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  #1  
Old 06-24-2021, 06:43 PM
gggflyer gggflyer is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Scottsdale
Posts: 43
Default RV4 manual to electric elevator trim

I purchased a flying RV4 with manual trim. If I want electric trim, would it be easier to just buy a left elevator and electric kit from van and start from scratch or retrofit into existing elevator.

Also has anyone converted manual flaps to electric? If so is it a huge ordeal. I didnt build it so these would be my first intro to the actual building and guts of the rv4.

Thanks

George
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2021, 10:21 PM
Norman CYYJ Norman CYYJ is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Victoria B.C.
Posts: 1,435
Default

I would suggest that you leave the manual trim in and also the manual flaps. Fly the plane for several hours and you will be very comfortable with them. The electric trim is not as easy and as smooth to use as the manual trim. The nice thing about manual flaps is that it is almost impossible to put them on at too high of a speed and you can ditch them faster than electric also.
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  #3  
Old 06-24-2021, 10:22 PM
BobRv4 BobRv4 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Posts: 142
Default Why on trim? Flaps maybe.

The manual trim works fine, would just leave it. Electric flaps gets rid of the handle, easy to change out, if you can get the parts/kit from Vans.
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  #4  
Old 06-24-2021, 11:20 PM
Nick's Avatar
Nick Nick is online now
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Rosharon, TX
Posts: 177
Default

I'm going to disagree with the other two. I absolutely hated my manual trim and flaps. Flaps, get the Vans parts and move forward. I did a custom under floor flap system that I love, but takes way more fabrication than most people are comfortable with.

Trim. You do NOT need an entire elevator. You can reskin the inboard portion and add the servo. I originally put the servo on the horizontal deck of the fuselage. I felt it had too much slop there and moved it to the elevator. I'll get you pictures in the morning.
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Nick "Rehab" Nafsinger
91TS Rosharon, TX
RV-4 Bought 2019, Day to Day Restoration while still flying. SDS EFI IO-360, Hartzell CS, DanH inspired custom intake, G3x Panel
RV-8 SB, "Back burner project."
RV-10 Built 2010, Sold 2019
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2021, 12:07 AM
andoman andoman is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Payson, AZ
Posts: 32
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I second the electric flap kit from Vans.
As for trim: I’m about to ditch my manual trim. I want the trim on my stick grip where it belongs. So I’ll be fitting a servo to the end of the stock manual trim cable. It will be housed below the throttle quadrant. Keeping the cable and trim tab as is seems to be the simplest way forward.
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"The plane won't build itself..." RV-7A N7.62MM sold
-RV4 purchased. Extensive refurbishment complete. ďTakes off by itís self, flys hands off, lands by itís self...Ē
-HRII project: paint and panel to go!
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2021, 04:48 AM
fixnflyguy fixnflyguy is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Posts: 1,448
Default What I did

I built my -4, with electric flaps ,aileron and elevator trim. My elevator was already set up for manual, so I made some slight changes to the VANs kit, and it was easy cheesy. I have the MAC stick with flaps, elevator and aileron trim all on it..never have to take a hand off to trip or set flaps, absolutely love it. There are several ways to convert to electric flaps, the VANs kit comes with weldments and all the bits needed.The actuator is under the floor with some well thought out linkage.Other conversion use a vertically mounted actuator in the right or left sidewall attaching directly to the existing weldment, and search the threads for pictures on here.I used the VANs aileron trim kit, but built in a tab rather than the hinge half extension tab. I have attached a picture of the elevator and aileron tabs.
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2021, 07:21 AM
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acam37 acam37 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Lufkin Tx
Posts: 758
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Yes, itís fairly easy to convert from manual to electric. The hardest part is installing the actuator and hardware. Vans sells the conversion kit, but you can get the plans and fabricate everything yourself.
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RV-8 (N269CP) Sold
RV-4 (N684ML) completed 3-17-19
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2021, 07:36 AM
Freemasm Freemasm is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Orlando
Posts: 481
Default Another approach to consider

Building Rocket lite. I utilized the RV8 roll trim kit. It is spring bias type that connects to the control column. No mods to control surfaces required but does require some sub floor work obviously. Could probably implement in less than a day depending on your choices. Just passing on another option to cloud your thoughts.
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2021, 08:40 AM
Nick's Avatar
Nick Nick is online now
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Rosharon, TX
Posts: 177
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I reskinned the inboard section with .025. 1 because I had a bunch, and 2 because I wanted a little extra rigidity. The skin doubler / platenut mount was a copy of the Vans design with some minor tweaks to fit the -4. The Servo mount / cover plate was an exact copy of the Vans. If you buy the RV-7 or -8 electric trim kit it should have everything there.

Pictures as requested:

Original cut out for the manual trim cable.
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Rivets drilled out giving access.
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New skin with doubler riveted in.
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Another view.
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Nick "Rehab" Nafsinger
91TS Rosharon, TX
RV-4 Bought 2019, Day to Day Restoration while still flying. SDS EFI IO-360, Hartzell CS, DanH inspired custom intake, G3x Panel
RV-8 SB, "Back burner project."
RV-10 Built 2010, Sold 2019
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  #10  
Old 06-25-2021, 09:24 AM
MS1095 MS1095 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: West Chester, PA
Posts: 139
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IMHO I would not bother with the trim. After flying a few 4's I can say, I prefer the manual trim over the electric. I would do the flap upgrade. It's a weekend's worth of work with the vans kit.

If you do decide to do the elevator trim I would consider mounting the servo in the aft fuselage and using a smaller cable. See the website below for a few pictures.

http://romeolima.com/rv3/rv3works/ai....html#Fuselage

https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...s/05-16936.php
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