Dual Fork Nose Gear Issue

06 Jan 2018 18:32 #1366 by Gordie Meade
Dual Fork Nose Gear Issue was created by Gordie Meade
Last week the weather was perfect, a warm Florida afternoon. I decided the M-10 needed to be exercised. I sumped the fuel, checked the oil, and did my walk around. As I was finishing the walk around, I noticed my drip pan had a lot more fluid in it than normal. Upon closer inspection, I found the nose gear scissor was full of fluid. I had just had the oil changed and I assumed the quick drain was not seated correctly and was leaking. My mechanic is based here so I texted him and asked him to drop by. We opened the cowl and he inspected the interior. There was no sign of an oil leak and the dipstick said 5 qts.
As we checked, he sniffed the leak and found it wasn't oil, but hydraulic fluid.
I walked back and pushed the tail down to unload the nose gear and a squirt of fluid came out. It seems that with the really cold snap we had (down in the 20s) the O rings and seals had failed. He called Univair and ordered the replacement parts. Since the nose gear is an Ercoupe part, replacements are readily available. Parts came in yesterday and he got started. There are a BUNCH of parts in the strut and you need a special pair of snap ring pliers. It got reinstalled today and I will re-cowl the airplane tomorrow morning and test fly it. I looked at the stuff that came out of the strut, the O rings were worn, the edges were "square," AND they were automotive parts, probably from Harbor Freight. I have found several things like that on this plane.

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