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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - brake part locktab washers - I don't like them

I don't like the brake part locktab washers. Has anyone discovered a better alternative?

R Harvey

Nyloc nuts
Onno Könemann

I want to be safe but I hate those stupid locktabs.
I will try your suggestion.
R Harvey

Hi Rebecca,

I used lockwire, drilling through the head of the two bolts.

I wouldn't use nylocs so close to brakes (heat source)



S Deakin

i guess you mean the ones on the calipers, dont use old rusty ones and there fine, and safe.
d a hadaway

just seen spencers pic, i guess you did not mean the ones on the calipers, dan
d a hadaway


I realise the photo posted only shows the steering arms lock wired as I don't have a photo of when I converted the caliper bolts but the same process applies.

To use Nylocs wouldn't you have to change the caliper bolt for a stud in place of the bolt and then fit a nut? Never seen it done on non radial mount calipers


S Deakin

S Deakin,

I was just thinking the same... Im pretty sure mine are bolts and not studs...

Im not sure how I feel about studs instead of bolts... whould you torque them the same way you torque a cly head stud... finger tight on the studs then torque on the nuts to standard spec? would it still be the same torque spec. and would you want to use 30w motor oil to dip the stud threads in ... or use moly torque grease from arp???

I know ARP makes studs in higher standards then 8 grade in various sizes of dia and length... getting them might be half the trick.

Im no engineer, but the wardware in that photo looks a little toooo "lacking ???" for the forces that are applied to that area..

Sorry for the negitive comment, no ill thoughts or offence is intended... just my perception, I hope someone can/will prove me wrong.


Hi Prop,

Studs have a minor disadvantage:

Not being able to get the caliper on or off

As far as the 'hardware' in the photo goes (Assuming you are refering to the steering arm bolts) they are NAS aerospace bolts, its the same diameter as the standard bolt, but the forces are taken by the the dowels inside the steering arm anyway - don't be fooled by the size of the bolt heads - Aerospace bolts are made that way.


S Deakin

Edit.... (Again)

Sorry Rebbeca I'm not deliberately trying to take your thread off course...

The 5 min edit limit never seems to be long enough to finish a post.

The above should have read the dowels take some of the forces in the steering arm (well properly sized dowels do anyway, if they are too loose a fit they do not react any of the forces)

The bolts take the pure tensile forces but due to the load paths the dowels react some of the force as the steering arm tries to pull out at an angle.

The stud option for fitting calipers would require you to undo the nut and then somehow extract the stud to get the caliper on or off.

Again sorry ;)

S Deakin

which model Spridget has dowels in the steering arms? None that I've ever seen !
Prop's reference to studs is 'cos the pic shows the early caliper bolts with the threaded extension that holds the bracket for the flexi hose. Later ones just had plain bolts. Both types were originally fitted with locktabs.
David Smith

David you could be right

I have been working on my Mini and midget in Parallel seperate projects so it entirely possible that wires are crossed

The Mini steering arm dowels:

Getting old is a constant dissapointment me ;)

S Deakin

Spencer, bring your lock wire the other way through the farthest bolt in the pic, that way there is rotational stability instead of pulling as it currently is.

Dont mean to teach anyone to suck eggs, just a pet hate seeing wirelocking done incorrectly

Although yours will prevent it from dropping out, it will not prevent it from loosening the first 1/4 turn or so.

Again, dont want to sound like an ar*e, but it is one of the daily tasks of my primary trade.


No problem at all I am exactly the same!

The offending steering arm has been on and off about 10 times since that photo for one reason or another. (And is now not even going to be used!)

That was day one, hour one in my painful journey of trying to start by making my lock wiring look tidy, but getting regular twist density, everything the correct length etc... was proving what seemed far too challenging for a seemingly 'easy' skill. Thankfully my 'tutor' (sub assembly tech) was patient, but I still have a success ratio of about 1:5 before I have something that doesn't pain me to look at.



S Deakin


You should use lock-tite or similar on the bolts, if you don't want to use the normal lock-tabs.

I like mechanical lock devices like tabs... you can see/check they're in place.

Anthony Cutler


7-12 twists per inch is the rule of thumb

put your wire through the bolt head, wrap the other part around until thy meet. then get the twists started working at 45 degrees to where the wire exits the bolt head in the direction it is going to be going. This allows the twists to go all the way to the bolt hole.

You can then release the pliers, bring the wire round to the second bolt drilling, and attach your pliers level with the hole or just a tiny bit passed it. This will finish your twists pretty much exactly where you need them.

Feed the wire through the hole, and chase the other one around the bolt head, do the first twist by hand to prevent slack in the free wire, then do 1.5" of twists at 45 degrees again following the same direction as last time, always pulling clockwise. Snip off and pigtail it so it doesnt rip you a new orifice every time you put your hand in

If you swap the position of the far bolt wire, you will essentially be pulling both bolts tight, trade practice allows you to wind off half a twist should you have gone too far.

If your feeling gash, over torque the bolt slightly, do the locking wire, then slacken it off the 1/16th of a turn or so it needs to remove any slack, but i cant condone that method.

I love lock wiring, was one of those jobs where you constantly strive for perection despite it being something so boring.

Really the lock tab plates are fine
Simple and safe - A couple of spares in your kit and you're organised.
Wiring the heads is ok but as you would know from working in the hanger they should be figure 8 wired and really the boltheads need to be drilled in a couple of different directions to ensure you end up with holes in the required spots
The tabplates are looking better all the time and really they are quite easy to use
William Revit

Rebecca, there are books with this stuff in...

Forget the locktabs and use AN bolts with a pre drilled head and washers of different thicknesses to get the holes in the head to line up.
Daniel Thirteen-Twelve

This thread was discussed between 13/02/2011 and 14/02/2011

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