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  • Sorry, Phil - just saw your message.
    The rod end on my shocks and on Scott's unscrewed.
    The 2.25" of preload is the length of the PVC spacer.
    Thanks for the reply.

    Two more questions:
    1 - How tall is the bottom spacer that you fabricated from PVC? I assume that this is the preloading.

    2 - The top hats that you show in your photo do not have slots in them like the original aluminum castings. Did you cut slots after the photo or did you install them without the slots? I tried to remove the top fitting by unthreading it from the shaft. (assuming that it is threaded on.) I held the shaft with vise grips and put a large screw driver through the top fitting. It did not give. The shaft keep turning in the vise grip no matter how tight I got it. If it is threaded, it is a very tight fit. I may have to use heat, but want to here from you before I attempt to do so. I can always cut slots into the new washers and install them in the same manner as the existing.

    Thanks for your help.
    So now you have the gyro riding at an appropriate height. What you want to do next is to get the spring sufficiently soft to absorb the shock of landing without dragging the keel. Doing this also maintains a firm ride while absorbing bumps from a rough strip. Lots of math involved and some experimentation as well. Your pilot weight and gyro weight are similar to mine and I've found the 135# springs to work very nicely.
    Some fabrication work is necessary but it is well worth the effort.
    Keep me posted!
    Hi, Phil.
    A complex question that you ask.
    First, I believe that although heavier, coil over shocks are far superior to the air shocks Ernie provides. Better damping and no worry of air leaks.
    As to preload, think of it as changing the length of the shock, eye-to-eye, when the gyro is sitting at rest on the ground. If the shock is too short, the keel drags, if too long, you are way up high and the wheels gain a positive camber which is bad. This can be demonstrated during a hang test, BTW. A longer spring would add preload but are difficult to find and near impossible to adjust. Adjusting the spring's upper clamp to mast location provides a small amount of what I call 'ride height' adjustment.
    <more to follow>
    Sorry for the late response, my friend. Your PM must have been lost in my jumble of correspondence. This reply is in reference to the 5/8 " tube axle on the Doms. It didn't collapse or even deform, but what was noticable was the change in camber of the main gear, the bottom of the wheels being closer to each other than the top. At first, I suspected my piloting skills on landing (part of the equation) but after trailering to El Mirage Flyin, my wife even noticed the wheels tilted in. This was souly due to side loads generated during traveling. After bending the axles back into proper alignment I felt that this tubing was somewhat delicate based on the effort I used to bend them. (area between inside brng and strut cluster weld). The grade 8 inserts resolved this issue with little cost and time. Ernie indicated they have had no problems. "They" may trailer very little and obviously are very proficient pilots.
    Didn't have room in my other post for this, but wanted to interject another bit of info, based on my experience. It looks like the "axle" design has changed on the main gear. (Hard to see) If it still is a 5/8" Chrome Molly tube, I found that this is not substantial enough for typical trailering and the learning process over semi rough terrain. I epoxied a solid grade 8 dowel into each side that required a bit of tapping to set in place. Seems hell for strong now.
    Preeetty! Love your shop too. You'll be pleased with your choice of projects. Just a note or two.

    Your pictures were great and I noticed, in the interior of the pod, your vertical bracing for the nose pod. Where it attaches to the keel, it looks like the angle material has one side of the angle beveled off. (I might be mistaken) Please note that I did the same and at that point of connection, it broke because of the lateral forces during trailering and flight. When you get your instruments, etc in place, there is quite a moment created at this point. I replaced this brace with a beefed up design and no problems.

    Hope this helps and good luck with your project. Keep us updated with your posts and if you have any questions feel free to PM me.

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