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Nose Wheel Brace
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Guys, before all of you nosedraggers go out and start welding braces on your gear, let me clarify some things. First, Dan Diehl designed the nose strut to collapse under severe loads. The ability of the nose gear to collapse can save your butt in two ways. First, it can help keep you from flipping over by allowing the nose to slide along on the collapsed strut instead of dropping on a hole and grabbing. Secondly, the collapse will also help protect the motor mount and firewall by not ripping it off the plane. The reason I put the brace on mine is that I want to be able to fly off grass strips without worry. I have 150 hours on my nose strut with no brace and all take offs and landings have been done on paved runways. I also have acquired the ability to land the KR without ever touching the nose wheel to the ground until gravity takes over and pulls it down. The nose gear strut is hardened tempered steel and takes quite a force to bend it. Another thing to consider is that when you are in the KR and on the ground, there is very little weight actually on the nose gear. Mine weighs in at 47 lbs on the nose gear when I am in the plane and gets lighter than that with a passenger. So, should I have welded the brace on mine even for grass strips? Probably not and I may regret it some day. I would strongly suggest you talk to Dan Diehl before making the modification. However, after the recent collapse of a friends nosewheel strut, I felt the need to beef up my nosewheel strut. The brace is welded into place on the aft side of the downward bend. Make your brace from 1/2" 4130 steel tube and simply weld it in place. You could also weld a gusset there. Either method will work. Remember, this was my modification and not the suggestion of the manufacturer. If you decide to do this, you are doing so at your own risk.