Monthly Archives: July 2015

ALR Retirees Overnight Run

ALR logo

The run was basically in my backyard so 1070 & I had no excuse, even the ancient critter could handle a couple of days inside by himself.

Day One.

Organised by Russell Cayley the first stop was the Caldermeade Farm café for a midday lunch. For me a drive to Leongatha then down the South Gippsland Hwy through Korumburra and on to Caldermeade, a nice little 100 km. The weather was a little grey and very cold, about 10 degrees, with some morning drizzle. Luckily I managed to get past the B Double cattle truck full of very wet cattle without getting covered in you know what. The new front brakes performed very well; on the other hand the diff was noisier than it had been, a job to do next.

For lunch we had about 12 Lancias, a Lambda, my Aprilia, Aurelia B12, Appia 3rd series, 3 Fulvia Coupés, Beta Sedan, Beta HPE, Beta Coupé &  a Monte Carlo.

The Cafe was warm and the food good. Much conversation was had, the Sliding Pillar Rally, trips around Bordeaux, buying Fulvias and Flavia brakes seemed to be the course at my end of the table!

For the afternoon Russell had given us a list of alternate routes and different sights to see. I took a blast down the Bass Hwy, if an Aprilia can actually blast, through Wonthaggi and around the delightful coast road from Cape Paterson to Inverloch. A stop to view the sights and feel the windchill at Eagles Nest, coffee at Inverloch and then on home to Venus Bay, about 205 km in total.

The others headed on to overnight at Meeniyan and dinner at the pub.

Day Two.

An earlier morning start and just a little colder than yesterday. Gloves & jacket is all us hardy Aprilia drivers need to keep the cold at bay, none of these modern heater thingys.

Drizzle, slippery roads and sun glare made driving a little difficult. The mornings destination was Agnes Falls just above Toora, about 70 km from home. The overnighters had a simple run along the South Gippsland Hwy from Meeniyan. With recent rains there was a fair amount of muddy water flowing over the falls.

Next we headed back to Mirboo North and a look at Colin Kiel’s motoring collection. And then lunch just down the road at Cafe Escargot, snails! Little tasteless spongy things, still you have to try them at least once. Finally everyone finished their coffees, backed up and headed on home. All in all a very pleasant two days, good company, about 400 km driving on my very average South Gippsland roads and the Aprilia went very well.


Another report and further photos are on the Australian Lancia Register website:


p.s. Brian Long couldn’t believe that I only had ONE Lancia; he seemed to indicate I should have at least two but preferably four! So all donations of rust free pre 1969 cars will be gratefully accepted, Fulvia, Flaminia, Flavia, Aurelia or Appia, any model. Please contact me with details where I can collect your unwanted Lancias.

Front Brakes. New wheel cylinders and linings.

Recent comments about “wooden brakes” and the like from other parties encouraged me to investigate the Aprilia’s braking system. The rear brakes had been re-lined and wheel cylinders refurbished only a couple of years back so my attention turned to the front pair.

The shoes had been re-lined and the wheel cylinders sleeved back in 2008 but an inspection revealed all was not well in there. Both wheel cylinders were leaking and pretty much seized and the linings had virtually no wear, after 8 years something was very wrong.

Leaking cylinders and lining with no wear!

Leaking cylinders and linings with very little wear after 8 years!

Old wheel cylinder

On to the Cavalitto website to see what parts they had for brakes:
Two new front wheel cylinders and a set of brake linings were despatched via UPS

New parts

New linings and new alloy wheel cylinders

The shoes went of to BGT to get re-lined. Here I was advised not to use the supplied rivets but to bond the new linings. I don’t know why but they always coat the nice alloy shoes with some yellow/brown gunk that won’t come off, I guess no one sees them but I far and away prefer the clean alloy look.

New Cavalitto linings bonded to shoes

New Cavalitto linings bonded to shoes

The new cylinders were bigger than the old Lockheed originals, about 10mm longer and the piston 3mm greater diameter but I was assured by BGT they would be fine, just give a ‘higher pedal’

Top; new wheel cylinder, bottom old Lockhead cylinder

Top; new wheel cylinder, bottom old Lockheed cylinder

Old Lockheed cylinder

Old Lockheed cylinder

New Cavalitto wheel cylinder

New Cavalitto wheel cylinder


New wheel cylinder and re-lined shoes

New wheel cylinder and re-lined shoes

After fitting the new cylinders and shoes, bleeding the system using the one person bleed method and adjusting the shoes the first test drive revealed all was not well; the brakes were not releasing correctly and partially locking on! After much head scratching, more bleeding and adjusting the problem didn’t go away. An email was fired off to Cavalitto with the reply to make sure everything was cleaned with alcohol and the workshop manager would get back to me after the weekend. Advice from Puce Goose & Stainless Stephen thought muck in the master cylinder would definitely be the problem, what do they know?? I thought maybe the flexible brake lines were blocked or collapsed. In a moment of rational thought I phoned Mike the Three Wheeler, automotive engineer extraordinaire who lives not that far away. He was going to be driving past the next day and could stop for a look. Mike’s diagnosis was the master cylinder residual pressure check valve didn’t need to be there with the new wheel cylinder piston seals.

New wheel cylinder with modern seals

New wheel cylinder with modern seals

Removed the master cylinder from the car, always a fun job with not much room, stripped it down, found the inside to be spotless, and removed the inner rubber from the check valve.

Master cylinder hidding underneath the car

Master cylinder hiding underneath the car

Rubber valve removed from residual pressure relief valve

Rubber valve removed from residual pressure relief valve

Reassembled the lot, bleed the system again and adjusted the shoes. This time the brakes didn’t seize and stopped extremely well. A nice progressive pedal with room to heel and toe, and pulled up in a nice straight line. Once the linings are bedded in they will only improve, but right now its are the best they have ever been. A reply from Cavalitto on the Monday said new return springs for the shoes would have helped and probably worked, but doing what Mike suggested was also ok.