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Thread: Stabilizer inspection cover/Fabric repair

  1. #1

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    Default Stabilizer inspection cover/Fabric repair

    After noticing some of my stabilizer inspection cover screws keep backing off or gone missing I looked a bit closer and noticed that the matching grommet on the interior side of the fabric is partially missing (no fabric over the grommet). Essentially the screws have nothing to hold on to. I also noticed the fabric is not particularly taught just in front of the inspection plate.
    Could I make a large fabric patch over the "not so taught" area with a generous overlap first? Then use appropriate shrinking with an iron(Polyfiber system)? Would I need to cut away the looser fabric first?
    Then I'm guessing I would make the inspection cover grommet on the exterior using a fabric over that, or just glue? Not sure if I can reach this area from underneath the belly to glue a new grommet on?

    Thoughts??

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Stabilizer inspection cover/Fabric repair

    Have you tried to re-shrink the existing fabric? First I would glue in a new grommet or section of a grommet, maybe even make it out of aluminum rather than the plastic. Then using a towel or something similar between the iron and the finish try shrinking what is there. If that works, you are done. If you try and bond on new fabric, you should strip the existing dope or whatever finish you have so you can bond to clean fabric and then build up as usual.


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  3. #3
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stabilizer inspection cover/Fabric repair

    Bakers parchment paper works well to protect the finish when re-shrinking.

  4. #4
    JPerkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stabilizer inspection cover/Fabric repair

    Not seeing it, it's hard to tell why the fabric is loose; but make sure everything is structurally sound and that something g isnt bent or broke causing the loose fabric.

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    Jason Perkins

  5. #5
    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stabilizer inspection cover/Fabric repair

    I would glue an aluminum grommet in behind the fabric, use clothes pins to hold it in place until the glue dries. I would use Stewarts glue so it doesn't melt the finish like Poly-Tac will. Then evaluate the loose fabric.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Stabilizer inspection cover/Fabric repair

    20190911_145515.jpgUpon further inspection.... it looks as if the inspection holes were cut about 1/2"-3/4" too far aft. The previous owner tried to adjust the cover forward, thereby inserting screws where no grommet backing exists. Even so, when nose down trim the elevator pushes against the cover plate. Same thing on both sides. Also this pic shows the small area of loose fabric I spoke of.
    My inclination is to cut out the grommet, cover the hole, and redo the inspection port all together in the correct spot, according to the Polyfiber manual. What is the the consensus of you more experienced folks?
    Additionally, can I recover the hole working around the elevator? I'm not an A&P, so I'd like to avoid removal of control surfaces.
    Thanks again guys.

  7. #7
    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stabilizer inspection cover/Fabric repair

    I'd glue a grommet on the inside and make a new inspection cover to fit. To cover that correctly you would probably want to remove the stabilizer and completely cover over the hole.

  8. #8
    mmoyle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stabilizer inspection cover/Fabric repair

    Steve sells that aluminum grommet... Brian at Steve’s aircraft face book site has good pictures showing how he makes those covers..

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Stabilizer inspection cover/Fabric repair

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    I'd glue a grommet on the inside and make a new inspection cover to fit. To cover that correctly you would probably want to remove the stabilizer and completely cover over the hole.
    Steve, with a standard grommet and plate (moved to the correct position), I would need to recover, at least partially, the aft side of the hole. Correct? I could carefully cut out the existing top fabric that covers that grommet and patch an extension. Does that make sense? Otherwise, it'll look like a hot mess(or have I gone there already )

  10. #10
    Stephen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stabilizer inspection cover/Fabric repair

    Quote Originally Posted by J Ryd View Post
    Steve, with a standard grommet and plate (moved to the correct position), I would need to recover, at least partially, the aft side of the hole. Correct? I could carefully cut out the existing top fabric that covers that grommet and patch an extension. Does that make sense? Otherwise, it'll look like a hot mess(or have I gone there already )
    Patching the aft portion of the hole will be difficult to get a clean looking finish unless, you patch over the entire hole. I would make my own plate out of thin aluminum, glue it in a Steve says. Then make a new larger cover.
    "You can only tie the record for flying low."

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