I was ready to start fabricating the upper landing gear leg intersection fairings a few weeks ago. The landing gear leg fairings are each one piece of fibreglas that wrap around the gear leg, with a piano hinge at the back to hold the back edges together. The hinge pin is inserted from the bottom.

I grabbed the right gear leg fairing a few weeks ago and tried to put it on the gear leg. I couldn't do it - the hinge pin has to go up from the bottom, and the tire was in the way. I tried to flex the hinge pin, but it was quite stiff. Then there was an exchange on the Yahoo RV-8 List, and other builders reported that the hinge pin was actually quite flexible, and there was no problem installing it with the tire in place.

I figured I must just be a wimp, so I tried again. I grabbed the gear leg fairings again, and I saw that the two fairings had different diameter hinge pins. The left one was a lot smaller. The left gear leg fairing went in place with no problem. I looked at the plans, and discovered that I had used the wrong type hinge on the right gear leg fairing. :(

I didn't want to redo the right gear leg fairing. The hinge I used will work just fine, once it is installed. But you need to remove the wheel to get the hinge pin in place.

I agonized over how to get the wheel off for weeks. The best answer would be to get an engine hoist to lift the right side of the engine mount where it attaches to the wall. But that would take a lot of driving to go borrow a hoist. I decided to try jacking, using the front bolt on the landing gear leg saddle as a jack point.

I put a very strong bench under the aircraft, then put some wood on top to support a bottle jack. I put a piece of wood between the top of the jack and the bolt to protect it. I slowly started to jack, but quickly discovered that the aircraft wanted to roll ahead. The garage floor is sloped, which was causing the problem. I raised the front of the bench about 3.5 inches, so the jack was leaning aft. This time the aircraft didn't move, but it certainly wasn't solidly supported. I steadied it with one hand, while I pulled the wheel off with the other hand. I put a block of wood under the axle and lowered the aircraft again before it fell.

The fairing hinge pin went in place quickly, then I put the wheel back on.

Jacking the aircraft like this has to be one of the stupider things I have done, as it wouldn't have taken much to knock the aircraft off the jack. My friend Jim has an arc welder - I think I'll have him weld up a jack stand with a very wide base. I'll bolt the jack to the jack stand, and it will hold the jack in place so it can't move around.