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Thread: Nose wheel adjustment

  1. #1
    fastfred's Avatar
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    Default Nose wheel adjustment

    Can anyone advise me on how the nose wheel tension should be? I noticed the locking nut had worked is way all the way to the bottom. The build manual is very vague and I couldn't find anything about it in the service manual. Do I adjust it in the relaxed position or with the weight on it?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dave S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nose wheel adjustment

    Fastfred,

    Us nose wheel guys need to stick together!....there are so few of us in kitfoxland!

    OK - here it goes.

    1) There should be 6 belleville washers (slight cone shape) and two thrust washers (flat) in addition to the nut and a required cotter pin in the nosewheel stack.

    2) In order to get an accurate measure of the pull required to break the nosewheel free, be sure the entire stack, fork bushings and nosegear strut are clean and lubricated.

    3) One thrust washer goes against the bottom of fork, the 6 belleville washers are arranged in three pairs with the narrow part of the cones facing each other for each pair. the second flat washer goes on the bottom of the belleville washer stack and the nut.

    4) Have the aircraft jacked up so the nosewheel does not touch the ground.

    5) Tighten the nut enough to take the slack out of the washer stack but not so much the fork won't swivel easily.

    6) Take a moderately accurate fish scale (note that all the fish scales tend to make the fisherman feel really, really good about his/her catch - a person can calibrate them for better accuracy)

    7) Attach the fish scale to the end of the nosewheel axle and adjust the nosegear nut to achieve a pull of 10 to 12 pounds (per the build manual). The sweet spot is so the breakout force is not so much it resists normal turns during taxi and enough so it isn't loose. I had a mongo giant cheap crescent wrench laying around that works well to adjust the breakout force - don't need the leverage but the nut is bigger than my socket set.

    8) Align the nut so a cotter pin can be inserted & secure.

    FWIW - I have found the castering nosegear to be troublefree with the exception of a need to periodically clean up the washer stack and lubricate the whole business - somewhat related to what kind of stuff we drag our gear through.

    Be sure that the cotter pin is in place and secure - it would be uncool to have the fork fall off on takeoff.

    I have never, ever had an issue with shimmy. I have found that a little field dirt accumulation in the washer stack tends to increase the breakout force. Periodic disassembly and cleanup/lubrication is definetly important.
    Dave S
    Kitfox 7 Trigear (Flying since 2009)
    912ULS Warp Drive

    St Paul, MN

  3. #3
    fastfred's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nose wheel adjustment

    Yeah I agree we are the minority in he bunch but in my case it saves me $1000 a year of the insurance. That is great information your sent me I will check the weight on the fork but my problem is the adjustment of the hockey pucks . WHat is the locking nut on the bottom for?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dave S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nose wheel adjustment

    Fastfred,

    OK - sorry, I misunderstood your original post and thought you were talking about the fork, etc.

    Try again

    I think you are asking about the elastomere stack (pucks) assembly at the bottom of the engine mount/firewall?

    If I have that figured out correctly now, it's just a locknot/checknut that the question is about - it's just a stop to keep the rod end centered in the gear arm and the rod end threads from wearing - yup - not much said about it in the manual; but, I'd center the rod end straight if it isn't already then put enough torque on the stop nut to prevent the rod end from rotating on the threads - having the stop nut tight also prevents wear on the rod end threads which is probably a bigger issue - certainly don't want that sucker to strip out.

    I resemble that remark on the insurance - all things equal, the craft is cheaper to insure as a trigear; and, it still make a pretty good off road vehicle!

    My apologies for the misunderstanding.
    Dave S
    Kitfox 7 Trigear (Flying since 2009)
    912ULS Warp Drive

    St Paul, MN

  5. #5
    fastfred's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nose wheel adjustment

    [QUOTE=Dave S;85797]Fastfred,

    SO it doesn't matter if the pucks are loose and the gear drops down a bit when you take the nose up?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dave S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nose wheel adjustment

    Fastfred,

    I wouldn't necessarily say it doesn't matter - depends - The elastomere springs are a separate item unaffected by the stop nut on the rod end below.

    What you should have on top is 4 elastomere springs (pucks) and 4 plastic washers between the engine mount and bottom of the piston - above the engine mount there should be a rubber stop washer, a steel washer on top of that, a lock washer on top of the steel washer all held in place by an AN5-4A bolt.

    When these things are first assembled - it takes a bit to compress the elastomere springs and the rubber stop washer. With use the s\prings take a bit of a set and with the nosewheel on the ground there normally is a little gap between the top of the engine mount spring pad and top bolt/rubber stop washer as the elastomere springs will be compressed a bit.

    How much is too much or is something not quite right? Hard to answer without seeing the assembly first hand. I'd certainly check on the condition of the rubber stop washer and security of the top bolt. The fuselage should be resting level in any case when parked and not in a nose down position.

    Also be aware that there is an old 2003 service bulletin #58 on the kitfox website regarding some cases of the piston rod binding inside the piston rod bearing in the engine mount pad - where that occurred in some aircraft, it's a builder error deal. If this isn't right the piston rod jams in the bearing. SB 58 has a good exploded drawing of the entire assembly and that may help with the concern.

    Hope that helps some.
    Dave S
    Kitfox 7 Trigear (Flying since 2009)
    912ULS Warp Drive

    St Paul, MN

  7. #7
    fastfred's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nose wheel adjustment

    Mine was factory built in2010 but it just doesn't look right with a half inch of play on the bolt . I guess I will raise it up and pull it apart.

    Thanks for the input

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dave S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nose wheel adjustment

    FF,

    Since it was a factory built, I would expect that it is put together correctly.

    1/2" might be OK

    I'd verify with the factory before busting my knuckles. Might be just fine if sitting on the wheel.
    Dave S
    Kitfox 7 Trigear (Flying since 2009)
    912ULS Warp Drive

    St Paul, MN

  9. #9
    fastfred's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nose wheel adjustment

    I wonder if the pucks are flattened out from sitting for 9 years?

  10. #10
    fastfred's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nose wheel adjustment

    I think I figured it out The rubber stop washer is gone?

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