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Zenith CH750 build...

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Taiser

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Forgot to mention some firewall problems!!

The firewall itself did not have the holes drilled into it for the steering rods, neither did the plates that cover the holes have the holes either! Zen would not do anything about this...parts must have been build on a Friday I guess... :( So I had to do a lot of measuring to get the holes done!!!



No holes in the firewall!!! :mad2:



Here are the plates...





Here I'm making the holes...





Then I cut the length out between the holes with tin snips and filed them as smooth as I could.





The firewall is a pretty unwieldy piece of metal :( Wasn't crazy about this, there was no way I could make it as nice as the factory by hand. Luckily they came out OK and once mounted you will never really see them again! No way should this error have made it past quality control! :mad2:
 
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Taiser

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So the firewall gets assembled and riveted! Then it's back to the fuselage. I put the firewall aside and decided to install it after the main gear was on...



This is the channel that the gear goes into. The ends of the channels are reinforced with brackets that attach to the steel gear ends You can see the black tabs of the gear fittings in the channel. The ends are used to attach the gear to the fuselage and also are where the lower end of the struts are attached too.





Rough fit of the gear bracket...not to bad to install. A few issues with fit and rivet/bolt placement.






Here's a shot from the outside showing the gear attach. I just primed them for now to keep them from rusting. All the aluminum surfaces are covered with zinc chromate before matting any surfaces. Not necessary but recommended. I'm blasting everything with Zinc Oxide before closing it up since I intend to put it on floats!

Now I can work on the forward fuselage. It went together pretty straightforward and according to the plans...



Once assembled it slides in well into the rear fuselage. I only had to trim the rear upper longerons a few mm to make it fit.




The longerons on the upper forward fuselage go all the way back to the rear baggage wall and are riveted all the way through.
 
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Taiser

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With the gear ready for mounting I got the firewall prepped and installed. It's riveted all around the side and steel brackets are installed that re-enforce the motor mounts. These things....



... are the WORSE designed parts I have ever seen!!! Three bolts go under into the lower longeron and a hole is made in the face for the motor mount bolt. The part is so narrow that you can't get a socket in it. The bottom bold interfears with the motor mount fit! They sit at a weird angle so you have to be super careful putting them in. How to fix? Simple...the motor mount has a surface area 5 times as big...all they have to do is make the surface wider and higher!!! There is lots of room to do this. This is common complaint on the Zen forums, don't know why it has not been addressed yet...




Here you can see how narrow this thing is....for no reason.




Look at the bolt area!!! I had to file and elongate the hole a tad to get this in.... #$%^&*
 

Taiser

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So now with all the engine mount brackets in I can work on the forward side skins stiffeners...





These are made out of two "L"s that have to be trimmed to follow the contour of the skin. This is pretty much the only "round" part of the 750. It's a bit tricky to do and they have to be trimmed carefully...took a couple of days to do both sides and get them right. They turned out really well. If you look from the top the edges follow the skin perfectly....sweet!
 

Taiser

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Had to install the cabin frame now. Another Zen quality control problem. there is suppose to be reference pilot holes drilled into the top of the frame! Without them you are screwed for a properly aligned install!!! Guess what, no holes in mine and Zen would not replace the frame. They sent me ****ty instructions on how to place the holes myself!!! :mad2: They tried to tell me that they now send the kits out with no holes because people were having trouble lining up the frame!! Everybody I spoke to on the forums, even those who had kits ordered AFTER mine told me they had holes in their frames and NO issues making it fit... why can't people just admit when they mess up? Do they think us builders don't talk to each other on the internet??? :rolleyes:




The missing hole is suppose to be here and measuring from it you can trim the back of the frame to the proper length. With no hole I had to measure from the front and back wing attach points while trying to keep a loose steel frame LEVEL on a angled fuselage!! And to make matters worse...



The angle was OFF on the front side bars. That tube should be back and lined up with the holes you see on the gusset behind it!!!




Look how far off it was!!!



and look at this awesome fit! :mad:




an inside look at how far off this was...



Lots of clamps and filing things off about 1-2mm at a time and it finally fit!!! Took about 2 days for something that should have taken 20 minutes tops!!!!



It's on...FINALLY




Measurement from the rear wing attach to the front was spot on, thanks to taking off 1mm at a time over two days! Then drill and cleco all the holes and...

with everything nice and tight, and making sure nothing would collapse to the groung....TADA!!!!



TOUCHDOWN!!!
 
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Taiser

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Oh...



Here's the wheels being installed on the gear. The wheels and brakes are from Matco. One of my wheels has a slow leak, have to look into that and these Matco brakes make me nervous...they are a pain to install and have a weird set up with lots of little shims...changing the brake pads on these in the future is really going to suck. Anyways the gear just slides up into the gear channel, then a large piece of "L" aluminum goes across to each stud on the gear bracket and simply gets bolted on with four nuts. Went on easy but you do have to notch the gear where the studs are and polish them up later to prevent cracking.



Then the forward gear gets put on. Not too complicated, a steel tube, a tire and a bungee....well bit more involved than that, takes a bit of assembly but nothing too tough and went together with no issues.

 
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Taiser

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I got sick of doing major assembly so I started working on the controls. I put in the dual control sticks. Now I kinda regret it. The Zen "Y" stick seemed weird to me, but now after talking to several owners they all love it... :( To install the duals takes quite a bit of work. Taken them out is an option but would be a lot of work as well. I figure if I keep them and never fly a "Y" I won't know the difference! :)



A look at the control set up.



Closer shot...



And another one. You can see the push pull tubes that go to the center console area and hooks up to the torque tube in the back.
 

Taiser

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Installed the motor mount....



Fit pretty good, also at this time I installed the front float mount bracket. It has to go under the bottom motor mount bolts and installing it after the fact would be a nightmare so I ate the $390.00 to install the float mount now. The motor mount was almost $800.00!! :cry:




Here's another angle...the float mount is the lowest tube under the firewall.




A better shot of the float attach bracket (from a different builder).
 
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Taiser

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Here's the bolt that goes through the lower engine mount into the inner bracket that caused me so much trouble!! There is a good inch and a half on top of it so why could they not make that bracket bigger inside??? #$%^&*

 

Taiser

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MY ENGINE COMES IN!!!!



Lycoming O-235 with 115 hp. Bit heavy for this build, so I'm told but I will lighten it up with lighter starter, alternator etc. The airframe is designed for much heavier. I was really looking at a Viking engine, but it takes a while to get one and I want them to have more time in the air before I plunged for it. This I got for a steal! They are bullet proof, easy to fix and there is always something to be said about having a real airplane engine! :) It's got less than 600 hours since major with a 2400 TBO...so it should last me a good long time.



Every accessory came with it except the prop! Unfortunately I can't use the exhaust, it just wont fit behind the motor mount because it's so short to offset the weight of the engine. New exhaust is going to cost me about $1700.00 :(
 
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Taiser

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Threw the motor on after taking off the exhaust. Everything fit great! Only problem is the mounting tubes...they are a bit shorter on my motor mount so I will either have to add a couple of washers or get shorter bolts...




Installed the mount...




My sad looking crane...but I got it for free, so really can't complain! :)






Lined her up and put the bottom bolts in...




Then cranked up the crane and put the top bolts in!
 

Taiser

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Outside for the first time!!! Took advantage and pushed her outside. First time in the sun and it was nice to be able to clean up that side of the garage after months of having a fuselage that I couldn't move in there!









 
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Taiser

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Pushed it back in and started messing around with the forward top skin and instrument panel! Fit is not that great, I'm gonna have to mess around with this a bit...

 

Taiser

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Com Antennae.

Got this off e-bay. Installed it just behind the roof window. Seems like a good spot since there are channels just under it inside that I can hide the cable in.



 

Taiser

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Finishing kit arrives in smaller box...






Some of the finishing kit stuff... Finishing kit includes the bubble doors, brakes, tires, landing gear, windows, seat parts etc...
 

Taiser

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The plumbob test...



To make sure there is no twist in the fuselage a plumbob is dropped from the rudder cutout in the top fuselage to the lower skin. If you've leveled everything off before riveting it should align perfectly with a pilot hole in the bottom skin.




Dead on...can't ask for better than this...
 

Taiser

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I tend to jump from part to part when I get bored of working on a single section. When I was sick of working on the fuselage (about half way through) I started working on the horizontal stab. Keeps the build interesting. The stab wasn't hard to build but it was more involved that I thought! Especially the elevator. I was missing the end ribs on the stab when I got my kit. Zen sent me a new set.



Installed the skin on the tail.



The elevator attach point.



The elevator attach pin, arrived to me bent!!! :mad2:



Here's where the pin goes...



Skinning the elevator...
 

Taiser

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Finished the elevator and horizontal stab!! :)



Here's the horizontal stab all done. I can't rivet the top skin until it's inspected here in Canada but closing it up and riveting won't take more than 15 minutes once I get the go ahead!



And the elevator. I just have to install the horizontal trim motor and wire it up!!
 

Taiser

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Started working on the wings...first up is a rough assembly of the skeleton...



All the holes are pre-drilled in the ribs, spar and skins so the skeleton goes together really quick.
 

Taiser

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Some fabrication to do...



You have to make a part that mates to the slot attach bracket. It attaches to the rib and reinforces the skin at the rib area. Bit of a pain to make and you need EIGHT of them...be nice if these parts were pre-made but with the amount of fine tuning I had to do for a good fit I can see why they would find it a pain to manufacturer.




From the side...




...and the other side.
 
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