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Wheel Pants

posted Apr 22, 2013, 1:24 PM by Bill Thomasson
Well, decided to do the wheel pants before the engine. Logic was it is easier to jack the plane up, and might as well keep the engine all wrapped up in plastic as long as possible.
Built the jig, joined the 1/2s and marked the level marks.
Built some jack stands.  Harbor freight bottle jacks ($40 each), and some iron water pipe, and parts of one of Van's crates.
Pink string is holding a plumb bob.
Cutout on inside of wheel pant.
Outside should line up right at the end of the overlap of the front part of the wheelpant
Spacer in the top of the wheelpant.  Boards under the wheel are to level the plane.  My garage is not so level.
Cut of front of pant for gear and breakline.  No reason to keep this really tight as it is going to be inside a faring.
After getting everything aligned you Epoxy/Flox  the brackets to the pants, but you don't want to let the epoxy to get behind the brackets or you will never get them off.  Used packing tape to tape some craft sticks to the back of the brackets.
Put globs of Epoxy/flox on the wheelpants, then put the pants on and screwed them in.
You can see the flox through the fiberglass.  Used about 5 pumps of West epoxy.  Need to make sure it is very thick. Had one run a little, not leaving a firm contact with the bracket, so I had to re-do.
Flox after removal.  as you can see it has a nice flat mounting point and has some edges to it.  This gives the bracket a firm seat that is not depending on the screw for all the support.
Built the gear leg faring.
Gear leg faring on.
Intersection farings on and match drilled. I decided to go as I saw some other builders do and bond the farings to the wheelpants, and split them in 1/2 so they don't have to be separately removed from the wheelpants.
Bonded to wheelpant.  I split them, then created an overlap like the wheelpants have, and then fared the overlap in on both parts.
Front wheel faring.