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Thread: 1977 Cessna 185F Tailwheel Lock photo

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    1977 Cessna 185F Tailwheel Lock photo

    Recently purchased a 185 and the tailwheel lock has been removed. Read numerous post about actually using the lock but someone has physically removed it without any paperwork to justify. All the handles and cables are still installed. However, it appears the bellcrank (part bolted onto the tailwheel) is missing. Wonder if someone could post a photo of their tailwheel with the lock fully installed for reference. Thanks.....

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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    Thank you. Yes I seen this and the parts diagram which helped me figure out what is missing. I just cannot get a good idea on how it actually works so hopeful that a real life photo will help my brain grasp how this bell crank part hooks up and works. It looks like the lever cable forces the lock to swivel up and down to lock it into place.

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    15-Alaska 10-in tailwheel mod2.JPGThis is my tailwheel as you can see it is missing all the hardware for the lock.

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    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Thank you that helps. Looks like I am missing quite a few parts for the lock.

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    I flew 185 for quite a few hours, and only one of them still had tailwheel lock installed. One or two were never equipped with them.

    If I had one, I wouldn't take it off. If there wasn't one on there, I wouldn't spend ten minutes trying to re-install it.

    Opinion only, your mileage may vary.

    MTV

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    Well I do not have all the parts. Still do not understand why they would just remove the parts. Just do not use it if that is the opinion. So I am now trying to figure it all out so I can obtain them to put it back on. The parts list help but photos are best when looking for used parts that you have never seen before. The cables and cockpit stuff is all installed. But the cables are just coiled up in the tail section of the plane. There is nothing at all at the tail wheel. But I do agree, that is why the post.

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    When I looked into it a couple of years ago the parts were few and far between, something may have bit the dust and it just went away rather than fixing it.
    "Don't feed the hipsters"

  10. #10
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    I will confess my ignorance, so be gentle. What does the tail wheel lock get you? Some aircraft have them and some don't.

    Why?
    Eddie Foy
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God"

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    I am by no means an expert. But from my research, the tail wheel lock will mainly help in crosswind take off, landings, and taxiing. There are opinions on both sides whether or not they are needed.

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    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnaiam View Post
    15-Alaska 10-in tailwheel mod2.JPGThis is my tailwheel as you can see it is missing all the hardware for the lock.
    i wouldnt bother with the lock stuff. I would remove the rest of it. I understand it was an optional installation.

    Looks like your tailwheel is undersize for that fork

    Also, it is common to have that oval clip so the largeer radius is on the steering arm rather than shown on yours.

    Also, your steering cable end is a nico sleeve and not the swaged ball that is proper for that "tang" style of connection.

    Maybe fix those items before you do a lock.

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    If I though anyone would ever want one I wouldn't have thrown mine in the trash last year when I cleaned out the shed.

    Dang, that tailwheel sure looks shiny new. Go get some mud on it!

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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    we would remove them from any our 185's when we got a new plane for the Air taxi...

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    If you install a wheel ski on the tail you will want a lock when landing on pavement.

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    Can you supply a source for the optional installation statement? I will add the other items on my to do list. Not planning on tail ski at the moment but if I could find the parts I would rather have and not use. Then to not have. But I agree it does need mud!

  17. #17
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Two reasons for a lock...tailwheel ski on pavement as noted, and can help keep the tail from moving sideways in a strong crosswind when parked if it can't be tied down. I blew out two tail tires from tail ski wobble in Kotzebue...strange place for it to happen but it gets windy. Finally figured out the cause and quit carrying a spare tire and tube. Wobble gets worse if there's frozen ice glued to the top of the ski causing imbalance.

    GAP

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Calkins View Post
    i wouldnt bother with the lock stuff. I would remove the rest of it. I understand it was an optional installation.
    As I Recall the locking tail wheel was standard on the 185 and optional on the 180.
    It prevents shimmy which can happen when landing in cross winds on pavement when the steering mechanism kicks out, which can be followed by a ground loop, which can be followed by the main gear folding.
    Perhaps Cessna figured that there was more need on the higher gross weight 185s?
    N1PA

  19. #19
    Tom3holer's Avatar
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    I think the larger fin on the 185 makes a TW lock very handy when taxing in x winds.
    I have noticed a big difference between my old 180 and the 185 in taxing in crosswinds.

  20. #20
    algonquin's Avatar
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    My 185F had the locking t/w but when I bought it the lock arm had been removed and a banner release installed. They used the cable to work it. I don't know if the Scott was compatible as there was a MacCaulley on the plane and it had the notch for the lock. They also had a 1 1/8" stinger and the only Scott replacement is from ABW's.
    I don't fly on skis so I've never found a need for a lock on either my 180 or the 185, I've never had a problem. If you load tail heavy at gross and Cobb the power to it on the turn to the rwy she will give you a ride but still controllable. BTW I run 29"'s with a ABW Wide T/W, glider tire. Taxiing is no issue until the wind get greater than maybe 20-25 Kts. Still no real problem just go slow.

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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnaiam View Post
    ... Still do not understand why they would just remove the parts. Just do not use it if that is the opinion
    ....
    If you remove it, it can't cause you problems if it breaks, fails, or gets accidentally applied.
    Same reason why the sometimes troublesome parking brake system has been removed on a lot of old Cessna taildraggers.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  22. #22
    algonquin's Avatar
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    Is that a Scott 3400 or a MacCaulley on your wagon? I'm don't think you can put a lock on the Scott, I'm really not sure, but that would be something to look at. I took my Mac off to go with the wide fork on the Scott from ABW's

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    Currently there is an ABW on the plane with a 10" TW. I called up to ABW and the ABW fork does not have provisions for the lock nor can a lock be added. The original TW for this plane was a Mac and has been removed (The previous owner does have the this one yet). So I either have to go back to original MAC around $1000 for everything that is missing, remove the ABW assembly and install The Landing Gear Works about $4000 for everything, or leave it alone (which messes with the certificate).

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    What certificate? The ABW is approved. I don't recall a tailwheel lock being required equipment.

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    Airworthy certificate. My plane came with it factory installed. I read all of ABW installs and no where does it say to remove tailwheel lock. Isn't the factory equipment supposed to remain functional unless mod with STC or 337. i am new to all this stuff so I am just trying to understand and figure this out. Trust me I do not want to spend money on this as there are other things I would like to do on the plane. But then again I want to be legal and not have issues with insurance or others.

  26. #26
    algonquin's Avatar
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    When I replaced mine it was close to $4200.00. I changed entire assembly and never looked back. Anybody want to buy a stinger and complete Mac T/W ?

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    I have 2 cores. A complete stock McCauley and a complete ABW. But they only want to give me $225 for each core. After some more thought, if I cannot figure out the paperwork side I don't think I should turn that ABW setup in for $225. Not when a new setup costs $1600. Sure I could find someone to buy it for more to help offset the cost of this thing. Still hopeful someone is going to come up with some sort of paperwork idea.

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    Before you spend a lot of money I would do some research so you understand what you need from a paperwork prospective. Just because it was stuck in at the factory does not mean it has to stay. Do you think every ag model pa 18A is still flying around without a rear stick? What about the KING ADF that came with a lot of planes from the factory? Do they have to stay in for the life of the plane???
    DENNY

  29. #29
    algonquin's Avatar
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    It's no big deal at all. First the Scott 3400 is cert. on skywagons and the ABW 3400 is a direct replacement for the. Scott, it's a simple log book entry not even a 337. If it's the big fork and wide wheel there is a STC and all you need is a IA to fill out a 337 and make a log book entry. The locking T/W is a simple entry in the log book, it's not reguired so it can be removed no harm. Again the Wt. and Bal. Would need to be adjusted to reflect the wt. change. This is of course assuming it org. Had a locking t/w on it. The very best thing in reguard to this is have the plane weight and do a new wt. and Bal. Which is a excellent idea when you by a new plane. You can PM me if I can help. Tom

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    Well I have done enough research to be sick of tailwheel locks and to conclude that the ABW is staying on. ABW has a FAA approval with my 185F model number, a FAA approved parts diagram with no tailwheel lock shown. All paperwork appears to be in order in my logs/stc. Will do more log book investigation though and New wt and balance will be done. I figure this will be enough to keep me out of trouble. After flying it for a bit if I feel the need for the lock I will spring for the new tailwheel. They did not start putting them on 180/185 till 1964. Tough when one supplier says not required and another says it's required. If I had endless money i would probably put the lock on but as it stands I don't think it is required to be on. Personal opinion only after lots of reading, phone calls, and emails to people a lot smarter on the subject than me. Thanks for all your time and help.

  31. #31
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Unlike the PA-18 T.C. which lists the approved "extra" items, the T.C. for the Cessna 185 does not list these items. Cessna seems to think that it's customers don't "Have a need to know" the answers to these questions. Here we have 30 comments trying to get to the bottom of whether or not a tail wheel lock is optional or required on a A185F. All I have learned so far is that there are a lot of opinions but no definitive answer. A complete T.C. could solve this question easily.
    N1PA

  32. #32
    algonquin's Avatar
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    This is a easy one, STC approves a Scott 3400 design tw and you can't put a lock on it and it doesn't show on the approved drawings it's just not required.

  33. #33
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    If it's not on the TCDS, it's not 'required'. The only way it would be required, and NOT listed on the TCDS, is if it was part of a system added by STC or field approval.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

  34. #34
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Why don't you just go talk to your IA/A&P and ask that person to sign it off as having been removed per the installation of the ABW tailwheel assy? That will put something in your logbook.

    If it was removed, that should have been logged in your equipment list for the airplane. IF that's not there, have your mechanic enter it there as well......because that's where it's really required anyway....then recalculate W/Balance and prepare new W/B as necessary. You do have an equipment list, right?

    MTV

  35. #35
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    The early Cessna factory equipment lists (specific to each individual aircraft) show whether an item is standard, optional, and/or required-- often along with the weight and arm for CG calculation purposes.
    But if an STC'd ABW t/w assembly is installed, and documented via a revised W&B form as well as a logbook entry & 337 referencing that STC, you're good to go.
    Last edited by hotrod180; 01-25-2017 at 12:54 PM.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  36. #36
    texmex's Avatar
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    I had the 3400 tailwheel off today for servicing. Mine badly needs the service kit I see advertised on the AWB site.

    In the Cub 3200 TW, I changed the short pawl for the long pawl. The one today appeared to me to be short. Is there a long one for this 3400 TW, or one pawl for all 3400's?

    Once the two bolts are removed on the tailwheel head, should the head separate ok from the stinger, or is it pressed in? I think I'll be removing the stinger at some stage so any pireps there would be appreciated.

    Also my fork has the recepticle for the tailwheel locking pin (shown above) which has been removed. It appears to be held in with three screws. I can't see how that can be removed without another spacer replacing it. So I guess leave well enough alone?

    As you can guess, I've never had this model TW appart before, so any 'war stories' on it gratefully received.

    Thanks,
    Denis.

  37. #37
    algonquin's Avatar
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    You may have a MacCaulley tailwheel on the F model, they look very much alike on the outside. The fork when removed has two steps that fit into the head on the Mac, the Scott only one and it has three springs that sit in the step.
    Be very cariful removing the spring, stinger, don't beat on it you can brake the casting in the tail cone. If the cross tube doesn't drive out easy after removing the two ins in the saddle cut the cross tube in two spots and slide the spring out.
    Also very common for the tailwheel head to be stuck on the spring like it's welded but it's just pushed on.
    My guess is you have a Mac, put some pics of the fork when you r move it and I'll tell you.
    Last edited by algonquin; 02-16-2017 at 01:12 PM.

  38. #38
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    You may have a MacCaulley tailwheel on the F model,.....
    Also very common for the tailwheel head to be stuck on the spring like it's welded but it's just used on...
    The 1977s had a McCauley tail wheel assy. Cessna used some type of adhesive to keep them tight. Even when new it was necessary to turn it 90* and use a lever to rotate it on the spring to break the adhesive loose. You might try heating the head with a hair dryer to loosen it.
    N1PA

  39. #39
    S2D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnaiam View Post
    Currently there is an ABW on the plane with a 10" TW. I called up to ABW and the ABW fork does not have provisions for the lock nor can a lock be added.
    It can, But not by them.
    Never mind, its not worth it !!!
    Likes Dave Calkins liked this post

  40. #40
    S2D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Unlike the PA-18 T.C. which lists the approved "extra" items, the T.C. for the Cessna 185 does not list these items. Cessna seems to think that it's customers don't "Have a need to know" the answers to these questions. Here we have 30 comments trying to get to the bottom of whether or not a tail wheel lock is optional or required on a A185F. All I have learned so far is that there are a lot of opinions but no definitive answer. A complete T.C. could solve this question easily.
    You have to look at the equipment list that came with the airplane. It will have an R in front of that item if its required.
    Never mind, its not worth it !!!
    Likes Dave Calkins liked this post

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