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RE: Poor brakes - and how to get to them

To: "Gosling, Richard B" <>,
Subject: RE: Poor brakes - and how to get to them
From: "Dodd, Kelvin" <>
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 09:22:49 -0800

Check your rear brake adjustment.  The pedal will have free play until
the rear shoes contact the drum.  If the rear brakes are not adjusted
correctly the free play will be excessive.  An easy test is to pull up
on the hand brake, if this removes the free play you have found the

When installing new brake shoes it is a good idea to go back and adjust
them after they have had a chance to bed in.  Often the shoes are not
curved accurately by the manufacturer and they will need to be adjusted
a lot after about 100 miles of use.

Just a thought.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On
> Of Gosling, Richard B
> Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 2:04 AM
> To:
> Subject: Poor brakes - and how to get to them
> Still trying to sort my brakes out to get Sammy II (formerly Nancy)
> and on the road.
> The problem seems to be that the first few inches of pedal travel are
> doing
> nothing - the only resistance I'm working against is the pedal return
> spring.  Then finally I actually start pumping brake fluid, and the
> work fine.  But I shouldn't have that initial free travel.
> I had suspected massive slop in the connections - possibly even the
> for the cylinder disconnected from the pedal, so the pedal could push
> against the piston but would not pull it all the way back out when the
> pedal
> was released.  However, I (partially) removed the pedal box cover late
> last
> night, so I could watch the mechanism working, and there is no slop
> least not enough to worry about), the piston is moving during the
> travel" period.
> So this has to be a Master Cylinder problem, right?  Anyone care to
> a
> guess as to what is actually going on?  More to the point, any
opinions on
> whether this is likely to need just a re-build (#11) or should I just
> a
> replacement M/C (#45)?
> Other problem - getting to the damn thing!  Firstly, the pedal box
> Held down by 4 screws, all so badly rusted that a) they won't move, b)
> screwdriver can get no purchase on them whatsoever.  3 I drilled
> but the one closest to the wing is completely inaccessible!  I had to
> and lever the cover just so I could get a glimpse of the piston end so
> could rule out slop in the linkage, but I may have trouble deforming
> enough to enable me to disconnect the M/C from the pedal.  Any ideas?
> guess I could cut the old one to bits to get it out, and get a
> replacement,
> but that's #35 I'd rather not spend if there's an alternative.
> Second, I haven't tried it yet, but at first glimpse it looks like
> to the upper bolt holding the M/C on is no problem, but getting to the
> lower
> bolt will be completely impossible.  Others must have done this
before, so
> there must be a way, please enlighten me!
> Specs:  Unmodified UK-spec '73 BGT - single circuit brake system,
> servo.
> Richard Gosling & Sammy II (whose MOT suddenly looks not quite as
> as I'd hoped...)

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