Tonight I tackled fitting a new set of rear brake shoes to my GT6 Mk.3. I have never gone near brake drums before so it was a learning experience. After 4am now and I am finished.
The drums have the automatic handbrake adjuster mechanism. So my question is what postition should the handbrake backplate lever be in when the handbrake is fully off? i.e. should it be all the way against the drum back plate?
I ask this because when I disconnected the handbrake cable clevis the lever sprung all the way as far as it could again the drum back plate. But I found I had to pull the lever back out maybe 2 inches in order to reconnect the cable clevis to it. (And that was with me trying to yank the cable to make it reach. Is this normal? (in that position the handbrake is not grabbing)
And I noticed that the spring that connects the clevis to the back plate is missing. How important is that?
The slave cylinder must be able to slide so that shoe at the opposite end from the piston is brought into contact with the brake drum.
You should have a return spring a little bracket on the threaded part of the cable which fits to a bracket on the back plate. The tension of the spring can be altered by moving the bracket along the cable using the locking nuts. These springs help the levers return.
The levers should be back against the backplates and the cables adjusted to suit.
I don't think the self-adjusters work on most cars and generally the way to adjust the brake is with the drum off click up the adjusters with a screwdriver trying the drum after each few clicks. When you can just squeeze it on the adjustment will be correct. The position of the quadrant is important to the efficiency of the handbrake and its optimum position is 15 degrees off a right angle. It is good practice to adjust the brakes on the adjusters not the cable.
Thanks John. I'll go back and have a look at why the cables are so short and don't allow the levers all the way back against the back plates. Is there adjustment on the handbrake itself that may need to be slackened off to free up more cable?
Can you explain this to me as I don't know what you mean by quadrant (thanks! And excuse my lack of knowledge) "The position of the quadrant is important to the efficiency of the handbrake and its optimum position is 15 degrees off a right angle."
The automatic adjusters were seized solid when I opened the drums. I spent some time cleaning and freeing them up. I will open the drums again to make the cylinders move more freely.
Mark there's no need apologise for lack of knowledge, we all have plenty that we don't know and we can learn from each other. I've recently carried out a restoration on my MK3 so it is all fairly fresh in my mind.
As always the picture you want hasn't been taken but I am attaching a couple which i hope might be helpful. One shows the brake lever spring, partly hidden I'm afraid and the bracket I had to make because the originals had rusted away. The second shows the quadrant. This is bolted to the underside of the body. the hand brake cable connects to it. There is adjustment on the handbrake lever but if it is the same as mine you have to disconnect the clevis, make the adjustment and then refit it.
I'm sure there are others who will add to what I've said and do hope you end up with a good handbrake or at least a reasonable one.
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I appreciate the help John, and I love your spotlessly clean chassis! Mine has a lovely coating of surface rust and peeling paint everywhere! Anyway, your advise made perfect sense to me when I was under the car today. It was of great help. I found that the two wheel cylinders were seized to the back plate. I freed these up so that they now slide back and forth used my hand. I also found that the automatic adjuster lever is broken off in the passenger side hub. I will get one ordered. I adjusted the handbrake like to said by screwing out the automatic adjuster wheel and fitting and removing the hub. It worked a treat. Thanks again!
4 winter tyres 195/60R15 on Ford steel rims 6mm tread.£100 Ford roof rack for Ford Fusion.£40 collect only.
Contact Kevin 07946700004. location Essex/M25
Spitfire 1500 in Brooklands Green/Black.
Owned 15 yrs, fully restored 10 yrs ago, stored
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