New nosewheel fairing has towbar opening smaller than original

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New nosewheel fairing has towbar opening smaller than original

Post by 40flyer » Sat May 04, 2019 7:43 pm

I ordered a new nosewheel fairing to replace the one that came with the airplane when I bought it 3 years ago. It had been damaged sometime in it’s use in IFR training. The hole in the original fairing for my 2005 DA40 was slightly larger than 1.5” to accommodate the towbar insert which is about 1.5”. The hole in the new fairing is only 1”, which means 1) I can’t fit the towbar, and 2) even if I had a 1” insert it would be too small for the 1.5” hole in the gear fork arm. Did they change this on later models? Anybody know a good way to cut a clean larger hole in the fairing?
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Re: New nosewheel fairing has towbar opening smaller than original

Post by BRS » Sun May 05, 2019 2:24 am

Can you sleeve the nose fork down to 1"?

To cut the hole, you might be able to hot glue a peice of wood to the inside of the fairing then use a hole saw. then you'll need to sand the hole nice and smooth, mask and paint.
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Re: New nosewheel fairing has towbar opening smaller than original

Post by Steve » Sun May 05, 2019 3:40 am

I wonder if you ordered (received) the correct part. From the photos on the Diamond Aircraft website, it appears that the towbar hole in the nosewheel fairing of the DA40NG is smaller than the other DA40 models. I'm not sure about this, just the way it looks to me. Before I started modifying the part, I'd give Diamond a call...

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Re: New nosewheel fairing has towbar opening smaller than original

Post by 40flyer » Sun May 05, 2019 3:04 pm

I do plan to call Diamond and check on the part. I couldn’t find any DA40 or even DA20 that shows the part they shipped me. In addition to the smaller towbar hole it has 3 screw holes near that opening vs the 2 in the original. It also has an access door for accessing the tire tube valve.

If I have to cut a hole the wood block is a good idea. I’ll try to find a fine tooth hole saw that won’t tear the fiberglass.
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Re: New nosewheel fairing has towbar opening smaller than original

Post by Steve » Sun May 05, 2019 3:22 pm

The other option would be to find a composite shop that could repair your original fairing. I have done some minor repairs on my NLG and MLG fairings. Would likely be cheaper than the new fairing.

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Re: New nosewheel fairing has towbar opening smaller than original

Post by 40flyer » Thu May 09, 2019 2:52 pm

Just an update on the new fairing. Diamond is no longer making the old fairing. I have to have a field mod done on the new one so I can fit my existing towbar. So anyone with the old fairing (hole ~1.5") should take very good care of it or you'll be shelling out $1600-$1700 for a replacement and will need it modified in the field.
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Re: New nosewheel fairing has towbar opening smaller than original

Post by Antoine » Thu May 09, 2019 3:58 pm

Wow, talk about customer service. Still not learning...
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Re: New nosewheel fairing has towbar opening smaller than original

Post by RMarkSampson » Fri May 10, 2019 1:19 am

Many FBOs that have a tow bar have multiple adaptors to fit different sized receivers in the nose wheel fairing. Where the towbar attaches, my DA-20 takes different sizes depending on if I have the nose wheel fairing on - or if I leave it off. So I have engineered a few simple wooden adaptors that I duct tape to my tow bar depending on what configuration I need. Ultimately it may be easier to modify the towbar vice the plane. One is certified to fly, the other is not.

Also on my nose wheel fairing the location where the tow bar hooks is back-reinforced to take the load. So before you ream out a bigger hole be sure you have enough strength left in the fairing to pull the plane without ripping out or deforming. You may need to add additional reinforcement to maintain strength.
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Re: New nosewheel fairing has towbar opening smaller than original

Post by 40flyer » Sat May 11, 2019 7:32 pm

The problem with a towbar adapter is that with a smaller towbar insert the towbar would only be pulling against the fairing, not the fork arm. I think that could easily damage the fairing. For that to work I’d need a bushing placed inside the existing form arm hole and some way to keep it there securely.
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Re: New nosewheel fairing has towbar opening smaller than original

Post by Steve » Sat May 11, 2019 7:40 pm

I would just ask the Diamond engineering department how they suggest modifying the part that you have so that it will work. They have been (at least for me) very responsive to requests for information, work Instructions, etc. I suspect they will just tell you to use a Dremel tool to enlarge the hole. The tow bar actually applies force to the aluminum nose fork, not the fairing.
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