3/4/02 - Sanded area where outside seatbelt birch reinforcements go. Cut 7 layer bid for reinforcements. Floxed reinforcements in place. Laid up 7 layers of bid and peel plied. 2.5 hrs.
3/8/02 - Cut foam for rear heat duct. Shaped duct to fit curvature of bottom. Laid up pieces with 2 ply uni. 2.5 hrs.
Here, the pieces of the rear heat duct are cut out and fiberglassed. They are now ready for assembly.
3/9/02 - Assembled pieces for rear heat duct w/5 min. epoxy. Cut 2" aluminum seat belt attachment and floxed into place on heat duct. Laid up heat duct with 7 ply uni seatbelt anchor reinforcement followed by 2 ply bid. Peel plied everything. 3.5 hrs.This is the heat duct after assembly. The center seatbelt anchor can be seen about one third of the way up the duct from the right. The little specks you see on the heat duct are small brads used to hold the foam in place while the flox cures. The outside of the duct will get glassed next.
3/10/02 - Cut, shaped and laid up transition piece for rear heat duct. Sanded front and back areas for center seat belt anchor reinforcement layups. 2.5 hrs.
Here is the beauty of composite construction. A complex shape that must transition from a circle to a square is simple. Take foam, sand the desired shape, and glass it. The electrical tape is used as a release agent so the foam can be dug out after the layup has cured. The electrical tape was Rick Maddy's idea and worked very well. Thanks Rick!
3/11/02 - Cut hole in rear heat duct and floxed transfer tube in place on heat duct. Cut glass for middle seat belt anchor reinforcements front and back. 2.5 hrs
3/12/02 - Floxed rear heat duct in place and laid up 7 ply center seatbelt reinforcements. Peel plied everything. 2.8 hrs.
The heat duct is in place. The darker green areas are where additional reinforcing layups for seatbelt anchors have been done. You can see the transition piece at the left end of the heat duct.
3/15/02 - Laid up reinforcement plies for front center seatbelt attachment. Drilled mounting holes in all 4 outside seatbelt anchors. 1.5 hrs.
Remainder of Chapter 8 is on hold because a portion of the canopy hinge is placed under the shoulder support. I will install the shoulder support/headrests/shoulderbelt attachments once the canopy is located in Chapter 18.
As stated above, I held of doing anything more on this chapter until the canopy chapter was started. Once the shoulder support is glassed in place, there is no way to get at one of the nuts that holds the canopy hinge in place. To alleviate this situation and make the canopy hinge removable in the future, I riveted a nutcert to a piece of aluminum and floxed and glassed it in place. I drilled additional holes in the aluminum plate to allow the flox to work as a “composite rivet” to further assist in anchoring the plate. The picture below shows this operation.
Next, the plans normally have you install the shoulder support into the fuselage and then cut small slits in the front of the support and install the seatbelt anchors for the shoulder portion of the seat belts. Numerous builders have suggested an easier way of doing this. You install the anchors first using pan head screws to attach the aluminum plate to the plywood insert. I followed this up with flox and 2 ply bid for extra security. This is shown below. I alodined the aluminum before installation for corrosion prevention. The picture on the left shows the anchors before installation over (actually under) the wood inserts. The picture on the right shows the anchors installed. You can see the screws in this photo. The red in the center of the nutcert in the right picture is just candle wax to prevent the epoxy from gumming up the threads.
Next the shoulder harness is floxed and glassed into the fuselage. The 4 darker green pieces over the shoulder support are and additional 3 plys of Uni over the seat belt anchor areas as called out as supplemental to the second generation plans.
All that is left for this chapter is the headrests. I plan on using automobile headrests but I haven’t decided which ones to use yet, so this chapter will stay on hold until I can find the right ones.
Well, now that the shoulder support is in place, some sort of headrest needs to be installed. I didn’t care for the plans type head rest because they block most of the forward view of the rear seat passengers and they just aren’t aesthetically please to me. They may add some support to the canopy/TB in the event of a roll over. I took care of this concern by adding 7 layers of Uni-roving (same stuff used for the wing spar caps) to the inside of the TB where the front bulkhead mounts. Here is a picture of the plans built headrest……..
So, now since I don’t like the looks of the plans headrests, what should I use in their place? The headrest needs to be rather thin in depth because the bulkhead has to clear behind them while opening the canopy. My wife’s SLK headrests were a perfect fit. I called around to a bunch of junkyards….excuse me, auto recyclers in this age of PC……but nobody wanted to sell just the head rests without the seats. The seats for M/B’s cost $onearm.andaleg. That won’t work……I decided to go to a local junkyard where you pay $5.00 to get in and you pull the parts you want. You are charged a very low price compared to them pulling the part for you. I wandered around not knowing exactly what I wanted or what would work. The imports seemed to have smaller headrests than their domestic counterparts. Well, I would like to suggest that the ’90-’93 Acura Integra headrests are the perfect fit for the Cozy MKIV. Two minutes after ravaging a rather well spent ’92 black Integra Coupe, I was paying $25.00 for two headrests. I did have to order the plastic inserts that the headrests slide into from the local dealer. They cost more for the 4 plastic pieces than I paid for the headrest………I will reupholster the headrests in leather when I do the interior.
Next, I fabricated some mounts out of foam and glassed them to the shoulder support. This allowed enough clearance for the rods of the headrest to fold all the way into the seat back. I am very pleased with the outcome and think they look great. Full adjustability, just like in the car, and the headrests even have holes in the center to give a little more light and a more open feeling for the back seaters. Here are the results.