Category Archives: Brakes

A Very Long List –

– of things to do! After the October 2017 ALR Castlemaine & Tasmanian rallies –  www.narrywoolan.com.au/alr – were ten-seventy was total rubbish the following is a tentative list of repairs/fixes needed:

1. Engine oil leak.

2. Clutch judder.

3. Rear suspension clunks.

4. Engine “ticking” noise.

5. Engine vibration.

6. Starter motor intermittently not engaging.

7. Left rear wheel hub leaking grease.

8. Gearbox – 2nd gear difficulty selecting down from 3rd.

9. Doors rattling on rough roads.

Some of the above have been addressed already, I’ll post details soon.

ngm

 

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:

http://www.oldlanciaspares.com/aprilia_eng/freni.php
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.

ngm

One person brake bleeder

This is my copy of our local Lancia Guru Peter Renou’s one person solution to brake bleeding. This will only work on Aprilias with Lockheed brakes, models with Sabif brakes have their own built in system.

You will need an air compressor, access to a lathe to turn up one fitting (there might be a standard air connection that could work), a metre of 10mm plastic tube, the correct fitting for you air compressor hose, two small hose clamps for the 10 mm hose and a lid that fits on the brake fluid reservoir, I found one off a paint stripper tin that had the same thread.

one man brake bleeder

one person brake bleeder

lid components

lid components

lid hose fitting

lid hose fitting

hose connection

hose connection

To Operate:

Check the fluid level in the brake fluid reservoir, top up if necessary. Screw the one person brake bleeder lid onto the reservoir, the top of the reservoir must be in good condition to get a good air tight seal.  Connect the air compressor hose. Set the air compressor to no more than 9 psi, or the pressure gauge needle just off the stop. Fit the correct size  tube to a brake bleed nipple, with the open end in a container to catch the fluid, slowly open the nipple and the brake fluid should slowly come through. Follow the normal procedure and wait until there are no more air bubbles in the fluid then close the nipple. You need to keep an eye on the fluid level in the reservoir, best to check after you’ve done each wheel. Do all four wheels and double check the pedal for the correct pressure.

Worked perfectly on my Aprilia. But please triple check the brake system on your car before you drive it.

ngm

brake bleeder

brake bleeder