nate

Been looking for a fun, cheap project car

167 posts in this topic

Yeah, well the fun doesn't end there.

When I went to disconnect the new steel brake hose from the copper brake pipe I found that the shop had managed to strip the threads on the copper end nut which required replacing the line back to the rear junction. The replacement wasn't expensive, for both left and right side it cost $20 plus shipping. It also required buying a $9 pipe bending tool and I used a trick someone posted on the Triumph forums of feeding a wire through the tubing so it can't kink when bending then just strip it out later. Worked perfectly. The hardest part was removing the old pipe without causing more damage, there was little work space and I had to use a very short metric wrench to undo the pipe from the 3 way connector. It is the only metric nuts on the entire car.

So I'm home free, right? Uh... nope. On first glance everything looked right out of the box for the replacement brake parts and I started installing them, putting the springs on the correct side with the shoes in the proper leading and trailing position. After completing all of this, it was wrong. 

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Try as I might I could not get the parking brake lever, that is held in with the cotter pin, to release enough to close the gap between the shoe and the piston. Something was wrong and after a series of attempts to remedy the situation and a few choice cuss words I took a closer look at the original Girling part and the replacement.

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The piston size isn't a problem but the length of the arms and where they are cut do. That extension pushes the parking brake lever out, which cause the gap and also pushes the pads beyond the diameter of the drum. 

I ordered parts by the vehicle FDU number (pre VIN#) and still the curse of the mid year '69 has bit me in the ass. I have an email out to Rimmer Bros in England about the problem and included the stamped on the metal Girling part # that they should be able to cross reference. But it stalls out the brake assembly, I literally cannot complete anything without this correct part. Otherwise I have to clean up the old part and hope the rubber seal is still good and put it back into service. 

 

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when i hear about car troubles like you've had, my admiration and respect for you and others who do this goes up infinitely. i wouldn't have the patience (let alone the vast amount of knowledge necessary) to do what you're doing. 

hope you get it finalized soon.

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You teach middle school teenagers, you've got what it takes in patience. It's obvious I'm not that knowledgeable but persistence and rubber mallet levels the playing field. 

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Rimmer Brothers didn't bother to even offer to buy back the wrong set, just some advice to clean up the old ones.

Bought a new set of wheel cylinders from a trusted source and they arrived Friday. They were the same wrong set. Looks like I'm going to have to see if the old ones will hold brake fluid until I can find the right set.

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Rimmer Brothers?

 

 

 

 

 

sinner 

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They're British, what did you expect? 

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So after talking with one of my parts suppliers he gave the low down on why this isn't pull it out of the box and replace what you have.

There seems to be no fun in that.

The manufacturers aren't even trying anymore to meet any specific specifications and stamp out kind of generic one brake shoe fits all drum brakes for Euro cars with 13" rims. It's your job to cut them to fit.

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Welcome new member of the tool collection, a variable speed bench grinder. :rolleyes:

Each brake shoe needed to be ground down an unspecified amount. Again no help from supplier how much that was, he said, "Don't grind off too much." Yeah, uh, thanks.

So the game is afoot. I disassemble the brakes, grind off the longer end of each shoe, reassemble and check to see if the drum clears. Repeat process four times so I don't "Grind off too much" and the drum fits on and will rotate without too much scraping. 

So far I managed to get one side completed but still have the entire left wheel to attend to, then bleed the system, adjust the brakes to locking up then counter that setting by two clicks and road test it. If all goes well and I don't end up in the neighbors planter box I get to figure out how to set the proper adjustment for the parking brake. 

Then she will be good to go and I get to drive it down to Brea Auto Electric to  rebuild the differential that is currently bleeding out on my garage floor.  

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be glad you haven't asked me to help you. maybe one of the wisest decisions you've ever made.

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So this whole brake thing started because of a loud grinding noise from the car. I got the rears all put together and dialed in and took it for a test drive. 

Loud grinding noise but it's located on the front right side. So now it is chasing a front brake problem. This morning I jack up the car and go to work on the disks and there is not a damn thing wrong with them. The rotors are perfect, the pads are like new, the dust shield is in place and not rubbing against anything. It is perplexing.

I did have trouble taking off the spinner that holds the wheel onto the hub splines so I cleaned that up and also the hub splines that were excessively dirty which should have been a warning sign but I was so focused on a brake problem it went over my head.

I took it for another test drive and again the squealing and grinding noise. Now I'm thinking blown bearing? No, we replaced those when the front end was done. Then I started thinking about the front wheel just as I braked at the end of the block to turn around and crunch.

It was the wheel and hub splines that were shot. The wheel wasn't stopping when the hub was and that was the grinding as the splines were being chewed to death. That freed the wheel enough to work against the spinner that spun off and I have now officially crashed the car.

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It took two jacks to lift the car from the rear first to get enough clearance to lift the front to put the wheel back on. I now have to buy a new wire wheel and hub.

 

 

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bummer!

but it looks like your car wants to make a constant left turn.

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I was a mechanic for 45 years and I don't think you know how lucky you are, when a wheel comes off like that it usually damages the fender. I have seen it cause thousands of dollars in damage, so it could have been worse.The thing with the rear brake shoes is they should have been arced to fit the drums,that way you have most of the shoes making contact with the drum.If they don't fit properly your stopping power will be reduced, and possibly a low pedal.I don't have a lot of experience with British cars except it takes a special breed to work on them.There are still some machine shops around that will arc your shoes if you still are having problems.Good luck.

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I was doing about 15 mph between brake tests so it was nearly a crawl to a stop when it collapsed. Pretty damn lucky since when I first heard this noise I was getting on to a freeway. If it went then I wouldn't be posting. 

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Here is the culprit. Those supposed to be well defined splines but they were ground smooth. That cost me a wire wheel as well so replacing all four plus a new wire wheel set me back $500. 

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This is the new part. Quite the difference.

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With that task done I need only to install the new drivers side glove tray, wash her really good and get the grease and dirt off, vacuum, hit the seats with more leather conditioner and tire dressing and she'll be ready for Sunday's Father's Day car show in Covina. 

Fun, cheap, project car. Hah!

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Posted (edited)

Made it to the Covina Father's day car show. A total of four foreign cars, my Spitfire, the MG sitting next to it, an old 356 Porsche and a VW Beetle. The other 100+ cars were mostly Hot Rods. 

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Lucky me, I won a 1/2 ton Jack as part of the free raffle. 

Edited by Blarg
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How interesting (and possibly very practical) that the wheel wells are part of the hood. Today's cars don't seem to have easy access included in their composition.

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I'm not sure anyone could design one of these today with all of the safety requirements.

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