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601-XLB - 600 hrs - top rudder hinge rivets loose. Noticed a bit of play lately - barely noticeable by pushing up on the bottom of the rudder at the tip. I thought it was a bit of wear at the hinge bolt. It seemed much worse today. Just took a closer look and the rivets holding the top hinge to the rudder are loose - noticeable movement between the two. Red X - Code 3 - Grounded.
So now the rudder needs to come off - I think. Wondering if I can replace the rivets without removing it. Do it one at a time by turning the rudder to either side. I am looking for advice to check for rivet hole wear. How do I know if I need to go up to the next size rivets?
Assuming it needs to come off, I am looking for advice on the rudder cables - I assume I need to loosen the turnbuckles and take the pressure off first. Then for reassembly I will need to re-tension - what are people using for cable tension meters? My A&P does it in condition inspections but he is not around.
This is what I use to measure cable tension: CABLE GAUGE BT33-75D
Suggest pinging Zenith on next steps. If it were my airplane I'd take the rudder off to replace the rivets, and I'd take a good look at all the other rivets in that area, as well as the hinge points.
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