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Thread: Beech 23 Landing gear

  1. #1

    Beech 23 Landing gear

    Hello all; I have a 1963 Musketeer that needs new landing gear cushions/donuts/discs. She is sitting pretty low and I don't believe they have ever been changed.

    Where can I get the best deal on these, and what should I expect to pay for them?

    I also see that other owners have a "shake" in their nose gear. What is the fix for this and expected parts cost?

    I am new to the club (15 minutes ago) and am excited to be here. Thanks in advance for any and all help.

    Semper Fi/Regards,

    Last edited by HARPOON; 06-13-2017 at 04:47 AM.

  2. #2
    Welcome to the club! Great people here. We recently completed a large group buy of donuts, maybe someone bought extras. There is a lot of discussion about donuts, try a search "donuts" above. Also look at info at AECI, which produces these under PMA.

    Paul Werbin
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Director

  3. #3

    Welcome to BAC. You will learn a lot about your plane here. Our maintenance and technical experts are awesome! However, to assist them, please update your profile (upper RH corner) with your aircraft data.

    Again, welcome to BAC!
    All for one!
    Chris Linderman
    BAC Founding Member & former President
    Sierra N5106M (former owner)
    KSUN (Hailey, ID)

    States visited by N5106M

  4. #4
    Orbiting Earth Left the Solar System
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Jacksons Gap, Alabama
    There are two known sources for donuts: Textron at $2,900+ per gear leg, or AECi at about $800. Some members may have bought extra sets during the "donut deal". IMHO there will be no more deals. The shimmy in the NLG indicates the pivot bearings are worn. This can be a $10 part (a shim) or pivot bearings worn beyond serviceable of which I have a very limited supply at $250-350 each (there are 2), plus r&r labor. Do not waste time and money on the shimmy dampener. Other factors, damage, worn knee pins, knee pin bushings, etc can escalate the costs dramatically. After years of no probs with the pivot bearing, this year I have run into 2 mouses that required replacements. Last time I checked with Textron the bearing were $600 each, zero in stock.

    A 1963 model presents some unique challenges: 63 does not have grease fittings in the knee pins from the factory, and it is recommended that they be added at least to the knee pins ($100 each). If not, per the maintenance manual all 6 pins must be removed and lubricated every 25 hrs. I doubt a single mouse received the recommendation. Next, the 63 used steel bushings which jam the knee pin, ruining both.

    The 63 was initially delivered without NLG steering, so the parts used to create steering are unique to the 63 and very difficult to find, altho they rarely wear out.

    If your 63 has its original donuts, that implies that AD 77-03-05 has not been done. This AD requires the removal of the fore and aft bolts, replacing them with "side to side" jo bolts and a dye penetrant test of the MLG housings. Cracks in the MLG housing deem them unairworthy, replacements usually run around $400 or so. Damage is rare, however I have encountered 5-6 mouses with the AD ignored for nearly 1/2 century!!

    Bac to the knee pins: Only on the 63 did Beech use a smaller diameter pin, which makes them unique to 553 airframes.

    Early musketeers have a thinner walled donut stack tube, later models will fit.

    Some early musketeers still have the goodyear brakes which makes parts sourcing a challenge.

    Very old donuts are rock-hard. That means every bump delivered to the tires is transmitted directly to the main spar. Look at the two big phillips head screws on top of the wing over the MLG, if there are wrinkles/chipped paint you have spar damage.

    I've done the donuts on about 20 airframes, and exactly 2 had no problems.

    Now that you are thoroughly frightened, all this is fixable, except the spar. It's really simple work that needs to be done. I have nearly all the fixed gear parts including NLG and MLG housings. I actually have one 1963 NLG housing left, the scrappers have some, and ebay occasionally has some gear parts.

    Anything I can do to help you or your a&p please do not hesitate to contact me. There are videos available that show the process, along with a tip sheet that corrects some of the maintenance manual errors.

    I don't know where you are located, but if you can get to KALX, I'll walk you thru a "post buy" inspection and donut game plan for free.

    BAC is loaded with all kinds of help, just ask.

    Rap McBurney A&P/IA
    Former N2339J owner
    Last edited by Unclerap; 06-19-2018 at 09:20 AM.

    Rap McBurney

  5. #5
    I did a price check on the 169-810016-3 NLG bearing about a week ago and it was $600+. This morning I checked again and it is $496 with 13 in stock at Wichita - West. Still expensive, but over $100 is a significant price drop. I've known owners that have pulled the landing gear and set them to KLUX (no longer operating). At one time it was cost effective to have the gear done right as they would last 10 years or so with normal use and annual lubrication. The installation with the new Jo-bolts isn't hard, but you need the tools, which the club rents.

    Additional information: I recently got an e-mail from Textron that gave me a 5% discount on my next purchase using the code: TRYUSOUT
    Last edited by mvanover; 06-13-2017 at 08:38 AM.
    Marty Vanover
    Tucson, Az.

    Where "Sandy Beech" has landed.

  6. #6

    Welcome aboard!

    Rap is the absolute guru on the 63s, as you could tell from his post.

  7. #7
    Orbiting Earth Left the Solar System
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Jacksons Gap, Alabama
    Marty: I do "mail order" donut/gear jobs, 3 so far.


    Rap McBurney

  8. #8
    Just checked Textron parts. The 169-380003-7 donuts (fixed gear main/nose and Sierra nose) are $2919 per gear (8 shock discs). 13 on hand quantity at Wichita - West. No price on the 169-380098-1 Sierra MLG donuts, none on hand either. The system didn't recognize the alternate -3 Sierra donut.
    Marty Vanover
    Tucson, Az.

    Where "Sandy Beech" has landed.

  9. #9
    WOW RAP, thank you very much for the great information. I am located in Minnesota. I have also updated my profile information.
    I have owned my 23 for about 11 years. It must have had the changes made because I have been told by several different A&P's that ALL AD's have been complied with (whew).
    Last edited by HARPOON; 06-14-2017 at 04:09 AM.

  10. #10
    Thank you.

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