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Thread: Hydraulic leak

  1. #1

    Hydraulic leak

    I've lost my right brakes. Fluid leaks out of the belly at the
    cabin-wide access panel on the belly beneath the back seat section of
    the cabin. This has happened 3 yrs. before and there was a short
    corroded section of line that was replaced by my usual mechanic. He
    said it was a simple fix.
    I'm now away from home at a shop unfamiliar with the SUNDOWNER
    (197so I need to tell them how to best access the hydraulic line...
    removing the access panel from outside (all those bolts!) or going
    down through the cabin floor (inside)?
    This leak appears to be coming out the belly at the same location as
    the previous leak, the leading edge of the belly access panel.






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  2. #2

    Hydraulic leak

    >I'm now away from home at a shop unfamiliar with the SUNDOWNER
    >(197so I need to tell them how to best access the hydraulic line...
    >removing the access panel from outside (all those bolts!) or going
    >down through the cabin floor (inside)?

    You can take up the carpet and floor boards and LOOK from the
    inside. Maybe you can see the source, maybe you can't.

    >This leak appears to be coming out the belly at the same location as
    >the previous leak, the leading edge of the belly access panel.

    Just because it runs out there, doesn't mean the leaky section is
    accessible from the spar cover. I agree that there are a lot of screws to
    take out, but there is no alternative, if the leak is in fact in that
    area. Why not apply some sweat equity and unscrew them yourself? Maybe
    even borrow a battery powered drill/screw gun to speed the process. I was
    looking through the latest Harbor Freight flyer and they have an 18V
    cordless drill/screw driver for $16 and a spare battery for $9. At those
    prices, one might consider carrying one in the plane to speed removal of
    fairings when away from home, should the need arise.

    One wonders about the completeness of your previous annual inspections if
    you have a known issue that has returned. Corrosion IS the number one
    problem on our aging fleet. Another related problem is the failure of flex
    hoses due to age and deterioration. The black flex hoses are a recommended
    replacement item after 7-10 years. I regularly see them that are OEM and
    30+ years old.

    Problems like this one, and fuel leaks in the belly are also due to age
    rotted hoses.

    Bob Steward, A&P IA
    Birmingham, AL



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  3. #3

    Hydraulic leak

    Over filling the brake cylinders will cause them to spill some oil from the vent hole. If you do this often enough the inside of the belly under the floor will be covered with oil and it will run out the belly access panel.

    mspencer62@charter.net wrote: I found the same problem with a 75 Sundowner. However, we traced the problem to a leaky brake master cylinder. After tracing the problem down, I replaced all the O-rings in the cylinders on all four brakes. That solved one problem. Next I traced the hydraulic lines and found no leaks. However, just the leaking brake master cylinder, and it's location had the same effect on where the Mil spec-H-5606 was being seen on the belly. I would suggest looking at that cylinders and see if that is the problem.

    About taking the belly panel off, piece of cake. Takes a little bit of time to do so, but also allows you to do a complete inspection of that area underneath the cockpit floor. Found some minor surface corrosion starting on a frame member which was quickly cleaned up and treated. Now I plan to check about every 6 months for corrosion and to use Corrosion X or ACF 50 in each of these areas.

    I hope that this helps, and that you're problem is quickly fixed.

    Montgomery Spencer



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