Brake Pedals
   Deb Iwatate gives a great description of a mod to put the brake cylinders up front, instead of behind the firewall.  This is advantageous for weight and balance, and also gives more effortless control.

   But to do it, you have to heliarc weld a pair of metal plates to your existing rudder pedals.  I don't do heliarc welds.  Before seeking out someone who did, I found a better way.  Sometimes laziness really is the mother of invention!

   Iwatate's mod is a great idea, but doesn't make it any easier to adjust the rudder pedals.  I'm 6'2" plus, most of it legs, and not everyone who might ever fly my airplane is built the same way.  Adjusting rudder pedal travel, stock or per Iwatate's mod, is a time-consuming process of removing a nut and bolt, reinserting at a different point on an adjustment strap, and re-tightening.  With Iwatate's mod, you have to do this twice for each pedal; one adjustment strap for the rudders, another for the brake cylinders.  Adjust them to the wrong ratio, and the new pilot will have insufficient braking or rudder authority.

   As you can see, I killed both birds with one stone by building what I call an "adjustment slab".  The slab is a plate of .070" 2024 that I've cut in the shape shown below.  On the front is the tang to actuate the brake cylinders.  Along the top circumference are holes; the stock rudder pedal is attached here with a pin, retained by a safety pin.  The aftmost hole is for the cable to the rudder.
   At the bottom is a hole to allow pass-through of the same bolt that holds the pedal in.  Because the brake pedal assembly is now .070" thicker, I had to grind down the bushings at this point, and on the inboard side, by this amount.

   But look, ma, no welding!

   Now I can adjust the pedals without changing the set point of the brake and rudder actuation.  I simply detatch the pedal and move it to where I need it; over 60 degrees of travel yields quite a bit of variation.

   If the pedal were ever to pop loose from the slab, I could still work my foot into the hole in the slab and use it to apply the brake on landing rollout, if required.


   I made several trial fits with cardboard before cutting aluminum, but I did NOT keep a usable template to help you out here.  A pity.  I suppose I could make a proper template by removing a slab and tracing it, except I'm not insane.  Deb Iwatate did not exaggerate the difficulty of removing the rudder pedals; I NEVER intend to do it again.

   You can see from the photos that I haven't yet hooked up the cable to the rudder, nor the brake line to the master cylinder.  This brings up an important point; I haven't flight-tested this mod yet, for obvious reasons.  Your mileage may vary.

   2002 update:  New photos, a bit more clear.  You can also see from them that I've removed the copper conduit and fitted electrical systems.
   I've also installed and filled the brake lines.  This showed me that I had allowed for far too much brake travel, and not enough rudder travel!  A new set of straps fixed that problem.