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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    N.E. Illinois
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    Default Cleveland wheels

    A constant, recurring issue with corrosion on Cleveland 5.00 X 5 and 6.00 X 6 wheels keeps popping up; severe corrosion pitting in the aluminum above the wheel bearings, in the area of the felt seals and washers. I believe this is due to the felt seals trapping and retaining moisture. In many cases, the pitting is so severe the snap rings will barely stay in place on their own. The same kind of pitting can also be found on McCauley wheels, but not nearly as often or severe. I've replaced numerous wheels over the years due to this problem, and find two things of interest; 1) On new wheels/wheel halves I've replaced, the corrosion pits do not re-occur with any major severity...maybe because I do wheel bearings every annual regardless of hours. It may also be due to the type of grease I use (in most cases, Mobil 28, where it meets the Mil-Spec). And, 2) On aircraft that I don't maintain regularly, even new wheels/wheel halves show the same severity of pitting. This leads me to believe most shops are not doing wheel bearings at annual intervals.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    70

    Default

    Yeah,

    I see the exact same thing with lots of aircraft, even here in the desert southwest, where humidity stays around 13% most of the year.

    I not sure it is due to lack of maint. We have several singles/light twins that we maintain exclusively, and my shop does not cut corners or close one eye on inspections. These aircraft have experienced growing wheel corrosion, and the best prevention solution I have found is a thin coating of zinc epoxy polyamide paint, and making darn sure the owner never lets his wash guy hit the gear with a pressure washer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    N.E. Illinois
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    Default

    Most of my customers would be hard-pressed to wash their aircraft even ONCE a year!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Argentina
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Ive found two 6.00x6 wheels also so severely corroded that I can't figure out how the wheels stayed on the axle. In my case, I am sure it was bad maintenance. The aircraft, a Piper PA28-161, was 2 years without flying covered with dust and spider webs (among other things) and when it was washed (every three months), water entered in the wheels bearings. We have another aircraft (bigger than pipers) with goodyear wheels that suffered the same for five years and we have never found one single spot of corrosion.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    N.E. Illinois
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    Default

    Right; I'm convinced it's a combination of the felt seals and infrequent maintenance causing the pitting, rather than what type of grease or environment. Since my original post, I've found numerous additional cases of pitted wheel halves. Be on the lookout, especially if you have another person doing bearings for you. They may not pay attention to this area.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Argentina
    Posts
    48

    Default

    I've found 2 more wheel assemblies badly corroded. I think that something must be done by Cleveland. A Service Bulletin, a Service Letter or a design improvement.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    N.E. Illinois
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    Default

    I'm not sure what could be done, other than to alter the alloy or machine in some sort of insert. I still feel this is a maintenance issue more than a design flaw. I recently inspected a wheel I had installed new almost five years ago. The aircraft is hangared, but other than my yearly clean/inspect/repack of the bearings, gets no attention to the wheels between annuals. They look like brand-new. So, I think it's more the maintenance than a design flaw....and I doubt Cleveland can do much about that. Just my .02

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    36

    Default

    We have three Piper Warriors in our flight school as well as another four Piper singles we maintain. We have determined the felt seals when installed "dry" act as a sponge and trap moisture at the snap ring groove in the wheel. We have tried two methods to correct this and both seem to work well as long as you are keeping up with the bearings every 100 hr/ Annual inspection. First really coat the felts with grease, this will prevent them from soaking up any water. Second method used by one of our customers is to soak the felts with LPS-3 or other corrosion preventative.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Skiatook, OK (Tulsa)
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Could this possibly be the result of condensation that collects as a hot bearing cools and the felt washer acting as a filter or a point of temperature differential? Just a thought to toss around. If so perhaps the development of an "anodic" washer of some sort is in order.
    Last edited by av8mech; 01-30-2008 at 06:20 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    N.E. Illinois
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    Default

    I guess that's a thought......although I'm more inclined to believe it has to do with lack of proper maintenance (as in greasing/cleaning each year?) Anyone else have thoughts on this?
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