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Old 12-23-2014, 01:39 AM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 5,454

Originally Posted by paul330 View Post
Yesterday, I tried to complete the SB without total success.

The aircraft is yet to fly so obviously there were no cracks. After removing one of the heater boxes, I managed to get the top bolt out and remove the suspension unit. Doubler fitted OK and suspension unit replaced. However, I simply cannot get the top bolt back in through the top hat.

Compressing the suspension by lifting the tail seems to work but it is not possible to keep everything steady enough to feed in the bolt through all the piping at the back of the engine. I have tried ratchet straps but they don't seem to be strong enough. I am in a cold UK and the suspension is new. With the extra width of the doubler, I think I am at the limits of the "tight" tolerances.

Any useful tips would be much appreciated.
First, I assume you have just one large washer under the "top hat", not two. Are you certain the plate fits okay and is not hung up on one of the nearby welds, holding it down a bit lower?
I did not need to remove the heater boxes to get the bolt out (?)
Make sure your top hat is a smooth fit over the shaft. File the shaft if needed (I had to remove some stray paint). Grease the shaft for corrosion protection, and to make it easy to move the top hat.
I was able to lift the tail with my shoulder under it, then pull a stand with boards underneath to hold it up. That compressed the front enough to get the bolt in (mine has been in service, I used 2 washers). Alternative is to use rope and pulleys, or ratchet straps, between the nose wheel and the engine somehow. Access is a bit limited but certainly not the worst, I had no trouble getting to the bolt hole (bolt head on the right side was easier than on the left, for me).

Good luck, it should work.
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