Steel Bungee for Zenith aircraft
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Steel Bungee for Zenith aircraft

Price: $395.00
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The Viking Steel Bungee was developed from customer requests:

"I have a flying CH-701 at present and was always wondering how to improve the bungee on the nose wheel strut.  I have added a collar to the strut to keep it from total collapse but am leery of the keeping the prop out of the dirt if the bungee "shits the bed".  I noticed your picture on the Zenith Builders site and backed through all the available pictures plus the ones you show on your site.  I am curious about more detailed pictures showing how your system works -  and what modifications are necessary to install your system.  Right now the bungee holds the nose strut down against a aluminum "L" bracket which causes friction in the rudder system. Also torquing the bungee as the rudder move adds to the system stiffness - ala' the 701 rudder that doesn't want to center.  I couldn't tell from your pictures how your system works thus my email.  Thanks in advance for you response."

Very good questions and you show a clear understanding of the limitations of the original system.
Basically, the steel bungee works in reverse of the original rubber bungee, yet the suspension load is transferred to the original cross tube.  The Preloading of the spring is handled internal to the spring, using an adjustable rod, providing no force to the airframe while in flight. The ramp effect of the original plastic material has been milled away and the steering arms now ride on a flat surface.




Gary Welch started the discussion "My O-235 Bungee Replacement Nightmare" in the group Zenith CH 601 / 650 Zodiac series on Zenith Aircraft Builders and Flyers

First off - YES, I wish I had bought and installed a steel bungee. I will never replace a bungee on my O-235 601 XL again.

Spent the best part of the last two days, hands and arms cut to crap, massive bleeding head wound and every part of my old body in severe pain trying to replace the damn bungee.

First I tried the "ratchet method". That wouldn't work because there is zero clearance between the magnetos to try and rotate the ratchet. Even with a flex joint in the ratchet there was no way to rotate the handle up past the magnetos.

So I bit the bullet and bought the bungee tool. I found out very quickly that won't work on my plane either. When the tool is positioned on the rudder pegs, the right side steel leg is TIGHT against the O-235 engine mount cross bar. There is no way you can then lean it back (towards the engine)  to even get the forks facing the gear tube, much less also slide the bungee past it. The engine mount cross brace forces the tool tight against the gear tube, you can't lean it back even a fraction of an inch.

At this point I was screaming, cursing, bloody and beyond frustrated.

Then I calmed down and began the first of multiple trips to the local hardware store. I tried three different combination of hooks, angles threaded rods and fittings to try and get something to work. Five hours later I finally got the sumbitch on. Arghhhh@@*!

I've attached some pics of my final solution. The key to making this work was the carved wood block and keeping the hook off to the side of the block as I ratcheted it up.

Anyway, thought I'd post my experience here in case someone with an O-235 has a similar problem.

One thing is for sure - I will never replace the bungee again! If it breaks I'm going to spend the money and buy the damn steel bungee...