Category Archives: Brakes, Wheels and Tires

Tailwheel Chains

In my continuing efforts to improve on Van’s cheesy tailwheel setup, I decided to replace the cheap teardrop clips with real AN hardware and the zinc coated sash chain with stainless sash chain.


Parts used include two AN115-21 shackles, two feet of #35 stainless steel sash chain from McMaster-Carr, two AN42B-4 eye bolts, and four AN3 bolts drilled for safetying with AN cotter pins. A more robust installation for sure and better looking to boot!

Bleeding the Brakes

Well, this was too easy. I must have done something wrong!

So, I stopped by Tractor Supply the other day and bought this nifty 1/2 gallon pump sprayer for less than $10.00.


I filled it with a quart of Royco 782 synthetic fire-resistant brake fluid, and then discovered that I already had about 8 feet of clear tubing that fit perfectly into the pump trigger assembly. It so happened that the inside diameter of the tubing also fit perfectly onto the brake bleeder screw.

As we say in Arkansas, “sometimes a blind hog finds an acorn”!


I then dug up a bronze tube fitting that fit perfectly into the top of my ACS brake reservoir and slipped a short length of the clear tubing over it.


I loosened the brake bleed screw 1/2 turn, slid the end of the clear tubing over the bleeder screw nipple and after pressurizing the pump tank and pumping the air out of the tube, I began to slowly feed the brake fluid into the system. Thirty seconds later, I saw brake fluid coming up out of the fitting and tube I had installed on the top of the reservoir.  I shut off the pressure, tightened the bleeder screw and after wiping up a few drops of brake fluid off of the shop floor, I crawled into the cockpit, and replaced the bronze fitting with the original plugs. Wiped up a couple drops in the cockpit, and tested the pedals. Just like they say, about a 1/4″ of travel then a “hard pedal”. Did the other side and boom, DONE!

New Tailwheel

While at OSH 2015, I visited Vince Frazier’s booth (Flyboy Accessories) and bought a Doug Bell tailwheel fork. He was running a OSH special and I liked the better over-the-nose visibility this fork affords, so I succumbed and made the impulse purchase. Later, when I was installing it, I decided to go whole hog and get the DJM Lightweight Tailwheel to complete the transition from Van’s standard tailwheel set up.