Need help for installation of Air Shocks on my Dominator single

Richard31

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May 1, 2020
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Toulouse, France
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Trike AirCreation GTE 582 ES with iFun16
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Hi all,

I am in France and i have the opportunity to find a "old" Dominator single from Italie but the kit have been provide by RFD in the beginning of the 90'. The shocks have been rusted and i decide to integrate the Air Shocks (Monroe MA803) as i can see on numerous of Dominator to keep the original design. I have a RFD assembly manual and Ernie precise that bottom insert have been drilled off center.

>Does anyone has got a drawing of these insert ? it seams that these drilled off center permit to tilt the air shocks towards.

With my regards,

Richard
 

scottessex

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Nov 12, 2003
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central, ga
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Just drill it off center, starting at say the bottom of the bushing/spacer and end up at the top where it comes out....
bushing.jpg
 

gyrodude

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PA-22, J-3 Cub, C-150, 2 hangliders, 8 ultralights, Bensen, Air Command, Dominator
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No idea
Hi all,

I am in France and i have the opportunity to find a "old" Dominator single from Italie but the kit have been provide by RFD in the beginning of the 90'. The shocks have been rusted and i decide to integrate the Air Shocks (Monroe MA803) as i can see on numerous of Dominator to keep the original design. I have a RFD assembly manual and Ernie precise that bottom insert have been drilled off center.

>Does anyone has got a drawing of these insert ? it seams that these drilled off center permit to tilt the air shocks towards.

With my regards,

Richard
I have Dominator single seat serial #1. it has VW dunebuggy shocks
 

j bird

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I believe most Dominator owners have switched to spring loaded shocks, The Monroes were a pain in the ass, leaked down all the time.
A solid metal rod, 1/2" in diam. 1x1/2" long with a 5/16" hole drilled diagonally through the rod would work. I think they were aluminum if I remember.
 

Richard31

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May 1, 2020
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Toulouse, France
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Trike AirCreation GTE 582 ES with iFun16
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Hi, surfing on net i identified that air shocks have got a kind of clamp on the their body, it seams to be in alumnium. As i understand the function this clamp is to secure the air shocks in case of air leak but i am not sure. Can you confirm please ? i imagine that RFD provide these clamp in their standard kit, does somebody have a drawing of even a nice picture in order to be able to draw this part and machin it ? thanks again !
 

j bird

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Hi, surfing on net i identified that air shocks have got a kind of clamp on the their body, it seams to be in alumnium. As i understand the function this clamp is to secure the air shocks in case of air leak but i am not sure. Can you confirm please ? i imagine that RFD provide these clamp in their standard kit, does somebody have a drawing of even a nice picture in order to be able to draw this part and machin it ? thanks again !
Not supplied with the air shocks, had to buy separately from Ernie.
 

gyrodude

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No idea
I've absolutely had no problems with the dune buggy shocks and I use a rough grass strip. You could'nt give me air shocks.
 

Capt'n Gator

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Goldsboro, NC
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Dominator Single 582BH N401JC
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I have AFCO racing coil over shocks and I fly off of a rough turf strip, I would never have air shocks, they leak down too much. I also fly a single place Dominator and am a loyal Carolina Barnstormer
 

cesphil

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I agree that you should not bother with air shocks. I have an almost new set of air shocks with the spacers and clamps that I would give you if you were local.

I converted my Dominator to coil over shocks after about a year of using the air shocks. The coil over shocks are a major improvement with regards to handling and maintenance. They have been maintenance free since installed eight years ago vs. the air shocks that needed to be constantly recharged (preferably with nitrogen) and the machine is much more stable on landings.

Attached is a drawing that I produced that shows what shocks to use and how to install them.
Let me know how you make out.
 

Attachments

  • SHOCK DETAIL.pdf
    136.2 KB · Views: 47

Richard31

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Toulouse, France
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Trike AirCreation GTE 582 ES with iFun16
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Thanks all for your help, i machin an insert with an off center hole parallel of the center axle. I suppress the conflict between weld leg and air shocks. IMG_1937.jpeg
 

GyroRon

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The air shocks aren't bad. Ive had several dominators over the years with them. On some shocks, they leak down fairly fast, in a matter of a day or two they have gone flat. Other shocks would hold air for months.

You DO have to add air to all of them from time to time. This is true.

But unlike coil over spring shocks, with air shocks you can easily adjust your " Spring " pressure. Most gyros I have flown with coil overs, the coils are too soft, and the suspension is typically already mostly bottomed out. The Gyro is also more prone to " Duck Walk " with coil overs.

With the air shocks, you inflate till the shock has fully extended, then continue to inflate till a point where if when you are standing beside the gyro, and you reach up and grab the mast above the shocks, and pull strongly to one side or the other, you want the shocks inflated to a point where as you pull on the mast the shock just barely compresses. If you were operating off rough fields, you would inflate slightly less so where as when you pull on the mast the shock may compress 1/2 -3/4 of a inch, that would give you a acceptable ride over rough ground.

Bear in mind, the landing gear and walking beams, and shock set up on a dominator is not bushed or on any kind of bearings and any travel the landing gear has, it is wearing out those parts. if operating off pavement you are better off to have a very firm shock with limited suspension travel. The gyro will taxi better, have a more solid feel during takeoff and landings ( assuming you can land smoothly ) and you will have less wear and tear at the pivot points of the landing gear.

The aluminum collars on the shocks you see, those are to prevent the gyro from tipping too far over if the air shock completely fails and leaks out all the air. You definitely should have those on your shocks. And one nice thing about those, is if your shock fails, you can have someone push on the mast on the failed side, to extend the shock, and while that is happening, you can adjust the collar higher on the shock body and use the collar to hold the shock extended as if there was air in it. This would allow you to fly it home, or just continue flying while you wait for parts or time to repair them etc...
 

Richard31

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Joined
May 1, 2020
Messages
20
Location
Toulouse, France
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Trike AirCreation GTE 582 ES with iFun16
Total Flight Time
500
The air shocks aren't bad. Ive had several dominators over the years with them. On some shocks, they leak down fairly fast, in a matter of a day or two they have gone flat. Other shocks would hold air for months.

You DO have to add air to all of them from time to time. This is true.

But unlike coil over spring shocks, with air shocks you can easily adjust your " Spring " pressure. Most gyros I have flown with coil overs, the coils are too soft, and the suspension is typically already mostly bottomed out. The Gyro is also more prone to " Duck Walk " with coil overs.

With the air shocks, you inflate till the shock has fully extended, then continue to inflate till a point where if when you are standing beside the gyro, and you reach up and grab the mast above the shocks, and pull strongly to one side or the other, you want the shocks inflated to a point where as you pull on the mast the shock just barely compresses. If you were operating off rough fields, you would inflate slightly less so where as when you pull on the mast the shock may compress 1/2 -3/4 of a inch, that would give you a acceptable ride over rough ground.

Bear in mind, the landing gear and walking beams, and shock set up on a dominator is not bushed or on any kind of bearings and any travel the landing gear has, it is wearing out those parts. if operating off pavement you are better off to have a very firm shock with limited suspension travel. The gyro will taxi better, have a more solid feel during takeoff and landings ( assuming you can land smoothly ) and you will have less wear and tear at the pivot points of the landing gear.

The aluminum collars on the shocks you see, those are to prevent the gyro from tipping too far over if the air shock completely fails and leaks out all the air. You definitely should have those on your shocks. And one nice thing about those, is if your shock fails, you can have someone push on the mast on the failed side, to extend the shock, and while that is happening, you can adjust the collar higher on the shock body and use the collar to hold the shock extended as if there was air in it. This would allow you to fly it home, or just continue flying while you wait for parts or time to repair them etc...
Thanks a lot for you clear explication about behavior and setup of air shocks.
 

mark biddle

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Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
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Location
new zealand
i re- assembled all the fittings with a good spread of " wurth" brand pipe and thread sealer and since then (around a year ) had no issues with leak down.
 
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