I assembled the tail wheel this morning. The washers specified for the wheel bolt up did not allow enough treads for the castle nut, so I substituted some thinner washers.
Here is the standard Van's tail wheel assembly trial fitted to the spring.
I spent the rest of the day honing the tail wheel spring to fit into the socket tube in the fuselage tail. The two mating zones on the spring come unpainted and ground to a semi-smooth finish. I spent some time sanding powder coat overspray and rust out of the socket tube and then trial fitted the spring. I couldn't get it inserted past the first mating zone, even with grease applied. I then started honing the mating zones using 400 grit sand paper on a flat board. First I sanded the zones to a shiny finish but they still did not fit. I eventually had to reduce the diameter of the mating zones by about 0.001 inch before they would just barely slide into place with a lot of grease and force.
Success at last- tail wheel spring inserted into the fuselage tail.
I used a taper pin to get the spring to final location in the socket tube and then final drilled the bolt hole and inserted and torqued the bolt. Here is the final assembly with tail wheel attached! There is absolutely no play between the spring and the socket tube. Hopefully it will be good for many years of service.
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