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Early Mk1 Midget Rear Brakes (again)


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The early Mk 1 Midget has a similar set up to the 'Frogeye' Sprite. A single sliding wheel cylinder and brake adjustment by a single cam device that sits atop the wheel cylinder.

Is anyone familiar with this set up which is similar on a number of '50's and early 60's cars.

I have a couple of issues - I've fitted new shoes but I can't seem to get the shoes adjusted correctly. I've adjusted the cam to almost the maximum and still can't get the drum held tight. Has anyone any thoughts on what I might have done wrong? I'm wondering if the brakes might just need to have a few miles run to get everything to centre up/position correctly, and then recheck?

The other question is on the conical shoe retaining spring. I've sourced new ones as these were missing - has anyone any tips on how to get them to locate correctly?

Thanks

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Thanks - the drums were new (Moss) just six years ago or so, and the mileage we do is pretty low. I do have another set of new drums purchased when MGOC spares were doing a special offer. I will try those (and maybe the originals too from six years ago which are still in the garage somewhere).

The adjusters look OK - where and how would they 'slot'?

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Not a Midget expert but be aware that there are some remarkably poor brake shoes on the market for various classics at present, so your new shoes may just be made wrong......  Suggest closely comparing with the old.

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Yes, thanks Nick - I did compare closely and whilst there are some minor differences in profile I'm not sure it is the issue. I even put the old shoes back on and still couldn't get the adjusters to hold the drum. It really should be a simple job - you start to doubt your ability to swap out simple components....

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The handbrake is/was off but not disconnected. The handbrake operates through a cable to a central balance lever with link rods out to each wheel cylinder lever. The car is jacked up under the quarter elliptical spring mounting point on the body whilst working on the car. Handbrake set up:

https://www.moss-europe.co.uk/shop-by-model/mg/midget/brakes/hand-brake/handbrake-sprite-i-iii-midget-i-ii-1958-66.html

The internal drum set up (upper diagram):

https://www.moss-europe.co.uk/rear-brakes-sprite-i-iii-midget-i-ii-1958-66.html

Edited by Rod1883
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Ok, thats Midget swivel mechanism with hard hand brake rods, which is just evil. I've tried adjustable rods in the past and ended up with the 1500 set up.

You need to disconnect the hand brake rods from the drum adjuster arms then adjust the drums, once good re fited and adjust the hand brake.

Beaware that if you have the axle 

 

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So I spent Monday working on the nearside - new wheel cylinder and new shoes to match the new parts on the off side that I had struggled with over the weekend.

I followed the advice of RR regarding supporting the end of the axle/hub and left the handbrake lever disconnected whilst adjusting on the cam. The nearside adjusted up OK - although it was still quite high on the cam with not much adjustment left. I must admit I'm struggling a little to understand the geometry of why that should help as it's a solid rear axle.

I then re-did the off side adjustment with the hub/axle supported handbrake disconnected - better but the cam was almost at the limit of adjustment.

Still couldn't get the conical 'beehive springs to locate. Advice from elsewhere suggests the modern repro springs locating tangs are too long, but I could find anything sharp/strong enough to cut them down.

I've ordered new cams and cages so will try those when they arrive to see if these are the issue (worn, or the wrong ones perhaps). I still have a brand new set of MGOC sourced drums to try as well (after sorting the issue below....).

I have a new problem now - evidence of the hub oils seal leaking found whilst working on the car - need to get that fixed before it wrecks my new shoes....

Edited by Rod1883
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1 hour ago, Rod1883 said:

I followed the advice of RR regarding supporting the end of the axle/hub and left the handbrake lever disconnected whilst adjusting on the cam. The nearside adjusted up OK - although it was still quite high on the cam with not much adjustment left. I must admit I'm struggling a little to understand the geometry of why that should help as it's a solid rear axle.

 

You only need the axle at working height when you come to do the handbrake.

 

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