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  #1  
Old 03-06-2012, 08:37 PM
humptybump humptybump is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,181
Question Stuck flaps problem

I was doing pattern work today and on the fourth landing, when I went to deploy the electric flaps on my RV-8 they did not move. I diverted to an airport with a longer runway and did a no-flaps landing and taxied to park.

With the engine shut down I tested the flaps. There was no noise. I checked the breaker and it was fine. I applied a small amount of down pressure on the flap and tried the switch again and they worked fine.

I am not the builder so here is my question - is there a limit switch that would cause this behavior and if so, is it located at the flap motor under the cover panel at the rear passenger seat? If not then what else might it be?

I plan to open it up this weekend.
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2012, 09:04 PM
Randy Hooper Randy Hooper is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 229
Default No limit switch just a common problem.

Search the forum and you'll find directions for opening the motor to clean grease and dust from brush wear. After cleaning, your flaps will be good as new.
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2012, 09:05 PM
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Jamie Jamie is offline
 
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Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 2,295
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Every RV is different, but my guess is it's probably not a limit switch. The switch would naturally only prevent actuation of the flap motor in one direction. Otherwise you would never be able to deploy them when retracted or retract them when deployed.

There are a myriad of different flap setups in RVs. Perhaps a little more insight into how yours works would help. (i.e...do you hold down the switch to drop flaps or just tap once)?

My guess? You've got the classic RV flap motor failure. A simple service job can usually fix it up. I've personally never experienced it but others have.

There are a lot of threads on this so some searching on the topic would be the prescription.

Here's a fairly recent thread: http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...ght=flap+motor

Edit: Randy beat me to the punch -- what he said!

Hope that helps,
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2012, 09:05 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Location: Dayton, NV
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Default

Well, there might be a limit switch if you can flip the switch to the "up" position, and when it gets all the way up, the motor turns off...does it do that? There are no limit switches in the motor itself, but many of us add them into the circuit.

However, this is not a new problem by a long run - many folks (including me) have had the problem of an intermittent flap motor - usually because grease migrates out of the gearbox and into the motor. I had to clean mine up at about 300 hours, and just had to do it again at about 1400.

It's really no big deal at all to land an RV-8 with flaps up - you might use 5 - 10% more runway. Flying a cross-country with the flaps stuck DOWN is going to be a real pain. You can sometimes get away with taking off the rear seat side cover and tapping on the motor with a screwdriver handle (or a little hammer). If they are stuck down, this might get them up to allow you to return home. All this takes is a Phillips head screwdriver to get the cover off.

Good luck!

Paul
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  #5  
Old 03-06-2012, 09:11 PM
Marvin Marvin is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Willits,Ca
Posts: 60
Default RV 8 Flaps

I have and built an RV8 and haven't had any flap problems. There is no limit switch but Vans has had problem with the electric flap motor. Check the RV service notices on the web page. Van's changed suppliers and the new ones had to much grease in the moter and caused then to short out

Good luck
Dick Johnson
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  #6  
Old 03-06-2012, 09:41 PM
gasman gasman is offline
 
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Location: Sonoma County
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Default

To add to Paul's comments, depending how you wired it at the motor, if you disconnect the wires and pull the mounting bolt on the motor end, you can screw the motor and housing down till it stops and have someone help lift the flaps as you reinstall the bolt.
If the other end is easier to remove the bolt, then just screw that end in.

At least it will get you home.................
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Last edited by gasman : 03-06-2012 at 09:43 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2012, 05:22 AM
humptybump humptybump is offline
 
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Location: USA
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Default

Thanks everyone!

I didn't equate my "stuck at the extent" problem with all of the flap motor maintenance threads (although my inner muse must had had some incling since I've read many of hose lately from first to last).

I'll do the maintenance this weekend.
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  #8  
Old 03-07-2012, 12:56 PM
David-aviator David-aviator is offline
 
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Location: Chesterfield, Missouri
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Default

I've had enough flap problems with the migrating grease issue to the extent I don't use them (unless necessary) especially on a flight away from home.

Landing without flaps is a non event, flying any distance with extended flaps is a problem - its about like a Piper Cub cross country and takes for ever.
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  #9  
Old 03-07-2012, 06:18 PM
wrongway john wrongway john is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: TX & CO
Posts: 470
Default EZ fix

Just experienced this problem on Sunday. Had to fly 40 miles home with full flaps. No warning, no sound, no nothing, just stuck there. As David, said, took like what seemed forever.

After double checking connectors, my older brother came by with a voltmeter, and found it was jetting juice at the connections to the motor. I pulled it out with a couple of 7/16 wrenches. Without any diagram or anything, he took it apart, and immediately found what he thought was the problem. Sure enough, like others have experienced, there was some grease that had worked its way to the part the brushes rest on. He took a needle, cleaned the groves, and used a cleaner so that you could see shiny copper again.

A little bit of a hassle getting it all back together, with the main issue of keeping the springs under the brushes why we slid it back down into the case. We eventually ended up using the twist ties for garbage bags, and then pulled them out after we got the brushes to stay put. I'm sure others have easier ways of doing it that they have discovered.

Works great now, and the best part was, the local A&P mechanic said you can’t fix those, you have to buy new motors.
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2012, 07:58 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrongway john View Post
A little bit of a hassle getting it all back together, with the main issue of keeping the springs under the brushes why we slid it back down into the case. We eventually ended up using the twist ties for garbage bags, and then pulled them out after we got the brushes to stay put. I'm sure others have easier ways of doing it that they have discovered.
That IS the painful part - I use thin dental floss to hold the brushes in while I slip the assembly on the shaft
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RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
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