Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Sunday, May 20, 2012

After 130 hours and about 180 landings, my main tires are noticeably worn on the outside edge. So I decided to rotate the tires. On a car you move a tire from one location to another, but that would be pointless in this application. In this case rotate means to leave the tire in the same place but turn it around. Now the worn part is on the inside edge, and the outside edge has lots of tread to start wearing down.

After rotating the tire, the worn part is on the inside.

The process is fairly simple. First, remove the wheel fairings, then jack up a main wheel. I attached a hose clamp to the gear leg to give my floor jack a place to grab. This worked very well. I added a small strip of .032 AL on the second wheel to protect the gear leg better.

With the wheel off the ground, remove the outside brake caliper, the axle nut cotter pin, and the axle nut. Then the main wheel can be removed. Then deflate the inner tube and pop the tire beads off the hub rims. Next remove the three bolts holding the hub halves together. Split the hub and remove both halves. Remove the inner tube. Reinstall the inner tube in the other direction, so the the tire will now be rotating in the other direction, with the worn tread toward the centerline of the plane.
Assembly is the reverse.

It turned out to be easy to avoid pinching the inner tube when reassembling, with just a little air, the tube assumed a shape that kept it well clear of the hub halves. I did repack the wheel bearings, although there was no need to quite yet. With the wheels off it's a good idea to inspect the brakes. The pads all had enough life to make to annual time, although the rigth inner pad had a bit more wear than the others. I ordered three sets of pads to keep Wayne and I in the air for a few years.

I also ordered the high temp V75 -218 orings for the next time the brakes are disassembled. In all the left main took about 3 hours, and the right main about 2 hours. The worst part about the job is removing and installing the wheel fairings. That's just difficult uncomfortable work.