Final Gear Alignment

Today was the day to bend the landing gear to fix the alignment. Here’s a picture of the measuring jig:

There's one small problem here

There’s one small problem here

Can you spot the problem with this arrangement? The right side sawhorse is in the way of the right axle. It’s going to be hard to get in there with the BATPISS to bend the axle. BATPISS is Russ Erb’s acronym for the bending lever. I forget what it stands for, but you’ll probably have no trouble finding it with a google search. I used a 1″ piece of black pipe that’s about 10 feet long. I put a snug-fitting piece of 4130 inside the axle, then put the black pipe inside of that. I dusted off the trigonometry to figure out how much travel I needed to have at the end of the bar to get the toe-in angle correct. This was really rather pointless, because the pipe flexed quite a bit. Part of what makes this job so complex is that the wheels need to be off while heating up the landing gear junction, but they have to be on to measure to see if the angle is correct. That means heating the junction, bending until it seems about right, waiting quite a while for the cluster to cool, reinstalling the wheel, and measuring again. Fortunately I only had to go through that cycle twice per wheel. I used a giant rosebud tip on the industrial OA torch that had a terrific flame- I didn’t take a picture, but it’s about 1/2″ wide and 4″ long.

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Hours Logged This Session: 2.7
Total Hours: 1883.75