I just finished my p-valve install in my Whites Fusion Drysuit. I had asked lots of other folks for info on installing them and put all that info together to get mine installed and thought I would share some pics and info...
I am using a Dive Rite delrin balanced p-valve. I liked the fact that it can be easily removed from the suit for cleaning, and the valve lends its self well to the fusion with ability to hold down the outer skin.
Step 1 - Figuering out where you want to punch a hole in your suit.
I have the tech skin on my fusion and I wanted to make sure that the valve was going to go though the lycra portion of the skin so I choose the inner part of my left thigh.
Step 2 - Marking the inner drycore.
I put the suit one while wearing my undergarment and made sure everything was fitting just like it would when I go diving. I then stuck my finger on the spot of the tech skin where I would want the valve to come though. Keeping my finger in place I pulled apart the velcro just below the zipper. I put a dab of whiteout on my free finger and slid my hand down between the two parts of the suit, being careful not to get the whiteout on any other part of the suit. Once I was down where my finger was marking the placement of the valve I stuck my finger on the drycore to leave a mark.
Step 3 - Remove the outer skin. Pretty self explanatory. Just remove all the velcro and remove the LP Inflator and the dump valve and pull the skin off.
Below is a pic with the skin off. You can see the Whiteout mark.
Step 4 - Add repair patch to inside of the suit.
I wanted to add a patch to the inside of the suit just for some extra re-enforcement of the suit. The patch kit comes from Whites and is very easy to use. The patch goes on the inside of the suit. Since the mark was on the outside of the suit I needed someway to know exactly where my mark was, so I stuck a safety pin through the middle of my mark and left it there.
I then turned the suit inside out. I stuck a piece of cardboard inside the leg to keep the drysuit material spread out. Then I placed a couple of 5 lbs soft weight on the suit to keep everything nice and tight. I took my patch and placed it right on top of the safety pin. It served two purposes of keeping the patch in place, and making sure that it was exactly where I wanted it.
Then I heated it up with a blowdryer for about a min and kept rubbing it with my thumb until it felt nice and secure and then coverd it up with a couple of the softweights.
Step 5 - Punching the hole
I was very nervous about this part, but it all went very well. I am using a 5/8" punch and a hammer to make my hole.
I flipped the suit back to right side out so I could see my whiteout mark. I took a pice of 4x4 and taped a piece of cardboard on the top and bottom. I placed a piece on the top so that the puch would have somewhere to go when trying to punch through the suit. If you just try to punch through the suit with only the wood under the suit it will be very tough to get through the suit. I also placed a piece on the bottom of the block of wood just to protect my suit. I placed the punch over my mark..... Took a few deep breaths..... Then WACK, WACK, WACK. I hit it a few times to make sure that it went through the suit. The nice thing with the cardboard under the suit is that you can feel the punch go through everything and when you are hitting wood you know you made it all the way through the suit.
Re: P-Valve Install
Step 6 - Glueing on the Gaskets
For the Dive Rite valve you are supposed to glue on two gaskets on either side of the suit. I have head of people not glueing them, but I thought I would do it. Whites does not like Aquaseal so I used Silicone (by their recommendation). I just placed a thin bead all the way around the middle of the gasket. I then placed the valves in place and squeezed them on with a bolt, wingnut, and to big washers.
Step 7 - Cutting the tech skin
On any other drysuit you would be done. All you would have to do is screw the valve together and go and dive. Since the Fusion has an outer skin you can either leave the valve under the skin (like peeing in your wetsuit) or cut one more hole. I choose to cut the one more hole as to not have a smelly drysuit. I screwed the valve back together through the drycore and took the top part of the valve off so that the tech skin could be sandwiched.
Then I put the skin back on my Fusion, got back into my undergarment and put the suit back on so I could see where the valve was sitting under the tech skin.
Then I pinched a bit of material right in the middle of the valve and cut it with an exacto knife. Just a VERY SMALL cut. Sorry for the bad pic but I was wearing the suit and trying to take a pic of the inside of my own leg.
I then made the hole just a little bit bigger with some scissors. Around dime size.
Then just stretch it over the valve.
and screw the top part back on.
Now I just need to get in the water and try it out. Hopefully there will not be any leaks...