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Thread: PA-22 Drum Brake Ring Loose

  1. #1

    Default PA-22 Drum Brake Ring Loose

    Hello, time to introduce myself... been reading for several hours now, a wealth of useful info here; thanks to all who contribute their expertise & time.

    I recently purchased a 1956 TriPacer 150, with the intent of (finally) getting a Private License. Have flown a number of hours in various aircraft, but have never had that ticket. Bucket list time.

    At any rate, after some taxi testing yesterday, I found one of the aluminum rings ("support rings"?) on the inboard side of the brakes was firmly affixed to the drum, the other (starboard side) loose so that it could be spun around easily by hand. Makes a nice clanging noise.

    I THINK I have the gist of what that piece is for --an external "stiffener" for the rather thin brake drum-- but not sure how it attaches. I plan to discuss this with a local A&P tomorrow. As an aside, my calves STILL hurt from trying to stop and/or hold the d___ed thing yesterday. It has had (Williams, I believe) independent toe brakes added by the previous owner, but they sure don't work real well as far as I can tell.

    Anyone out there have a description or a parts blow-up of that business, or a link to same? I did see where Univair has a $70 book on ADs for the TriPacer, but money's a bit tight at the moment, and I think it's going to get tighter.

    I have to admit I'm getting scared of the things I'm finding...maybe not earth-shattering, but bothersome, nonetheless. I'll save some for later....

    Thanks in advance, as I KNOW I'll have lots of other questions!

  2. #2

    Talking Re: PA-22 brake problem

    Greetings Walt and welcome aboard !
    These aluminum rings should be attached with 3 contersunk machine screws, 10-32 size I believe. I still have the Cleveland drum wheels and brakes on my 22/20 and have had these rings work loose as well. Mine typically only had the screws back out a bit so that the ring started rattling but never rotated. I just use some blue locktight and new screws to resolve the problem. The alunimum wheel material these thread into are soft, so you may have to carefully rethread them with a tap. It is difficult to start the screws and tighten them in place on the gear. Better to remove the wheel off the axel, then you will have better access. Should be a breeze job for your A & P.
    CD's with complete PA-22 shop drawings, parts list, and other helpful stuff is available for purchase on the Short Wing Piper Club web site.

  3. #3

    Default Re: PA-22 brake problem

    Thank you very much, Brian; I wondered if there was some sort of attachment mechanism accessed from the inside. In looking at the wheel (I'm an old wrench-slinger, so it's hard to keep my hands off!), it appears that three screws secure the dust cover, then I'm guessing a cotter-pinned castellated nut to remove bearings and wheel... yes? Note- I will still talk to a local A&P mechanic tomorrow.

    PS-Wife and I spent 2 years in Monterey while I was in school at the Monterey Institute; I remember seeing signs for Monrovia in my travels, but don't remember where it is. Still have sister & her kids (all grown) in the LA area.

    After I get the brakes repaired (and I suspect there are more issues lurking beneath the surface), then it will be on to numerous other little --hopefully-- squawks.... but here's one more question: Does the passenger front seat in the PA-22 remove the same way as in a PA-20? Want to get a look at the battery. (In any case, I'll dig around tomorrow.) Thanks again.

  4. #4

    Default Re: PA-22 brake problem

    Oh- One other thought Brian- If I'm not mistaken, my TriPacer was also at Oshkosh in 2008, by previous owner- N4557A, mostly white w/red & gray trim srtipes12-1.jpg

  5. #5
    rocket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    5NK in the Bristol Bay, AK

    Default Re: PA-22 brake problem

    on should taxi a tripacer as if the spinning prop of a DC-3 is spinning direly in front of you... or a nice shinny Learjet or other exotically expensive immovable object. Done right the breaks are only used for stopping with your tyedown ropes right under your wing. The runup done on the roll much more practical then the flight school spam can operation you might have been tought in the past. The breaks on my tripacers were so bad when I received her that I just learned to take my time and never point her at anything I did not want to mow down. I have sence giving them some love and I can lock them up on gravel with 8.50 mains. OH ya, I have the stock drum brakes and Johnson bar.

    Back to the salt mines,


  6. #6

    Default Re: PA-22 brake problem

    Quote Originally Posted by walt.buskey View Post
    Oh- One other thought Brian- If I'm not mistaken, my TriPacer was also at Oshkosh in 2008, by previous owner- N4557A, mostly white w/red & gray trim srtipes12-1.jpg
    Yes I do remember that plane. I will look through my OSH photos from 08 and see if it was parked with the group that year. Once you have the wheel off you can take a look at the brake shoes and linings. With decent linings and shoes adjusted to just slightly rub you should have some acceptable braking. I always try to land as if I have no brakes at all, and then they do just fine. Full power runups will result in creeping forward for sure, but at 1700 I have no problems keeping the wheels locked. I will probably upgrade to disk some day since the Univair tailwheel STC covers the necessary paper work. Monrovia is a foothill community in the San Gabriel Valley about 20 miles NE of downtown LA. I keep my two planes at KEMT about 7 miles South of my house.

  7. #7

    Default Re: PA-22 brake problem


    I have the same brakes as Walt has. I do not have any screws in mine. They are an "interference fit". Not sure I understand where your screws are. Are they used as a type of "set screw" that turns down tight on the drum or are they some how attached to the wheel flange?

    Thanks Keith

  8. #8

    Default Re: PA-22 brake problem

    No screws in mine either, or holes for screws for that matter. I TIG welded the inside diameter to build it up and then turned them on a lathe so they were 6 thousandths of an inch smaller than th OD of the drum. When my wife was gone, I put them in the over at 250f to warm them up and promptly slid them onto the drum. When it cooled it was tight, and has been tight for 8+ years. I no longer have that annoying sound from them moving around when the brakes are applied.
    Last edited by forkzilla; 04-17-2012 at 01:13 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: PA-22 brake problem

    DSC04054.jpgDSC04055.jpgWell, it looks like mine are "interference fit" as well; no screws, no holes. The ring on the right brake will easily slip over the (yep-VERY thin) brake drum. Showed wheel & ring to local A&P, he pointed out that it looked as though there had been some corrosion in there at some earlier point in time. He seemed to know about the "build up with welding, then turn on a lathe" method. Now
    I'll have to find someone who can do that.... also looks like a lot of aluminum shavings in there. Any further suggestions or tips? Thanks. WBB in NH

  10. #10

    Default Re: PA-22 brake problem


    last time I had a set of those do that I cleaned it up real good with MEK and glued it back on with Marine Tex. Has not come back off since.


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