Stainless steel melts at approximately 900 degrees celsius Higher than aluminum. If there was ever a fire in the engine bay it’s a safe bet that most of the heat, fire and flame is going to come out through the exhaust channel and under the pilot. Several other builders have replaced the aluminum channel with stainless steel. I think this is an easy upgrade. It will be heavier but the new channel will be built so that it will resist the cracking that can happen in this area. Like the other builders I’m giving the channel “wings” so that it is attached more rigidly.
First pass after using the local EAA96 shear and brake. Left side is the old aluminum channel and the right side is the stainless one (upside down).
Still need to attach the stiffeners. This was a lot of work, almost the entire day.