29-05 Control Column Assembly – Fiddly Shims!

Having read about other people’s experiences installing the Control Column Assembly, I knew this was going to be a characater building session, and so it proved.

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The first job is easy though … riveting the VA-146’s to the powder coated assembly.

I clamped it lightly in the vice for easy and rigid positioning to set the rivets with the squeezer.

Chinese Puzzle

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Threading the thing into position required various rotations to clear ribs etc.

Washers & Shims!

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Vans suggest you … “tighten the hardware on one side of the Control Column Assembly first, then add, remove, or substitute shims or washers as necessary on the other side.

I measured the gaps both sides with a Feeler Gauge, and reckoned the suggested washers would work just fine on the left side … so I chose that for the initial tightening.

Using a piece of acetate with a washer shaped recess helped to position the washers … but still a frustrating job to line up and get the bolt through … lots of washers dropping out!

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Having tightened up the left side, I then measured the gaps on the right side. I reckoned the addition of one thicker shim would sort it.

But as I tightened the assembly’s free movement vanished as it stiffened up.

I then tried various thicknesses of feeler gauge, gently nipping up each one … and I discovered that a change of a 1 or 2 thou made all the difference!

I eventually worked out I needed a 0.025″ shim, thicker than the one’s I’d already made. The picture shows the test of a suitable scrap piece.


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Anyway, having made a new shim and winning the battle to insert it between two washers, I was rewarded with a free moving Control Column Assembly!

I held my breath as I torqued, but it all stayed just fine. : )

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