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Thread: Steve's booster brakes

  1. #1
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Steve's booster brakes

    After much research we installed Steve's booster brake cylinders several years ago. Recently, in cold weather, Santa provided a PIREP indicating that he had absolutely no braking action on the right brake, not great braking on the left. I took a look when he returned the Cub and found really low brake fluid levels in both brake cylinders.

    I was planning to venture to the hangar to bleed the brakes but Steve Lewis recalls reading that there has been a problem with the O-rings on Steve's brakes and that new O-rings need to be installed.

    Before I proceed I would like to hear from you folks as to your experiences with this. Your input is greatly appreciated. I did a search of threads here and couldn't find useful information that might address this.

    Happy New Year!

    Randy
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  2. #2

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    Happy New Year Randy,
    I have Steve’s boosters on the 12 for about the last 8 years with zero problems. I have never heard of an o-ring problem. Only problem has been caliper piston o-rings.
    Mark
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  3. #3
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Mark, thanks for the reply! How did you determine that the caliper piston o-rings were the problem? Probably a stupid question.

    Randy

  4. #4

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    The brake pedal would go right to the floor and some brake fluid on the bottom side of caliper.
    I believe Dakota Cub brakes had a o-ring problem. The o-ring was getting cut on a machined port.
    Mark

  5. #5
    geoaspen's Avatar
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    I have Steve's boosters and Cleavlands on my PA12. Never a problem with the boosters leaking, but I allowed the brake pads to wear enough (don't ask) to allow the pistons to out run the barrel at the brake end. By the time I realized what was happening, I had issues with a landing thresh hold light.

  6. #6
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    You still need to check the fluid level annually and top off the reservoirs.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  7. #7
    Rick Papp's Avatar
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    Randy, I would give Steve’s a call. It seems that several years ago I replaced some plunger and gasket parts in the booster assembly due to some design flaw in the angle that day push into the cylinder. I could be wrong because it was a few years ago and my memory aint as good as it used to be. Rick
    Never stay level!!!!!
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  8. #8
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    You still need to check the fluid level annually and top off the reservoirs.
    Randy, in Doctor speak what Steve is saying is that even though the ultrasound says it's a boy you still need to turn them over when you deliver them and check the hardware before filling out the birth certificate.

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  9. #9
    Steve's Aircraft (Brian)'s Avatar
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    The only part that is inside the master cylinder that can have the potential to fail is the Stat Seal... I can count on one hand how many of those have failed and every one has been due to user error or installation... Several years ago we did a design change to the main shaft and made it into a two piece design... I sent out service kits to every unit I had on record with instructions to change out the shafts... it also came with a new piston and o-ring but we wound up going back to the original piston design...

    I think mmr hit the nail as to your potential problem as being at the calipers... Especially since you have stated that your reservoirs were very low with fluid... check the calipers, change out the o-rings there, check your pads and re-bleed the system..

    For anyone that has parking brake valves installed on the master cylinder, one quick test you can perform is to hold the brake valve closed with one hand and depress the brake pedal with your other hand... the brake should come up solid almost immediately... if not, or it bleeds down, then that before mentioned stat seal is bad... if it locks up solid then you have a problem beyond the master cylinder...

    As always, call me if you have any more questions..

    Brian..


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    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Thank you, Brian. I will be in touch. Have a great New Year!

    Randy

  11. #11

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    I occasionally have leak or air problems with similar master cylinders. One Cub was always low - I could find no leaks anywhere. Replaced gear legs (fabric problem) tightened all fittings really good, and now I am on the six month check-the-fluid routine. Fixed!

    One insidious problem - there have been a couple Cubs that I could not bleed with reservoir systems. I even set up a simulator to see what I was doing wrong. Only thing I could figure is somebody put an expansion loop in the gear leg. Bleeding is usually trivial!
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  12. #12

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    Caliper rebuild is pretty simple, I heard of a pilot that left the inner pad off the caliper when he put it on and noticed the no right brake thing on testing. Once caliper is off, wrap with rag and use small blast of air to get pucks out. Clean bore and new o-rings put it back together. Airframes has the o-rings, order extra set in case you screw up.
    DENNY
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  13. #13
    Steve's Aircraft (Brian)'s Avatar
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    Steve's booster brakes

    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    I occasionally have leak or air problems with similar master cylinders. One Cub was always low - I could find no leaks anywhere. Replaced gear legs (fabric problem) tightened all fittings really good, and now I am on the six month check-the-fluid routine. Fixed!

    One insidious problem - there have been a couple Cubs that I could not bleed with reservoir systems. I even set up a simulator to see what I was doing wrong. Only thing I could figure is somebody put an expansion loop in the gear leg. Bleeding is usually trivial!
    Stock brake lines are a pain... I really like using one stainless braided line from the master all the way to the caliper... only two points to leak from instead of up to 6 or more...

    Put one of my cylinders in a Tri-Pacer recently... usually they are not that difficult to bleed out but this thing fought me for two days... wound up replacing several hard lines due to bad flares and fixing the wheel calipers...

    For those unfamiliar with the Tri-Pacer they use one SCOTT master cylinder that is tee’d under the aircraft and runs both main gear calipers... the master cylinder is operated by a Johnson bar and cable under the dash..

    Brian


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    Last edited by Steve's Aircraft (Brian); 01-01-2018 at 11:09 PM.

  14. #14
    Penguin's Avatar
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    Hey Brian - if you happen to see this...

    Your kit arrived last week and is going in this weekend. So far, it's awesome. Thanks! When I was researching a few weeks ago I was able to find some good quality pictures of both the remote attach for the reservoir and method of pushing the reservoirs forward by using the 2x 90 deg AN fittings. I am prepared to do either, but can't seem to find those pictures now. I think they were here, but am coming up empty. Do you (or anyone here?) have pics of either?

  15. #15
    Steve's Aircraft (Brian)'s Avatar
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    Steve's booster brakes

    Yep…



    On a Cub…



    Same concept but on a Tri Pacer to clear the cross tube…

    Thanks for the feed back..

    Brian


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  16. #16
    Penguin's Avatar
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    Brian thanks so much. Any chance of one or two showing a remote mount with tubing? Sorry to bug you. These are super helpful.

  17. #17
    Steve's Aircraft (Brian)'s Avatar
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    Steve's booster brakes

    Just a few… from a couple PA-22 install’s…







    Brian..


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