View Full Version : Bearing play on Maule tailwheel: overhaul or upgrade?

05-12-2018, 03:00 PM
My 1951 L18C has very slight bearing play on the tailwheel steering and wheel axle. Not urgent but may be an opportunity to upgrade? What tailwheel is the best choice these days? The wheel is a solid rubber one and donít want to change the geometry of the aircraft (ie make the tail taller). Alternatively could just repair the bearings?

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mike mcs repair
05-12-2018, 03:31 PM

bob turner
05-12-2018, 08:53 PM
I agree with Mike. Changing that bearing does not always cure the problem. I would not use a Maule on anything heavier than a J-3 or a little Champ - not even on a Maule aircraft.

However, the bearing can be fixed - take it out, clean it, heat it up, and clean it again. Then using good liquid acid flux, put a layer of 60/40 solder in there, ream it for a very tight fit, very lightly grease it, and reassemble.

I fly every day, and do that every five years, right after the first hint of a shimmy.

05-13-2018, 09:25 AM
Just buy a 3200 tailwheel from Airframes, and don’t look back.