The rear brakes semi functioned, in that the handbrake when applied didnt do very much at all. pulling the (vertical) lever towards you takes quite a lot of effort but I noticed that you could still turn the rear wheels by hand and one of them was harder to turn than the other. Brakes to me need to be the best they can be. 30’s brakes are notoriously poor but at least i have them on all four wheels unlike some other vintage cars i can mention 🙂
The linkage by the differential was kinda-wobbly, but i know by the design of the front brakes that it shouldn’t wobble like that and yep sure enough the main bolt had worn the bronze bush into an oval shape – luckily I had a spare one. Memo to self, buy some more bronze bushes – i am getting through them at quite a rate. Replacing the bush is simply a case of driving the old one out with a drift and then pressing the new one in. In my case that equates to hitting it with a hammer. The bush replacement made a big difference in that the linkage no longer wobbles but the brakes still didnt work properly. Below is the ‘restored’ linkages… move along not much to see here
So off comes the rather large and jolly heavy brake drums – sheesh what did they make these things from? Inside I found many years of dust, some seized adjusters and rather rubbery old grease. The brake shoes were covered in thick sticky stuff that i can only assume is old grease and the brake drums that should be clean and shiny were again caked in a thick layer of sticky stuff. The brake pads I also noticed were worn down to the rivets. None of this is conducive to a working brake system.
Getting the grease off was easy using petrol and a brush which left me to work out how to release the seized adjusters and remove the brake pads. The brake pads are of course not available at Halfords, but you can buy replacement friction material – all you need to do is remove the old material by drilling out all the rivets and then re-riveting on new material by hand. How hard can that be? I will find out soon that’s for sure because i have no choice.
It was pleasing to find that the brake adjusters were not really seized, more gummed up with old grease, once that was cleaned up and the grease replaced with new – they moved nice and easily just like they should do. One side done. The other side was more of the same except that one of the adjusters is broken – granted it still works but the casing is broken which to me means it could fail at any time and i wont take the risk of finding i have no brakes on that wheel. To be fair these brakes are operated by steel rods – there is no hydraulic assistance giving you tons of pressure to apply its pure leg power.
Taking a glance at my leg muscles, i rather suspect the brakes are not going to be very good
A slight change of subject now… the engine oil filter. I thought that whilst i had a pot of contaminated petrol, i might as well clean the oil filter as all that needs is a wash out with petrol regularly. Undoing the canister was fine but inside i found the ‘filter’ had broken and what should have been a wire wound cage was in fact a birds nest… see below. All that wire is supposed to be wound tightly around the cylinder. I rather suspect that it cant be fixed and i have to find a replacement or shock horror replace it with a more modern alternative 😦