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Thread: Tim's Cruzer Project - Status and Updates

  1. #1

    Tim's Cruzer Project - Status and Updates

    Hi All -

    Current status is "thumbs up", though I had a very minor setback today.

    My tail kit arrived from Estes carrier, and its clear that even the well built crates from Zenith are no match for mis-directed "fork lift energy"

    My crate was busted open on one corner. Dag Nabbit!

    Good News: All received parts were undamaged.
    Bad News: Some of the smaller parts appear to have "departed the crate" somewhere between Mexico and Portland.

    Basically, have only about 20% of the A4 rivets, none of the A5 rivets, and none of the mass balance weights. Sent an email off the Zenith and am quite confident they will resolve this in short order. I took photos, noted the damage on the paperwork, etc.

    Based on Mark's photo journal, I requested Roger to add a small piece of scrap aluminum so I can shim the elevator horn as he did to prevent distorting the aluminum skin. This was included and cut to the required size at no charge. Thanks for the suggestion Mark.

    At least now I have something to work on! Tail kit lead time was 7 weeks - I did not anticipate this though wings were ordered a while back and due in late June which will be fine.

    Here are some photos:

    IMG_3702 square.jpg
    IMG_3701 square.jpg
    IMG_3707.jpg

  2. #2
    Bummer.
    Zenith will certainly take care if this.

    Did you make a note on the slip the truck driver had you sign? I believe you also need to report the damage to the shipping company.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Bummer.
    Zenith will certainly take care if this.

    Did you make a note on the slip the truck driver had you sign? I believe you also need to report the damage to the shipping company.
    Oliver - I am going to contact Zenith tomorrow to ensure we are on same page on how to proceed. My thought is that Zenith will just send the replacement parts (they are not high dollar value) and be done with it - then again, I could be totally wrong on this.

    I was careful to take photos prior to it being removed from the truck. The driver acknowledged the damaged crate, and I feel good with the written documentation we both recorded. He said I have 48 hours to report damaged parts. It never occurred to me that there might be missing parts

    Tim

  4. #4
    Damaged Crate Update: Kaitlin contacted me via email. As expected, Zenith will get the missing parts to me right away. She also said Zenith would take care of the shipping company work but advised I keep the crate in as received condition in case they want to inspect it.

    Good to go!

    Tim

  5. #5

    Another Update

    Well, I have done a lousy job updating ...

    Current Status is still "thumbs up". At this time, I have the rudder, horizontal stab, and elevator complete and hanging on the walls of my den. The 12 ft. high vaulted ceiling has proven to be very handy.

    One of my friends and I picked up the wing kit from the terminal yesterday. Much to my relief, the crate looked great with no observable damage (unlike the tail kit crate which was broken open upon delivery per prior entries above).

    Random thoughts to date:

    1). For whatever reason, my first horizontal stab was way out of spec for twist (1.5 degrees on max spec of 1 degree). Another builder on the Zenith site had the same issue, and successfully removed rivets, jigged, and re-riveted to correct the problem to his satisfaction. I debated this but elected to just purchase a new stab and then to carefully build, measure, and document to try to understand what actually happened. Long story short, the assembly was essentially perfect for twist using factory holes, except for the holes along the trailing edge which had significant offset similar to what is shown in picture below:

    IMG_4920.jpg

    Forcing clecoes into the mismatched holes took my twist from 0 to 0.6 degrees - still in spec, but I wasn't about to accept this given the results of my first attempt!

    I was able to make a simple fixture which allowed me to drill the required #20 hole in the correct location to negate the initial mismatch as illustrated by this photo:

    Misreg Dia.JPG

    End result was an essentially "perfectly flat" horizontal stab with no measurable twist. All I really wanted was to be within spec, but once I got into it, it was my goal to make it as good as I could.

    Elevator assembly was more challenging, but turned out pretty well. Slight bow but not appreciable.

    Some Random Lessons Learned:

    1). I found two 8 ft 2x2 steel rails to be very helpful in keeping things flat for stab and elevator assembly. They cost me $47 at the local steel supplier.
    2). I have learned to pace myself as my skills have grown. I now only build when I am in the mood - this leads to my best work and gives me time to think about things before setting rivets, cutting, etc. Building with a "git er done" mentality has led me astray more than once!
    3). I test flew an RV-12 a few months ago. I am probably a minority, but I like the Cruzer better Really made me feel good about my project choice.
    4). Zenith is just truly impressive with its customer support. Just cannot say enough good things about it. If people out there are struggling with an airplane selection as I did, you can at least put 5 stars in the "Will the company support me" column to help with your decision.
    5). The Homebuilt Help videos are fantastic. I was able to buy a complete set recently on a 50% discount limited time sale (Thank you Jon!). Sometimes looking at plans or the assembly manuals are not totally clear to me. The videos are a huge help.

    Anyway, hopefully I can write more timely updates in the future.
    Regards
    Tim
    Last edited by LucyPup; 10-21-2017 at 02:51 AM.

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