<July 9, 2009>
Since my shoulder still hasn't recovered completely, I've been working my way thought the long lists of fuselage tasks that don't require riveting. With that in mind I turned my attention to the F-695 Gussets.
From what I had read the F-695s are a leftover from the RV-6 days, and as you can see from the widening gap they just don't fit the RV-7 perfectly.
After a brief bit of research it seems that many people just trim a little off the front. This is easy to do but you do have to adjust the rivet spacing a bit to compensate for what you have trimmed.
In addition to the lousy fit along the firewall, there is a bit of a compound angle here and the forward edge of the gussets wasn't sitting flat on the firewall angel. To fix this I used my flanging pliers to put a little bit of and upward bend on the front to allow a better fit.
I then marked the locations of the holes, all while taking into account edge-distances and where the flanges of the steel firewall brackets ended (indicated by the two lines). You can somewhat see the bend I put into the front edge of the gusset to allow it to sit flush against the firewall angle. After this picture was taken I drilled the holes into the gussets using the drill press and a #40 bit. I was feelig tired so called it quits for the night; I'll pick up by drilling the gussets to the fuselage at another time.
Again from another angle... looking at it from the front.