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Thread: One Piece Bushwheels Vs. Gar Aero Adaptors

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    Member IndyCzar's Avatar
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    Default One Piece Bushwheels Vs. Gar Aero Adaptors

    I am getting ready to upgrade wheels and tires for a late model 180K...Looking at either the one piece bush wheels or the gar aero adaptors for 29 inch Air Hawk tires...

    Looking for pros and cons for those that have run those applications and also if the 4 or 10 ply tires are preferred and how low a tire pressure can be run for general gravel runways...The airplane is hangered most of the time and home base is hard surface runway...With the occasional off other airport operations...

    My current thoughts are to keep my 850's for use on penetration skis and change to the 29's when the snow goes away...

    What say the experts?

    thanks in advance

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    Other than cost there's no advantage to using the adaptors and since it practically eliminates using the 6" wheels for other tires. And the 10" wheel can't delaminate at the glued on ring. I went with the ABW 10" wheels. As for 4 ply vs 10 ply? There should be no question. Pass on any 10 ply tires and get the 4 plys with the tread scrubbed off. They'll be lighter and more pliable. I run my 29s at 12# for average ops. The ABW 10" wheel STC allows using 29x11x10 or 850x10 tires. I'm not sure what the Floats Alaska STCs say. Airframes Alaska @ Birchwood stocks the ABW wheels and tires. Floats Alaska @ Hood stocks the Alaska Tundra Tires (GarAero) products.

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    Member IndyCzar's Avatar
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    Thanks Mr. P...we are on the same sheet of music...I have visited with both those folks and we are thinking the same way...I guess I was just wanting to make sure before committing to the Bushwheels...I am thinking on keeping the 4 ply stock tires stock (non shaved) to assist in pavement landings...

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    Well, I looked at this situation and came to the opposite conclusion. I had a pair of CLeveland six bolt wheels and picked up a pair of used adapters. Cleaned up the adapters and wheels and 3m'ed together. Bought the 29" 4ply shaved... $1100.00 total for adapters and tube/tires. If you go that route, on the 180/185 you would want the six bolt (5/16 not 1/4)... The last set of Gar-Aeros I put together are still going after 22years. (sold them with the plane)... If you put the Gar-Aeros together properly, (let them cure) they are bullet proof....but like anything there is always some dumb-ass out there that screws it up and then tries to blame the product. By the way, the 10" wheels that ABW is selling are $2000.00!!! What a joke....

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    How much are new Cleveland's? Add that to the cost of the adapters if you want to do an honest comparison against the 10" ABW wheels. I wasn't willing to sacrifice a good set of Cleveland wheels. I need those for other tires.

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    Besides, the path a guy took 22 years ago was determined by products that were available back then. Most guys who chose Gar Aeros back then would have preferred Bushwheels but they weren't developed yet. The same would have applied to 10" wheels. Those who prefer the Air Hawk option for big tires in current times clearly prefer the ABW black wheels to adaptors. The guys I know who had adaptors have all switched to the black wheels. In fact I don't know anyone who still uses adaptors but I know a bunch with the black wheels. I still have a mounted pair of 29" Bushwheels to alternate with the 29" Air Hawks if I choose. So far I haven't. I like the shaved 29x11x10 Air Hawks. And Indy, talk to Airframes about the unshaved tires. I don't know anyone who's gone that way, even the guys who operate on pavement. I'd think you'd be giving up most of the low pressure tread flexibility with full thickness tread. But that's speculation. I never considered anything but the shaved version.

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    There have been several adapter failures over the years. The two I know of personally were both heavy 185's. I think that big load with any side loading breaks them loose?? Anyway the result is unhealthy for the attached aircraft.
    You eliminate the adapter and get extra thru-bolts. Easy decision. I imagine you'd never have a problem with gar's if you don't fly heavy or put them on a cub or something...... I ditched the gar-aero's for the ABW 10x10's years back and I'd NEVER go back. Tires seat on the bead like they should too.

    I know of a few guys locally who have the unshaved tires on 180/185's. I run them myself. Personal preference. "Double the cost/half the tire life and its for a 180 not a cub" was my thought at the time. I will take the cub if the rock is THAT big. However, I think if I had extra money to spend I'd probably get the shaved ones cause these throw ALOT of rock. I think the deep tread accentuates that. That is something you should consider. Other than that, they are great.

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    Ever heard of a failure of three bolt wheels? I haven't. I see lots of chatter on the Internet forums how Skywagons need 6 bolt wheels, and most of that's from guys in the states using little tires on big, paved runways. I've run big tires on my three bolt wheels for 15 years without a hiccup. Not that it means anything conclusive. Any feedback on the topic?

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    I appreciate the input, and have listened to every piece of advice...now time to make a decision...I have only owned my plane a little over 2 years,...been running 3 bolt 850's...seems to be what has been on it for a long time and has had very little off airport operations...Lots of grass strips though...I think the black wheels are the way to go...now shaved or non shaved...(hey keep it clean)...I like to buy local whenever possible but Dresser seems to be a good source for the tires...and 150 bucks cheaper per tire, (at least it would pay for the tubes)...any good sources on those local?...ABW wants 600 per tire and 130 for the tubes...

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    Been involved with running Gar-Aeros since the early eighties, on Helios, CE-206s, 185s, 180s, and cubs. The three bolt wheel won't hold the torque on the heavier applicatons. Mr Pid if you had any idea of what you were talking about, you would know that. Everyone figured that out thirty years ago and switched over to the six bolt Cleveland wheel. The wheel half mating surface on the three bolt wheel starts working/fretting and results in a loss of wheel bolt torque. The Gar-Aero setup on a six bolt wheel is bullet proof. And again the only weakness in the Gar-Aero set-up is someone who doesn't understand how to use the two part epoxy putting them together.... Thirty plus years and never seen a Gar-Aero failure at the epoxy joint. Another way to destroy your wheels is doing beach landings and getting salt water on your wheels. You need to rinse those wheels well, Gar-Aeros ecspecially so......

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    Cool, I'm being schooled by a real expert. Yet with the Bushwheels STC there's no requirement for 6 bolt wheels. I wouldn't know whether there's a requirement on AK Tundra Tire adapters because I never considered using them. I went with the black wheels and they work great. I have two sets of Cleveland 3 bolt wheels. One with 850s and one with 29" Bushwheels. I do have the kidney washers under the nuts and haven't had any indication of trouble, which is why I asked if AKHUNT know of any wheel failures. I look forward to his reply, too.

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    Come down off your high horse Mr. Pid and maybe then you can understand what I'm talking about. We are talking about putting a three bolt Cleveland on a 10" adapter. There is quite a bit more force put on a 6" wheel half when you put a a 10" adapter and the a 29" tire on that. The surface area on that three bolt wheel half where it mates-up with the other wheel half is pretty small. Once those wheel halves slip the wheel material frets. The fretting removes material and this causes the loss of torque. The six bolt wheel halves don't fret because of more mating surface area and more even uniform torque. Before switching to six bolt wheels, the 50hr oil change/insp. included a three bolt wheel retorque.... After going to six bolt the torque held. The lighter planes could run the three bolt and not lose torque. There is nothing wrong with the three bolt wheel on the lighter planes.....

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    Re-read my earlier post. I was interested in real info, not your pissy attack. I've used my 3 bolt wheels successfully. I know that's not the only story but it's my story. I have lots of Cessna owner friends and I've never heard of any problems with 3 bolt wheels. That precisely why I asked.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong but don't the black wheels have 3 bolts holding the two halves together? Mine are across town in storage or I'd look. BTW, the Cleveland 199-62A wheel and brake kit is running $2,057.00 on the internet dealers. Kits have been the least expensive way I've found to buy Cleveland wheels. The black wheels appear to be priced competitively.

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    the ABW 10 inch black ones I looked at the last week were one piece three bolt...And the Cleveland break kit comes with the 6 inch wheels for only a couple hundred bucks more...I think the brake kit was 2K and with 6 inch wheels was 2395...I am still curious about the shaving the wheels or not...Seems like with our weather, (rain, snow) the treads would be better for pavement, and only downsides off airport will be the treads tending to throw more gravel/debris into the horizontal stab...plane is stored in hanger so pushing it around in and out is also a factor...thats for all the help again gents...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    Re-read my earlier post. I was interested in real info, not your pissy attack. I've used my 3 bolt wheels successfully. I know that's not the only story but it's my story. I have lots of Cessna owner friends and I've never heard of any problems with 3 bolt wheels. That precisely why I asked.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong but don't the black wheels have 3 bolts holding the two halves together? Mine are across town in storage or I'd look. BTW, the Cleveland 199-62A wheel and brake kit is running $2,057.00 on the internet dealers. Kits have been the least expensive way I've found to buy Cleveland wheels. The black wheels appear to be priced competitively.
    The ABW 10x10's have a whole other row of wheel half bolts and don't mate on a flange like a cleveland. No comparison.
    Apples to oranges even if it were 3 bolt......Totally different. That said; its not a 3 bolt however. I'd have to go look at mine to see exactly how many but I'm not that motivated. I think 3 inside and 3 outside. As far as competitively priced; heck yeah. Compared to clevelands and adapters....

    As far as 3 bolt clevelands failing, I have not seen any. I have seen the fretting pipercub mentioned but I have also seen two personally that the adapters popped off (toward center of wheel) with side load presumably. Know of a couple more through the rumor mill. I seriously doubt they all didn't know now to mix apply glue, but whatever.

    Indy,
    you are on the right track. I think tread/no tread is dependent on your mission...... Floats AK has both tires in stock usually. Prob worth giving them a shout. Good luck.

    Pid,
    weighed 65A a few days ago......1146 with pod and on the 35's. Our friend would be happy, I believe.

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    I bought a used set of Gar Aero's many years ago that were mounted on three bolt rims. Two different guys with a lot of experience recommended I change to six bolt rims so I did. In removing the adapters after heating in an oven I was convinced that properly cured and applied adapters would not fail at the adhesive point. Very impressive strength. as to the choice you have, I would not hesitate to use the Gar Aero's but let the full cost (rims and all) determine my choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK-HUNT View Post

    Pid,
    weighed 65A a few days ago......1146 with pod and on the 35's. Our friend would be happy, I believe.
    Excellent. You should be pleased!

    My 3-bolters ran the past 10 years with 29" Bushwheels. I doubt those tires can apply enough side load to stress any wheel very hard. I won't hesitate to put another pair of tires on them tomorrow and run them for another 10 years. My wheel failure question wasn't specific to adapter rings. I know ANC FSDO required 6 bolt wheels for 29" Gar field approvals, at least when I was considering going that way several years back. I went with Bushwheels instead as they came out with radials that year. Great tires as long as you drive them straight and flat.

  18. #18

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    IndyCzar,

    What tires did you go with? And which tailwheel did you use?

    I'm looking at putting larger /wider tires on my 185.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

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    The plane already had a 10 inch scott tailwheel and a built up spare...the tires are the Airhawks 29 x 11 4 ply...

    Still have the Gar Adapters if anyone is interested...

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