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Of all the airplane maintenance I do, I love changing tires the most.… - Tina Marie's Ramblings
Red hair and black leather, my favorite colour scheme...
Of all the airplane maintenance I do, I love changing tires the most.

I've done it enough times that it's a routine, only broken up by differences in brake systems, or small differences in the way the wheel attaches to the axle. For disc brakes, you remove the safety wire, loosen the bolts that hold the brakes on one at time, then go back and remove them, taking care to keep the brake pieces in the right order. Then you remove the cotter pin, then the collar that holds the wheel to the axle. The wheel bearings might have already fallen onto the dirty hangar floor by now, or you may need to pull a few more screws to get them off.

Once the wheel is off, pull the valve stem out, and put the used valve stem in the 'used valve stem' drawer. Next, the wheel splits in half as soon as you remove 4 AN bolts. Jump on the tire a few times to break the bead, then lift the two halves of the wheel out of the tire.

The new tire gets a liberal coating of baby powder inside, then the new tube slides in, always awkwardly. I always put in just enough air at this point to inflate the tube to it's proper shape - I've pinched too many between the wheel halves doing it without air in there. Then the two halves of the wheel go back together.

The wheel bearings get a nice scrub in the parts washer, then they get repacked - a gloriously messy job. Then everything goes back together in reverse. The tires get fully aired up....

...And then it's time to fix the next thing that's broken....

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: Melissa Etheridge, Skin

2 comments or Leave a comment
the_carrot From: the_carrot Date: January 21st, 2004 07:34 am (UTC) (Link)
There are some maintenance jobs that are more enjoyable than others.

For me it's cleaning the carburator on the boat. The motor doesn't run very often so to avoid any potential problems I disassemble the carb about twice each season and clean everything to avoid things gumming up.

I sit at the galley table and take it apart, piece by piece, and time flies. I find myself in some sort of Zen maintenance mode, focusing only on the carb.
alioth1 From: alioth1 Date: January 21st, 2004 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Flat tyres

My favorite part is repacking the bearings. First cleaning off the tapers and the rollerbearing itself, until you have a nice, heavy tactile piece of very shiny metal with 'Timken' stamped on the side.

Then the best bit. Getting the grease into the rollerbearing. There is a simple and very satisfying technique to doing it.

I love doing messy jobs.

My other favorite aircraft job - doing safety wiring. I just love using the lockwire tool. My Dad has a manual lockwiring tool he uses to do the safety wiring on his racing motorcycles (IIRC, he was given it by a retired Hawker-Siddeley engineer) It's very long and fine for getting into tight spaces, and you hand-twist the wire with it.

My least favorite job? Trying to get the e2fscking [0] exhaust system off and on a Continental C-85. Many opportunities to stab, stub or otherwise wound your fingers, lots of tight spaces, fiddly to get bolts properly torqued, and you have to take most of the baffling and induction system off to actually get in there at all. Oh, and if it hasn't been taken off in a few years, the studs usually shear off too.

[0] It's so unpleasant that it isn't merely fscking, but Second Extended fscking.
2 comments or Leave a comment