Often grass and debris can get packed into the wheel coverings and even wrap around the axle, causing the wheel to bind. This technique allows the pants to easily be removed without having to remove the wheel as sell. And the attachment bolts used to hold the pants in place also prevent them from pivoting out of position–a common effect of vibration. Let’s do it.
STEP 1 The equipment and material needed are few. You need of course the spring aluminum landing gear and wheels, a Du-Bro axle fitting and wheel collars, a Dremel Moto-Tool with a cutoff wheel and grinding drum, Zap glue, kicker and Z-42 thread-lock, and 4-40 machine screws and blind nuts. If your wheel pants don’t come with a plywood support block already glued into place, you can make one from 1/2-inch thick lite-ply.
STEP 8 Place the wheel on the axle, mark the position of the outer wheel collar and grind a flat spot on the end of the axle. Install the wheel collar using thread-lock to secure the set screw. Place the wheel plants over the wheel and against the landing gear. Block the tail of the wheel pants (see the batteries here) up about 1 1/2 inches from the work surface. Now drill through the front hole and into the wheel pants, going all the way through the support block inside. Remove the wheel pants, clean off any shavings, insert a blind nut and reinstall the wheel pants. Attach the pants with the first attachment bold, double-check its position and drill the second hole. Remove the pants again and install the second blind nut.
very neat ,i will try that. making removable wheel pants.
Great how-to article. As a fiberglass parts supplier to Jerry Bates and Larry Katona (Precision Cut Kits/Don Smith Designs), I do have one complaint regarding wheel pants. From a manufacturers point of view, a set of wheel pants takes about twice as long to produce as a cowl, but sell for half the price. Bummer. However, if I didn’t enjoy making fiberglass parts, I would have quit 25 years ago. One suggestion to anyone considering making money from their hobby. For every hour you spend trying to make some money, spend four to five hours building and flying for yourself. Otherwise, it’s no longer a hobby. May we all continue to fly forever.
Although I can see it, and the cutout within it, I would have liked to see a photograph of the block you created, just for reference.
Quick and simple. Nice!
I ran into this problem at grass fields and it ripped my landing gear off and sent it through both wings so I started placing large holes just behind the wheel on the bottom side of the wheel pants to exhaust the grass clippings, so the clippings don’t build up and lock up the wheels.Its a one time deal no wheel pant removal, basically its self cleaning.
I like to leave the axle long enough to reach the other side of the wheel pant. I then take a piece of lite ply and drill a hole the same size as my axle. Then,slide the piece of ply on the axle. Now mount the pant and glue the piece of ply to the inside of the pant opposite the ply mount. This gives support to both sides of the wheel pant.
Thanks so much for this article…I am about to assemble some new wheel pants (vac formed plastic) and then install them on the model, so this technique looks like it will be good for me. Also noted below the two reply points I have also seen from my exerience will be well worth incorporating: some kind of “grass exhaust” hole at the rear of the spat/pant…particularly if the grass has been recently cut, they fill up in no time! and then the ply sheet on the outside with a hole for the axel inr order to support the spat/pant on both sides…and I can see that this possibly doesn’t need to involve a hole right through the pant..so can be hidden effectively from the outside.
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