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DISCUSSION: Installing Wheel PAnts

When I originally built my EZ, there wasn't a big choice of Wheel pants or very well written procedures or plans on how to install them. So, this is what I did.

LongEZ_MainGear_DCP035472 These are standard Aircraft Spruce MF3 wheel pants. Cut the inboard side of the pant so it just slides over the wheel/brake assembly, you can trim off more later.

Level the airframe to a flight attitude. Un-sprung the gear. Inflated the mains to 65 psi. find a piece of 1/2 inch thick foam. cut it into strips 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Tape these strips on the top, and sides of the tire. These will be guides to ensure that there is at least 1/2 inch tire clearance inside the wheel pant.

To make the mount pad:

Use duct tape and small plastic bag to cover the calipers, brakes, and strut. ALSO, duct tape on the inside and outside of the wheel pant.

I positioned the wheel pants into their final flight position on the tires (fuselage level, slight nose up). Hold the pants into position with blocks of foam, wood, etc. Look from the from. back and sides to make sure the pants are symmetrical with each other.

Lock everything into place with small blobs of bondo.

The mount pad (just below the wheel pants in the photo) was made by filling the brake area with pour foam, then carving the foam to a smooth aerodynamic shape that would provide clearance for the brakes. The foam should provide a smooth transition onto inboard sides and tops of the wheel pants AND, provide clearance for the brakes and calipers.

When satisfied with the foam and clearance to the brakes and calipers, apply duct tape across the foam, wheel pants, and gear leg. This will provide a release for the glass layups.

Layup seven layers of BID onto the pants, foam and gear leg, let cure.

Use a marker pen and draw a line around the mount pad where the pad will be trimmed. The outer shape of the pad must overlap onto the wheel pant an inch or so.

ALSO, Draw a line starting at the trailing edge of the strut, and extend outboard at about a 25 degree angle. This line will be cut to allow the mount pad to be slide off of the strut.

Check that the cutout lines on both mount pads are reasonably symmetrical.

Measure in from the cutout lines approximately 1/2 inch. Mark 6 hole locations around the pad. These holes will be used to mount the wheel pant to the pad.

Carefully drill a hole for #10 screws at each location. CAREFUL, Don't drill into the tire.

Using a Dremel, Very carefully, cut the slot that was marked starting at the trailing edge and up onto the top of the pant.

Pop the mount pad off the wheel pant, A little twisting and the pad should slide off the strut.

Remove the wheel pant and clean off any foam.

Cut the mount pads on the lines that were drawn earlier. clean up these edges.

Install nut plates on the inside of the wheel pants at the #10 hole locations.

At this point, the mount plate can be test fitted to the wheel pant.

MOUNTING THE MOUNT PAD

I cut and trimmed three small wooden blocks that acted as spacers between the Mount pad and the heat shield/mount plate. Two at the top, and one at the bottom. This may take several iterations of test fitting the pants/mount pad on the gear strut.

When satisfied, superglue (just a tiny amount) the spacers into position on the heat shield. Verify adequate clearance between the spacer and the calipers (1/4 - 3/8 inch minimum).

Make sure the 1/2 inch pieces of foam are still on the top and sides of the tire.

Install the mount pad over the strut and mount the wheel pants to the mount pad.

level the pants again and make sure they are symmetrical.

At one of the spacer locations, drill a #10 hole thru the mount pad, spacer, and into the heat shield.

Slide a #10 long bolt into the hole to hold alignment.

Drill holes in the other two spacer locations.

Remove the wheel pants and mount pad, pop the spacers off the heat shield.

Install #10 nut plates on the heat shield at the locations just drilled (on the brake rotor side of the heat shield).

Slide #10 bolts into the three holes on the Mount pad. Put a little dab of 5 minute epoxy on the spacers and Slide them on the bolts.

Install the mount pad onto the heat shield. Verify the final position (clearance with calipers) of the spacers then snug up the three bolts until the epoxy sets.

After the epoxy sets, remove the mount pad and layup one layer of BID onto the spacers to lock them into position.

You'll need to install a stabilizing pin in the axle, and a cooresponding pad into the wheel pant. When the wheel pant is installed, the pin slides into the pad and keeps the want from bouncing around on the axle side. This procedure was discussed in one of the CPs or the plans.

Just below the center of the axle, drill and tap a hole for a #10 (AN3) bolt.

Install a AN3-7 bolt into the hole and cut off the head. Grind the end to a round shape.

Install the wheel pant. With a light, mirror, or just your finger, see how much room there is between the end of the pin and the surface of the wheel pant. If the pin is touching the wheel pant, you may need a shorter pin. If the gap is to large, you may need a longer pin.

Cut several blocks of 1/4 inch aviation plywood, 1-1/4 x 1-1/4 inches. Drill a hole in the center so these pieces so they slide freely over the #10 pin in the Axle.

Slide enough blocks to cover the entire pin.

On the inside of the wheel pant near the pin, out a small dab of five minute epoxy.

Install the wheel pant, From the outside, press the wheel pant against the pin while reaching up inside and pressing the blocks against the wheel pant.

When cured, carefully remove the pant. The end block should be stuck to the inside of the pant.

Put a small dab of epoxy on each block and stack them inside the wheel pant. Use an old AN3 bolt to line the holes up.

When cured, sand the edges round and lay up three layers of BID over the blocks and onto the pant. this will lock the blocks into position.

When cured, re drill the hole in the center.



























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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