Hanging The Prop and Fitting the Spinner
With the help of my buddy Craig, we got the prop hung, at least temporarily, to continue work on the spinner. It's a 2.5 man task as the prop is pretty heavy and you have to support the weight for a while until the 6 bolts are solidly engaged in the crankshaft flange. The configuration of the prop bolts makes them difficult to spin in quickly, so it takes a while. The bolts are cinched tight but not torqued since the prop is coming back off. We stood back and admired our work because it looks cool. Then I got to work on the spinner gap fillers which fill in the space on the spinner behind each prop blade. You're supposed to reuse the fiberglass pieces cut from the spinner for the prop to make these. I found that my gap fillers were going to have excessive gaps along the seams where they fit adjacent the spinner. I imagine most guys have that issue to some extent. With over a 1/8" gap along the seams I wasn't happy with mine. I considered alternatives such as fabricating them from metal which some have done. Those would be quite a bit heavier then the fiberglass parts and I was concerned about the extra rotating mass. I finally decided to lay up new fiberglass using my spinner as a mold since it has the correct curvature. I laid up 5 ply's of cloth over plastic wrap to prevent sticking with peel ply on top. When dry it popped right off. Using the templates, I cut out 2 new gap fillers that are much wider than the old ones. They are quite stiff and about .063 thick vs the spinner which is .083. I don't think the difference will be noticeable or matter. When I do the final install they should have nice tight seams, so I'm pleased with the result. I then spent hours with a rotary tool drum sander and files tweaking the spinner cutouts for the prop blades. Using a set of clamped boards for leverage I could twist the prop blades to coarse pitch and check the spinner fit throughout the pitch range. I'm trying to stick to plans and have the minimal prop clearance but not too minimal to prevent any rubbing. Lastly, I put a coat of epoxy resin on the inside of the spinner where the bulkheads will sit.