Finally, I have the baffles all built and the rubber seals all fabricated. Nothing left to do next except attach them together. I started with the upper piece on the forward crankcase baffles… this one gets attached with screws instead of rivets, since it spans two separate baffle pieces and might someday need to be removed:
A view from the other side… I may replace these nuts with all-metal locknuts later, after my next parts order:
To keep air from leaking between the aluminum baffles and the rubber seal strips, I put down a thick bead of black RTV before I started riveting. This also means that I didn't get any pictures of the process, since my hands were too filthy to hold the camera.
Fast-forward a couple hours… my hands are all black with glue, and all the rubber pieces are attached to the baffles with large-head blind rivets. I cleaned up all the squeezed-out RTV and made sure there was an adequate bead all along the top seam.
One hole on either side gets a screw and nut instead of a rivet, so I can peel back the associated rubber strip to install or remove the metal seal tabs.
While I was in sticky-finger mode I dabbed some orange RTV in the gaps and tooling holes around the top of the oil cooler area. Don't ask me why I used two colors of glue.
Here's the finished product. The next step after this is "go all around the engine and seal every little gap between the engine and baffles with RTV", but I'm not going to do that just yet. There is an AD out on my ECI cylinders that I'll have to deal with first, which unfortunately means everything will have to come apart one more time before it's all said and done.
Finally, done with the baffles! I collected a ton of scrap cuttings of rubber seal material from around the garage – and this is probably only about half of what I generated, not counting what's already gone into the trash.
Oh, and tonight's beer is an excellent spring seasonal from a brewery just down the road from my airplane factory.