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Thread: How bent do your gear bolts get?

  1. #1
    jrussl's Avatar
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    How bent do your gear bolts get?

    PA-18
    Cubcrafters 3in ext. HD gear

    433 hours in service.
    I change them out every two years
    Fittings are in reasonable alignment as the new bolts slide right in.

    https://youtube.com/shorts/R8OIndXmbgs?feature=share

    Jeff



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  2. #2
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Wow. Mine got changed usually once a year, sometimes twice on the cub.

    The Maule is a once a year deal.

    one tailwheel bolt is bent like a banana, but the co-pilot was flying... (not really)
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  3. #3
    Penguin's Avatar
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    The club where I used to tow in a 180hp SC shears one off about once a year. It's a must-focus item on preflight.
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  4. #4

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    If ski flying much at all, change annually at least- they’ll always be bent. Cheap insurance...

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
    The club where I used to tow in a 180hp SC shears one off about once a year. It's a must-focus item on preflight.
    I’ve seen a ton of bent ones, but can’t remember seeing one break- usually the fittings let go first, and that’s usually in a wreck. Can you elaborate? Front, rear, cabane, shock strut/axle, which ones usually let go?
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  6. #6

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    I change mine at ski changeover….and wheel changeover so twice a year. I’ve never had one that bent.
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  7. #7
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
    The club where I used to tow in a 180hp SC shears one off about once a year. It's a must-focus item on preflight.
    Just towing? How rough is the terrain you are using for an airstrip? Either you have some very inexperienced, poorly trained pilots or there is something else wrong with the airframe. If bolts broke with that amount of regularity, there would be an AD note by now.
    N1PA
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  8. #8
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I change mine periodically but have only found worn, not bent. Bushwheels only, no skis.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  9. #9
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    I change mine periodically but have only found worn, not bent. Bushwheels only, no skis.
    I wonder why no one has installed grease fittings on the gear? This is a constant moving location which can only easily accept a squirt from an oil can without jacking and removing bolts.

    The grease fitting on the stabilizer tube has done wonders for longevity.
    N1PA

  10. #10
    jrussl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak49flyer View Post
    Iíve seen a ton of bent ones, but canít remember seeing one break- usually the fittings let go first, and thatís usually in a wreck. Can you elaborate? Front, rear, cabane, shock strut/axle, which ones usually let go?
    Front bolts. They have been bent every time I have changed them out. All other bolts have never been bent prior, but this time, the rear bolts also had the slightest wiggle.

    It may be no coincidence that we had good ski flying conditions last winter for the longest stretch in many years.

    Am going to change the front bolts out more frequently from now on. Will probably just change them out when the skis come off each year.

    Thanks for all the feedback and comments.

    Jeff


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  11. #11
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    When I was flying skis lots more in Cubs I tried to place washers on the gear bolts to take up any space between the gear and fuselage fittings. It seemed to me that might reduce bending of the bolts. I kept them oiled as well to reduce wear. I don't recall having them go bad for whatever reason.

    Gary

  12. #12
    kase's Avatar
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    When I had hydraulic skis on my cub the front bolts were bent every year.
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  13. #13
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Would you folks provide the bolt part number? Thanks!

    Good post, Jeff!

    Randy
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  14. #14
    SteveE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kase View Post
    When I had hydraulic skis on my cub the front bolts were bent every year.
    Could be the crappy terrain you fly in.


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  15. #15
    jrussl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveE View Post
    Could be the crappy terrain you fly in.


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    Or it could be my lack of flying skills

  16. #16
    jrussl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindOnHisNose View Post
    Would you folks provide the bolt part number? Thanks!

    Good post, Jeff!

    Randy
    Hey Randy,

    Itís an AN6 bolt (3/8Ē). But the length is going to vary based on a few factors. I use an AN6-32 but I have my pod strap on the back end of it and my ski tab on the front end. I have 6 washers spacing the ski tab so it doesnít interfere with the gear fitting.

    Snap a picture of your setup and either post it here or text it to me and I bet I could guess a length that would work.

    Jeff


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  17. #17
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Front are AN6-30A with safety cables, rears are AN6-26A if the factory step is not installed and -27A on one side if it is.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  18. #18
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    If running skis you may need to go 1/2" longer to AN6-34A on the front gear bolts to get the ski cable tabs out past the little triangle gear fitting gusset. Stack up washers under the ski tab to take up the extra length.

  19. #19
    Penguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Just towing? How rough is the terrain you are using for an airstrip? Either you have some very inexperienced, poorly trained pilots or there is something else wrong with the airframe. If bolts broke with that amount of regularity, there would be an AD note by now.

    East of Colorado Springs. Uneven turf field. Incredibly lumpy terrain and very long takeoff rolls up at 9000+ DA dragging 2-33's into the air. Cub was on 850's. A typical weekend could be several dozen cycles. Lots of stress on those poor bolts.
    Last edited by Penguin; 11-04-2021 at 08:58 PM.
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  20. #20
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penguin View Post

    East of Colorado Springs. Uneven turf field. Incredibly lumpy terrain and very long takeoff rolls up at 9000+ DA dragging 2-33's into the air. Cub was on 850's. A typical weekend could be several dozen cycles. Lots of stress on those poor bolts.
    Sounds like that Cub would be a good candidate for a set of bushwheel tires.
    N1PA
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