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  #1  
Old 04-05-2017, 07:08 PM
AZLeeJay AZLeeJay is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 97
Default NOTIFICATION 16-11-04 canopy strut upgrade???

I just installed the new and "improved" struts (the ones with the metal ends) and am unhappy with the power of the struts. The previous struts would cushion the opening so if I didn't hang on to the canopy it would open to its max softly but the new ones are weaker and allows the canopy to open with an uncomfortable rate stopping at the limits with a thunk.

Has anyone else had this result? Did I get a bad set of struts?

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2017, 07:37 PM
PilotBrent PilotBrent is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Hackettstown, NJ
Posts: 392
Default

I replaced the original struts after about 2 years of use - actually found the new ones to be a little stiffer than the ones I removed. Rarely if ever let go of the canopy before it fully opens to avoid any unnecessary stress put on them.
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2017, 08:30 PM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,954
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I installed an eyebolt in the manufacturing hole in the center of the crash arch and put a large key ring n it. Then I made a 1/8" lanyard cable with a caribiener at each end. When the wind is blowing I put the lanyard in place between the canopy latch handle and the key ring, and it stops the canopy about 1/2" short of full travel to take the stress off the air spring struts.

I also use a piece of aluminum tubing on the left air spring leg to keep the canopy from slamming down in a wind.
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  #4  
Old 04-06-2017, 08:57 PM
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Bugsy Bugsy is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Waukesha, Wisconsin
Posts: 479
Default Upgrade asap

After getting a knot on my head from the canopy dropping on my nugget I ordered the stronger struts and man is it nice. Not worried about canaopy open in wind. It stays up. Takes an easy tug to close and beat of all
Doesn't drop down risking my paint job.
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RV-7A, Aerosport O-360, WW200RV
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Cant afford to paint
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  #5  
Old 04-07-2017, 05:10 AM
terrykohler terrykohler is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 893
Default Plan on Replacing the Struts Every Few Years

When you do, you can buy them from Vans or from most auto parts stores. I replace mine about every three years. The stroke length and load rating are usually printed on the side of the cylinder. Putting "stronger" struts in isn't necessarily the answer, as that can lead to other problems. As noted in some of the previous posts, you should never trust the survival of you canopy to struts alone in any kind of wind. Hang on, get in/out, and close it ASAP.
Terry, CFI
RV9A N323TP
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  #6  
Old 04-07-2017, 05:22 AM
terrykohler terrykohler is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 893
Default Sorry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugsy View Post
After getting a knot on my head from the canopy dropping on my nugget I ordered the stronger struts and man is it nice. Not worried about canaopy open in wind. It stays up. Takes an easy tug to close and beat of all
Doesn't drop down risking my paint job.
Paul
Didn't read thru all the posts before jumping on the pile. If Vans (or anyone else) has properly selected the use of a higher rated strut, I'm all for it. On the other hand, I find that some people think that if "X" is good, then "2X" is twice as good. Doesn't work than way in the engineering world. BTW, my replacement test is the same as yours - wait until it hits me in the head.
Terry
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  #7  
Old 04-07-2017, 09:07 AM
WayneJ WayneJ is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Auburn, Washington
Posts: 16
Default Improved (?) struts

I too have installed the new metal ended struts. Not because the old ones were performing badly, but because I worried about the plastic ends breaking. I agree with Lee that the new ones don't perform as well as the old ones. Mine have more pressure to assist in opening the canopy and holding it open and that's good. But, the damping action that limits the opening speed is far less and only kicks in when the canopy is near fully open. I always hold onto the canopy to control it until fully open but if it ever slipped out of my hand or was forced open by a wind gust I fear damage could be done when it hits the stops. Maybe we do have some defective parts out there. Has anyone else noticed this lack of damping action (or opening speed control) with these new parts?
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  #8  
Old 04-07-2017, 12:32 PM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,954
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At the four year point my original plastic rod end struts were losing strength so I replaced them with new plastic end struts (metal rod ends were not being offered yet). IRonically, the stronger opening force is what caused my canopy to pop full open during a run up. Fortunately the ends held and there was no damage. Now I have the metal rod ends and the cable lanyard I made ( useful for fully opening in a tailwind on the ground) as well as the Vans latch for runups.

The only damage I ever got was when I parked into the wind and a gust slammed it shut on my tow bar as I was pulling it out of the baggage area. Now I have a 3/4" aluminum sleeve I put over the strut arm that catches the cylinder if it starts to shut.
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  #9  
Old 04-07-2017, 02:30 PM
AZLeeJay AZLeeJay is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 97
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneJ View Post
I too have installed the new metal ended struts. Not because the old ones were performing badly, but because I worried about the plastic ends breaking. I agree with Lee that the new ones don't perform as well as the old ones. Mine have more pressure to assist in opening the canopy and holding it open and that's good. But, the damping action that limits the opening speed is far less and only kicks in when the canopy is near fully open. I always hold onto the canopy to control it until fully open but if it ever slipped out of my hand or was forced open by a wind gust I fear damage could be done when it hits the stops. Maybe we do have some defective parts out there. Has anyone else noticed this lack of damping action (or opening speed control) with these new parts?
Thats my main concern, essentially no damping and if I was to let it open on its own it would slam open, closing is not as bad but still dangerous. I have emailed vans in hope of a replacement. I am at least going to put the old ones back on. It is unsafe with the new struts.
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  #10  
Old 04-07-2017, 03:03 PM
LARCO LARCO is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: DVT Phoenix
Posts: 785
Default

I just had a chance to look at an RV12 with the new struts installed and boy are they are scary in how hard they want to slam the canopy to the open position stop. My recommendation is for an RV 12 owner with this problem to call Vans. I would think they will get to the bottom of this. Larry

Hello Scott?? :-)
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Last edited by LARCO : 04-07-2017 at 03:10 PM.
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