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Thread: tail wheel/ spring

  1. #1

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    tail wheel/ spring

    so at annual inspection we found there to be play between the tailwheel and the spring. the bolts holding the head to the spring are tight and in good order. i can only assume that this means wear of the the spring itself? this is somewhat scary from a cost point of view... for fun i looked up cessna price $9K+ bahahaha aftermarket is more "reasonable" at $2-3K

    the play i am trying to describe is minor enough the mechanic said "id run it". has anybody else noticed this type of play, and what if anything was done?
    thanks in advance!

  2. #2

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    Common. That's a pre-flight item for me, to wobble the plane and see if there's any movement there. Put some structural epoxy on it when you assemble it.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Experimental1911 View Post
    so at annual inspection we found there to be play between the tailwheel and the spring. the bolts holding the head to the spring are tight and in good order. i can only assume that this means wear of the the spring itself? this is somewhat scary from a cost point of view... for fun i looked up cessna price $9K+ bahahaha aftermarket is more "reasonable" at $2-3K

    the play i am trying to describe is minor enough the mechanic said "id run it". has anybody else noticed this type of play, and what if anything was done?
    thanks in advance!
    Hard to say from textual description, but "some" play is normal on older, untouched units.

    If you haven't yet removed the bolts and examined the holes through the stinger, then not a bad idea to do so as the holes can elongate and the bolt shafts can wear down dimensionally. The tendency is for things to progressively get worse as oscillations continue.

    I'd at least pull the tailwheel head off the stinger, clean it and look it over, put new bolts in (cheap through ABI), then do as Stewart suggested. However, if you're going to run a baby bushwheel, that little bit of play will translate to shimmy, sometimes horribly. If you're not getting shimmy with the stock tailwheel and aren't doing off airport stuff, then it's not yet a big deal.


    Also, if you haven't yet looked at the pocket bracket + bushing where the stinger terminates inside, or the saddle + bushings, then do so. The rubber tends to harden over the years and make vibrations more damaging.

  4. #4
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    yup just epoxy it on... especially if you are not needing to go to floats... even then you leave the head epoxied to the stinger and then just take the for & guts off...

    $3 fix, standard deal...

  5. #5
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    clean the stinger and inside of head down to clean metal before epoxying so you bond well.. or else its only stuck as well/weak as the paint...

  6. #6
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I have always had a hard time removing the tailwheel head from the tail stinger. Have a tool using two pivot bolt bushings so I can twist the head to get it off.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
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    They can be hard to remove if it’s been a long time since last removal or it it’s bonded with an adhesive. Apply some heat to the spring and rotate the wheel assembly. Heat and patience works wonders. Mine went on and off every year for floats. It was usually easy to remove, and that’s indicative of the problem. And running a 14” XP tailwheel didn’t help. A little JB Weld at assembly solves the problem. I just had to replace my Baby Bushwheel tire for a bulged sidewall. I think I know the landing that did the damage. My tailwheel head is still rock solid.
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  8. #8
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Here is the tool Bill Duncan made and gave me.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  9. #9
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    I'm leery of using any kind of stickum when assembling, for fear of not being able to get it back apart later.
    I seem to recall reading that the tailwheel head should be installed after heating the stinger and cooling the head (or vice versa),
    to insure a good interference fit.
    I thought I'd seen that on Tom Anderson's website (the Landing Gear Works),
    but just checked and didn't see it there.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  10. #10
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    I put a whole new stinger, saddle, bushing, and tailwheel on mine from ABI. The stinger, saddle, and tailwheel head had become one. Had to cut the saddle to get it off. I am certain that the tailwheel had been on the stinger since 1967.

    Had to use a whole roll of emery cloth to dress the stinger down so that the tailwheel head would go on!
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    I'm leery of using any kind of stickum when assembling, for fear of not being able to get it back apart later.
    I seem to recall reading that the tailwheel head should be installed after heating the stinger and cooling the head (or vice versa),
    to insure a good interference fit.
    I thought I'd seen that on Tom Anderson's website (the Landing Gear Works),
    but just checked and didn't see it there.
    Just give Tom a call - Its quick and then you know the straight scoop and he's willing to answer questions, even before I bought anything from him.
    Thanks pfm thanked for this post

  12. #12
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    I'm leery of using any kind of stickum when assembling, for fear of not being able to get it back apart later...


    you just heat it some and the epoxy releases... simple

  13. #13
    Mush's Avatar
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    Does the maintenance manual call for a specific epoxy?

  14. #14

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    Did you get a good look at your tailgear bracket assembly up against the tailcone bulkhead when you replaced the stinger end bushing? They can get nasty if the plane was used in salt water.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    I put a whole new stinger, saddle, bushing, and tailwheel on mine from ABI. The stinger, saddle, and tailwheel head had become one. Had to cut the saddle to get it off. I am certain that the tailwheel had been on the stinger since 1967.

    Had to use a whole roll of emery cloth to dress the stinger down so that the tailwheel head would go on!

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