“Floatie”

rsbiser

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
243
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Aircraft
Dominator
Total Flight Time
1000
Does anyone know where to buy (or how to make) a fuel line Floatie like Bear Perkins used to sell?
It’s for making it easier to see fuel level in a site tube.
thanks,
Scott
 

Kevin_Richey

Yamaha gyro...Oregon, USA
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
2,500
Location
AZ
A powered parachute guy showed me his "floatie" he made. I had just paid $5 for one of Bear's & placed it into my fuel sight line...

He used a plastic Bic pen cylinder. It fits loosely inside the standard 1/4" ID clear plastic fuel line.
Left the end w/ it's plug intact. Cut it off about 1/2" in length.
He sprayed red paint all over it, even on the end w/ the Bic plug.
Then he coated some clear automotive sealer that is gasoline resistent or impervious all over his cheap floatie, including plugging the other, open end. Then he let it dry.

I asked him what about if the sealer broke down w/ it being submerged in fuel in the sight gauge.

He laughed @ me, stating that he checks it on his pre-flight. If it ever appears to be breaking down, he'll replace it.
That replacement cost?
Possibly one cent worth of paint & sealer!
 
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rsbiser

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
243
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Aircraft
Dominator
Total Flight Time
1000
A powered parachute guy showed me his "floatie" he made. I had just paid $5 for one of Bear's & placed it into my fuel sight line...

He used a plastic Bic pen cylinder. It fits loosely inside the standard 1/4" ID clear plastic fuel line.
Left the end w/ it's plug intact. Cut it off about 1/2" in length.
He sprayed red paint all over it, even on the end w/ the Bic plug.
Then he coated some clear automotive sealer that is gasoline resistent or impervious all over his cheap floatie, including plugging the other, open end. Then he let it dry.

I asked him what about if the sealer broke down w/ it being submerged in fuel in the sight gauge.

He laughed @ me, stating that he checks it on his pre-flight. If it ever appears to be breaking down, he'll replace it.
That replacement cost?
Possibly one cent worth of paint & sealer!
Hey Kevin,
Thanks for the reply.
I’m a little confused about what part of the BIC pen he used. I assume it is the actual ink tube. That is the only part of a BIC that will fit inside a fuel line.
If that’s true, I assume he cleaned the ink out of it and left the ball point end on to cap one end. Did I get it right?
Thanks,
Scott
 

rsbiser

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
243
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Aircraft
Dominator
Total Flight Time
1000

rsbiser

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
243
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Aircraft
Dominator
Total Flight Time
1000
Thanks Jeff,
That’s interesting in that I used to own a Grumman American TR-2 (AA1A).
I don’t remember having that kind of sight tube. But this was back in the early Seventies. Whole lot of things I don’t remember from that far back.
thanks again. I’ll look into these.
Scott
Oops 😬
I think it was an AA1B. Told you I forgot a lot of stuff.
 

Kevin_Richey

Yamaha gyro...Oregon, USA
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
2,500
Location
AZ
Scott: It was the outside cylinder, not the small tube that the ink is held in. His looked a shade larger in diameter than Bear Perkin's, which looked to me to be only a cylindrical piece of small, red plastic, rounded @ both ends.
I realized I wrote 1/4" clear tubing. Afterwards, when thinking about it, it had to be a tad larger in ID, in order for that homemade piece to fit...maybe 3/8"?

His looked rougher (probably due to that sealer he coated it w/) & it was a darker red color than Bear P's, but the price was certainly better!
 
Last edited:

rsbiser

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
243
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Aircraft
Dominator
Total Flight Time
1000
Scott: It was the outside cylinder, not the small tube that the ink is held in. His looked a shade larger in diameter than Bear Perkin's, which looked to me to be only a cylindrical piece of small, red plastic, rounded @ both ends.
I realized I wrote 1/4" clear tubing. Afterwards, when thinking about it, it had to be a tad larger in ID, in order for that homemade piece to fit...maybe 3/8"?

His looked rougher (probably due to that sealer he coated it w/) & it was a darker red color than Bear P's, but the price was certainly better!
Thanks Kevin. That makes more sense.
right now I have 1/4” ID tubing. May have to go with the bigger stuff to make that work.
 

Kevin_Richey

Yamaha gyro...Oregon, USA
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
2,500
Location
AZ
Thanks Kevin. That makes more sense.
right now I have 1/4” ID tubing. May have to go with the bigger stuff to make that work.
Do you still have your Dominator? I saw you @ Mentone in 2012, when you had it for sale.
Are the fittings through the seat tank side for the sight tube 3/8"? If not, would 3/8" tubing work out OK when crimped down w/ hose clamps on a 1/4" fitting since the fuel in the sight tube is @ atmosphere level & not under pressure from the fuel pump?
 

wolfy

Gold Supporter
Joined
Dec 19, 2013
Messages
800
Location
western australia
I recently went through this, I had searched high and low online looking for a float without any luck.
It was easy to find an old carby float and carve it into a ball, job done.

wolfy
 

j bird

Gold Supporter
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
1,761
Location
Cave Junction,OR.
Aircraft
Dominator/Airworthiness Certificate 9/06/12
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26.5 duel,RAF,Sparrow-Hawk,Cavalon,Calidus.
Buy a red ink pen from Pilot, their G-2 pen, the plunger end is red plastic and 1/4".
There V5 red ink pen plunger is 4mm. Just cut off the plunger, I'm sure it would float.
The plunger would be the end you depress.
You also can buy 1/4" wood beads.
 
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Jerry_Forest

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2003
Messages
130
Location
TORONTO, CANADA
Aircraft
Bensen B8-M
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350
Re: 1/4 inch wood beads.....
Most types of wood will not float in gasoline! lol
Density of gas ~ 0.8 density of H2O.
 
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