Aluminum Wheel & Brake Mod

Share your thoughts, photos and general help to all builders

Postby uscgairdale » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:53 pm

First I would like to start by saying that just becuase a mod exists I do not necessarily believe that it should be done. I have thought hard about all of the ones that I have done to my Lazair and if I were to restore another one I would, without a doubt, do each of them all again. In my opinion, this new mod is deserving your consideration, especially if you have a two-place since it eliminates one of weakest points of the Lazair.....the wheels.

As of right now I do not have any raw data like the exact weights of the stock wheels and brakes versus the new ones, but a quick "calibrated lift" of the old versus the new says that they are close.

The good, the bad, and the ugly:

THE GOOD: Goodbye plastic wheels! A single place with the wheels properly installed and inflated should work just fine and I would argue probably should not be changed out just for the sake of doing it. They work well, but numerous wheels have been over tightened when bolting them together to form cracks. Combine that with to much tire pressure and it's easy to see how they can blow out. To install these on a series III would be simple since the wing struts do not factor in. That's very good. The Azusa wheels, tires, and tubes are the same size. Yes, that's in diameter and width.

THE BAD: Some modification to the axles will be required since the standard Azusa bearings are 5/8"....more on that later. Using these wheels means that you will most likely have to move away from the stock brakes, however I'm sure that it could be done it you wanted to. Cost...the Azusa wheel/brake kit that I got was about $220 from Aircraft Spruce. The Avid brakes were $70 shipped from some dude on E-Bay.

THE UGLY: Disconnecting the wings! I got around this by using a temporary brace, but I still had to support the weight of the wings. The vertical support and aileron flight controls under the pilot seats all had to be disconnected....the opposite of fun.

More to follow....

Dave
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Postby ozzie » Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:42 am

this is a neat wheel and brake setup i saw on a trike
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Postby 89 CHARLIE » Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:49 pm

Did you install these wheels and avid brakes? If so, how did you modify your axles? I have purchase the same wheels and brakes to install on my Mark III.
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Postby uscgairdale » Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:49 pm

Yes, I installed the same 8" Azusa wheels and avid brakes. So far I have beeen very pleased with the performance on the two-place configuration. The biggest obstacles to overcome is building up the 5/8" axle to the Lazair axle and mounting the disk brake to the wheel. The two-seater axle tube (other series may be different) is 1 1/4" diameter. I did that by sleeving tubing with a wall thicknes of 0.058".

Example: 3/4" OD x 0.058" slides right over 5/8" OD. 7/8" then slides over the 3/4; 1' over the 7/8"; 1 1/8" over 1'; and then that slides into the 1 1/4". It's not nearly as confusing as it sounds!

The previous pic looks like they made a real sweet adapter to mount the wheel to the existing holes in the disk. I drilled into the disc, but if I were to do it again I would use the existing holes. Mine works just fine, but I would strive to keep it simple.

Hope that helps some.
Dave
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Postby 89 CHARLIE » Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:59 pm

Thanks for the info. Did you cutoff part of the old axle or did you just add an 5/8s diameter extenion to the end of the old axle. Can you post a pic showing the more of the axil and one showing your bracket for the brake attachment.
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Postby uscgairdale » Tue Sep 16, 2008 7:34 pm

On my axle I removed just the width of the new wheel. Actually I removed a very slight bit more and shimmed it so that the wheel would still be in the center of the wheel pant. Being very close to the original position will most likely be fine for any Lazair with wide gear.

As for my brackets I made them to use existing holes on the airframe. One could probably make a set up that looked better. The wheel pants do limit some mounting options though. I'll post what pics I have, sorry I don't have any dimensions for the bracket. If it's needed I could try and take some measurements.

Dave
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Postby uscgairdale » Tue Sep 16, 2008 7:37 pm

Bracket Brake Attachment. This uses all the same holes as the stock brake system. The next pic shows thte additional bracket that I made....it's critical to keep the caliper assembly from twisting on the axle.

Dave
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Postby uscgairdale » Tue Sep 16, 2008 7:39 pm

The additional bracket that gives the system great rigidity.

Again, so far I am pleased with how this system is working.(15.5 hrs and counting) And on a four wheeled machine at that! I would imagine that it would be outstanding on a taildraging single place.

Dave
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Postby 89 CHARLIE » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:05 am

THANKS FOR ALL THE PICS AND INFO.
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