Inspection Reveals Crack In Mount
by steve colwell
While doing a creeper/flashlight inspection, I discovered a 1.25" crack in the engine mount at the aft hinge boss of the nose gear hydraulic cylinder (see media files below). I have learned of two other Legacy RG's that also cracked in the same location. Because of the nature of the damage, I believe the failure may be related to the number of gear cycles.
I worked with a local retired aviation-rated welder to effect a repair (see media files below). Based on the shop's recommendation, we welded the crack and added a gusset. I cannot be certain this will be a long term fix. I do know a separation of the boss retaining the nose gear linkage will result in an expensive repair including at least the prop, crank and cowling, and likely more.
Our airframe has 740 hours, but I have not tracked the number of gear cycles.The problem area is easily inspected using a creeper. I contracted a local auto restoration shop to blast the powder coat off before welding the repair. Instead of replacing the powder coat we used a two part primer and two part finish coat.
Most experimental kit manufacturers powder coat mounts because it is cheap, tough and looks good, but it introduces another problem: Powder coat will hide a crack that paint won't.
If you ever have to have your mount off, I would recommend going to paint. This is the second time for me; our RV6 had a crack in the main gear socket hidden by powder coat so long it was rusted.
Crack Before Repair
Gusset Welded to Strut Boss
Welded and Repainted
For questions and comments on this post send an email to info [at] lancairowners.com.