So, I decided to do another little modification to the canopy. I put new wheels on....but this time the wheels have real bearings in them! I also used wheels with tapered edges on them. The idea here is that at some point I can put a track in that holds the wheels fixed in the middle of the track so they don't rub at all.
After doing the bearing mod I found that the canopy slides much more easily. Once I get the whole machining process down I may actually work on a new slide that has the grooves necessary to track the wheels.
Just as a reference if anybody wants to duplicate this mod here are the parts I used.
1. Wheels - I used the wheels from my CNC kit manufacturer. (https://www.smw3d.com/openbuilds-extreme-solid-wheel-kit/). I did have to put them on my lathe and turn the diameter down to the correct size and I didn't use any of the bearings included in the kit. I did get the idea for using bearings from this kit though.
2. Bearings - I ordered these bearings with the idea I would put two per wheel in similar to the way my CNC machine works. However I found that if I put in two bearings the bolts would stick out too far and rub on the inside of the track. So I mixed up a bit of epoxy and glued a single bearing at just the right depth to hide the head of the 1/4" bolt holding the wheel on.
3. Spacers. I used a lathe to turn the spacers you see in the picture below but I could just as easily have purchased a piece of aluminum tubing with 1/4" ID and 1/2" OD to do the same thing.
Anyway that's it and I am really happy with how the whole thing turned out.
|Here you can see the new wheels with the bearings. I have the SuperTracks slider mod on the airplane which is why I have two sets of wheels on each side. This is looking from the outside of the cockpit back at the canopy slid all the way back.
|A little better veiw of the mount. You can see the taper in the wheels with this picture.
|While I had this all apart I decided to modify the inlet to the SuperTracks rails to be a little less "sharp". I found that I jabbed my shoulder with the original design and this just seems to work much better...and it looks better.
|Outside view of the SuperTrack rail mod.