Bungee system help
Yes, but I think it was stated early, the TAB is present. This is the bendable piece. There is not a separate rudder trim like the -3 has. The 108-2 has a goofy rudder bungee system that’s right behind the rear floorboards and consists of two cables that connect to the rudder control cables back by the tai. Rotating the knob pulls on one or the other cables and in essence, acts like a trim, but there’s not a physical external trim tab. The metal piece on the end of the rudder assembly is a bendable trim tab and it seems like, as was mentioned, it was left over from the 108-1 which didn’t have the bungee system.
I think you’re right in that if mine is all bent up it’s counteracting the bungee trim system and defeating the purpose of having it in the first place! Weather has been too crappy to fly here, so I’m hoping next week to get this fully resolved!
I will keep you all updated!!
FIXED!!! Sorry I haven’t updated the thread, but I FINALLY fixed my wandering tail issue with the last adjustment of the bendable rudder tab. And on top of that, I flew in another 108-2 that flew just like mine so what I was thought I was experiencing is just apparently how these things fly. What I mean by that is they aren’t hands off like a 172 or the like, which is all my GA experience. Tailwheel planes are new to me and while I was told you can’t be lazy on the rudder, I just wasn’t aware of how happy your feet are with tailwheel planes. I’m not saying your stomping on the rudder all the time, rather, I’m saying that it’s not like flying a tricycle gear plane and you just have to be more aware of what the rudder is doing. So part mechanical, part inexperience. I thank you all for the advice and help on this!
To recap, The wandering ball issue and takeoff/ground stability is no more due to several fixes: new bungee springs, cable tension equalized on both sides of the trim system, correct tail wheel steering springs, rebuilt tailwheel, new leaf and rubber insulator. The final fix was the adjustment of the rudder tab.
And with that, I just listed it for sale. I think what it comes down to is I’m just not a tailwheel guy. I’m going to be getting a 172 or Cherokee. I’m way more comfortable in those. It’s a beautiful plane and I did a bunch of improvements to it, but in the end, it’s just not for me.
Thanks again guys!
It is sad to hear that you have given up on your Stinson. My 108 which is outfitted exactly like your 108-2 with the rudder bungee system is the most stable plane I have ever flown or ridden in including the big airliners. I have owned and flown this plane for more than 53 years. It is far more stable than any 172 that I have ever flown. In even moferate turbulance it will maintain heading and altitude in cruise for many minutes without touching either rudder pedals or the yoke. I have found that most tricycle gear pilots that I have given rides to will not keep their hands off the yoke and mostly do not know what the rudder pedals are for and thus the Stinson does not seem stable from their constant fiddling with the yoke. They just have habits developed that unstabilize the Stinson. It is true that the planes with the training wheel in front mostly are easier to handle on the ground, but driving on the ground is not what airplanes are for. They are fore flying.
Trim the elevator and rudder, then fold your hands in your lap and keep your feet available to change headings on the rudders and go cruise in level flight for extended periods of time to learn to not overwork the controls. I also have a Mooney M20C and while it is pretty stable in flight, it just does not compare to the stability of the Stinson.
Larry Wheelock Stinson 108 since 1968 and with 180 Lycoming since 2012 About 4000 hours in the Stinson, coast to coast and border to border
Larry Wheelock, A&P/IAStinson 108 N584LW 180 LycTexas in Winter; Indiana in Summer
Thanks for the reply, Larry, but I disagree. If I'd have given up on it I'd have chopped this thing up for parts a while ago. I fixed it, but I'm still not enjoying it and this is based solely on my experience. No matter what the accolades are for the plane in others minds, for me, I'm just not seeing it. But that's why they make different planes for us all to enjoy. And this one, I simply don't. So it's time to make a change, that's all. It's a beautiful plane I just don't enjoy flying it.
I appreciate all your help, along with everyone else's, on this and getting things figured out. It was definitely an adventure and I hope it helps others if they seem to have similar problems.
I don't have the proof you need but I believe that one of the reasons that the -3 has a bigger tail with an adjustable trim tab is to correct part of the problem you describe. Remember the -3 (and the -5 to a certain extent) was the next (and last) evolution of the 108 series and was designed to address perceived shortcomings of older designs. You might try on a -3 on for size to see if you like it better.
Now before all you non -3 owners jump on my case, sometimes improvements are not always desired by everyone. For example, Californians may prefer improved toilets that don't flush, light bulbs that don't light, gas cans that don't pour, paint stripper that doesn't strip, gasoline that doesn't burn etc etc, but I kind of like a lot of the old stuff that I grew up with. Sometimes the solution is worse than the original problem.
Bob PicardN6346M Stinson 108-3 Floats/Skis/Wheels
N48923 Taylorcraft L-2B skis/WheelsAnchor Point, Alaska
Bob, I agree with you. I've owned a -1 since '91 and have been flying a friend's-3 for the past 4 years. IMHO the -3 is more stable in flight than my -1. Once in cruise I set the elevator trim until it flys hands off then I put my feet on the floor and set the rudder trim. I can then take a nap lol. So Dave if the -2 isn't for you just try a flight in a -3. You might like it . If not, oh well, as they say different strokes for different folks.
A -3 is what I got my TW endorsement in, and that’s what I enjoyed about it was how well the thing flew. Zero issues and if it had these issues like my -2 has I would never have pursued buying one. In my opinion, Everything that’s said about a Stinson is in the -3, not the -2. Of course, this -3 had a huge motor and that helped build the enthusiasm too! 🤣