Subject: Re: brake master cyl prob
From: Steve Wilson <>
I have a problem with the master cyls out of N3876K. Remembering that the airplane hasn't flown since 1965 and heaven only knows that happened to it during those years, it is not remarkable that the cyls are frozen up. To give you some idea, the keepers in the front had rusted and when I tried to remove them they fell apart.

I guess you'll have to do whatever it takes to get them apart. Do you have a hydraulic pump of any sort? A hand pump that will pump 1000 psi or more might work. Plumb a hose into the outlet port and apply some high pressure. (you can "T" in a gauge) The aluminum pistons are probably corroded to the steel cylinders. Yes, you may have to apply heat. Having said this, the  cylinders or pistons or other parts are probably junk. The only source for any of these that I know of is salvage, so start looking. A local guy adapted some Cleveland master cylinders. (see your Aircraft Spruce catalogue) This may be the best long-term solution for all of us.  --  Jim

Are chrome disks for Cleveland brakes better than the plain steel? Swifter Steve Wilson ( writes... Chrome disks are about $100 more than the plain steel. I like the chrome OK. There is no difference in the braking. The chrome will eventually wear off and the disks will rust just like the plain steel ones, but in the meantime they look nice and you benefit from low wear on the linings. The problem with any rusted disks is that they wear out the brake linings. With the present cost of linings (since they did away with asbestos), it actually might make the chrome disks a better deal financially too. Enjoy the Clevelands. They are so much easier to maintain than the Goodyear brakes. --  Steve Wilson

Was checking through the information on the Swift site and noticed an article on hydraulic fluid turning into goo in the break lines. I owned N90305 for about 13 years and never had this problem. Then we used Mil 3586 (Red) in the system. But back at the start of WWII the Army Airfare also used Mil 3580 (Blue) fluid. If I remember correctly the 3580 was an alcohol mix that was used in airplanes with natural rubber o rings and tubes and the 3586 was used with the new synthetic rubber parts that were just coming on line. If these were mixed in a system it turned into a goo that precluded use of the system. Just a thought. Auto hydraulic fluid has an alcohol base.  --  Larry Simms   (

From: Jim Letourneau <>
Subject: Re: Wheel Covers
Did the Temco's have the domed covers originally? I have one that needs to be replaced and before I make one I'm curious if I should be trying to duplicate the dome. I have Cleveland's, as you know. If there are any stock ones around will they fit? Are there any stock ones around?

Yes, the wheel covers were actually a Goodyear p/n. They are the same for all Swifts, high or low flange brakes, with a dome. The Cleveland wheels are a little different in diameter and most Swifts with Clevelands just use flat covers, which don't look as good as the originals. I don't know of any standard wheel covers that will work.  --  Jim

THAT'S THE "BRAKES"... (11499)
From: George McClellan <>
Subject: Re: brake repairs
I own a GC1B N655S, I have Cleveland disk brakes and what appears to be stock toe brake masters. I have tried every thing to get better braking action with no luck. Is it possible that I have a high volume low pressure master trying to work a low volume high pressure slave? What masters should I have. I have a master that is leaking now and need to know weather to rebuild or replace. Thanks, George McClellan

There is not a problem using the original master cylinders with the Cleveland brakes. There could be several problems. The brakes may need a thorough bleeding. The Cleveland brake linings need a "brake in" procedure. If the linings are glazed, they might have to be replaced or at least removed and sanded down to remove the surface material. The "brake in" procedure is published and comes with the brake kit. This is part of the STC paperwork and should be retained in the aircraft records as Instructions for Continued Airworthiness. Also, the "O" rings in the wheel cylinders may need replacing, or simply removal and coating with petroleum jelly.

Then there are the cups in the master cylinders themselves... Much has been written recently about this subject. You can't just run out and buy new original master cylinders these days, as a matter of fact it may be hard to get good, serviceable rubber cups for the original master cylinders. If you have a leaking master cylinder that may be a simple "O" ring replacement. (if anything related to removal of the master cylinders can be called "simple")! I'm sure with a little attention you can your his brakes working properly. -- Jim

From: George McClellan <>
Subject: Re: brakes
Thanks for the comments. To date the rotor's are true and the linings are not glazed and the system has been bled with care several times. As for the lubrication of the O rings, I will have to look at that. I have to stand very hard to get any breaking action. I think that two holes in the floor so I could drag my feet would be more effective than what I have now. What is the time required to remove the masters ? George

To remove the master cylinders depends on your physical condition! 30 years ago, it was just a miserable job, but now at my age and condition its pretty near impossible! It involves laying on your back with the emergency crank down handle poking a hole in your back and trying to get your bifocals to focus on the nuts, bolts, and cotter keys to remove the cylinders. If you remove the seats and pad the spar area, including the crank down handle and if you can see without bifocals, it's not too bad a job. As a check, raise the airplane on jacks and have someone apply and release the brakes. Observe the action at the wheel. Is it sluggish? Can you rotate the wheel by hand? You say the linings are not glazed, well, removing them and sanding them might still be worth a try. It's easy to do with Cleveland's. A hint for bleeding Cleveland brakes, remove the brake head from the axle, leaving the 1/4" brake hose intact. Loosen any clamps as necessary. Bleed the brake holding it up as high as possible, like higher than the wing. You sometimes get additional air out of the system this way. -- Jim

From: Steve Wilson <>
Subject: Re: brake repairs
I read your questions and the answer from Jim Montague regarding your brakes. I don't know what experience you have with the Swift vs other airplanes and just wanted to add a little (non-mechanical) info regarding Swift brakes.

I started out like a lot of folks with Goodyear brakes. They really worked great! In fact you had to be a little careful not to get on them too hard and cause the airplane to go over on its nose. The first thing I noticed when I went to Cleveland brakes was that they were not as effective as I had been used to. Personally, I do not think this is a bad thing. Not that I would want to, but I think it would be very difficult to get the Cleveland's to lock up on application. I've stood on them pretty darned hard a few times. Most of the people I have let taxi my airplane, who are used to modern "nose dragging" airplanes, complain that there are not enough brakes. I disagree with them. There are plenty of brakes available. Now just to set the record straight, I've flown many Swifts with all the common brakes and mine is no different from the others. Also I completely overhauled my brake system throughout in 1996. It came out the same as before, but no leaking.

George, you may have some mechanical problems (certainly the leak needs tending to), but I just wonder if you are not experiencing "normal" braking for the Cleveland brakes on a Swift. Just a thought. If you need help, feel free to contact me. Good luck... Steve W

From: Steve Wilson <>
Subject: Re: brake repairs
In a message dated 99-11-22 06:13:33 EST, you write:
<< Thanks Steve, I think I will start from scratch this winter. I just hope I can find parts for the Masters. Has fluid corrosion been a problem? Has anyone rebored to a metric size cup ? "ALL" your comments have been true and I agree that brakes on tail draggers are meant for PARKING. George M >>

The master cyls have suffered quite a bit over the years. I don't know of a suitable replacement, although I have heard there are some. I have "cleaned" up several original cyls enough to get them to work and not leak. When they are corroded, I use a 12 ga. shotgun wire brush and run it in the cyls until the rough edges are off the pits. It is not possible to get all of the pits out, but I've had a lot of luck just getting the edges smoothed out. I've used the "U" cups supplied by "Swift Parts" in the past. With the current problems I don't know their status, but I think Joe can supply the correct part number. I have not really shopped it, however. One thing I do is to partially "back flush" the system each year at the annual. In a closed system like brakes there is the potential for a lot of problems to creep in and not be noticed (see Dick Collins' comments in the newsletter a few years ago about Mil H-5606 gum formation). What I do is use a squeegee to remove the fluid from the reservoir, then pump fluid through one brake (slave) cyl until it partially fills the reservoir, then repeat the process with the other brake. Then I clean out the reservoir for the final time and fill with fresh fluid. This of course does not purge the entire system at once, but over two or three years, it does the job. When I think about airplanes flying around that have never done this, I think I am ahead of the game. Please stay in touch and let me know what you find... Steve W

Subject: Re: GTS Internet Update#4
Denis ,
About George's brake problem, We had a brake that didn't work too good and the problem was the brake hoses were swelling up when pedel pressure was applied. About the number of Swifts , It depends what a person would call a Swift, You're about right but if you count paper work only Swifts, its a few more. Mark

From: Donald Williams <>
Subject: Swift brakes, don't make them hard to do, they are not.
The operation is easy. If you have a good solid pedal that gets solid without excessive travel then the masters and lines are good. If this is your situation then the problem is in the slaves which can both be rebuilt and bled in two hours. Remove the clips then wheels then the brake line then caliper. You can use the master or air to push out the piston and puck. If you use the master leave the brake line connected until you push out the piston with the brake pedal. Use a piece of scotch bright or very fine wet or dry sand paper to clean the cylinder portion of the caliper. If you use wet or dry then follow up with scotch bright and very carefully flush the entire assembly with laquer thinner or spray brake cleaner. Cleanliness is next to godliness. Lube the new O ring with either slicone greese or petrolatum and reasemble and bleed. If my pucks have been contaminated with any 5606 then I soak them overnight in laquer thinner to remove any trace of petroleum products. The pucks and rotors must be free of any petroleum to work right. My family has owned N80901 for more than 25 years. Don Williams

From: Wesley & Susan Knettle <>
Subject: Re: November #5 GTS Internet Update
Re: MarkH85's (Mark Holliday) comments on brake hoses for George's brake problem. I have found this many times. Can be caused by old age where the hoses liner collapses then plugs the line when you push on the pedal or can happen from contamination with the wrong brake fluids. Have an observor watch each flexible brake hose while you apply pressure to the pedal. If the hose grows and the brake doesn't then you know what is next.

On to page two about brakes and wheels...