installed the axles and
wheels while I had the airplane up
on saw horses to install the gear.
didn’t bother with determining the centerline of the
fuselage, as I wasn’t
installing the fairings at this point.
I needed was the fuselage to be level in both directions so I could
started by temporarily
installing without shims.
Since I didn’t have
½” thick spacers, I used
some ¾” ones. It
really doesn’t matter
how thick they are, just so they are thick enough to let the string
clear the mount and gear leg.
I tied the string to a
set of car jacks. Then
I placed the jacks just outboard of the spacers
and pulled the string tight so it just touched the spacers. This let me install and
remove the axles
without having to un-tape and re-tape the string.
It was tough to tell
exactly how many degrees of shim I
needed. I knew it
was either 1 ½ or 2° but
I wasn’t sure which. So
I ordered enough
shims to do it either way. At
$7 each, I
bought extra to ensure I had everything I needed.
I ordered four 1°
and two 1/2°
shims, letting me set anything from ½ to 2 ½°
total on both sides if
Since the shims
don’t have holes, I clamped everything in place
with just a ½°
shim to start, then increased to 1, 1 ½, and finally 2°
of shims. I think
in a perfect world, I would need 1 ¾°
shims. But since
they don’t make these,
and since Vans said I only needed to be within ¼°
of toe in or out, I was
happy. I settled on
shims for each side. You
can see them in
I don’t have
tool that let me measure ½°,
I installed the shims and pulled the string tight.
Then I measured the
distance from the axle to
the string on the inboard end. Once I had too much shim,
the inboard end of
the spacer touched the string, so I measured from the outboard end of
measurement was just a little
smaller with 1 ½°
than with 2°
NOTE: Drill the cotter pin holes
the tire and tube. They
will get in the way
of the drill and bit otherwise.
It is important to get
the bearings completely packed with
grease. If you have
access to one the
tools made to do this great, but if like me you don’t, just
do it by hand. Put
a 1” ball of grease in the palm of one
hand. Hold the
bearing in the other with
your first two fingers through the center.
Then push the bearing into the grease from the
flat “end” so grease goes
into the bearing through the slot between he inner and outer shells. Repeat this until grease
comes out the other
end. Then twist the
entire bearing in
your hand and do it again. Keep
until you have gone all the way around the bearing.
Now your hands and the bearing have been
other thing that is
tough is making sure the tube isn’t
pinched in the wheel halves. I
easier to keep a little air in the tube.
This makes the tube push out of the way as I
slide the wheel halves
together. If it
were not inflated a
little, the tube could just get pinched as the halves are slid together.
here for a discussion
of the brakes.
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