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Tank Grommet for Luscombe 8A

Disclaimer: PopularAviation.com makes no claim or warranty as to accuracy of these articles. You and your mechanic are responsible for your aircraft.

By: PopularAviation.com Staff
Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Updated Aug 13, 2012
Q. Can anyone direct me to a source for the rubber fuel neck seal I've seen on a number of Luscombes with the fuselage tank? John Deere perhaps?

The parts book doesn't show one. Perhaps there never was one. Both of the fuselage tanks I have here only have friction tape wrapped around the filler tube. It would make sense considering all the red stains I see on the top of the tank and inside of the skin.

A. The John Deere Part Number for the gas tank grommet is R82873. It's available online from Madison Tractor.

Others have also suggested a big rubber grommet that is sometimes also used on wing tanks. See store.westernrubber.com/mr-200-0663.html. (Note: Belt Pad is a typo: it should be Felt Pad.)

I think that this subject may be worth revisiting.

After re-installing my fuselage tank using one of the Western Grommet offerings, I can't recommend the Western Grommet part number suggested above. They would probably work better for the wing tanks but that's just a guess. They do fit perfectly in the stock top skin opening and they will, with some persuasion, fit over the tank neck but without modification and some special tools I had to devise, there is just no way to do both at the same time.

The fuel tank is welded aluminum with an aluminum filler tube which is fitted with a stamped steel filler neck to which the fuel cap clips.

The problem is that the I.D. of this grommet is about .125 smaller than the O.D. of the steel filler tube itself and then the tails of the rivets connecting the two tubes protrude even further. With the tank out of the airplane the the already stretched rubber grommet won't fit over the rivets tails without expanding it even further and in installation, there is simply no way to do that when the grommet is already contained on the O.D. by the skin.

When installing it, the tank itself can't be rotated to persuade movement through the seal because of space limitations and the wooden yolk that is designed to hold it in place. It must be slid directly upward through the opening and I found that even after chamfer cutting the grommet (on the inside) and applying a liberal coating of Sil-Glide, I still needed to devise a puller that would draw the tank neck straight up through the skin from the outside while holding he grommet in place.

The first time I completely fill the tank I'll know if I managed to pull this off without damaging the tank. It worked but I wouldn't recommended this as a procedure.

I see that the John Deere part number for the alternative seal. That part may be the way to go. Either that or stick with the friction tape that the factory apparently used.

Alan Abell

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