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Thread: North river aviation/air frames Alaska brakes ?

  1. #1
    Flyjeep's Avatar
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    Default North river aviation/air frames Alaska brakes ?

    According to my paper work I have the 8400 brake booster with stock drums and was wondering how much stopping power should I have? It had been OK but today it seemed weak. I was taxing back after landing and was going to turn off and even at full pull on the bar it was slowing but was not going to stop. It held during run up. I have not checked fluid yet, I wanted to make sure what brakes I had so I will check tomorrow. It just had an annual so I assume the drums are OK but I have not looked. Any thoughts?

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    JPerkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: North river aviation/air frames Alaska brakes ?

    When mine had its nose wheel 8t had the north river master cylinder and drum brakes. With it full of fluid it would drag the tires on gravel during rollout if you weren't judicious with the Johnson bar.
    Had a small leak though and when that fluid got low, different story.
    Your setup is probably fine.
    I'd say make sure the fluid is up to snuff. Get an a&p that's familiar with your setup to show you how. Once you learn it's pretty easy to keep it maintained.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using ShortWingPipers.Org mobile app
    Jason Perkins

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    walt.buskey's Avatar
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    Default Re: North river aviation/air frames Alaska brakes ?

    ...Or maybe the felt ring grease seals have been leaking? That's what I had to deal with on my PA-22 immediately after purchase. Even though logbooks indicated "bearings serviced" at every annual, those felt rings had been leaking for some time. Brakes just couldn't hold it during run-up. Grrrr.

    I'd for sure take a look at them.

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    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: North river aviation/air frames Alaska brakes ?

    You have a sealed brake system. First thing I would do is top off the brake master cylinder, install the cap, pull the brake handle and remove the cap and repeat. I bet the brake gets firm. The sealed system needs attention due to temperature and altitude. That is why Steve's brake master cylinder is nice to have . It is vented and has a reservoir, Check at annual and fly.

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    Flyjeep's Avatar
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    Default Re: North river aviation/air frames Alaska brakes ?

    Thanks for the input, I will check the fluid and if that dose not work then I will get the shop involved. The brake with a reservoir may be added to the list.

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    Flyjeep's Avatar
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    Default Re: North river aviation/air frames Alaska brakes ?

    I added fluid and it seems to be better. I did not see any leaks or fluid around the hubs or the master, I had cleaned under the seat thoroughly when I installed the new carpet. Do I just add fluid when the bar pull passes a certain point? Thanks again I didn’t want to start adding fluid if another issue could be lurking. I assume that I can not add a reservoir to this system.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: North river aviation/air frames Alaska brakes ?

    I do not know the master cyl you have. but if it is same type as stock. I would pull brake handle to a normal stop and lock the brake. then fill the master to the bottom thread of the filler plug, close it and try it. The factory brakes only need to be a couple of drops low on oil and they go from not great to this sucks. I switched it over to steves master cyl with vent and adjusted up my drum brakes and she will stops fine. next annual I will switch the drums for disks and be set for the rest of my flying career.

  8. #8
    Flyjeep's Avatar
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    Default Re: North river aviation/air frames Alaska brakes ?

    I did not set the brake to add because it was 30 deg out and I didn’t want to chance the brakes dragging when it warmed up. There is about a one inch tall adapter that has the plug bolt on top of it. I just added about ten-fifteen or so drops till I could put the bolt back it and not have it run over. I could tell that the distance I could pull the bar was a little less and felt tighter.

  9. #9
    Flyjeep's Avatar
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    Default Re: North river aviation/air frames Alaska brakes ?

    Warmer today so I worked on the brakes again. I set the brakes and added fluid and it made the brakes drag. So I reset and removed some fluid. I put the bolt/plug in and slowly pulled the brake bar till I stoped hearing air and felt the fluid pressure hit the bolt and tightened the bolt. Seems fine now. Moves about 2 inches or so to engage the brakes.

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