The Zodiac 601XL-B battery removale and replacemenmt

I am buying this aircraft from an estate.

The two ways I see to change out the battery is remove the horizontal stabilizer or get a very very small person to climb into the tailcone.

Is this correct?

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Comment by Dick Miles on March 21, 2018 at 4:42pm

My error again.  Will need a CFI for 2 hours, I hour solo then passengers.

I have a CFI available.

Comment by Dick Miles on March 21, 2018 at 12:47pm

The builder was a small thin person.  To get the battery out we will put a stand below the tail, put a pad in the rear fuselage to no damage to the lower skin and a small person will change out the battery.

As I am not the builder and have 0 hours in the 601XL the insurance co requires a pilot with a minimum of 750 total fly time and 25 or more hours in this aircraft fly with me for 2 hours.

I need help in finding such a pilot that I will need after completing the condition inspection.

I'm in North Carolina with the aircraft at North Raleigh Executive Airport, KLHZ.

Comment by Bob Pustell on March 18, 2018 at 6:27pm

The O-235 makes more sense, for sure, on a 6 series Zenith. That is still on the heavy end of the range for what the plane can accept and makes the aft located battery reasonable. Let us know if you find an easy way to gain access to the battery or not. Good luck. It is rare to have a battery that far aft so I am sure that a bunch of us would be interested to learn if the installation is user friendly in an upkeep sense or not. If it is user friendly we would like to know how it is done, also. Good luck with your new birdie.

Comment by Dick Miles on March 18, 2018 at 1:42pm

My error.... The engine is a Lycoming O-235-L2C NOT an O-360. The battery was moved back to its rearmost position at 5.5 hours on the airframe. The original Sensenich wooden prop was replaced by a Warp Drive 3 blade HPCF prop at 110.9 hours. I will comment when I finally remove the battery to replace it. 

Comment by Bob Pustell on March 18, 2018 at 12:03pm

Miles, these planes are kit built and the battery location is up to the builder since there are so many engine and battery choices. Therefore there is not a standard location or mounting arrangement, each plane is unique. Most builders will use the battery as a ballast item, they will put it where it helps move the empty CG of the plane closer to the desired location. It is a weight that needs to be in the plane anyhow, so you might as well use its location to help move the CG to the optimum location. Generally speaking a 601XL/650 with a light engine has the battery at or near the firewall while one with a heavy engine has the battery towards the rear of the plane. I have never heard of or seen one with the battery as far aft as you describe simply because the location is so awkward. Also, the further away from the starter motor the battery is located the longer (and heavier) that thick wire is that connects the battery to the starter motor.

If the builder put the battery that far back in the plane, it must be a large and/or heavy engine, for sure. I would suggest a careful search for some built-in method of battery access or removal, I find it hard to believe the builder would not make provisions for battery replacement and/or inspection but ya never know.......... Hopefully there is a hidden access of some type or a mounting screw that can be removed from outside the plane that will allow the batter to slide forward somehow. Or, maybe you are right and the guy (without consideration for future access) built the plane around the battery and you have a problem. Good luck on that one.

I would also suggest a careful examination of the aircraft's weight and balance data. If the engine forces the battery that far to the rear the builder might be tempted to push the CG limits and accept an empty CG at or close to the forward limit rather than load the plane up with ballast weights in the tail. A forward CG is not a bad thing in a 601XL/650 because the pitch controls are so light and sensitive - the further forward the CG is the less pitch sensitive the plane is - but you would not want it to be out of limits forward. Chris Heinz put the CG range where he put it for a reason and one does not want to be outside the allowed range.

Good luck and let us know what you learn. Also, please verify your remark about an O-360. If accurate, that is one heck of an overpowered plane! And, a heavy plane. Very heavy, to the point that I would doubt it would be legal to take a second person in it.

Comment by Harmen van der Velden on March 17, 2018 at 8:28pm

O360  - 180 HP- in a 601??  just wondering

Comment by Dick Miles on March 16, 2018 at 11:16am

The battery is as far back in the tailcone as it can go.(against the end bulkhead below the horizontal stabilizer). It is a long way behind the large access door. As I am buying this aircraft, I need to find out what type of battery it is and change it out as it is dead. This aircraft has a Lycoming O-360, Warp Drive 3-blade prop and four wing tanks.

I'd like to hear from anyone that has there battery at that farthest aft position. Thanks.

Comment by Richard Jones on March 16, 2018 at 9:05am
My batteries are located behind the seats, Access is remove seat back or the large access door on the bottom of the fuselage. Access door on bottom also get you to the control cables.
Comment by David Krakowsky on March 15, 2018 at 11:14pm

My battery in my 601xl is on the firewall.

. Do you have a hatch door under the rear  fuselage? Mine does, perhaps you can access it that way.

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