Archive for August, 2012

Left Main Landing Gear – 1.5 hrs

August 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Saturday, Aug 11, 2012

Progress has slowed to a crawl because things unrelated to the airplane project have demanded my attention the last few weeks and it will continue for a while. In addition, I will be away on my 25th anniversary trip for 3 weeks so expect a hiatus in the postings.

With that said today I made a little progress on the right main landing gear. In the last post I reported that the left axle is a little oversize and the bearings would not go on. So today I used emery cloth to buff about .001 inch off the diameter of the axle. I went around buffing like I was shining a shoe rotating in about 90 degree increments to cover the entire diameter from the threads to the shoulder. After a while I had victory and the bearing slipped on, but just barely.

Then I made three more spacers from 3/8 diameter tube for the wheel pant support bracket. These are probably too long but I can shorten them later when the bracket is fit.

Next I packed the two wheel bearings with Aeroshell 5 grease and installed the wheel onto the axle. The nut did not want to thread on so I spent some time cleaning the threads on the axle after which the nut went on OK.


Main Landing Gear Wheels and Brakes – 4 hrs

August 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Sunday Aug 5, 2012

Well it’s been about a week since I did much of anything productive on the project. I promised Denise I would rebuild the patio cover this summer. It was rotting and I took it down last fall for safety. So I spent some time over the last week putting most of the primary structure back up with new lumber.

Life also has been getting in the way. My mother is very ill, a daughter is planning a wedding, and Denise and I are planning for our 25th anniversary trip to Europe this month. Too much going on.

Anyway, I thought assembling the wheels and brakes would be a quick, straightforward task that I could knock out in a day. I guess I was wrong, but I am getting ahead of myself. I spent way more time than expected searching for the parts in all the various kit boxes. Sometimes it is not obvious where the parts are located. After finding the U-403 flanges I drilled the cross holes out with a 5/16 bit and reamer. The U-403 would not fit onto the axles so I had to smooth out the interior and edges to get them on. Then I searched and finally found the special socket head shoulder bolts for these in the fuselage kit. The plans say to start by bolting the U-403 on so that is what I did.

Then I learned that you can’t put the brake flange on with the U-403 already installed. Why didn’t they tell me that? So I took the U-403 back off and reassembled it with the disc brake flange between the bolt and the U-403 flange. Oh, and that is after spending way too much time trying to figure out the correct orientation for the brake flange and bolts. Here is one gear leg close up.

Then came the assembly of the wheels and tires. The plans are brief here but I found enough help on the web to get them assembled except I could not find the grommets that are supposed to go in the filler valve holes. I will look again for those later I guess.

Then I repacked the bearings for the right wheel with Aeroshell 5 grease and installed the wheel on the axle. I have not drilled for the cotter pin yet because I want to make sure I have the torquing procedure correct (and I ran out of time). Here is a view from the axle nut side.

And this view is from the brake disc side. I forgot to mention that I made three spacers tubular for the wheel fairing bracket using 3/8 tube and installed the brake flange using these but I will install the fairing bracket at a later date.

The other axle was completely different story. I tried to put the bearings on but they would not go on the axle. For some reason the left axle is slightly oversize (by my caliper measurement I am estimating about .001 inch oversize). I tried pressing but the bearing got stuck and I had a tough time getting it back off. I used some emery paper to polish up the OD of the axle but that was not enough to get the bearings on. I’ll have to do some research on this.

Followup: I found a thread on Vans Air Force about this problem from the 2007-2008 time frame. I guess the problem is back. The solution is either to call Vans and insist on a replacement gear leg or to polish the axle down to size using crocus or emery cloth. Since the gear leg is already drilled to my fuselage I will try the emery cloth approach before calling Vans.