Tuesday, April 7, 2015

RV8 Canopy Slider Rail and Vinyl Wrap

The past couple of weeks I have been fretting over tank pin hole leaks. I am near the end of this, meaning I have resigned myself to removing one of the fuel tanks. I managed to stop 3 of the 4 I found with Loctite threadblocker green. Time will tell if this is a permanent or, as I like to say, a placebo fix.

Back to wrapping the RV8. This post I will show a way to deal with the RV8 Canopy slide rail.

You can't paint, nor polish the RV8 canopy slide rail, but you can wrap it. How?

 My slider rail will be blue, but I had some white vinyl so I experimented with it.

First I applied a section to the slider.
 You don't have to put it on precisely as it trims beautifully with an  precision blade.
 When done you have this, a really nice looking slider.
 However, opening the canopy just once produced this tear/scrape. Not cool!
 Is there a solution to this? Yep there is...use Van's anti chafe tape (used on flaps) to cover the vinyl.  I cut out the damaged area and overlaid the whole strip with Van's anti-chafe tape.

 I trimmed it the same way and...
 I have what you see on the left.. I opened the canopy a few times (lifting over the ends of the tape) and it seemed to drag and squeak.

I applied some paste wax and voila! The canopy slid smoother than ever.

 I slid the canopy back and forth over a hundred times before I felt it could use another waxing. That is 50 flights (back and forth) for maybe you but close to twenty for me as I always forget something.

I plan to paint the underside of the slider rail flat black. This area is pretty much a shadow anyway. Even my pictures show it that way. And let's face it, only us anal builders will ever look under there.

 So... When you wrap your plane, you can wrap the slider rail as well provided you overlay it with Van's Chafe tape. Be sure to wax it.

This has the added advantage of raising the black plastic canopy slider piece enough to insure it will not slide on the vinyl below it on the rear turtle deck.

One big plus is that when it wears out, you rip it off and put on a new piece in less than thirty minutes. 

The more I work with this vinyl the more I am 'con-Vinced'  this is the way to go.