Brake Calipers

Time 0.5hrs

I don’t want the brake calipers to be sitting around because they’ll get lost or damaged so I put them back on the wheels. I’ll have to take the wheel spats off again to do the brake lines and I’ll torque  the caliper bolts then as well. 

The calipers slide into the large holes on the inside of the wheel rim. The new spat brackets allow you access to install or remove be the caliper. 


I put some high temperature anti-seize on the posts that slide into the holes. Don’t get it on the pads though. 

Sorry I forgot to get a photo of the assembled brakes. I’ll get one when I do the brake lines. 

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Nose Wheel Spat Finished

Time 1.25 hrs

Things done today:

  • Filled in unused holes in nose wheel spat (factory pilot hole for mounting)
  • Cut top of nose wheel spat flush
  • Drilled holes for tow bar
  • Connected and torque rudder pedal to nose wheel push rods

The forward part of the nose wheel spat is a little longer then the rear so I cut it flush with the rear and sanded it to finish the edge. The front part of my nose wheel spat sits about 15mm from the strut. The manual says 5mm, but it looks like the spat sits at a good angle and clearance to the front tire is good as well. Also the forward holes that screw into the mount were very close to the factory ones so I think it’s in a good spot. Also I checked the new manual and it doesn’t say anything about putting rivnuts into the nose wheel strut, but he old manual does so it’s possible that it’s not needed. I’ll have to check with the factory though.

Drilled the hole for the tow bar. That was kind of a paint in the butt. I measured the spacing from the rivnut to the center of the hole and then eyeballed the angle. Then I drilled a 1/16″ pilot hole and put a piece of wire in it and felt around the back to see where the wire came through the hole. I had to move the pilot hole back about 1/16″ or so. Then I drill a bit larger hole and then filed it out until I could see the edges of the tow bar hole. I then finished it using a step reamer to 3/8″. I’m going to consider the wheel spats done. The only thing left to do on them is to install the blond grommets for the air valve. I don’t have them so I need to find them online. Once I get them I’ll know exactly the size hole to drill.

This went quick. I just had to connect and torque up the AN5 bolts that connect the rudder pedals to the nose wheel. It’s steerable in the Sling. I also put some lithium grease on the rose joints (saw that at TAF).

Wheel Spats and Luggage Door

Time: 3.5hrs

Spent some time fitting the main and nose wheel spats on. I started with the main wheel spats. At first I was thinking that this was not going to work. They seemed so far off and parts were rubbing on the tires. I trimmed about 1/8″ or less from the top of the outer wheel cover. Things seemed to fit a bit better. I marked the top of the rear part of the cover (the part that bolts onto the gear) so that it lined up with the top of the front and cut that. The fit was even better. A little more light cutting and then a final sanding ended up with a pretty good fit.


A few photos of the fitment of the left spat. I’m pretty happy with it. Still need to cut the holes for air filling. 

I ended up glueing the washer to the inside of the spat since it was nearly impossible to get it to go on. 


One more look from the front


On to the nose wheel. Glad I didn’t use the factory provided holes as they were a little off. I ended up sharpening a M5 screw and screwed it into the hole then lined up the cover and hitting it with a mallet. This leaves a mark on the inside of the spat so you know where to drill the hole. 


Almost done. I still need to cut the top even and I believe the manual says to install two rivnuts at the top into the nose wheel strut. 


All spats on. Looking good 🙂

I also added some think neoprene foam to the luggage door. I had previously installed some neoprene rubber and it wasn’t really thick enough. Also it was kind of sticky so the luggage door would stick when you tried to open it. I just added the foam over the rubber and now it seems to seal up fairly well. 


The rest of the door will get covered with carpeting. 

Main Gear Mounted

Time: 2hrs

Well I guess a day makes a big difference. After failing to get the bolts installed a few days ago I had much better success today. I used a little different technic then previous and maybe this the reason for the better outcome. I started by lining up the gear the best I could and then checking the alignment of the metal spacer and hole in the gear channel. Once it was close I used a large punch in the hole and pushed it into the hole using wood as a pry bar against the main spar. Now rather the clamp that in place I did the same on the other side. Once both punches were in place I then clamped the gear in place. I removed the punches and used a small half round file to file down any burrs in the hole. Starting on one side I inserted one bolt, pushed it as far as I could by hand (which was only about 1/4″ – 1/2″ and then used the wood to slowly pry on it. To my surprise the bolt slowly moved in. I was able to pry it in until it hit the other side of the gear channel. Then I had to tap in it with a mallet. Now on to the other side. Same method and the bolt went right in. Prying the bolts in was the same as what I tried to do the other day, but bolts just wouldn’t budge. It must have been the tecnique of using the punches to line things up first that really helped. The next set of bolts went in using the same method. I’m so happy that this worked out. I was so frustrated the other day and just couldn’t see how this was going to work, but I guess a small change in process did the trick.


Using the main spar and a long piece of wood to put pressure on the bolt to push it in. It didn’t require too much pressure, but I would have never been able to push them in by hand. Note: I flipped this image so that it’s a little easier to see where things are. I’m actually working upside down)


Bolt on the left and one on the right are in… making progress.


The tool that saved the day. I used one on each side to line the gear up.

So next is to rivet the gear channel skin then fill and sand the bottom fuselage rivets.

Main Gear Mounting

Time: 6hrs

Well this has been very challenging. I think mounting the gear with the fuselage upside down was a good decision. It’s been very easy to check the fitment of the gear and accessing the bolts has been somewhat easy… though working inside the fuselage is a bit of a pain and somewhat cramped. The main issue is that I can’t seem to get two bolts (one on each side) in at the same time. Once I put one bolt in then the other side is a fraction of a millimeter off which makes it impossible to push the other bolt in. There is really no room to tap the bolt with a mallet. I did find a way to push the bolt in using a piece of wood placed between the bolt head and the main spar. After some research in the manual it appears that the bolts are to be installed with the head facing aft, but that’s not what the FAA says. I’d really like to install them in the correct orientation. 

As far as fitment I’ve had the gear on and off a multitude of times. The top of the gear hits the rivnuts and also interferes with the rivets that will be installed to hold the rear seat floor panels on. Also the gear is a bit too wide at the bolt locations so that needs to be sanded down as well. 

Some photos and a bit more narrative below. Even after working in this for many hours I have not yet been able to get the bolts in… so the work will continue. 


This was a good method for me to allow placement and rough fitting of the gear. You can remove the wood block and check the fitment and then sand as needed. 


Here I thought I had the fitment right so I put some grease at the bolt area location as instructed by Jean from Torrance TAF. He said that this will minimize any creaking in the gear. It turned out that the top of the gear needed to be sanded as well so the gear was removed and sanded multiple times since this photo. 


I put a bevel on the top edge of the gear. This was done to get the gear to fit down without putting pressure on the rivnuts. Also it helped give some room to where the rivets will be installed for the rear floor panels. After this photo was taken I ended up taking out the belt sander with some 60 grit paper and sanded down the bevels even more. 

I think the fitments is good now and the gear seems to fit down into the channel without needed to be held into that position. This may help with the installation of the bolts which so far has been impossible to do. I spent nearly 4 hours trying to get two bolts in. The first bolt is fairly easy to install since you can get perfect alignment of the metal spacer in the gear and the holes in the gear channel so the bolt can be pushed in by hand or by using some wood to pry it in. The problem is the insertion of a second bolt on the other side. The top to bottom alignment can be tuned by pushing down on the gear and holding it with some clamps. The left to right positioning is really the problem. There’s not too much you can do about it and even if you have a small misalignment the bolt will not go in. I have tried to round off the edges of the metal spacers in the gear so that there are no hard edges for the bolt to catch on, but it only helps minimally. I’m thinking I may need to widen the hole in the gear channel just a small bit to get the bolts to fit. If you had room to tap the bolt in it would probably go, but there really isn’t much room. Hopefully I’ll get some time to work on this again in the next few days. 

Main Wheels

Time: 2hrs

Assembled the two main wheels. I had tried this before and ended up messing up two aviation tubes because they got pinched in then hubs. This time I was much more careful. I in flayed the tube a little and got the valve through. I then loosely screwed on the other side of the hub and then added a little more air in the tube. I tightened down 3 or the 6 bolts making sure the hub fit flush against the other one. Then a little more air in the tube. Then I let air out of the tube and put on the rubber o-ring (which actually isn’t necessary). I was able to seat the o-ring between the two halves of the hub by pushing down on one side of the tire until it disappeared into the crack of the joint. 

I also put together the saw horses to hold the plane when I turn it upside down. I made one about 4ft wide and 30″ high (to put under the center fuselage) and the other about 2.5ft wide and 36″ high (to put under the tail cone). I also used a swimming pool float tube for cushion. Now I just need some help picking up and flipping the plane over. 


Tube is in and these 3 bolts are just barely tight. If you can see the ride in the center of the hub then the tube isn’t pinched. I put a little more air in the tube at this point. Also forgot to mention I used some talc powder on the inside of the tire and rubbed some on the tube before putting the tube in the tire. 


Wheel all assembled with the brake disc attached. Note the cable is lined up with the red dot on the tire. 


My saw horses ready to go. 

More Main Wheel Spats

Time: 2.25

Things done today:

  • Finished up filling and priming the rear part of the main wheel spats
  • Primed and filled blemished in the front part of the main wheel spats

I finished dup the priming and fill on the rear portion of the spats that mount to the brackets. The main front parts were pretty good, but I wanted to fill few blemishes. I also noticed that I had a large dent in one of the wheel spats which I didn’t notice prior to doing all the work on it so I was a bit upset to see it know that not only will I have to wait for a new wheel spat but I’d also have to drill and mount all the rivet nuts and fit it again. So I though maybe if I heated up the material and used a cloth to push on it I could get the bump out. I used my heat gun at 400 degrees and carefully heated the inside. I was just about to use the rag to work out the bump and to my amazement I saw the bump disappearing before my eyes. I really couldn’t believe that heating it would have worked so well. In any case bump is completely gone.

 

Filling some low spots on the main part of the main wheel spats. I just used some epoxy resin then I sand with 320 grit paper.

Rear part of the main spats all filled and primed

Test fitting the main (front) parts of the main wheel spats. The bottom portion fits well, but the top is going to need some work.

Bottom fits well.

Top needs a bit of work. I think when the top edge  is cut back then it will pull in a bit. I’ll wait until the gear is mounted and things are right side up to do that work though.