The original Victa brakes have a reputation of being less than ideal. Bill Miller uses his 'hands on' experience to suggest a solution.

lev'erage n., mechanical advantage given either by levers of timber or steel or other materials using a fulcrum to give the advantage by smaller or larger amounts. Alternatively, by use of hydraulic means where a force applied over the diameter of one cylinder, converted to fluid pressure, can provide a greater force when applied over a larger cylinder. The pressure is the same but the force depends on the area of the cylinders.

Although this principal is used in the Airtourer brake system the force advantage can be reduced by excessive friction. Chapter 16-2 of the Airtourer Maintenance and Repair Manual includes a diagram of the original landing gear and brake system. The brake disc has a segmented outer circumference. Steel blocks are attached to the wheel rim by an allen screw and split pin. The segmented parts of the disc slide in and out along the blocks as the slave cylinder applies pressure to the brake pads. Over time these blocks can become worn and it is this wear that creates unwanted friction and can result in the disc sticking. The result is a delay in braking, the braking is slow and hard rather than smooth. Additionally, unnecessary loads are applied to the brake lever pivot pins, master cylinders and other moving parts.



If the worn blocks are replaced, or repaired by welding and machining, the friction can be reduced and smooth efficient braking re-established.

I learnt about leverage from my dear old grandfather. I bought an old T Model Ford even though I couldn't drive. I reversed it out of our back gate into a very narrow lane and managed to jam it up against two fences so that it couldn't go forward or backwards. When I told my grandfather he told me to get some 4"x3" timbers and wood blocks from the firewood pile. He put a block either side of the back of the car and used it as a fulcrum for the 4"x3"s. With one of us either side of the car and the 4"x3"s offset we lifted the rear wheels off the ground and little by little moved the rear of the car away from the fence. After doing the same to the front I was able to drive the car away. A lesson I have never forgotten.