Friday, August 19, 2005

New Phantom parts arrive!

When I got back from the Atlanta area on Thursday, three big boxes of parts were waiting for me inside the house. The boxes contained a new keel extension tube and dynafocal mount for my 503, a complete mechanical drum brake kit, big-man bars and a chrome-moly landing gear weldment along with the new left side cage tube and cage front. Most of the pieces were silver powder-coated and really looked good!

I was disappointed to see that my old right side cage tube was the wrong inside diameter for the front cage piece to fit into, as shown below.

I couldn't even start assembly yet because of the old tube not fitting, so I was really bummed, at least for a while. After studying the situation, and calling Erik at Phantom, I decided I might as well buy a new right-side cage tube because they are heavier-duty than my current tube and it will look better because it's powder-coated and would match. Hopefully it will arrive next week.

When I started to assemble the rear gear and brakes, I found that the new-thicker gear side plates were longer than the old plates that I was still supposed to use when assembling the brakes. This caused the hole mismatch shown below.

After speaking with Erik again, he said he would send new rear side plates to alleviate the problem. He didn't say whether or not he would charge me. I guess I'll wait and see. Those should be arriving with the other cage tube next week.

Another problem I found was that the brake drums weren't designed to be used with 4" plastic wheels, so I had to get a little creative. I did some layout and measuring on the drums and drilled out new holes to match the bolt holes on the plastic wheels. After a little bit of fitting and trimming, I was able to mount the drums on the wheels with the factory spacers.

The keel extension tube with motor mount and brackets was the only assembly that I was able to complete without any problem.

That powder paint looks really good, eh? Assembly can proceed when I get more parts!

Today I also received two Bing 54 carbs, sockets and a 90 degree exhaust elbow from Mark Smith at Tri-State Kite Sales in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. You might remember that I attended a fly-in at his airport at the end of June. I also heard that he's having another fly-in sometime in October. There are places to camp on-site and I'd recommend anyone who lives within 500 miles or so to try to attend for a few days! You won't regret it! For those who missed it the first time, the posts on his fly-in start here.


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