Installing wheel pants on my Pitts

Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by wally, Oct 5, 2008.

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  1. Oct 5, 2008 #1




    Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2004
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    southwest TN.
    I guess you can call them Pitts pants when they are finally installed.

    Rather than take the wheel, tire and brake off plus the fabric covering off each side to weld a bracket to the tube landing gear, I thought I could make something that would clamp on.

    By splitting the next larger size 4130 tube, I made a saddle that clamps at the bottom of the gear where the 2 tubes meet just above the axle.

    I was trying to think of a way to hold the 2 split half tubes in relation to each other so I could put another piece between and then weld together.

    What I came up with is modeling clay. I put the 2 half tubes on the outside of gear leg where I wanted them and then took a ball of clay and pressed it over the 2 pieces.

    The clay held the 2 pieces together in the same relationship until I could remove them and lay them down on a board. I was then able to fit a piece of flat steel between them. So the pieces stayed put, I put a drop of glue at a couple of places to hold the tubes to the board before I carefully removed the clay. The glue of course burned off when I welded all 3 pieces.

    I used clay again to hold the piece I just made to the edge of the wheel pant so I could lift them off together. I then could fit a plate to the underside of the pant and then more clay again to hold the plate to my other piece to take it off of the pant. It held things together until I could get it supported and welded. I did take the clay off before welding.

    It worked pretty well.

    So for holding a couple of short pieces of half round tubing , clay worked great for me. The 2 pieces weren't even touching except for the clay and stayed in a Vee relationship with each other nicely. After welding, the piece fit very nicely against the landing gear. Now I can make the back half using the same clay trick. Then add a bolt thru the middle of the vee of both pieces to clamp it to the gear.


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