Brakes on the older Italian tractors are mechanical, but after about 1980 hydraulic brakes became the norm. The biggest problem we find with Euro braking systems is that in the 80's and 90's they used brake oil and not DOT3 products. Brake oil is common to Euro systems and mixing DOT3 fluid with an oil system usually results in seizure of the Master and wheel cylinders. There is no easy way back except replacement; because the original kits are not longer available (to us at least). Because of expense, it is best to replace the Master cylinder with a North American remote kit like a Wilwood 260-3376. This gives you a replacement requiring only new connections on the brake lines.
At the right is a Wilwood 260-3376 modification to a Pasquali 988.33. Note the base plate used to allow for correct orientation of the cylinder. The wheel cylinders were replaced with original Pasquali parts as they are reasonable in cost and are a direct fit.
The 492 / 494 series Pasquali's used a high quality Euro caliper which unfortunately is quite expensive in North America. For the purist, we can provide them - but at a cost of about $500 a side.
Our last 492 needed new calipers and at that price we decided to modify a very common caliper that was used on Volkswagon transporters, a Raybestos FRC 3075.
That caliper doesn't quite fit, but with a bit of modification it fits fine using two spacers and bolts. The mod is shown at the left where we milled a bit off the casting to allow the fit. There is a lot of material to work there and is not a threat to the caliper in any way.
Also pictured is the caliper mounted using the original rotor.
The other change needed was to mill the pads thinner as they were too thick to fit. This was a bit odd, but the original VW rotor must have been quite thin. If doing this job, take the original safety brakes off and completely disassemble them. Reassemble with never seize compound to assure they don't seize. We disassemble using a air gun turned way down to vibrate the socket head bolts out. Simply cranking on the socket head bolts with a ratchet is almost sure to break the bolt. Every set we work on are badly seized or at least rusted and in rough shape. Disassembly and never seize is the answer.
Note the safety brake is basically two blocks on a concentric which squeeze the rotor. This is a brilliant, simple safety brake and suitable to a number of applications.
There is no reason not to convert to disk brakes if you want to upgrade a mechanical brake tractor. Using a Willwood remote, a person can find rotors that are a close match and fit them to the tractor. While not an easy job, it's certainly possible.