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  #1  
Old 12-01-2015, 08:26 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 2,973
Default doing things that don't need to be done

I'm most of the way through my condition inspection. This is the fifth one (flying six years). So I thought I would be extra thorough.

I pulled the wheels and cleaned and re-greased the wheel bearings. This was a waste of time. The bearings look like new. Compared to typical service exposure of auto hubs, our wheels are hardly ever used, hardly ever exposed to unpleasant environments. Wish I had not bothered.

Completely anecdotal, but I remember hearing of a study that was done by Greyhound Bus on whether it was better to periodically clean and re-grease wheel bearings, or just leave them be. The ones that were regularly cleaned and regreased had a higher failure rate. Suspected damage to grease from residue of cleaning solvents.

I pulled out my conical K&N air filter (it is in a ram-air housing similar to the Bower system but my own design, gets filtered air from the cooling inlet)
It looks like new. It is still pink from the oil saturation. I looked up on the K&N website for guidance on when we should be cleaning and re-oiling them. Some graphic pictures show when it is dirty enough to need cleaning. Mine was way cleaner than the 'clean' picture. Like I said, looks like new. Again, compared to automotive, very small environmental exposure. I even operate off of dry dirt fields occasionally. Wish I had not bothered.
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2015, 08:31 PM
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Infidel Infidel is offline
 
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Location: WV22
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Default

Sometimes it's the piece of mind that makes a difference and whole heartedly, extends into each and very flight.
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  #3  
Old 12-01-2015, 08:34 PM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,678
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by scsmith View Post
I pulled the wheels and cleaned and re-greased the wheel bearings. This was a waste of time. The bearings look like new. Compared to typical service exposure of auto hubs, our wheels are hardly ever used, hardly ever exposed to unpleasant environments. Wish I had not bothered.
I was reading a maintenance document recently which recommended re-packing wheel bearings at least every 500 taxi/runway miles. I figure that is probably 2-3 years conservatively for me.
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  #4  
Old 12-01-2015, 08:47 PM
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flyboy1963 flyboy1963 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lake Country, B.C. Canada
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Default re-packing= good cleaning = bad!

in today's throw-away world, few have the equipment to service things.

a proper press for 'repacking' bearings that I used in an old garage had two discs that sandwiched the bearing. grease was slowly injected from the top centre of the bearing, and the old grease & contaminants were forced out.
no solvents involved, and thus no 'de-greasing' occurs....just MORE greasing!
We often slapped a different brand or better grade of grease in the gun, and you could see the new colour oozing out of the bearing cage, so you knew you'd gotten the job done!
I agree that much of the recommended maintenance intervals need to be considered vs needless disassembly.
obviously if you get your wheels wet, dirty, and run them for hundreds of miles annually, you want to thoroughly inspect and service as needed.
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  #5  
Old 12-01-2015, 10:47 PM
rightrudder rightrudder is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Laguna Hills, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy1963 View Post

obviously if you get your wheels wet, dirty, and run them for hundreds of miles annually, you want to thoroughly inspect and service as needed.
So Vlad should repack 'em every two weeks?

It seems to me that with lighter use, hangar protection, warmer temps, no salt water exposure, etc. that a repack every 2-3 years would be sufficient. I plan on at least jacking up the wheel, making sure it rotates freely and has no play at every inspection.
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2015, 07:04 AM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Again an anecdotal reference... I recently pulled the wheels on a certificated aircraft, ostensibly to change the tires but also to repack the bearings. It's a good thing I did as one of the seals had cocked off to the side and was starting to get chewed up. It wasn't visible until I had the wheel completely removed. Sometimes the repacking of wheel bearings is incidental to their inspection. So far I've found that in light service like that which most of our aircraft see, every couple of years isn't a bad frequency of inspection. If a problem is once detected and corrected, the inspection frequency needs to bump up in order to provide increased vigilance to limit the possibility of recurrence.
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2015, 08:57 PM
simpkinsona simpkinsona is offline
 
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Location: Vacaville, CA
Posts: 211
Default Wheel bearings

I regrease only when I remove the tires to flip them or replace them. Works out to every 18 months or so. I don't clean them, just wipe off the dirty grease and add new by packing. They don't look like they need servicing but since they are out anyway I do it.

-Andy
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2015, 04:29 AM
Eldo Eldo is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Double Oak, TX
Posts: 7
Default The Waddington Effect

Could this possibly be an example of the Waddington Effect??? I have seen this occur in the Airlines and General Aviation. I'm not advocating neglecting maintenance, just something to think about!!!

http://blog.aopa.org/opinionleaders/...ington-effect/
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  #9  
Old 12-03-2015, 06:26 AM
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Steve Melton Steve Melton is offline
 
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simpkinsona View Post
I regrease only when I remove the tires to flip them or replace them. Works out to every 18 months or so. I don't clean them, just wipe off the dirty grease and add new by packing. They don't look like they need servicing but since they are out anyway I do it.

-Andy
me too, I just add new. no solvents.
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2015, 06:57 AM
n700jl n700jl is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: McCordsville IN
Posts: 298
Thumbs down "doing things that don't need to be done" WHAT!!!!!

This has to be one of the most uneducated post that I have read on this website! The one reason that we do a condition inspection on our airplanes once a year is to find something wrong! If you don't find something wrong then you are not looking hard enough! To suggest that something does not to be inspected is a complete failure on the owners part! How do you know that the wheel bearing is a condition safe for operation without pulling it? This is a total disrespect for your own and public safety. And to make the comparision of an RV to a Greyhound bus is the most ridicoulous thing that i have ever heard. What else did you just bypass on the inspection? Maybe you should hire a qualified A&P to inspect you airplane next time. I know that he or she will find something wrong with it, that will need to be corrected! I know doing wheels and brakes and repacking wheel bearings is a dirty time-consuming job. but lets move forward in aviation not backwards. Learn from other peoples mistakes and don't repeat problems that have happened in the past. And BTW! You should always, and I mean every year be "extra thorough"!!! You and your passengers life depends on it! Good day sir!
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