2 thoughts to “Removing the skin from the doors”

  1. Hi Will, congrats on getting a BD-4. I am about 2 1/2 years into rebuilding my BD-4. I noticed that you seemed to be using a rather large drill bit to drill out the rivets on the door. I recommend that you buy a numbered drill set. Important sizes are numbers 12, 30 and 40. Most of the rivets will have a number 30 hole. If you decide to do the BD metal wing conversion using the honeycomb ribs, just know that they can still leak fuel. My plane had been converted by the previous owner and the right fuel tank leaks and will be fixed before my plane flies. The left wing sump also leaks. The fix for it will be much easier than the right wing which may come down to reskinning the area over the fuel tank. Also, if you are thinking of hinging the door at the top, then you may want to consider the number of fuel cells per wing or at least location of the fuel area in each wing. The sump on my wings are located towards the outer area of the fuel tanks and the door can still hit the bottom of the sump if I hinge the doors at the top. Although it will be a bit more work ;you may want to pull the skin off the fuselage to deal with any corrosion issues on the inside of the skin particularly between the skin and the air frame. I found that the contact cement used to bond the skin to the air frame is a moisture trap and where I found most of the corrosion on my plane. You can reach me at jddavis16@tx.rr.com or call me at 972-424-3921. I certainly will be willing to discuss any issues you want to talk about regarding BD-4s and things to consider. One other thing, you said that you are shopping for an engine. I bought an IO360-C1C from an aircraft salvage that had 532 hours on it since its last overhaul. It had had a prop strike but the flange dialed out at .004″ which is within factory specs of no more than .005″. Eventually I decided that I really needed to tear the engine down to see if there was any internal damage. It was a good thing that I did. I replaced all crank, timing, and oil pump gears, oil pump housing, cam and two lifters, that had to be replaced, and additionally I replaced the bearings and rings. There are issues regarding props as well so contact me and I can cover these issues too.


    Jim Davis

    1. Hi Jim,

      Thanks for all the great feedback! Sorry for taking so long to respond. My sons (home)school year started recently and I’ve been busy getting all his stuff going. Yeah, I think the drill I used was slightly too big. I may need to go one rivet size up. I do have a box of number drills and #30 looks like it would have been the right size.

      Just today I was on the phone with Eric over at the Bede factory. I sent him a video of various parts on my plane getting feedback on gusset updates, screw lengths and skin bonding. I’d like to stay away from removing all the skins on my plane if possible.

      I’ll give you a call soon. I’d love to chat with you about wings, fuel tanks, engines and more.


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