Fixing floppy brakes

I know the brakes will never be great or perhaps they won’t even be ‘okay’ but when the operating mechanisms are all worn and wobbly when they should be a snug fit – then I have to ask myself can’t I improve that a bit? and the answer? Yes I can…

Step 1 – the main plate holding the assembly onto the leaf spring had a very worn bronze bush and the reason was a previous owner (bless them) had welded a bolt to the arm and the threads of the bolt had sawn through the bush. A bit of Internet hunting later and a set of replacement bushes were duly ordered. Simply a case of pressing them into place using a vice.

Next replacing the worn arm with corroded (and wrong) bolts

As you can see above the left ‘bolt’ is hardly of an even width all the way down and the bolt on the right is badly welded, short AND bent! The solution? Make a whole new arm. First cutting the arm itself from 5mm steel. Fast forward a bit because that took some time to cut from a sheet of 5mm steel. Next drill 2 holes in the right place for the bolts and i have this:

A strip of rusty metal and 2 rusty bolts of the right size and length. The original arm had these bolts welded into it but I will braze them. Im not even sure why they were welded, they dont need to be… end result is this:

I finished off the arm by rounding all the edges and corners (for aesthetic reasons) and I will soak the newly created arm in rust remover and give it a coat of paint tomorrow… job done and quite satisfying…

And here is the finished item – note the two old-school ways of locking a nut into position as neither of theses nuts should be done up tight – they need to rotate with the shaft.