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Thread: Booster Brakes

  1. #1
    jrussl's Avatar
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    Booster Brakes

    Anyone have any experience with the North River Booster Brakes? I have not been happy with my braking performance and was considering a set of Steve's vented booster brakes. After a little more digging, I found my bird (PA18-150 w/ 850's) already has the North River upgrade.

    Does anyone know how they compare to the Steve's boosters?

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Steve's require less maintenance because they are vented. North River is a closed system and you have to add or take fluid out with different temps and altitudes.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  3. #3
    Mikey's Avatar
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    I have not tried any of the vented boosters, but other than having to add fluid every now and then to keep the pedal travel at a min., I have had no complaints w/ the North Rivers since putting them on many years ago. They are plenty powerful to get you in trouble if you mash them. Maybe because I don't set them rock hard, I have never had any binding issues w/ temp swings.
    Chris

  4. #4
    kase's Avatar
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    I have the Dakota Cub vented boosters and they have been 0 maintenence. Dakota, Steves and North River all have the same piston and displacement. If your brakes are not working right changing master cylinders probably wont make a difference. I would guess you have other problems.



  5. #5
    jrussl's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! This is exactly what I was looking for.

    The issue that caused me to make the previous post was a flight on Saturday in 3 degf temps. I guess that temperature changes affecting the brakes are just part of the deal with closed system brakes.

    It is very nice to know that all three of the STC'd systems have the same piston sizes. I'll continue to troubleshoot to improve the warm weather performance.

    Jeff

  6. #6
    KenyaCub's Avatar
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    The north river brake boosters have all the power you need for braking. Just make sure they are well topped off and well bled. The other thing to look at is that you have heavy duty brake lines, otherwise during hard braking the normal lines expand and you lose pressure.
    If you are tired of topping off the fluid constantly, then get a pair of Greg's (Mauleguy) experimental brake pads. The problem with the stock pads is that during a lot of heavy braking the pads wear out too fast and the fluid you are adding is to compensate for this. Greg's pads will last much longer and will enable you to top them off much less frequently.

  7. #7

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    Brake boosters

    Add a 2" riser between body and cap to increase fluid amount might extend time between bleeding?

  8. #8
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Problem we have in Texas is it is below freezing in the morning and 70 degrees in the afternoon. For that reason the vented system works better.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  9. #9
    jimboflying's Avatar
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    I am using the booster brakes on my experimental PA12 Amphib but found that with all the long lines, temperature changes could affect the braking or bind the brakes. I finally decided to put a common resevoir with a needle valve on the top of each brake pedal resevoir. That way I can open the needle valve to either let fluid in or out as required. I found that If I open the valve and depressed the brakes slightly then closed the valve with the pedal still very slightly depressed I could get just the feel I wanted.

  10. #10
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I saw a certified L21 once that had a Pronce Albert can fastened to the side panel with a shut-off valve attached to the line going to the brake actuators. Worked good but looked funny. You have a much cleaner installation of the same concept. Good idea on depressing the pedal and closing the valve.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  11. #11

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    One thing that you can try is raising the tail and leveling the aircraft out . It will allow the most fluid into the booster. I found that just a few drops made a difference.

  12. #12
    polarpete's Avatar
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    I have had the North River Booster Brakes for years here in Fairbanks and are quite happy with them. They would be nicer if they had a bigger reservoir. But I only run them (have Brakes) from April thur Oct. when I put straight skis on. In the spring I install brakes, bleed them with pressure bleeder from bottom-up with a clear hose screwed into where the fill plug goes, the hose goes into a can hung on the door sill. You want to have some good flow thru the lines to shove the air out. Once I get no air bubbles showing in the hose, I put the fill cap back on and pump brakes up and hold while setting parking brake. Then with the parking brake on I remove filler cap and top off until full, install filler cap, pump up brakes and continue process until I have the pedal I want without the brakes dragging to tight. (rock or roll wheel to check with parking brake off). If the brakes are to tight and drag to much -- just crack the bleeder screw with no peddle pressure on brakes and let a drop or two out at a time and recheck until happy. With the closed system and the small internal reservoir only a few drops can go from having ok brakes to not ok. Usually that will last all summer and have good pedal and brakes. But our temperatures only vary form 40F-90F degrees. Just in case in the bush I carrie a small oil squirt can with 5606 in it so I can add a few drops to the reservoir if needed.

  13. #13
    gdafoe's Avatar
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    Jimbo, where do I get a resevoir like that? Looks perfect for me expermental. Is the a 1/8 pipe thread coming out the side?
    Gerald

  14. #14
    jimboflying's Avatar
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    The container does have a pipe nipple coming out of the side at the bottom. It came with some used brake parts and has no numbers or other identification on it. Sorry I can't tell you where to get another one.

  15. #15

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    Could a resevoir be made for on top of each master with a shutoff because if it only takes a few drops they wouldnt have to be very big, one that screws into the fill plug. For the experimentals. For parts heres there website, www.northernpiper.com doug

  16. #16
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Some things to check first ...brakes

    Some things to check first

    1. make sure the front brake pedals are not bent/twisted... the face of pedal where your foot pushes should be in line with the hole in arm at outer end... the pedal gets twisted, hench giving you less total travel and less master cyl deflection... this is VERY common on cubs....

    2. with fluid out of brakes and pucks pushed all the way in, make sure caliper can move freely on pins, also that it is not held cockeyed by brake lines or such.....

    3. as mentioned in another post above.. the brake lines if having been replaced by mostly hose, they can soak up a ton of your braking action.... if they Strech when you push... you can usually see this if it is bad enough...

    mike

  17. #17

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    I have used north river boosters for a long time good product. This fall I removed a very old set of north river boosters, now have Steves boosters I love them. Steve and Brian stand behind the work they do and stand behind the products they make. The cub I am building now will also have a new set of Steves boosters when it flys.

  18. #18

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    for my exp. project i will machine the same resivour as the NR booster but move the fill hole back so the piston o-ring when in use will be past the fill hole to seal off pressure chamber from the fill chamber ,so you can run a small resivour on top of your booster. You just need to move the fill hole.. precisely so it will vent when brakes are not in use.

  19. #19
    Jerry Gaston's Avatar
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    In place of the resevoir I installed a 3 inch nipple on top of both brake cylinders with a screw on cap. This makes for easy adding of fluid and gets all the bubbles out of the cylinder when you fly level.

  20. #20

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    When i fill my brakes i used the red 5606a hydraulic/brake fluid, then the other day i was looking in spruces catalog at brake fluids they have a #41 thats 5606g. Whats the difference? doug

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