Friday, October 14, 2011

A Little Bit of Progress

Single Leading Shoe Wheel Cylinders
I've been working on the braking system lately. The master cylinder and the rear wheel cylinders are away having stainless steel sleeves fitted, they were all quite pitted internally. I was lucky with the front wheel cylinders. On these early cars with single leading shoe front brakes, the front wheel cylinders are like a larger version of the rear ones. Naturally, they are an unusual size (15/16") and are quite hard to get now so that means expensive. Fortunately both of mine already had stainless sleeves inserted, so I cleaned them up and ran a hone through them to scrape out the rust staining, then put them back together with new seals sourced from Somerford Mini in the UK.
Nice new bits and pieces

When I stripped the brakes down I found that the hoses were very old and perished (perhaps  they were even the 50 year old originals) and most of the fasteners, springs etc were pretty badly corroded, so Somerford also supplied new brake springs, hoses and a number of the smaller hardware items for the brake system.  I managed to source some 'oversize' brake shoes. These are normal brake shoes that have been re-bonded with linings that are thicker than standard. They are a bit old fashioned now so were hard to find, luckily Minisport in South Australia still get them made. The drums are away being skimmed. Hopefully they have enough material left on them to be machined 60 thou over (the maximum legal oversize), so I can keep the date stamped original drums. SLS front brakes are notoriously bad so I want them to be as good as I can get them.

Not pretty, but hopefully functional
I surprised myself with how quickly I was able to re-assemble the shoes and springs back onto the hub. It has been several years since I did much mechanical work on Minis, but I guess I have put a lot of sets of brakes back together over the years. My fingers seemed to remember the little tricks and techniques even after all this time. The finished hub doesn't look very pretty - its just going to have to wait until later to have the cosmetic stuff done, but hopefully once the drums and master cylinders come  back and its all bled and adjusted they should be functional and long lasting.

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