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Carbon Z Cessna 150 Steerable fron wheel repair

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  • Carbon Z Cessna 150 Steerable fron wheel repair

    Last time I flew my Carbon Z Cessna the battery died prematurely and I had to land in a cornfield. Consequently, the shaft on the steerable front wheel is bent slightly which makes it near impossible to take off or land safely. Anyone have a suggestion how to bend that shaft straight or very close to it. I would rather not order another new one. Thanks in advance.
    Captain V
    “I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.”

    Hoban “Wash” Washburne
    Firefly/Serenity

  • #2
    If you have a vise and a boxed in wrench. Clamp it in the vise and use the wrench for leverage to bend it straight.

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    • #3
      The front gear on this plane is a complete assembly that you had to install with a few screws. Uninstall it so you can work with it more easily. See how it's put together and try to disassemble as much as you can so that it isolates that strut rod. Once you get enough of it exposed, you can then use whatever you have on hand to bend it straight. I've used vises, big channel lock pliers, tubing benders and I've even placed it on a hard, solid piece of flat wood and gently pounded it straight while rolling it. You improvise with whatever you have. When reassembling the rod back into the gear assembly, use FoamTac on all the threads of the screws and don't over tighten. This is a very common thing that all modelers have to do and there is no one "best" way to do these things. You gotta use your head a little bit.

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      • #4
        Thanks for your responses. I have tried all that but, sadly, it never seems straight enough. Perhaps heating it with a torch?
        “I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.”

        Hoban “Wash” Washburne
        Firefly/Serenity

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        • #5
          Originally posted by plhetter View Post
          Thanks for your responses. I have tried all that but, sadly, it never seems straight enough. Perhaps heating it with a torch?
          If you can get the metal part completely free of all the plastic parts, then sure, give it a try but if not, you'll just melt anything plastic that remains. On the other hand, if you can get only the strut isolated without any plastic, I'm surprised you can pound that thing back to straight. I've put struts like that on a flat concrete floor and just pound on it as I roll it. If you're worried about denting it, put it on a piece of hard lumber before pounding it with a cloth cover over the hammer. Last resort, replace the piece with a suitable thickness of piano wire and just grind out the flats as needed.
          If you can, show us a picture of the strut. I'm curious to see just how badly bent it is.

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          • #6
            I bent the one which came with the Cessna but no matter how much I bent or pounded it was never straight. I might lean slightly to one side which made for difficult steering. I finally broke down and ordered a new steerable wheel for $25. It worked fine until I put down in a bean field bending that one. I think I shall order a new one and save the hassle. I just cant fly it until the replacement comes. Know anyone would like a couple slightly used steerable wheels?;)
            “I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.”

            Hoban “Wash” Washburne
            Firefly/Serenity

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            • #7
              BTW, the metal rod is only about 6 inches long.
              “I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.”

              Hoban “Wash” Washburne
              Firefly/Serenity

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              • #8
                That's long for a strut rod, so shouldn't be so hard to straighten. The usual rods on many planes are much shorter. If it's leaning as you say, it could be the thing it goes into that's "off".

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                • #9
                  Perhaps. Never could get the first one straight. I have yet to try the bend replacement. I do have a nice vice in my workshop and the necessary implements of destruction to force my upon it. maybe if I threaten it with the tools it will be scared straight?
                  “I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.”

                  Hoban “Wash” Washburne
                  Firefly/Serenity

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                  • #10
                    I've always considered brute force to work the best, dents be damned.

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                    • #11
                      The nose gear actually has two metal shafts. the top shaft can be removed separately. It is about 3 inches long. This is the shaft that bends after any less than perfect landing.
                      I have rebent the shaft dozens of times. Step one is to remove the nose gear assembly by removing the screws in the battery area and detach the servo rod. Step two is loosen the hex nuts on the top shaft collar and slip the shaft out. Step three is to put it in a steel vise and bend the shaft as straight as possible using a big vise grip.
                      Step four is to put the shaft on a metal plate on the floor and pound out any remaining bend with a hammer as you rotate the shaft. Heating the shaft with a propane torch will soften the metal slightly making it more malleable. you cannot damage the shaft by pounding on it.
                      30 minutes start to finish.

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                      • #12
                        I upgraded mine to a cut down a piece of hardened drill rod. It will never bend again. You will need a dremel with a good cut off wheel to make one but it is not hard to do. Be sure to cut matching flats for the set screws.
                        Rob

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