Time: 8 Hours

Since I have to wait on the canopy project until the backordered parts arrive I decided to move onto the wheels.  First up was to an package the parts I needed, which included the cool looking machined blue anodized axles.

In order to work on the wheels I needed to raise the fuselage about 12 inches so that the gear legs her off the ground and have clearance for the wheels to be put on and off. 

With the axels temporarily installed I was able to check for either toe-in or toe-out conditions. That means the tires are both in line with the centerline of the fuselage. I did this by running a fishing line across both axels and checking the spacing between the axels and the line. All was perfect which meant I could move on and don’t need any shims at this time. First up I needed to drill the holes for the wheel pant attachment brackets. 

After I drilled the holes I cleaned up the parts and primed them before riveting the nutplates on. 

I opened up the Mattco box that had the wheels and brakes in it. They sure a good looking and a shame that them will be covered up with the wheel pants. 

I had to separate all the parts so that I could mount the tire and tube. 

Once apart I prepped the tire and inner tube with talcum powder (baby powder) and coated the inside of the tire and all over the tube. I put in a bunch inside the tire to help the tube move around during installation as well during landing/taking off as the tires get side loads. 

I then installed the tube and aligned the valve stem with the red dot on the tire. I inflated the tube to around 25psi just to give it shape and prevent the tube from getting pinched when I put the wheel together. 

I put the two halves of the wheels together aligning the notch for the valve stem. As I slowly aligned the parts I put the three bolts in and started the nuts to hold everything together. 

You can see the tire isn’t set on the bead or put to the edge of the wheel yet. I’ll be able to do that with air pressure. Before I do that I need to finish up the bolts on the wheel but I need to make sure the tube isn’t getting pinched with a small mirror. 

With the tube good and the bolts torqued I inflated the tire to 40psi and set the beads. 

After the beads are set I deflated the tire so that I could remove the bolts and add the brake disk to the inside of the wheel. I re-installed the bolts and re-torqued them. 

The wheels rotate on a set of bearings that come ungreased. 

I had purchased a bearing greasing tool that I needed to used to push some Aeroshell 22 grease inside the bearings. The idea is you load up the cup with the grease then slide a plunger inside the cup. The plunge has holes in the center area for grease to come up through as the plunger is pressed. There is a top to the plunger that seals the top of the bearing as you push down forcing the grease to go into the bearing and out of all the openings. 

I found that it was pretty difficult to push by hand with enough force to squeeze the thick grease. Based on a review I tried putting the greaser sideways in a bench vise which worked like a charm. With the bearings done it was time to install all the parts on the gear legs. First I needed to separate the two brake pads so I could install the brake caliper before the wheel. 

I grabbed the wheel pan bracket and put two of the bolts troughs them, the gear leg and the axel. 

Then the brake caliper get slid on over the axel and bolts. 

The last two bolts get installed but in the opposite direction as they have clearance issues with the wheel pants the plans say. So with the bolts torqued the axels at on for good. I the slide on a wheel spacer and put the wheel on. After the wheel was in place I bolted on the second brake pad. 

There is another spacer on the outside of the wheel followed by a large axle nut. This nut get snugged down to the point where the wheel just rotates freely. At that point you drill through existing holes in the nut down through the axel. Once the holes are drilled you put in a large cotter pin to secure the nut. I didn’t drill yet as I want Glenn to look and the amount free spin I have first. 

With all the bolts torqued I added torque seal to all the bolts/nuts to signal later if they come loose. 

So there they are, my beautiful legs :-)!

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