Just in case anyone cares, an update on the Daffy Poor Braking saga.
At the weekend, I replaced the rear brake shoes (although old ones were only
about 1/2 way used), replaced the pipes with steel braided, and replaced the
bleed nipples (which had become rounded off, since they were done up too
tightly and I had to use Mole grips to undo them). I can't tell if it is the
new shoes, the adjusting I had to do to fit the new shoes, or the new brake
pipes, but my brakes have taken another leap forward in effectiveness. I will
fit the new steel braided pipes to the front shortly, and then I will be done!
It seems my poor brakes were a combination of a number of things - pads jamming
in calipers, a little air in the lines, poorly adjusted rear drum brakes,
possibly worn linings, possibly poor brake lines. Each of these, once fixed,
seemed to give an incremental improvement, without any one being an obvious
main culprit. In any case, I am now happy with my brakes, and can drive
safely once more! By the way, the blocked front bleed screw seemed to have
solved itself by the time I tried to bleed again!
There seemed to be a bit of grease floating around in the brake drum,
particularly on the drivers side. This seems to have come from the hub, when
that was last re-greased. Some of this may have got onto the brake shoes
(probably did). Does grease on the brake shoes have a significant effect on
their effectiveness (like engine oil on a clutch plate does)? Is it normal
for a bit of grease from the hub to pump into the brake drum when re-greasing?
Many thanks for all who helped out with advice, particularly Nolan Penney, and
also Eric Kieboom and Nick Moseley, who pointed me in the right directions.
Thanks also to the numerous others - not all the suggestions turned out to be
the real problem, but they were all worth suggesting, and investigating, in
the process of tracking down the true culprit.
Richard and Daffy