OP43 – Avionics Access Panel Gaskets

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Still thinking ahead to get all the jobs done which are best completed prior to painting, I decided to make the gaskets for Avionics Access Panels.

Some builders have used small profile foam strips to keep out the water from the avionics bay, but I was concerned about even the thinnest version causing the panels to stand proud of the surrounding forward top skin.

Vans suggest a small bead of Proseal to form a gasket, so I decided to try it.

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Having applied a bead from one of Coral’s icing bags (she’s running out of them now … shhh!), I tensioned cling film (plastic wrap) over the apertures.

Actually, this picture was the first attempt. I found that the overall technique was good, but that possibly a better result could be achieved with a more generous application of Proseal, surrounding the holes.

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The access panels are then placed on top of the cling film and screwed down.

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I hinged back the cling film and wiped off the Proseal with inevitably oozes out.

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This was the result of the second attempt with more Proseal.

I’m hoping the sealant around the screw holes will help to keep the water out.

The cling film comes off easily once the Proseal is fully cured.

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I gently cut away the portion of sealant which had oozed up the edge gaps, since I don’t want it to interfere with the panel “paint gaps”.

I’m hoping this will prevent water ingress … we do NOT want water in the avionics bay!

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2 Comments on "OP43 – Avionics Access Panel Gaskets"

  1. Steve, love your site. I visit it at least weekly, you do great work. Regarding the gaskets, I too have been scratching my head about how to best seal those hatches. Before working the Proseal idea, I’m going to try something ultra simple….plumber’s putty. Waterproof, easy to work with, cheap, and removes easily.

    I plan to “roll” a string of putty and place it over the screw holes before installing the cover. My thought is that any putty that comes up between the plate and the skin after installation could be just wiped away.

    Again, love your work.

  2. Thanks for your encouraging comments Fred … your putty idea sounds really good … I’ll bear it in mind if the Proseal gaskets prove a disappointment.

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