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Submitted By: charles.long(at)tds.net Email List: Zenith-List Name:
Charles F. Long
Dec 23 2007
Subject: Low Cost Steering Boot design for 601 Description:
I've been looking for rubber boots to use on the Zenith 601 steering arms. It has been difficult to find an off-the-shelf product due to the narrow profile. I finally found something that is a near perfect fit on my HDS. It can be purchased from JB-Custom Fabrication on E-bay. This particular boot is used on certain Jeep models for the twin shifters. It costs around $26.50 plus shipping. Good news is you only need to buy one and carefully cut it in half. The following steps describe the installation:
1) Call up this Internet location > http://stores.ebay.com
2) Look for the following part > Twin stick shifter boot, Bronco / Jeep / Blazer / Scout(Embedded image moved to file: pic19629.gif) and order it.
3) Carefully cut the boot in half using a sharp scissors. Trim off excess material.
4) Make two custom mounting plates out of .016" 6061-T6 aluminum. You can trace the inside hole using the original supplied bracket. The elliptical holes are easy to fabricate if you happen to have a Unibit. Leave plenty of material on the Outside perimeter (2" all around) to allow you to take advantage of existing rivets in you firewall. You will trim to suit later.
5) Disconnect the steering arms from the rudder petals. When the time comes, the boots will slip easily over the ends.
6) Drill out existing rivets that will be reused on the boot mounting plates.
7) Duct tape the mounting plates in place. Mark the existing rivet hole locations on the plates with a Sharpie.
8) Remove the plates and drill rivet holes along the entire perimeter. You can now trim the plates to give the correct rivet edge distance.
9) Cleco the plates in place using the existing mounting holes.
10) Drill the firewall for the additional mounting plate holes.
11) Remove the mounting plates and contact cement the boots to the plates.
12) Cleco, then rivet the boots / mounting plates in place.
13) Purchase a short section on 5/16" ID fuel hose. Cut two 1" lengths and slit lengthwise.
14) Slip the hose over the steering rods and then pull the boots over the hose.
15) Rotate the nose gear fully left and secure the right boot with an aviation hose clamp at its full extension. Likewise for the other side.
16) Re-install the steering arms.
This installation can be accomplished on a completed aircraft with some patience and contortions to get under the instrument panel. It helps to use a 12" #30 drill bit for the holes. Prior to this modification, I had some low level CO readings in the cockpit on takeoff. These boots eliminated the issue (along with sealed the perimeter of the firewall with hi-temp RTV). The boots should reduce the draft during the winter time as well.
Z601LE, 90 hr TT
Boot_as_installed.jpg Boot as installed in a 601 Boot_as_purchased.jpg Boot as purchased off of Ebay