Brake Installation

Today I continued working on the brakes. I started by up drilling the 5/16 inch holes in the brackets for the master cylinder and temporarily mounted the cylinder so I could drill the hole in the floor for the inboard bracket. Next I drilled the pilot holes for the rivets in the floor for the inboard bracket. I trimmed the plastic film on the floor from around the mounting points in preparation for riveting. Once the floor was prepared I riveted the inboard bracket into place. With the bracket mounted I cleco’d the inboard bracket in place.

Tail Wheel Installation

I continued to work on installing the tail wheel. I reinstalled the tail wheel mount and proceeded to install and torque the fasteners. I found that I needed an additional washer on each fastener to get the correct grip length.

Main Gear Wheels

I continued working on the main gear today. I removed the right hand axle from the gear leg and carefully marked the location for the cotter pin hole. I did this with the wheel and brake assembled to the axle and marked the location of the notch in the nut on the axle using a sharpie. The hydraulic brake drawings (SNX-L07) indicate that the hole for the cotter pin should be located after assembly. The SNX-L01 drawing shows this hole horizontal with respect to the axle assembly. I drilled the hole for the cotter pin and re-installed the axle stub on the gear leg. Next I greased the wheel bearings and installed the wheels. I left the cotter pins unbent in case I need to take the wheels off to work on the brakes.

Main Gear Wheels

I noticed that Sonex provides nuts to be used on the bolts that secure the brake discs to the wheel. I had originally used the incorrect nuts so I removed each nut and replaced it with the nut supplied by Sonex. Next, I spent some time dry fitting the bearings. This involved fitting the pistons into the half caliper. I used a bit of brake fluid to lubricate the o-ring and the pistons pushed in with a bit of force from my fingers. It was toughest to get the pistons past the initial tapper. Then the pistons when in fairly easily. 

With the brakes assembled I fint the wheels and marked the left side for the cotter pin. I then dismantled it all and drilled the cotter pin hole.

Securing the Titanium Legs

I started on the left gear leg engine mount attachment point. I needed a thin washer and a thick washer to get the hole in the bolt to line up correctly with the castle nut when torqued properly. I put the thin washer at the head of the bolt which allowed me to put the thick washer at the threaded end. The bolts still end up a bit long and the end of the bolts want to rub the firewall. I ended up putting a large flat washer or “fender washer” over the end of the bolt to provide a large bearing surface against fire wall. I saw this on another Sonex and it looks like it works. The cotter pin does not seem long enough. I’m planning to order some additional cotter pins that are longer for this bolts. I’m not sure why, but the Sonex specified cotter pin is a 5/16 inch diameter but the standard cotter pin for the AN4 bolt is only 1/8 inch diameter which would fit nicer. I’d also like a longer cotter pin since I need to wrap the legs around the nut instead of over the top.  When putting the cotter pin in 90 degrees to the bolt it does not go into the castle nut as far as I would like.

I also installed, torqued and cotter pinned the fasteners in the lower end of the main gear legs for the front axles.  This was easy but I needed two thick and two thin washers. I considered using a shorter bolt but I was not happy with how far the bolt came through the axle mount. I used the longer bolt so that the shank of the bolt was fully engaged in the mount to minimize the  possibility of the holes becoming oval over time.

I went back to the wheels. Previously, I had assembled one of the wheels and found that the valve stem ended up very crocked. I wasn’t happy with the assembly. This time I made sure the valve stem was through the hole in the rim with the rubber resting against the rim. This time when I inflated the tire to 30 psi the stem remained straight. With one wheel assembled I proceeded to the second wheel. The bolts holding the wheels together are 5/16 inch diameter so I torqued them up to 85 in-lbs per the Standard Aircraft Handbook. I made sure my compressor was set to a max of 30 psi since this is the limit stamped on the side of the rim.

Landing Gear

Today I worked on the landing gear some more. I wanted to install the 1/4 inch bolts to secure the main gear.  I discovered the upper bolts specified were long enough but I needed a thin washer to get the hole in the castle nut to line up properly.  I also need to get some fender washers for on the end of the bolt to spread the load from the end of the bolt over a larger area of the firewall. The shorter bolts to secure the axle stubs in place were way too long. I ended up ordering shorter bolts for these. I am using the disc brake setup from Sonex so it makes sense since I won’t be installing the cable deflector for the mechanical brakes. I worked at assembling one of the wheels. Once I put air the tube moved and I don’t like the position of the stem. I’m going to have to deflate these and reposition the tube.

Landing Gear – Preparation

I still need a number of parts to complete the landing gear. I reviewed the Sonex revisions list and prepared an order for Aircraft spruce of the hardware, wheels, tires and tubes. I’ll probably upgrade the tires later but I need something for now to get the fuselage on the ground.

Drilling Gear Legs Continued

Today I continued the drilling of the gear legs. I removed the left main gear leg and repositioned it at the drill press to up drill from 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch. I used a new drill bit as the previous one was damaged removing a broken drill bit earlier. I up drilled both gear legs. The last step will be to up drill the axles and bolt everything together.