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Old Nov 09, 2007, 10:10 PM
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An experiment replacing metal landing screws with nylon

I'm doing this on my E-Flite Mini Edge and Mini Ultra Stick.

I decided to do a little experiment and find out what the best way is to replace the metal screws that hold the landing gear on with nylon screws. Obviously simply replacing them with 4-40 nylon screws is the easiest. However, finding 4-40 nylon screws in a hardware store is difficult if not impossible. I've gone to Home Depot, Lowes, (2) Ace Hardware stores and an independent with no luck. You can order them online, but I wanted this done now-I am impatient at times. If you're not, order them online. It is by far the easist way to accomplish this.

I made the decision to drill and tap the 4-40 T nuts (aka blind nuts) and make them 6-32. Everybody carries 6-32 nylons. I drilled the threads out with a #36 bit and attempted to tap in place. When the tap began cutting new threads, the T nut broke free of the wood. OK, I'll just replace the T nuts with 6-32 T nuts and be done with it. However, the 6-32 T nuts are slightly longer than the 4-40 and sticks through the bottom of the landing gear block. Not a problem as the landing gear is the right thickness to alleviate this issue. Therefore, my Mini Edge now has 6-32 nylon screws holding the landing gear on.

Not satisfied with this, I began to think how to make this more simple. Tonight, I came up with the idea of running a 6-32 screw through a 4-40 die thereby converting the 6-32 nylon screw to a 4-40. I am going to try this tomorrow and will report back on how it works. I think it will go pretty smoothly.
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Old Nov 10, 2007, 08:15 AM
Captain Carnage says......
AirWarriorBelgy's Avatar
Seminole (St Pete.), Florida/ Seminole Crash Fest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedcinMn
I'm doing this on my E-Flite Mini Edge and Mini Ultra Stick.

I decided to do a little experiment and find out what the best way is to replace the metal screws that hold the landing gear on with nylon screws. Obviously simply replacing them with 4-40 nylon screws is the easiest. However, finding 4-40 nylon screws in a hardware store is difficult if not impossible. I've gone to Home Depot, Lowes, (2) Ace Hardware stores and an independent with no luck. You can order them online, but I wanted this done now-I am impatient at times. If you're not, order them online. It is by far the easist way to accomplish this.

I made the decision to drill and tap the 4-40 T nuts (aka blind nuts) and make them 6-32. Everybody carries 6-32 nylons. I drilled the threads out with a #36 bit and attempted to tap in place. When the tap began cutting new threads, the T nut broke free of the wood. OK, I'll just replace the T nuts with 6-32 T nuts and be done with it. However, the 6-32 T nuts are slightly longer than the 4-40 and sticks through the bottom of the landing gear block. Not a problem as the landing gear is the right thickness to alleviate this issue. Therefore, my Mini Edge now has 6-32 nylon screws holding the landing gear on.

Not satisfied with this, I began to think how to make this more simple. Tonight, I came up with the idea of running a 6-32 screw through a 4-40 die thereby converting the 6-32 nylon screw to a 4-40. I am going to try this tomorrow and will report back on how it works. I think it will go pretty smoothly.

Or...you can just land "perfectly' everytime
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Old Nov 10, 2007, 01:30 PM
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My landings are actually pretty good. I've never had nylon on my landing gear, but have also always flown glo planes. I switched recently to electrics. There was a thread recently where someone tore off their gear block and recommended the nylon. Figured I'd give it a shot.

Anyhow, I tried to run a size 6 screw through the 4-40 die and it doesn't work.

The bottom line in this experiment is: if you want to use nylon screws, you're going to have to find 4-40 somewhere, or just replace the 4-40 blind nuts with 6-32.
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Old Nov 10, 2007, 01:52 PM
BEC
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Depending on the O.D. of the T-nuts, you might be able to tap the hole left behind 6-32. If not that then surely 8-32 - though then the nylon screw might be big enough to leave you with a ripped out LG plate instead of the gear breaking away.

I do this mod routinely in order to have a simple bolt replacement instead of having to glue back in mount plates.
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Old Nov 10, 2007, 04:42 PM
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Lo and behold, I ordered some 4-40 nylon screws online. After that I went to my LHS and passed an unbeknownst to me ACE hardware. Guess what? They've got a whole tray of 4-40's.
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