Alco Brake Problem Solved (At Last)

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 21, 2006 at 21:50
ThreadID: 122430 Views:2607 Replies:2 FollowUps:0
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In a post before Xmas I asked if anyone had a problem with Alco brakes jamming on.
L.R's advice to replace the magnets & arms turned out to be the best but unfortunately for me it took a return trip to Melb over xmas (no-ones open)to solve it.
Seems the end of the arm that the magnet slides on develops wear which causes the magnet to jam & not release.
I had one then a second doing it.
These were the old magnets with the cross hole and clip.
Alco now have a "off road" magnet that has a nylex(?) centre and a single slot with no clip. pressure against the drum face holds them on with the spring behind.
I was able to get them by sheer luck in Forbes but not new arms and they still didn't solve the problem til I built up the worn ends of the arms with expoxy steel.
I had to put grease on them as for some reason the epoxy and nylex still bound up.
This is not good long term & in dust so I'l have to get new arms when I stop long enough to order them thru a brake mob. (Alco won't deal direct with the public)
I cannot figure why this problem has not come up with BT's with Alco brakes before.
These things take some pulling with one/2 brakes on (and don't stop to well without 1/2 brakes).!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It must have been a problem for Alco to change the magnet holes.
Anyway I hope this helps in the future.
As always, We always seem to be "The First"
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Reply By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 01:08

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 01:08
Hello Gypsys,

Two things, keep in mind you have an older van, unknown kilometres, and older design on some things... This is a problem we have not seem much of in recent years, mainly caused by too high of tyre pressure on the corrugation. Also, the bulk of our brakes are Dexter now..

I would not recommend anyone be patching up brake actuating arms... If they are worn, they are only something like $25-28 each to replace them.. If you cannot find them locally, they are small, light, and Peter would be happy to mail you some... Anywhere.. And the left and right ones are different.

The magnets will wear on the arms, as I was saying, particularly if the van has been on the corrugation much without letting down the tyre pressure. In our tests, 50 psi in tyres, and only 10,000 kms of the corrugation over a year, with the tyres over inflated for the conditions; flogged out both the magnets and the actuating arms on a test van in 1996. This is the worst, while the best have run quite happily 50,000 to 100,000 kms. The corrugation with hard inflated tyres is very bad for wear on that kind of brakes... Alko invented the insert model, turned out to not be necessary for most that let the tyre pressure down on the corrugation, and for some reason almost nil call for them when we went to the 12" two piece hub drum set up. We have not sold two sets of the nylex insert type setups in the past 10 years as people became educated on running lighter tyre pressures on the corrugation.. Only a few have been reported.

Kind Regards, from the Ranger...
AnswerID: 567804

Reply By: Spirit Gypsys - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:15

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:15
Thanks Ranger, As a final to this saga (for us), I have been able to order, pay for and have posted the arms direct from Alko Brisbane inspite of being told they
do n't deal direct with the public.
So this should end the problem.

Interesting about the tyre presures tho i would drop them on extended bad dirt roads as it makes stone fractures less likely. But then have to be careful of sidewall stakes 'specially with the BT width factor.
AnswerID: 567805

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