Replace the Tyres on Your Plane




Introduction: Replace the Tyres on Your Plane

About: Traveler

Say you fly your biz jet to some remote island and upon arrival you realize that you've punctured a tire on landing. It would be good to know how to change that tire wouldn't it?!

Step 1: Worn Tyres

These tyres are worn (notice weird wearing) and ready to be replaced with ones like on the right.

Step 2: Remove Wheel Cover

this is an essential step, not all planes have these nifty wind-resistance saving covers but ours did. Off they come!

Step 3: Remove Cotter-pin and Castle Nut

remove the cotter-pin from the hub and turn off the castle nut. Remember to place all your small parts in a central location so they don't accidentally "walk away" during the process.

Step 4: Remove Brake Caliper

There are two bolts that hold the halves of the caliper together. on Cessna's and planes equipped with these type breaks you only need to remove the two bolts that hold the halves of the caliper together.

Step 5: Remove Wheel From Hub.

This is a great time to clean any parts and to grease the bearing seats.

Step 6: Unbolting the Rim Halves and Removing the Valve

to make tyre removal more convenient we removed the valve from the valve stem. we next unbolted the rim halves

Step 7: Unseat the Tyre

we used a woodworkers bench vice to squeeeze the tyre off it's bead. we also tried jumping on the tyre. after a short time we got it off...

Step 8: New Tyres!

Notice that there is a paint mark and a HUGE sticker that marks where the light balance is on the tyre? when you place everything back together you're going to place the valve stem in line with that.

Step 9: Prep the Tyre and Tube for Marrage

We filled the tube up with just enough air to keep folds from developing and put Talc in the tyre to reduce tube-on-tyre friction

Step 10: Shove It in There

try to avoid folds and make sure you align the valve stem with the arrows.

Step 11: Reassemble and Inflate Tyre

make sure that you don't pinch the tube between the rim halves, also make sure that you return all the hardware to it's appropriate place. (this means no extra washers)
You can use an air compressor to fill the tyre but we like the old fashion way. we also wanted to avoid folds and other tube creep.

Step 12: Go Flying!

After entering the requisite information in the log book you can push the plane back out into the scorching heat and take her for a spin!
(literally and figuratively) 

Remember; all maintenance on an airplane must be overseen by a certified A&P aircraft mechanic. All bolts must be torqued to their respective torques and all tyre pressures must be what is acceptable for the particular aircraft. This is a dangerous project, only do it with the required tools and training.



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    17 Discussions

    Cute plane! N-number lookup says "SCOTTISH AVIATION SERIES 100 MDL 101" - is that the same thing as a Bulldog? I would have guessed a Marchetti (and been wrong, apparently).

    Remember; all maintenance on an airplane must be overseen by a certified A&P aircraft mechanic.

    I've admittedly not actually read the FAR/AIM, but from what I read in ground school, the FAA surprisingly liberal regarding non-critical maintenance by a non-A&P. Oh, there it is! 14 CFR Part 43, Appendix A, Section C lists "(1) Removal, installation, and repair of landing gear tires." as an example of "Preventative Maintenance." So I guess you aren't actually required to find an A&P. Still a very good idea, though.

    Not trying to start an argument, more just curious for myself so I looked it up. :)

    3 replies

    yes, but still a good idea. don't want some yayhoo thinking it's the same as changing a bike tire...

    Perhaps I missed it, but, I was looking for information on how you jacked up the plane to raise the wheel so you could remove it. A friend has a 1964 Piper Cherokee (4 place) airplane. He had a five ton bottle jack. I got some steel pipe in two different diameters to make a telescoping lift apparatus built around his bottle jack. It was costing him $100 to have the mechanic at the airport remove a wheel needing service. Now he can remove the wheel himself and carry it down to the mechanic's shop for service.

    5 replies

    we used a rolling floor jack, the underside of the strut cradled perfectly in the foot.

    That is good. My friend's plane has aluminum tips under each wing outward a small distance from the wheel struts. We fitted the lift apparatus to cradle one of those. The front wheel was more tricky. His hangar is renter, so we could not set a steel ring in the concrete under the tail. I welded a small loop onto a piece of angle iron and weighted the angle iron to the floor with sand bags. We used a small block and tackle to pull the tail down so the front wheel came off of the floor. The front of his plane is quite heavy and it takes some effort to raise it enough to work on the wheel, especially with the extending, shock absorber type of strut.

    When we do the front tyre I'll put one up about that. It is a slightly different process. I'd like to see this apparatus that you've made.

    I thought about doing an Instuctable on it. I would have to arrange a time to go to my friend's hangar with him so I could take dimensions and photos. It is not too complicated. We had flown to a small airport and walked 2 miles into town to wait for weather to clear so we could fly over the mountains next to the town. We started talking about him spending $100 to have the tire on his nose wheel changed, and in a few minutes I sketched out an idea on part of a newspaper.

    The portion that is for raising the nose wheel is a piece of 1 1/4 inch angle iron about 4 feet long. 1 inch water pipe would work, too. Near the center of its length I welded an oval link from a common chain so it makes an attachment loop. Lay the angle iron on the hangar floor below the tie down loop under the plane's tail section. Place as many bags of sand on top of the angle iron and you can manage. We attached a cheap block and tackle from Harbor Freight Tools between the tie down loop on the underside of the tail structure and the chain link welded to the angle iron. Pull the tail down with the block and tackle and secure the rope. As soon as possible, it would be advisable to put a wooden block under the nose wheel's axle. By all means, do not allow your hand to be under the nose wheel in case the rope on the block and tackle would fail.

    The rest of the apparatus for lifting a wing to access one of the main strut wheels is another piece of equipment. I hope this helps.

    generally thats how the nose wheel is changed. the take beefed up bottle jacks (usually called high jacks (for both high wing and low wing aircraft)) and attach them to the tie-down eyelet under the wings with a .5" pin and a cottard pin, then they adjust a weighted down tailstand with a bracket exactly the same as the one they used on the wing jacks, and connect it to the tail tie down eyelet with a .5" pin and a cottard pin, and then they jack up the plane and make adjustments from there. in place of the tailstand though i have seen and done myself, used an extra highjack as a weight to keep the tail down...i mean it has enough weight as it is. the weight is a just in case property, but in GA aircraft, generally speaking the CG is far enough forward when resting on the highjack that the tail will inheritly rest on the tailstand...but you never know what yayloo will come by and lean against the engine cowling :)

    keep in mind that it is VERY EASY to pinch the tire tube 'tween the halves of the rim. i did that once when i was an aviation mechanics apprentice. not the thing you wanna do. at least we caught the mistake before installation back onto the plane. it was only a piper cherokee, but still would have been devastating.

    Wow, now I can put some new rubber on my jet plane (stealth) I can't find it though!

    This poses no help for me, because i dont have a plane, but a great ting to know how to do if i get a plane.

    Where do you keep the spare tyre, jack etc. on your plane? ;)