Main Gear SNX-L01

The first couple shots show fitting the main gear mounts and pilot drilling. The last shot shows the aft spar tunnel web with the main gear mounts clecoed onto it.  That's how it sits in the fuselage.

Drilling Titanium Legs SNX-L01

I was able to drill both upper pilot holes in the titanium legs with the same 1/8 bit. I drilled that hole the prescribed distance from the top of the titanium rod per the plans. I up-drilled it a couple times and had the holes up to 1/64 smaller than the needed 1/4 inch hole. I burnt up 5 or 6  drill bits getting the holes drilled out that last bit. I think the area of contact was so small on the drill bits it just overheated them almost instantly no matter how much cutting oil I used. Lesson learned: When enlarging holes in titanium, make the next size choice a good amount larger than the previous one. I had just one pilot hole drilled into one side of the mount. After I slid the gear leg into the mount I was able to line up the pilot holes on one side, insert the 1/8 bit into it, and let the hole bored through the titanium bar guide the bit through to the other side of the mount tube. I finished the upper bolt installation with temporary bolts and then put the mounts back into the fuse to cut the holes in the bottom skin. I used a tracing paper template to locate the approximate position on the bottom skin per the plans. I drilled holes inside what I thought was the correct edge for the gear leg exit through the bottom skin and filed out to fit the mount opening for the gear leg.


I used a tight string to set the toe-in between the two axle spindle assemblies. The steel sleeves on the spindle were a loose fit onto the titanium legs, which was a little disappointing. I was expecting a tight fit. The spindles would slide off the gear legs without clamping them. There is a note in the plans warning about letting cadmium come into contact with titanium. Cadmium coated bolts (or tools) can  cause the cadmium to crack under high heat.  After aligning the axles, I drilled a pilot hole by hand into the gear leg and then put it in the drill press with a v-block to finish the hole.

After the axles were fitted, it was time to fit the f---ing main wheels. My brother came up for the weekend and we assembled the wheels and started fitting them. At the first trial there was almost a 1/4" run-out. Yikes. The wobble was caused by the misalignment of the wheel halves. By enlarging the through-bolt holes in the wheel halves we were able to allow for a little adjustment. This is mentioned in the instruction sheet that comes with the wheels. We installed the bolts holding the wheel halves together loosely and then mounted them and snugged up the bearings letting them align the wheel halves together. The brakes are still a little draggy but I'm confident I can get those issues resolved. It feels like a milestone to get the fuselage on its' gear. BTW, the nose gear wheel installation was a non-event. There are ball bearings in the nose wheel that make alignment easy.