Tailwheel Mounting Kit
Tailwheel Mounting Kit
Please note: if you already have the full swiveling tailwheel assembly from Van’s, you do not need this kit. All you will need is the retrofit fork of your choice (Doug Bell Fork or Screaming Eagle Fork).
RV-14 owners: Vans uses a different tail spring for the -14 than on other aircraft, with a different mounting diameter and angle. At this time, we do not have a mounting kit for the -14. You can and should use the Van’s parts and simply replace the tailwheel fork with one of our retrofit forks.
Our tailwheel mounting kit includes everything you will need to mount one of our retrofit tailwheel forks to a Van’s-type rod spring. This includes:
- Mounting socket
- Locking pin and spring
- Control arm of your choice
- Washers for the top of the assembly.
You can use this kit to replace aging and worn parts, to convert one of the older bent-spring, non-swiveling tailwheels, or to add a Van’s type tailwheel to another aircraft.
We recommend that you measure the diameter of the aft end of your existing tail spring before ordering. Standard Van’s parts have used an aft mounting diameter of 0.635″ since 1997 (and the newest parts use a .644″ diameter since 2017 or so), but nonstandard installations are not uncommon (for example, many conversions to the API tailwheel used a 0.625″ mounting diameter).
If you’re upgrading from an early model RV-3 with a non-swiveling tailwheel, your tail spring is likely a smaller diameter and will require the 33/64″ socket and appropriate modifications to the spring. If you are adapting to an aircraft other than a Van’s RV, please get in touch with us for more information.
Finish on the mounting socket and control arms will vary depending on the options you choose and our current availability. Some items are powder coated and others ship as a bare metal finish for you to apply paint finish of your choice. Do not powder coat or weld on the mounting socket pieces, as the high heat will destroy the plastic bushings in the socket.
Q: What are the angles of the various mounting sockets?
A: Standard mounting socket angle:
- RV mounting angle is approximately 21 degrees above the horizon
- Sonex mounting socket angle: Sonex sockets are made with a 0.625″ stinger mounting diameter and is set at an angle that is approximately 33 degrees above the horizon.
Q: What if I am converting from an Aviation Products (API) tailwheel?
A: The API tailwheel sockets typically had a longer forward portion where it sleeves over the tail spring, and usually the mounting hole is in the forward section of it. We make an extra-length socket in two diameters to handle this situation. For more on converting the API tailwheel, please see our document on the subject (click here).
Q: Do you have replacement bushings for my Van’s socket?
A: No, we do not carry the bronze bushings that Van’s uses, and our bushings will not fit to Van’s parts. You can likely find replacement bushings at an industrial supply