I posted some photos of my rubber steering rod boots a day or two ago, and it has drawn criticism for not being fire proof.. Good point.. I am trying to retain the rubber boots since they seem to seal well against carbon monoxide entry into the cabin, but I will have to see if I can come up with a way of keeping heat from a fire from getting to them. Or at least, retard the heat long enough to get the aircraft on the ground. I am going to start my further development by testing some scrap rubber from the boots to see how they react to flame.

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Comment by Robert N. Eli on June 30, 2014 at 6:47am

Hi Larry, I think you may be on to something with that fire resistant silicone coating. I had been thinking of doing the same thing, but had not located a compound that is suitable. I will look for that caulk at Lowe's.. My other idea is to have a flexible slit cut in some fire resistant sheet material that would be on the firewall side to keep most of the flames away from the boot. I tried igniting some of the trimmed scraps from my boot, but it did not want to keep burning.. I could get a thin sliver to start to burn, but it would char and go out (if it is wanting to burn, a thin piece should burn more readily, but it would not sustain the burning). I think a layer of char forms and it prevents combustion from continuing.. So, I conclude that the boot will burn, but not readily.... Robert

Comment by Larry Zepp on June 29, 2014 at 9:04pm

Hi Robert, I am planning to brush on two coats of the silicone caulk called intumescent"- sold in Lowes and other big box stores to seal wiring going through a wall. At high temp. it creates an insulating char on the firewall side of the rubber boot. I have not tried this yet, but I think this is a way to get the rubber - usually neoprene - boot to seal and the fire rated silicone painted on the firewall side for more fire protection. If you run some tests on this, let me know if it works.  Larry Zepp Zodiac 650B, Fort Wayne, IN

Comment by Robert N. Eli on June 29, 2014 at 7:02am
Dan...thanks for the photos of your sliding seal.. I may do something similar on the front side of the firewall, but will retain my boots on the inside.
Comment by Dan Dempsey on June 29, 2014 at 5:57am

Robert I posted a picture that shows the sliders I used on my 601XL.


Comment by Dan Dempsey on June 29, 2014 at 5:55am

Comment by Dan Dempsey on June 29, 2014 at 5:53am

Comment by Robert N. Eli on June 28, 2014 at 8:19pm

Doug M.. Thanks for a description of how you sealed those steering rods from potential fire.. Robert Eli

Comment by Doug MacDonald on June 28, 2014 at 9:33am

On my 701 steering rods, I made a set of metal sliding shields similar to what is used on the 750.  The only problem using the 750 sheet metal sliding shield design on the 701 is the 701 steering rods are threaded for their entire length and the 750 are only threaded at the end.  The threads could catch on the thin perpendicular sheet metal shield and cause interference on the rudder system.  To solve the rough surface problem I found a piece of 4130 tube in my scrap bin that was slightly smaller ID than the OD of the threaded steering rod and ran a 3/8" tap through the tube to cut shallow threads to keep the tube in place on the rod.  I then used an extra rod end jam nut to make sure the tube stayed in place once it was threaded onto the steering rod.  The sleeve only needs to be about 60mm long if I recall correctly so it is possible to run a tap through with a bit of luck and some head scratching.  Nearly 250 hours later and have had no problems with my thumbnail engineering but haven't had a fire to test the design.

I can try to get a pic of what I did on my plane this afternoon but there is a lot of stuff in the way on a flying aircraft so I'm not sure how well I can capture my approach to the steering rod opening shields.  I hope my description has been of some help.

Doug M

Comment by Bob Pustell on June 27, 2014 at 2:32pm

Here is a discussion from several years ago, same subject. I recalled it (sort of) and was able to find it using the search box at the top right corner of the chat page. There were also a couple of other threads, same subject, over the years and a bit more searching should find them. http://www.zenith.aero/profiles/blog/show?id=2606393%3ABlogPost%3A7...

Comment by Jock Struthers on June 27, 2014 at 9:55am

I cut up some heavy welding gloves to make boots.  Not near as pretty as neat rubber boots, but it is a firewall that you are sealing and they are not on show! I also have a CO detector on the panel just in case!

NB I got the metal sliders from Zenith but couldn't retro-fit them - (insufficient space)

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