Design Improvements for the Zenith 601 HDS: Thrust Bearing of Nose Gear

Thrust Bearing of Nose Gear

The nose gear turns easily if thrust bearings are used. These are small sleeve bearings from Aircraft Spruce with 1/4 inch ID. One drills a hole through the nose gear tube and installs the bearings, one in front and one in back of the tube, with an AN4 bolt and nylon stop nut. Care must be taken when tightening the nut so that the tube does not become distorted. Sealer must be used with the bolt and nut to prevent moisture from entering the tube.

In addition, one must create a support surface for the two bearings. The support surfaces are a bit indented so that the bearings require a bit of force to move from the straight-ahead position. We have found that without such indentation, the rudder gradually moves off-center in flight. Ball bearings instead of sleeve bearings must not be used since the shocks imposed on the bearings during touchdown destroy ball bearings.