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  • Instrument panel repair

    1940 pre-war. The instrument panel, over the years on my project has been kept in service but not comprehensively maintained. I have a crack in the aluminum panel left corner where the Cabin heat and Carb heat controls are anchored. And the Altimeter area around the adjusting knob has been roughed out to allow for vertical installation of the altimeter with knob at 7 o'clock position, but not finished.. (Not sure this is the original altimeter but is close to being period appropriate. My intention is to install new flat aluminum sheet over the entire panel. I have three questions as I haven't seen what this material is or it's thickness identified in the manual. Does anyone have concrete knowledge of what it is (I'm thinking Annealed aluminum - O, with maybe a 3/64th thickness) and 2) even with this reinforcement I'm not sure whether the material will be thick enough to support the two cables without it cracking out again. 3) which maybe should have been first, how is everyone avoiding this tear out cracking out of the panel where cables attach and supporting the nuts in the back. The thinking at this time is to clean, treat for corrosion, repair and paint with primer and then Crinkly paint, black or Taylorcraft blue.
    Clark Freese
    1940 BL 65, Project

  • #2
    I have considerd a backer plate but am looking for a permanent fix/repair and don't know if that is a solution or not as there isn't a lot of room to do so without pushing the panel out. and if it isn't heavy enough would allow for cracking out still as well, if backing plate is not substantial enough.
    Clark Freese
    1940 BL 65, Project

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    • #3
      Pictures would be very helpful...
      N29787
      '41 BC12-65

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      • #4
        Will get some Pictures out soon.
        Clark Freese
        1940 BL 65, Project

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        • #5
          I would add a flush riveted doubler BEHIND the panel and then do a cosmetic repair of the front aluminum. Using a SLIGHTLY flexible filler for the flush rivets and damaged areas would be pretty much invisible once painted and a lot stronger to resist future cracking.

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          • #6
            I am posting pictures. Not sure how well they'll display crack.
            Clark Freese
            1940 BL 65, Project

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            • #7
              If they are small enough to be hard to see in a photo, a back riveted doubler with Poly-sulfide sealant between the pieces will be able to fix the panel structurally and hide the cracks completely. My cowl is repaired that way and the repair is solid with the added benefit of the sealant pushing through the cracks. Once sanded level (it is NOT easy to get it level!) and primed and painted it is almost impossible to see the old cracks.

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