Saturday, April 26, 2008

Putting the brakes on spring

What a difference a week makes! Last week, when I put together the right landing gear components, it was in the '70s, gentle breezes, and perfect. Today it's in the '30s, a wicked wind, and some sections of the state picked up almost two feet of snow.

I'm down to the last couple of drops of kerosene in my heater; I'd rather not buy another 5 gallons at $4 a gallon (although who knows how much it'll be next year), so the cold snap may require more long underwear if I'm going to work at the hangar.

I worked on the left landing gear today and I'm pretty sure I'm missing something in assembling these things.

Here's why:



This is the bracket for the brakes all set to go. There are two enclosed holes onto which the caliper (which has two prongs) fits. What has me confused is there's nothing else in the system to hold the caliper firm.

Here is the setup being inserted. I've taken off the outside brake pad to fit it against the wheel.



After it's inserted, I put the inside brake pad back on.



Now the caliper enclosed the wheel, so it can't fall off. But, it can move since the two prongs (1) float inside their hole. As positioned, you can see that the brake pads ride just off the wheel (2), but there's play in the hole caliper, so it doesn't take much to have the pad rubbing on the wheel.

That's why I say I must be missing something. I know that the brake line offers some rigidity, but I can't image you want an aluminum line performing that task.

So tell me? What am I missing?

Update: One of my RV heroes -- Tom Berge -- took a look:

You are missing nothing. The caliper floats as you have noticed intentionally. Yes, the pads can hit the disc, but that is normal. If the caliper were to be mounted rigid, then as the pads wore, the brakes would no longer contact the disc as intended.

Make sure the piston is inserted correctly in the caliper and that the bolts holding on the other half of the pads are safety wired. The brake line should have a loop in it to allow stress relief. I believe the plans show this.

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