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Thread: Cessna 180 Tailwheel Possibilities

  1. #1

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    Cessna 180 Tailwheel Possibilities

    Am contemplating replacing the tailwheel on my C-180H. Am currently running 8.50-6 Goodyear mains and will probably stick with these. I have searched and read the threads here and want to run my synopsis of the possibilities past you learned folks and ask a couple of questions

    What is available:

    Baby bushwheel on either 3400 or 3200 Scott TW's: Good shock absorber, Low profile keeps A.O.A. high, Expensive

    Landing Gear Works (XP) 5:00 x 5. Large rolling diameter, good shock absorber, high profile lowers A.O.A. Inexpensive

    Landing Gear Works 4.00 x 4. As above but lower profile and even less expensive

    10 inch tailwheel. Is this a 3.50x10x4 tire?


    Questions:

    What is the difference between the 3400 and 3200 series tailwheel systems?

    What is the "stock" tire on the 3200? 3400?

    What maximum tire size can be mounted on the 3200? 3400?

    Is there a difference between the 3200 Baby Bush Wheel and 3400 version?

    Anyone running the 4:00x4 tailwheel?


    Did I miss anything?


    Many Thanks, Mark

  2. #2
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    with those tiny main tires, why would you need a big tailwheel???

  3. #3
    aktango58's Avatar
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    I echo Mike!

    the 3400 head fits a round stinger, 3200 fits a flat spring. I don't recall the innards of the 3400, but I don't think parts can be changed.

    Standard size, or go up a hair in diameter and you will be fine. No need for the big guys unless you go to bigger mains. Drag, more wear on the stinger and more $$$ for the tires.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  4. #4
    Ruffair's Avatar
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    I put the
    Alaskan BushWheel 3450, 10" tailwheel on and just love it. it's a little bigger, but better all around, They have head spacers for the 7/8's or 15/16" stinger.
    their web site has all the info, and you can call them to order just to make sure your getting all you need.

    Way better than the old worn out Scott, however they will rebuild those too.

    Kem

    PS.... Back in the "old"days, 8:50's WHERE big tires....
    Last edited by Ruffair; 04-22-2015 at 07:14 PM.
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  5. #5

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    If you decide to go with a giant tire, be sure to get the locking tailwheel. The 180 is a wonderful bird; I envy folks who have enough bucks to risk taking them in and out of places that need bigger than 8:50s on them.

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    Interested in more TW flotation and softer ride than stock 8" wheel. Not going larger than 8:50 Mains and do not want an unnecessarily large TW. Unnecessary for my missions.

    Will a 10" tire fit a stock 3400 fork? Is the 10" tire the 3.50x10x4 version?

    Thanks, Mark

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    with those tiny main tires, why would you need a big tailwheel???
    I agree totally,Recently had a flat tire in my 10" tire on our 185.Temporarily replaced it with the old 8" one.Have not bothered to put the 10" back on.We operate rough strips with hard to soft surface.Mains are 850x6.Cheers,Ron.

  8. #8

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    Thanks, Ron. Very helpful real-world experience.

  9. #9
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Grubb View Post
    What is available:

    Baby bushwheel on either 3400 or 3200 Scott TW's: Good shock absorber, Low profile keeps A.O.A. high, Expensive

    Landing Gear Works (XP) 5:00 x 5. Large rolling diameter, good shock absorber, high profile lowers A.O.A. Inexpensive

    Landing Gear Works 4.00 x 4. As above but lower profile and even less expensive
    I realize it's all relative but disagree with your expensive / inexpensive assessment.

    Check the prices for XP Mods http://www.thelandinggearworks.com/p...el-assemblies/
    14" (500x5) t/w assembly $4495 outright $3995 exchange.
    14" fork $1895 outright $1695 exchange
    14" hub ( guess they mean wheel?) $995 outright $795 exchange
    10" t/w assembly $3995 outright $3795 exchange.
    Not what I'd call inexpensive.

    I have an XP Mods 10" t/w on my 180 as do a lot of guys that I know. I've never had an 8" t/w on it but I had one on my 170 and never had any problems with it in the 10 or 12 years I owed it. The previous owner of my 180 put a 14" XP t/w on it but had shimmy problems so replaced it with a 10". Works great.

    I don't think a 10" t/w is gonna give you much more in the way of flotation, any improvement would mainly be in being able to roll over slightly larger stuff. if you're after flotation, I think I'd buy a ABW or Gar Aero fat t/w tire kit. Baby bushwheel kit is $1050, the Gar Aero set-up using a 400x4 tire is cheaper at $750 but I don't think they have an STC, so it'll be a field approval show which may or may not be a big deal for you.
    http://www.airframesalaska.com/TWFK3400-p/twfk3400.htm
    http://www.alaskatundratires.com/tailwheel.html
    Last edited by hotrod180; 04-23-2015 at 10:44 AM.
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  10. #10
    aktango58's Avatar
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    With my 180 I had more issues breaking hub sides out with rocks than anything. Baby bushwheel was not out then, but I did finally go to the Gar Aero. It did not solve the problem of rocks, it kept happening.

    On soft, anywhere I needed the wider tail wheel I was glad I had the 26" gar aero mains.

    I don't know where you are going with your bird, or what you are landing on, but all three tires should be sized to match. Big tail wheel means lower prop clearance with the same mains.

    No matter what wheel is back there, you have lots of weight on it, especially with any load. Ask yourself how much abuse you plan to put the tail through, then ask how much the main gear will have.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  11. #11
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    It'd be interesting to see what the various oversized tailwheels measure. Like I said, I've got a 10" and I'll measure the diameter today at the hangar & report back.
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  12. #12
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Measured the 10" t/w today-- about 10" OD, and about 2-5/8' wide at the tread.
    Measured an unmounted 8" t/w tire- 8".
    I'd be curious to hear what the 400x4 and BBW t/w tires measure out at.
    FWIW I always thought the 8" & 10" t/w assemblies used different sized wheels, but apparently they don't. The old 250/280-4 tires I have on hand seem to be sized for the same wheel as the 10x3.50-4 on the airplane. I checked the Alaska Airfames site for 3200 & 3400 spare parts and they appear to both use p/n 3244K (wheel half).
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  13. #13
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Checked the airframes Alaska website & they refer to the baby bushwheel as an 11x5x4, so I'm guessing that it's about 11" OD. Might get the chance to measure a GarAero 400x4 today & will report back.
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  14. #14
    algonquin's Avatar
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    Hope this helps : on my 180 I had the stock 8" and changed to a gar aero with the glider tire on it. The stock tire and rim were getting beat up in off field ops, the gar aero solved the problem. I put it on before I put on a set of 29-11-10's and was getting stone and fine gravel damage on the prop. Also cut the grOund clearance for the prop, not a good combo. Loved flying it fully set up with the 29's & glider tail wheel.
    My 185 had a habit of rolling the 8" tire. I changed to the ABW 10-10 rims, 29's and the 1 1/8" stinger, 3400 Scott with the glider tire. This replaced 8.50 mains with the 8" tail wheel. That tail set up would sink to the stinger in sand . IMHO the BBW is too soft rubber and too spendy, the glider tire will out live it by a lot and is cheaper to replace by a lot.
    The big tires make it a fun airplane to land but they slow you down a bunch. Most of my flights are very short and over beaches and soft terrain so it also a safety thing. Forced landed a Pacer w/ 600x6's on muskeg they sank in when they hit, very bad.
    There are so many factors involved in picking the configuration of a airplane you just gotta sit down , make a list of your needs and I hate to say this, bite the bullet and get what you need.

  15. #15
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Didn't get a chace to measure a 400x4 GarAero tire, but the Spruce catalog lists it among the tailwheel tires and describes it as being 11.5" diameter.
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  16. #16

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    Everyone - and Especially HotRod:

    Thanks for the information!

  17. #17

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    Skywagon tailwheel 101 according to me.

    After years with a stock 8" Scott 3400, an XP Mods 14" tailwheel, and an ABW wide fork with ribbed tire....

    Height of of the tire/greater diameter makes for reduced rolling resistance especially on uneven surfaces. Width improves flotation. Which is better for you depends on what it is you're trying to achieve. In soft sand and gravel the difference between the XP and the ABW as described is negligible for rolling resistance but the wear and tear on the airplane (primarily torque on the tail spring) is reduced with the shorter assembly both because of height and because the wide fork has more lateral trail than the more upright XP. That trail apears to improve ground handling on hard surfaces as well. As you would expect the 8" tire handles better than all and has the least torque contribution so in truth the smaller the tailwheel you can use, the better off your plane is. The reason I choose bigger tailwheel said is to reduce rolling resistance and the requirement for taxi power on loose surfaces. That goes hand-in-hand with taller and/or wider mains. Softer is a whole other consideration. Bushwheels are awesome on the mains. I still have 29x11x10 Airhawks but I use Bushwheels for soft cushioning and excellent flotation. Since I'm strictly off-road wear is no issue so make your compromises to suit your conditions. Does soft make a difference on the tail? It hasn't proven important in my use. The big tailwheel is all about rolling resistance. Shorter gives me an AOA improvement. Wider satisfies the flotation requirement. If I was flying on 850s I'd stay with my 8" tailwheel. Since I've chosen to protect my prop by improving rolling capability I started with the tailwheel and that evolved into taller/wider mains to correct AOA. As to the shimmy issue? A correctly serviced assembly doesn't shimmy in my experience, with or without a penetration tail ski, and I've never used a lock.

    If I've been unclear I'll try to provide more clarity upon request. Cheers.

  18. #18
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    I just tore my 3400 series (actually XP Mods) tailwheel assembly apart for the first time to clean inspect & regrease as part of the first annual. I discovered that it's somewhat different from the 3200's which I am familiar with. Does the same fork (either Gar or ABW) fit both the 3200 & 3400 tailwheel heads? The parts diagrams show different part numbers for the 8" 3200 & the 8" 3400 forks.
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  19. #19

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    Back when I did mine I opted to keep the XP head. I asked Seaplanes North if their fork would fit. They said no. I asked Wup if his 3400 wide fork would fit. He said yes, and it did.

    I believe ABW still offers exploded parts diagrams for the 3200 and 3400 on their website.

  20. #20

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    Algonquin, what is this glider tire you've mentioned? Just want to know what options are available. Thanks.

  21. #21

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    Update:

    Went with 8.50's and 10" 3400. Has worked well for my missions so far.

  22. #22
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    I'm still running 850's with a 10" t/w. I've thought about going to the BBW fork kit but with the ribbed "glider tire"-- Airframes Alaska sells that set-up for about $700. It would reduce AOA and put the prop closer to the ground, both by just a whisker, but on the plus side would tremendously increase t/w flotation for operating in the soft (beach landings, etc). I'm happy with the 850 mains, if I ever go bigger it'll probably be 26" GY blimpies.
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  23. #23
    algonquin's Avatar
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    I really like the 29" mains and the glider tailwheel , lots of prop clearance, and I fly out of a gravel rwy. I was having big problems with it until I went to the bigger tires. I'm running the mains at 15 psi and I don't think I'd like to have much softer of a tire, they are the four ply ones.

  24. #24
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Hotrod: Different forks.

    Please, for your aircraft, do not go to goodyears on your 180.

    If you do, glue and screw them into the wheel, or you will spin them and kill the tube.

    The GY 26" are not much better than the 8:50 as far as size either.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  25. #25

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    There's nothing wrong with 26" Goodyears on a 180. They don't require glue or screws, they require adequate air pressure. 26" Goodyears are not soft with no air so don't try to run them under-inflated trying to make them something they aren't. I had Goodyears on my 180 for a few years. I never had a problem.

    The ABW wide fork is STC approved with the Baby Bushwheel or the ribbed/tubed "glider" tire. Both use the same wheel and spacer combo. And Burl makes an STC approved Magnum tail ski for the ABW wide fork.

  26. #26
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    What Stewart said.
    I've heard lots of people say that the 26" GY's aren't any bigger than 850's, but I disagree-- They're no 31" BW's, but seen side-by-side there is a noticeable difference between 26" GY's and 850 Airtracs.
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  27. #27

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    This was a great discussion. I'm curious, as I'm in the midst of having to replace my stinger:
    Mark Grubb, how are the 850's and 10" 3400 working out for you?
    J

  28. #28
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Just read this older thread from start to finish.
    I'm still running 850's & a 10" t/w, works well for my flying.

    Re why a fat tailwheel with small mains...
    I met a Canadian guy from Victoria BC at a fly-in a few years ago, eh.
    He was in a Pacer with 600 mains and a 400x4 t/w tire on a Gar fork.
    When I asked about the unusual combination, he told me he landed on the beaches on the western side of Vancouver Island quite frequently--
    said he'd never had a problem with the mains sinking in the sand, but he had with the stock t/w.
    Hence the 400x4.
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  29. #29

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    Anybody by chance know the weight difference between the glider tire/tube and the baby bushwheel? I assume it's negligible but there is significant tread on the glider tire.

  30. #30

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    I don't know the weights. but here's some interesting info on choices sent to me by Airframes Alaska (great folks to work with, by the way):

    "Yes, we can absolutely do the BBW but with the 404 glider tire. In response to your concerns of increased stress on the system, I can assure you that the 10” tire stresses the tailwheel far less than the much larger 404 tire or 1154 Baby Bushwheel would.
    My concerns for the 404 tire in your application [I told them 75% tarmac; 25% gravel or rough fields/grass] are two things: first, even though the tire does have a directional tread you still can run into issues with tailwheel shimmy due to increased tire grip from the wider tire, heaver pivoting tailwheel weight, and when used with small main gear tires like 850x6’s you are decreasing the castor of the tailwheel which can cause shimmy. The other issue is that the 404 tire is an option but not necessarily a recommended one due to its tendency to chafe and split tubes. That is one reason we created the 1154.R Baby Bushwheel with the protected air bladder - it's that the 404 tubes are relatively thin and have a tendency to split under the stresses of use in a tailwheel. That’s not to say you shouldn’t go with the 404 tire, just be aware of its shortcomings, decide if you need that large a tire for your uses and if so then I would recommend keeping spare tubes on hand."
    Last edited by JohnnyR; 03-30-2017 at 08:33 PM.

  31. #31
    algonquin's Avatar
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    The baby bush wheel cost a bunch more than the glider tire and if you run it on hard gravel or black top you get to buy replacements. I've flown on sand, gravel and beaches and never had a problem with the glider tire.
    Likes Charlie Longley liked this post

  32. #32
    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    The baby bush wheel cost a bunch more than the glider tire and if you run it on hard gravel or black top you get to buy replacements. I've flown on sand, gravel and beaches and never had a problem with the glider tire.
    What glider tire are you talking about Tom? I pulled the Baby bushwheel off my PA-12 because I am mostly flying off pavement now. Coincidentally I am flying and towing gliders now.

  33. #33
    algonquin's Avatar
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    The ribbed tire ABW's sell is the main tire for some glider, or I've been told. Not sure if I'm right, but been calling it that for quite a while. Hope all is well on your coast, if you get up north this summer call me.

  34. #34
    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    OK will do. Pretty busy fixing airplanes but you never know...

  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Longley View Post
    What glider tire are you talking about Tom? I pulled the Baby bushwheel off my PA-12 because I am mostly flying off pavement now. Coincidentally I am flying and towing gliders now.
    Here you go, Charlie https://www.airframesalaska.com/404-...a-p/4.00x4.htm

  36. #36

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    My AeroClassics "glider tires" were good for a year each. I got tired of replacing them and switched to a baby bushwheel tire. I don't think the little tire likes being splayed open by that big spacer.

    I always thought it was interesting how the AeroClassics glider tire says experimental only on the sidewall. I don't recall my STC naming that brand of tire. Not that I ever cared but some guys might.

  37. #37

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    I found a pic of one of mine. I don't miss changing them.





    Sent from my iPad using SuperCub.Org mobile app

  38. #38

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    Wow, Stewart... How many landings on that tire, do you suppose? Beach & large gravel, mostly?
    J

  39. #39

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    Not many, all gravel and sand. My tires didn't have wear issues. I don't think they like being stretched out in width. The checking at the beads was typical.
    Thanks A BELLAND thanked for this post

  40. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Not many, all gravel and sand. My tires didn't have wear issues. I don't think they like being stretched out in width. The checking at the beads was typical.
    That, and the 62MPH max speed on the sidewall!
    My 180 would have a tough time with that landing speed in front of some of the big iron at the airports we visit from time to time...
    J

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