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Thread: Amphib Gear Maintenance Question

  1. #1

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    Amphib Gear Maintenance Question

    We are having lots of problems with wheel bearings rusting and wearing out on our Wipline 2100 Amphib floats. We grease the wheels regularly but the bearings are rusting after only about a month of use. The airplane is used for training so we do lots of water takeoffs and landings but very few runway landings. Has anyone else encountered this problem? Is there any type of sealed bearing system similar to what is used on boat trailers? Any ideas, suggestions or recommendations would be much appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Change the type of grease your using? Aerocet has the best system i have seen, very simple and easy to maintain. My c180 on Aerocet 3400a's spends most of it's time in the water and no issues yet.

  3. #3
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwitte View Post
    We are having lots of problems with wheel bearings rusting and wearing out on our Wipline 2100 Amphib floats. We grease the wheels regularly but the bearings are rusting after only about a month of use. The airplane is used for training so we do lots of water takeoffs and landings but very few runway landings. Has anyone else encountered this problem? Is there any type of sealed bearing system similar to what is used on boat trailers? Any ideas, suggestions or recommendations would be much appreciated.
    I understand that Aerocet has developed a sealed bearing for their amphib floats. Whether they’d fit your floats? I dunno, but it’d be worth a call, I’m betting they’ve had that question in past.

    That said, I operated an amphib Beaver for several years in Kodiak. And, wheel bearings were a regular service item, and were replaced regularly. That said, I think those bearings lasted a couple hundred hours. Also, that airplane was in and out of salt water on many if not most flights. A bigger issue on that plane were the magnesium allow wheels, which needed attention constantly.

    id call Aerocet.

    MTV

  4. #4

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    What grease are you using? Since switching to TRC 880 (Texas refinery Corp.)., we almost forgot what changing bearings was- far superior to aeroshell 22 and most boat trailer/marine greases I’ve used...
    Likes mike mcs repair, marcusofcotton liked this post

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak49flyer View Post
    What grease are you using? Since switching to TRC 880 (Texas refinery Corp.)., we almost forgot what changing bearings was- far superior to aeroshell 22 and most boat trailer/marine greases I’ve used...
    Thanks! I’ll check it out.

  6. #6
    algonquin's Avatar
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    Sorry so late to this thread but here is what I’ve been doing. “Green Grease” is the best I’ve found and listed as a acceptable grease by Wipline. In-expensive and you can get it on line or Walmart. Then drill a hole in the outer seal ( small is the key) , pump a shot of grease in at the end of the day until you see the grease coming out of the hole.that way you always have the grease chamber full, no water. I’m on the second season on the same bearings.
    Likes marcusofcotton, barrow pilot liked this post

  7. #7

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    Wip told us to grease them every single time after a water landing. Every single time! Seems to work. Water comes out. Messy.

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    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Well......greasing the floats after every landing/day is not always very practical, when on a 3 month float trip in Alaska. That is fine if you leave your hangar.....go fly for an hour or two....then return to your hangar and spend a couple of hours cleaning and caring for the airplane. The Aeroshell #22 grease sucks. I switched to the TRC grease. I'll let you guys know how things look at the end of the summer. Carrying a grease gun, all the grease, a jack (you need to get the weight off the wheels to do a proper grease job), and rolling around on the ramp in Juneau in the rain is just not going to work for me.

    Pictures of my hangar.


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    Very Blessed.

  9. #9

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    Keep lots of new bearings? Wip sells "Lake and Air" grease. Messy, but so far original bearings are ok.

    I admit: I don't like working on these things. I have done everything except structural repair, and I avoid them now unless my friends beg. I like my friends, so begging works. But once down there, how do I get back up?

  10. #10

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    Aerocets are like doing the lower unit fluid in your outboard, all sealed and use engine oil to lube the bearings. best system i have seen.

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    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    I have tried, repeatedly, to get Tom at Aerocet to make an amphib float for supercubs at 22 to 2300 pound gross. He says there’s just no profit in it. Too bad, I would love to have a set of Aerocets, but the Wips have been great so far and I’ve not been gentle or easy on them. But.....so far I have had to replace the wheel bearings every season.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  12. #12
    algonquin's Avatar
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    Well Bill when in Alaska do what we do , put the gear down and jump in and grease it. The cold water is mind over matter,lol. You can only do what you can.
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  13. #13

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    did the same when i was shopping for my sportsman, i got the same answer. Kinda surprised Montana Floats didn't adopt the system as they seem to share a lot of parts. I believe Keith at Montana actually came up with the gear selector/advisory system Aerocet uses.

  14. #14
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    What is the part number of those bearings and races? Is there a C at the end of it? The C indicates that it is chrome plated and less susceptible to rusting. Also it is a lot more expensive.
    N1PA

  15. #15
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Rusk View Post
    Well......greasing the floats after every landing/day is not always very practical, when on a 3 month float trip in Alaska. That is fine if you leave your hangar.....go fly for an hour or two....then return to your hangar and spend a couple of hours cleaning and caring for the airplane. The Aeroshell #22 grease sucks. I switched to the TRC grease. I'll let you guys know how things look at the end of the summer. Carrying a grease gun, all the grease, a jack (you need to get the weight off the wheels to do a proper grease job), and rolling around on the ramp in Juneau in the rain is just not going to work for me.

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    How many landings a month do you do on salt????

    Ok, most has been covered. Better grease, and develop a method (like the hole for needle grease gun) to grease daily if you are doing lots of landings. If flying salt, fresh water rinse at the end of each day!!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  16. #16

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    I suppose once a year is expensive - are you getting the bearings from Wip?

    We found Scott wheel bearings for ten bucks each a while back at the NAPA aviation dept. They didn't say Scott - they say "Timken".

    I believe, but am not sure, that Grove makes the Wip wheels and brakes.
    Thanks Gordon Misch thanked for this post
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  17. #17
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Is it possible to use boat-trailer spring-loaded grease adapters? The ones that you pump up prior to each launch, that push the water away?
    Gordon

    N4328M KTDO
    My SPOT: tinyurl.com/N4328M (case sensitive)

  18. #18
    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Misch View Post
    Is it possible to use boat-trailer spring-loaded grease adapters? The ones that you pump up prior to each launch, that push the water away?
    You’re talking about the bearing buddies right? Interesting thought! I haven’t worked on floats much. Just a little bit on whips on a 180 and Caravan. I don’t remember the exact layout. Might be able to do some type of STC.

  19. #19

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    Bit different operations, I fly once or twice a week, fresh water only, airplane sits in a hangar most of the time when not in use.

    I switched to “Green Grease” a few years ago, cheeper and easier to find than Wip’s special grease. I repack at the end of every season. I replace the keepers and drill the, I think #50 bit, hole in the “O” in the word NATIONAL in the outer (per Wip), opposite of brake side, keeper then fill with green grease. Green grease is thick, and I seldom re-service, doesn’t leach out like lighter greases.

    Two years ago, while repacking, I dropped one of my bearings, and it got a bit deformed, so I had to replace it. I found out that my bearings were at least 7 years old according to the manufacturer because they no longer made the stainless version that I had. I’ll see at the end of season 3 if there is a shorter life on a regular bearing.



    Ps. If grease is leaching out of the wheel rim holes, you need to replace the pvc inner spacer.

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