Installing the Matco wheel and Brakes finishing the brake lines and bleeding the brakes

August 15, 2012

Again, Another two day roll up. Tuesday and Wednesday night brought all sorts of fun with the wheels and brakes. The matco wheels have a slightly different bearing than the cleveland wheels in that it has a slight radius at the inner race that requires a oversized washer to make sure the inner race seats firmly against the bearing stop on the axle. In this case of the RV wheel brake plate and bearing seat is made from 1-3/8 0.058 thick 4130 that has a flange welded on to it. Vans calls out a 1/4″ aluminum washer U-405 on each side of the axle.

I had decided to go with matco WE-51L which are the light weight version of the WE-51 (straight replacement for the Clevelands). The difference is that they are slightly slimmer than the WE-51 so you need to make up for the 3/8 gap with a spacer. So I made a spacer out of 4130 and slide it on along with the aluminum washer and tighten the nut down. Since these bearings have a integrated grease seal not the washer and felt seal like the clevelands they have a 18-26 lb of drag on the wheel when installed properly. I’m not going into detail in this since the explanation is on their website ( The seal does look like it will keep much more dirt and water out so after much head scratching and installations I have now ok with this set up. I did notice some pretty noticable corrosion in the hub of my cleveland wheel where the felt seal used to be so I guess Matco is correct.

Anyway I installed the brake plate and wheel fairing bracket. Split the wheels install the tubes and tires, packed the bearings and installed the wheels and tightened the nut. I installed the caliper and caliper plate measured marked and cut the brake line and flared a coupling and nut onto the tube and attached it to the caliper. Rinse and repeat for the other side. I then secured the brake lines with nylon tubing as anti-chafe protection and installed the newly painted gearleg fairings. After that I back bled the brakes and they are now nice and tight. I now need to drill a cotter pin hole for the axle nut and that area will be all set.

A side note about bearing drag. I know it sounds bacwards to have have wheel drag while the wheel is off the ground but once you get the airplane on the ground and roll it around it is actually very smoth and not noticable.

Time spent 8 hours
Total time spent 1548 hours