Are your wheel wells looking grimy and tired
from years of inattention?
Well, you are not ALONE! Unless you've gotten
a premium paint job in the recent past, your wheel wells take the brunt of the
dirt and debris that gets kicked up on every takeoff and landing.
Here are some very impressive efforts by Beech
Listers on their wheel wells. WARNING: These pictures can make a grown man cry
with envy and desire
Brian C.'s story:
It took me most of two months of on and off
work. Cleaning the wheel wells was a huge PITA. I completely pulled the gear
to rebuild the struts, replace rod ends, etc. This year was my "landing gear"
annual. I'm pleased with the results, but like Ward said, it was a lot of work.
Definitely don't want to do it again real soon.
The previous painter (jetglo in 1994)
didn't do any prep in the wheel wells. Looks like he just randomly shot the gun
around in the well. There's paint on the aileron cable (which I gave up on
removing). There was paint on the canvas covers. Paint over dirt, grease, etc.
I got it as clean as I could with scrapers, scothbrite, sandpaper, etc. I was
hesitant to use stripper because I didn't want it to get left in crevices, etc.
I painted the wells with rattle can appliance epoxy paint. I've had good
success with the stuff before. It's quite tough, and was a very close match for
my white paint.
I blasted all the gear components, etched
them with prekote, primed them with epoxy, then painted with DuPont Nason
urethane. I think nice, clean gear really make a plane "pop". It looks sweet,
but man, it was a pain.
Here is Bonanza owner, Ward A.'s effort:
Ward adds: "Not sure I'd do this
again (actually very sure). Sherwin Williams Jet Glo and Sherwin Williams
primer. $250 in quart paints."
Well guys, we've got our work cut out for us!
This job looks like one that is best tackled over the winter flying months,
extended annual or removal of your struts for off-airplane reseal.
If you've tackled this project and have pictures and methods to share