Front strut air

has anyone considered or attempted to get field approval for changing the air input for the front strut? If you need to add air it is a pain in the a$$. Seems reasonable to extend an air hose from that fitting up to the rear engine mount which could be accessed through the oil fill or or drain door using the same fitting. When the weather changes, sometimes I have to add a bit or remove a bit for appropriate strut length. Removing Cowlings, or unbolting the Cowl flap in order to gain access just seems a bit much when a simple change might work very well.

Comments

  • Scott ShererScott Sherer COO Forum Moderator

    Very interesting idea. While I admit that I've never thought about it, it makes perfect sense!

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Cessna Owners Organization Forum Moderator and Cessna Owners Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Good Morning.

    I'm curious about what model aircraft you have. I'm guessing it's a newer-year model that only has an Oil-Add/Fuel Sump-Drain Door on the upper cowl. Leaves a good engine preflight inspection woefully inadequate too, as you must know.

    It could be hard to convince someone there about adding something that could potentially fail, resulting in a collapsed strut and flammable oil, all within the hottest environment onboard, just for the want of convenience.

    Sorry to be a downer here, but it just seems to me to be a tough problem to a much needed solution for these newer planes. It would be so nice to have.

    Hey, could be easier to get approval for a well-placed door added to the cowl.

    Steve

  • Scott ShererScott Sherer COO Forum Moderator

    Thanks for your comments, Steve. Have a good holiday weekend!

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Cessna Owners Organization Forum Moderator and Cessna Owners Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • I am able to use a stubby air chuck on a flexible hose and reach up thru the pilot side cowl flap opening and add sir to my C182M without taking anything loose. Not allot of fun, but possible. I ussually need somebody to add some wieght to the horizontal to let it go up if it all the way flat. I teach up 3 times, once to remove the cap, again to add air and again to rrplace the cap.

  • Scott ShererScott Sherer COO Forum Moderator

    Thanks Steve!

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Cessna Owners Organization Forum Moderator and Cessna Owners Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Might be time to rebuild the strut. You maybe shocked at how black the 5606 fluid gets after too many years in service.

    Biggest mistake many make is letting this go too long, and when serviced do not replace the top OLEO O-ring or the small O-ring beneath the presto valve.

    Replacing nose strut nitrogen should be a top off at annual.

  • Also the 2 needle bearing sets can only be lubed with the strut removed. Nearly every one of these I see is bone dry and full of grit. They look much worse when removed, which tells the full true story of condition. It's far cheaper to fix now than fix later after damage has occurred to the races and tube.

    The ostrich process of maintenance seems pretty common for front gear. Just keep filling with air (when nitrogen is specified) and occasionally topping off 5606 fluid.

    The strut shouldn't required any more than a small pull of nitrogen at annual. If the plane cannot sustain 3-4 finger of bare oleo tube extension, then rebuilt is likely needed. If your A&P is not removing the entire assemble, he cannot reach the upper O-rings for replacement. Symptoms will be fixed, but not the full problem.

    2800 hours in service over many years:


    Fully overhauled with new Torrington/Koyo bearings press fit:

    Repaint completed by professional aircraft paint shop. Stripped, etched, alodined, primed, and painted with Sherman-Williams Matterhorn white.

  • planewrenchplanewrench IA 46yr A&P DAL A/C Inspector

    Actually no reason you could not leave a extension hose on a normal inflation stub. As long as you have a standard valve core type,, using a nitrogen source will easily fill past a valve core. Thats what a strut pump does. The caveat is this, It may take like 400 psi to start to fill the strut, needless to say, thats fast. Just be careful. It mechanically is doable. Have thought about that myself. Same as haveing a carefully placed drain tube on oil drain valve.

  • HESSAEROHESSAERO Comml SEL/MEL, Inst, A&P/IA

    I don't think I would want to leave any extension hose attached to the strut Schrader valve. Especially if the extension holds the valve open.

    The fill on Cessna struts is only 55-60 psi with no weight on the nose. Easy to do. If the nose is not lifted, takes higher pressure, which creates a problem because you tend to lose more gas as you take the filling chuck off the valve.

    The problem I have with an extension hose is that when the nose strut gets compressed, say by a hard landing, pressure in the strut can go WAY higher than the loaded fill pressure. So if pressure is normally 50 psi unloaded, 400 with height on the wheel, it might be 2000 psi during a hard landing transient. Not so good for the typical gas fill extension. And a bummer if the hose fails, sprays 5606 all over the engine compartment and drops the strut to the bottom. In theory that won't cause a prop strike, but I don't want to test that theory in my flying.

  • Your post/photos have inspired me Dave.

    My 182A has putrid 5606 leaking out and only Lord knows what the bearings/bushings look like.

    Exterior cleaned up, but it's what's under it that counts.

    THANKS AGAIN DAVE.


    Steve

  • Scott ShererScott Sherer COO Forum Moderator

    Thanks for posting this Steve. Much appreciated.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Cessna Owners Organization Forum Moderator and Cessna Owners Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Steve that's fantastic! Many pilots would be shocked if they saw their strut fluid.

    Even if funds are not available to make it look pretty, the rebuild kit and replacement bearings are not very expensive.

    Oleo tube filler extensions are not necessary if the tube is operating correctly. A rebuilt strut needs a small amount of attention at 100 hrs or annual when the cowl is off anyway.

  • this will be going to the magazine so others can learn from it, thanks everybody for the work here.

    Digital Product Manager
    Cessna Owner Organization

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