RV-10 Door Lift Strut Upgrade
Where did I go? (You thought COVID maybe got me?)
OK, so I know it's been a LONG time since I've
written anything here and updated my website. The short
explanation is: COVID hit in 2020, and by May I was
furloughed by an employer I worked at for 18 years. They
basically cut the people with longevity first, to save
money. I was due back mid-August, but then they decided to
tell half of the people coming back that they were no longer
being kept. That was rough, and actually pretty
stupid on their part for their long-term operation, but hey, it
was what it was. I was lucky though. When you do
good work over many jobs and many years, people get to know you
and your skills and reputation. I was fortunate and had a
prior boss who was just dying to have someone with my skill set
it networking. I've done a large variety of things for
many years, and in networking in particular, I've got some great
enterprise class experience, with lots of success at making
So come September 2020, I jumped into a new role at a new
employer, and it's one that is in a new-to-me type of
business...with lots and lots of goals on their roadmap.
Really, just an intense mountain of things to do. So, I
basically folded my cards on my personal life much of the time
for 2020 through 2022. We made some insane progress, and
things are working very smoothly. I work fully remote,
which, for some people may mean they can slack off all day, but
I've got some screwy brain wiring that turns a good situation
like "work from home" into a bad situation of "Work your butt
off and be a workaholic at home". I literally care too
much sometimes about my job, and being effective, helpful, and
available, and I let it completely run me. My 2022 New
Years resolution was to "relax more", and I absolutely failed at
that...and life just plain ran me over once again. But
now, 2023 rolled on in and I have now vowed to be an actual
human, with an actual life, who does actual fun activities, once
again. I hope to have plenty to write here, from this
point on. Nowhere near what I used to, mind you, but I'm
going to put in writing, those things that help not just you,
but me. I've said this to many people before... This
website is not just for you, but for me. I cannot possibly
remember everything from my build, and if you email me with
questions, the chances are that I will not have a clue any
more. I was building my RV-10 now, nearly 20 years ago,
and have been finished and flying for SEVENTEEN years.
Yeah, time flies, wether you're having fun or not! So this
website is my own personal reference for "How did I do that?"
and "What part do I need to buy?". And here you thought I
was just writing this all for you! :)
What's my latest upgrade?
I was lucky enough to have my original lift struts
last this long. I credit the longevity to my leaving the
doors open when in the hangar. I have sealed and insulated
hangars that get no birds in them, so I can leave the doors
open. Most people
who built when I did have long since replaced theirs. This
worked to my benefit because lots of people posted information
on what lift struts to buy as replacements. I combed through
that info, pondered it, and made my choice, and I'm happy with
it so here is a write-up for you that may be helpful.
First, the original lift struts from Van's are 500N (that's
Newtons, a unit of force) and did an ok job for me with fabric
pasted on the inside of my door. They are made by
Stabilus, in Germany, and mine had a part number of 1938LQ 0500N
180/04 E 09. Depending on your door weight and covering,
500N may be just enough, but probably won't be too much.
For people with lots of stuff on their door, Van's sells a
different part...I think p/n C-1060-HD, that is a Stabilus
Lift-o-Mat 2218LP that is 600N of pressure. There are 2
reasons I didn't go with that one. #1, they are $131
EACH!! That's pretty insane. #2, they are a standard
lift strut. Why is that bad? Well, the ones I got
from Bansbach are actually made a little nicer from the looks of
it, but they have a feature that the others don't...If you mount
them ROD DOWN (attached to the cabin top) then during their last
10% or so of door lift, they will dampen the lift and slow it
down so your doors don't slam and wobble when they go up.
THAT to me is a bigger deal.
So what I purchased is a drop in replacement for the
RV-10. You don't have to compress them to install them,
and it's a simple 15 minute job to replace both of them. There
are bushings on the old struts that you can put on the new ones,
but you may need a different variety of light or standard
washers to take up the gap, because the aluminum ends are a
little wider. And nicely made, I should say.
With the extra 100N of force, I find very little difference
other than good function of the doors. My old struts would
barely hold the door in cold weather, any longer. They
used to be fine. The new struts will close the door if you
are holding it open about 18" or so. But if you open it
more than 18", the door will raise all the way open, slowing
down for the last 10% so they don't wobble a lot.
What and where I ordered:
I ordered A1A1F50-100-287/600N.
A1A1 indicates the end style we need to be a drop in replacement.
I got them from Easylift, in Melbourne FL. 321-253-1999 /
At the time of my purchasing, they were $61.03 each, and
shipping wasn't cheap at $41.37.
You must phone them to order, because this particular part isn't
orderable on their website.
It is, however, listed there: https://store.easylift.com/a1a1f50-100-287-600n
I called and talked to a very nice lady on the phone, she put my
order in and although
they didn't have them in stock the day I ordered, they were
Click the pics to make them larger.