In order to increase my confidence level while landing at my grass strip and
others like it I have installed slightly larger main gear tires on the original 5" wheels.
I have also installed a new nose gear fork which accommodates a 500 x5 wheel and tire.

I am not recommending these changes to others.
I am simply presenting this information to document what I have done to make, in my
opinion, my operations on select unpaved airstrips a bit less risky.
None of these changes have been approved by kit producer, Van's Aircraft.

Click here for additional important
information concerning the nose gear mod

 I replaced the, not so, original nose gear fork and tire with a modified RV10 fork and 500 x 5 tire.
I had previously replaced the original fork with the new style fork that the Van's service bulletin now mandates.

The RV10 fork has a gear leg bushing ID of 1 1/2" which is 1/4" larger that the RV7A fork.
That required the fabrication of an adaptor.  Here I'm boring a piece of 4130 steel tubing to fit the 1 1/4" gear leg.
The outside diameter of the 1 1/2" tube happened to be a perfect slide fit to the the 1 1/2" ID fork bushing.

This tube would combine with a plate to function as the nose gear stop.
The washer is installed at the bottom against the larger fork bushing and above the clutch disks.
I made this one but it's the same size as the washer, supplied by Van's, that's installed below the clutch disks.

The finished, leg to fork bushing, adaptor/stop.

The left drawing is the modified RV10 fork and adaptor/stop.
Notice that the brass bushings are inset to reduce the
removal of the fork material (see photo below).
The top drawing is a wheel axle spacer.

An aluminum plug with a 1/4" hole was used to steady the fly cutter which had a drill rod guide.

Here's how it finished up --- no sharp corners or edges here.

The top side

I bought new brass fork bushings and they were trimmed in length to fit the modified fork.
As it turned out, I really didn't need the new brass bushings
as the original ones pressed out easily and without damage.
I even installed 1/4" staking screws for the bushings
(see drawing above) as they didn't seem tight enough to me.
The grease zerk had to be moved and one of the screws
utilized the vacated hole, which had the same thread.

The RV10 axel setup did not work with my wheel (Cleveland) so I turned a couple of spacer/bushings.


This cap screw will prevent the spacer/bushings from rotating

The difference in size

Again --- quite a difference

With this new wheel/tire, I will have to replace the gear leg fairing and fabricate a new wheel fairing.

It doesn't look too bad.
 This change gives me 2 1/2" additional, gear leg bottom to
ground, clearance over the original setup and 1 1/2" more than the new Van's fork provides.
Prop to ground clearance is 1 7/8" greater.
The new nose gear setup weighs and additional 3.1 lbs. over that with the latest Van's fork.
That brings the total weight gain to 5.9 lbs. for the conversion of all three wheels.
That does not consider a probable slight gain for the new wheel fairings.

As expected, the tail now sets a bit lower than before.