Maintenance Issues and Tips

Here I'll post various maintenance issues that builders may want to regularly inspect or problems they may want to address.  Over time this should be a very valuable list.
Here's my personal Maintenance Spec Sheet

Top 10 "Must-Fix" items for RV-10 Builders
Nosewheel Axle Problem
Oil Quick-Drain
Oil Sampling
Plexiglass Tips
Sparkplug Experiences on the RV-10
Tire Experiences on the RV-10
Oil Leak Detection
RV-10 Axle Extension upgrade
Airflow Performance Fuel Pump and Filter Information
Annual Condition Inspection Checklists
Elevator Trim Relay Sticking
Slick Mag SB (replace carbon brush, cam, and do timing)
Heavy Doors / Sagging Lift Struts?
Propeller Maintenance and Lube
Mag Problems?
Filtered Air Box Problems
Wheel Fairing Mount - RV-10 Long-Term Maintenance Problem (with solution)
Fix your Nosewheel/Tube and Mainwheel/Tube issues forever!
Rapco Brake Linings and Discs Now Available

Top 10 "Must-Fix" items for RV-10 Builders
Check out my list of items that EVERY RV-10 builder should fix or be aware of.
CLICK HERE for the link

Nosewheel Axle Problems
On the kits shipped before mid 2006, the axle spacers and design is very flawed.  Van's recently changed parts, and now the axle is a little shorter (was 5.25") and the spacers are thick aluminum.  If you haven't switched to these, MAKE SURE you don't fly before you get the'll be sorry.  Here's my write-up on that.  ** Note: While it's worth reading through the issues on THIS page, once you're done, you will want to refer to the 1/20/2009 Matco Axle link for a better current fix!

Nosewheel Axle Problems
**NEW** 1/20/2009 - Matco Nosewheel Axle Upgrade Kit

Some tips from Matco on installation (Thanks Phil)
Per Phil's talk with Matco:

"I just got off the phone with Matco and thought I'd pass along some information that is not included in their documentation."

1) The wheel halves should be torqued to 99 inches.  This is more than a standard AN-4 bolt (50-70 inches).
2) Hand tight is probably too tight.  You should be able to get the seals to hold position (when rotating the wheel in the correct direction) before reaching the maximum you can tighten by hand tight.
3) Be sure to lubricate the seals and mating surfaces with grease, this will help them hold position.
4) Once you put weight on the nose wheel, the friction of the bearing will help hold the seals in place too.
5) Make sure there is no grease between the seal and the nut.  This friction will help hold the seal in place.

Oil Quick-Drain
If you're looking for a great oil quick-drain, I'm using one that is very cheap and works very well.  I can change the oil hot with the lower cowl still on.  The quickdrain goes on the right side of the sump.  The valve and hose are made by curtis. I got mine from Aircraft Spruce.  Here are the numbers for the valve, and a hose that attaches to it.

05-01872 CURTIS DRAIN VALVES CCA-1700    $11.650
05-00138 CCB-39600-1 BLK QUK DRAIN HOSE    $10.80

Oil Sampling
I recently received my oil analysis kits, which cost me only $85.00 from Analysts Inc. for 10 postage prepaid sampling kits. The average I've seen is over $12/sample, with costs running usually $12-24/sample, so $85 postage prepaid for 10 is great.  $70 if you want to pay postage.  Here's some info for you if you're interested.
or contact Katie Rittenhouse at 847-305-9955

Plexiglass Tips
These 2 articles sent by John Cox should help you prepare for installing and caring for your windshield and windows.
Aircraft Windshield Care and Maintenance
General Drilling and Trimming of Plexi Windshields

And a quick one-liner from Mark Ritter about protecting your windshield during work: "As posted earlier I coated all the plexiglas with Spray Lat (Aircraft Spruce) before trimming and installation.  Worked great. "

My Sparkplug Experiences on my RV-10
Upon my first sparkplug change, I decided to learn a bit and swap things around.  I'm using Denso W24EMR-C plugs on top, and Autolite UREM38S Iridium plugs on bottom.

My Tire and Brake Experiences on the RV-10
While doing my fall tire pressure check, I found some uneven tire wear, and also some self-caused brake wear.

Oil Leak Detection on the Engine
Since day 1, I had a small oil seepage from my engine on the right rear side. I tried to find it unsuccessfully, until I finally got serious about it and got myself a UV leak detection setup, consisting of UV Dye and a UV penlight.  Both are made by Supercool, and I got them at the local CarQuest store.  Total cost was $6/oz for the dye (2 oz required), and $24 for the UV penlight.  To see more about my leak detecting, read my maintenance post HERE.

RV-10 Axle Extension Upgrade
Here's my write-up of this issue and some possible fixes.   The RV-10 has had a small handful of cases of the extension stem that holds the outer side of the wheel fairing breaking and damaging the fairing.  It's a worthy item to upgrade and fix, and for those who are currently building it's a definite "should highly consider" modification.

Airflow Performance Fuel Pump and Filter Information
Rob Wright was nice enough to dig up this great info on the Airflow Performance fuel boost pump and filter system used on most of our RV-10's.
Click HERE for the info.

Annual Condition Inspection Checklists (Submit yours here)
Here's my N104CD Annual Condition Inspection Checklist

The concepts for my checklist were created from:  (thanks to those who went before for their information)

Elevator Trim Relay Sticking

There have been some cases now of the Ray Allen relays for the Elevator servo sticking.  So far they're all with the original relay, their REL-1, and they've since replaced it with the REL-2.  Check out this page for more info on this situation and some solutions.

Slick Mag SB (replace carbon brush, cam, and do timing)
Having gone through the Slick mag overhaul, I decided to do a write-up of my overhaul experience, and also update some of the info I gathered from other sources because much of it was not very well formatted, and had some omissions. So here are some links for those facing slick mag work that you may want to check out:

My Slick Mag Overhaul
Updated Slick Mag Timing Guide
Text-only Tim's Slick Timing Guide (no Service info included)

Heavy Doors / Sagging Lift Struts?
Although this isn't often reported, depending on the interior coverings you choose for your door, you can make your doors heavy enough that they sag.  For general fabric covering, this won't be an issue, but for extra thick or padded doors, it may be.   Here's a tip from a fellow builder on the RV-10 Matronics list: (Thanks Ron!)

"After I added some interior to the cabin doors they would constantly fall down. I found an replacement for the gas strut that Van's supplies that has 600 newtons force instead of the 500 newtons force with the van's strut. They were more expensive but it was worth it not to be hit in the head by the doors. They are Lift-o-Mat 2218LP made by Stabilus. I found them at JWF Technologies, 6820 Fairfield Business Drive, Fairfield. OH 45014."

Propeller Maintenance and Lube
One thing that people may tend to forget is that our Constant Speed propellers require maintenence and lube also. Here are some comments from the Matronics List and a couple of documents to support them.  Most propellers at least from Hartzell will use Aeroshell 6 grease these days.  That is what they switched to years ago as their standard.

A couple older posts:
"An important thing is… don’t try to purge the old grease with new grease by continually pumping grease through to the opposite side. This will invariably go over the back of the bearing and start filling the hub. Vibration and pesky leaks will follow. I have attached the volume from the Hartzell standard practices concerning current practice and some other detail for balance and storage."
Thanks John 40315!

"Most of them come with a decal specifying the grease, usually Aeroshell 6, you remove two of the 4 zerk fittings and pump gently until grease appears at the opposite zerk you removed (same side of hub). Do not force it at all. You do not want grease coming out the prop blade will start a leak."
Thanks Kelly!

Here are two Hartzell documents that you should refer to, along with your owners manual for your propeller.

Mag Problems?
Here is a good article thanks to John C.

Filtered Air Box Problems
There are now a couple of common issues that are affecting builder's Filtered Air Box (FAB).  One is the filter wearing through the bottom of the airbox, and the other is that the alternate air door rivets pull through the fiberglass.  For a little more info, see this link from when I fixed my alternate air door.

Wheel Fairing Mount - RV-10 Long Term Maintenance Problem (with solution)
If you built your wheel fairings per plans, you are almost certain to eventually have a maintenance problem on your hands.  The U-1008 spacers will eventually eat into the U-1010-L and U-1010-R wheel fairing mount brackets.  If you fix it before it wears into the brackets, you won't have a big issue on your hands.  There are now a couple different companies who took a look at this issue and have developed aftermarket parts to prevent the problem, so just as with the front axle, and the main gear axle extensions, I would highly recommend just replacing these parts before you fly....or at your next annual if you are already flying.  See my write-up on my Wheel Fairing Mount Repair.

There are now places for a builder to actually BUY the parts to fix this problem.  First to market was with the spacers pictured below.  These are a one-piece aluminum spacer that provides a lot more surface area against the aluminum bracket.  It fits right in and should provide a good long-lasting fix. is the producer of probably the most successful door latch replacement available for the RV-10.
There is also work underway by which should be producing something soon as well.  They produce a variety of parts including the axle extensions very similar to the ones I had helped get made many years ago.

Fix your Nosewheel/Tube and Mainwheel/Tube issues Forever!

I wasn't sure if I should post this under Mods or Maintenance...I guess it depends on what stage you're at in the build.
Either way, definitely go read THIS section, under's worth your time in preventing issues for you in the tire area.

Rapco Linings and Discs now Available
Rapco is now selling linings and discs for the RV-10 brakes.  They're available at
I did a write-up HERE after installing them.

Standard Disclaimer:  The ideas, concepts, maintenance procedures and tips within this site may not be considered acceptable, and have come from a variety of potentially unreliable sources.  As with any do-it-yourself project, building an airplane and doing the maintenance is an "at your own risk" undertaking.  Treat any information you find on this page and on the web in general with caution and know that you alone are responsible for the safety of your airplane, and the maintenance performed.   Although the ideas posted here were put out with the concept of increased safety in mind, there are no guarantees.  (Hey, it's 2006, what's a guy to do)