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Out of curiosity, I sat in mine (not flying yet) and pumped the rudder pedals. They are a hair stiff, but the nose is on the ground and it moves, for what seems to me, pretty easy. It's sitting on concrete my shop now. My engine ain't light too boot!!!! I'm sure once the nose is in the air it will be even easier! I don't have any lube on the block yet either!!!
I'm wondering if maybe some builds have the upper nyloid in the top shelf of the firewall cockeyed or too snug? Might be the gear leg is a hair off angle as well? I hate the bungee as well and am looking at the Viking steel spring replacement option until I get my amphibs done...
The problem surfaces when there is no weight on the nose wheel (in flight, in other words). That is when the V block thing is sitting in the notch and centering the rudder pedals while the nose strut is fully extended, no weight on the strut -- that is also when it becomes awkward to get the rudder linkage to move out of that V block smoothly, many folks have a "bump" out of the center position of the rudder pedals in flight. Try getting your nose wheel off the ground by pulling or pushing the tail down to the floor and then see what your rudder control feels like while the strut is fully extended.
Sure helped on our airplane