusted with it.
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:38 PM
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Hey Jeff,

I believe the vents are indeed molded into the fiberglass fuselage. Earl gave me the plane and the motor. I wouldn't sell it for any amount of money. If you're nice to me though, I may let you fly it...... When I'm ready to fix it, maybe you could look it over and give me some ideas on how best to go about fixing it. I sent an email to Fiberglass Specialties to see if they had any of the old Bryon's stuff, but I got a reply back that they didn't have anything for Byron's kits.

See Ya
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:13 AM
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Hey Jeff,

I was wrong about the vents. I looked at the plane again yesterday evening and you are correct. The vents are glued to the fuselage from the inside and they appear to be made of thick plastic. This may or may not complicate my repair efforts, I just don't know. I may just leave well enough alone and fly it like it is. The plane's not quite ready to go yet, and I'm not quite ready to fly it for that matter. I need to buy a couple of props, a receiver battery and an ignition battery. I also want to re-plumb the fuel tank. I also need quite a bit of stick time with my Ultrastick and then my Ultimate before I fly the Sukhoi.

Hopefully I'll see you at the field this weekend.

David
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:11 PM
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You can probably buy new ones from Iron Bay. I ordered some stuff back in Feb and got the parts in a week.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:33 AM
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Default RE:

You can buy metal louvers from several suppliers online. I'm sure that an aluminum set of louvers installed instead of those ABS ones would look GREAT! In fact, I might consider not even painting them.

It might be an option to stay away from possibly hurting your louvers any more than they already are. I know that my first SEVERAL attempts with composites turned out poorly .
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:49 PM
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If the other side is intact... I would make a mold of it.  Then layout louver "panels" that you can install on both sides.  That way if they break again you can remove the panel and put a new one on.   A little extra work up front, but makes future repairs fast.
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