Cozy MKIV - Chapter 9 (Section 6)

Axles, Wheels and Brakes

Start Date: February 3, 1996

After receiving the MATCO Wheels and Brakes (which I ordered through Infinity Aerospace) and figuring out just how the brake mounting plate worked, I positioned and fitted the axles to the strut ends. (The MATCO triple puck brakes have over 50% more energy absorption capability than the Cleveland brakes recommended in the plans, and are slightly narrower as well. Nat doesn't like them, but they're used on the Velocity and other aircraft). I then marked the far wall (~16 feet away) with markings exactly opposite the axle mounting points. I made marks at appropriate points to align the axles for toe-in.

I cut, ground and sanded the strut ends to create clearance for the triple puck calipers, trying to align the cutouts so as to leave as much material as possible on the strut, have as much strength as possible, and still leave the caliper approximately vertical so that I could bleed it easily later on.

picture of LG strut I then made two 1/16" aluminum backing plates. I glassed 3 BID around the strut end, and then floxed the backing plate in place. I put a flox pad on the outside of the strut and clamped the flox, BID, strut, BID, flox, and backing plate between two flat wooden blocks. I used a combination of Eric Westland's and Norm Balog's technique to align the outer flox pads. I taped slits onto the end of the 20" nose gear torque tube and then used this tube to accurately point the wooden block at the inner wall markings (for toe-in). I adjusted the clamps until the blocks were aligned, and then let it cure.

picture of LG strut After trimming and sanding the layup, I clamped the axles in place and drilled out the 1/4" axle mounting holes through the strut and the backing plate. I test mounted the axles with the brake calipers and adjusted the strut clearances. Then I built up the main wheels and tires and test mounted everything in place on the axles.

picture of LG strut

I've got a few pictures (B&W) of Mark and Nadine Parmalee's installation of their MATCO gear as well. It's slightly different than mine, but the basic idea is the same:

picture of LG strut
picture of LG strut
picture of LG strut

picture of LG strut After ensuring that everything fit and that the nylaflow lines reached through the straws in the strut trailing edge to the brake fittings, I removed the wheels, brakes, and strut, and stored them all away.

The plans call for the nylaflow brake tubing to go through holes in the landing gear bulkhead to fittings inside the fuselage. I felt that this would make the Landing Gear Strut more difficult to remove. The Matco brakes had also come with a larger diameter brake tubing and fittings. In order to use these, and to ensure that the landing gear could be removed completely, I made an aluminum manifold with 1/8" pipe threads on either side. I floxed this manifold into the front landing gear bulkhead so that there would be permanent 90 degree elbows for the brake lines both inside the fuselage and inside the landing gear well. Looking back on this now, it seems a bit superfluous, but it will make removing the landing gear brake lines somewhat easier. You can see the manifold here prior to floxing, along with the landing gear box cover and sides prior to final glassing:

After glassing that, the long journey through Chapter 9 was over. On to Chapter 13!

End Date: February 11, 1996


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