After talking to people about putting the rims together (and everyone telling me to take it to a tyre shop) I stumbled upon a handy pdf file on the Matco website. It basically said to lube the rings up and pull them over the rim, so I went to the local auto parts store and asked for some silicone lubricant and got a blank stare. Fortunately the customer he was attending to was listening, asked me what I was trying to do (I showed him the Matco instructions) and he took me to some Lithium white grease, told me this was the thing.
Back at the hangar I greased a rubber ring and tried to get it over the rim, still really hard to do but after a few more tries I was able to stretch it out enough and with the help of the grease slide it down to sit on the bead. Success! I quickly put the two rims together inside the tyre and set it aside.
The next two happened pretty quickly.
I had a go at blowing some air in them with a strap around the tyre but the air just came right out of the centre, a problem for another day (or, finally, the tyre shop). Instead I returned to the second wheel assembly and this one went on the main gear rear pretty fast. I almost wish there was one more to do.
Sunday, now, and a long talk with my Dad convinced me I should try again rather than “waste” money paying someone to air up the tyres. Some YouTube research and I was armed with new ideas (or rather a better way to do the original idea). I took a ratchet strap, wrapped it around the tyre and tied a knot, placing my hammer in the knot.
Then, turning the hammer tightened the tyre on the rim, air was applied and the tyre popped out onto the bead. Pretty soon we had three fully inflated tyres.
We shall see how well inflated they are when I am back next week.
The final thing left to do for the wheels is to make the notches in the rubber gear supports. For this I went to my father in law’s house and he, my wife, and I set about the rubber parts with a jig saw. Those rubber parts are some tough old birds, but eventually I got two more pairs of notches made.
They are all probably going to need some cleanup with the grinder in the Dremel before being fit for purpose but they are close enough now to get there.
So, all that is keeping the plane now from sitting on the ground are the notches in the rubber, and obtaining some lubricant for the nose gear leg where it sits inside the support. The manual doesn’t say we need it but many people on the website say it is a very good idea.