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MG MGA - Binding brakes

Hi all,

I am reading several articles of people working on their (drum) brakes, and want to share the experience I had on that, some time ago.
After working on the rear axle, new oil seals etc, my A showed a strange braking behaviour. Braking was OK, until the last
Rik de Krom

Interesting Rik - I always replace my drums as you initially describe - but no problem yet with locking the brakes - but I will try the second "offical" method next time I have the drums off.
Cam Cunningham

Indeed as novice I have been doing as you Rik.
In fact I took the drum off today cos as you may have read on the other thread I have some issues bleeding the brakes.
On the right rear wheel the travel is too much... and in fact I run out of adjustment before the drums bind...

Do you think that if the drums are not centered properly they the travel could be increased?
I had this idea that the brake shoes would be self centering upon braking.

I will look into what you described...

G Ramos

Thanks for the Info Rik, I have this problem sometimes and will give your method a try.
John Bray

I also have been doing it as you first describe. Usually with new shoes on my '57A and MGB there is not a lot of extra room to put the drum on anyway. I smear a tiny bit of Lithium grease on the parts of the shoe backing that contact the adjusters and cylinder piston to enable them to slide
freely and centralise themselves. Then put the drum on and tighten the adjusters till the drum is locked and back it off a few clicks just until it turns again. I have never had a problem this way, but what he says makes sense.


I must be missing something here. What difference does it make as to WHEN you mount the drum? The shoes are moving in "air" whether you mount the drum "now" or "later"???
JM Morris

I am completely bemused by this "practice" too. Why would it make any difference at all. If it were true, the problem would exist with all cars not just classic ones, and no mechanic I have ever seen at work does any more than roughly centre the shoes by eye so he can get the drum on and then apply brake a few times before making adjustments, then checking again.

The MGA shoes will self centre when the brakes are applied simply by the forces at work when braking. If the shoes are out of adjustment, the main problem is going to be ineffective brakes because the travel is too far, not that they lock up when applied.

Comes into the "old wives tales" for me.
dominic clancy

Rik, don't understand all this stuff about centering the brake shoes by fitting them with the adjusters wound up. As others have suggested, the brake shoes centre themselves the first time you apply them and continue to keep themselves centred as they wear, the 'activated' end of the shoe wearing more than the pivot end. I would say that your trouble was caused by there not being a chamfer on the leading edge of the linings, causing them to 'dig-in' to the drum as the wheel slows down.
Lindsay Sampford

steering wheelbr>I had my rear brake drums of and on several times before, on my MGA as well as on different other cars before, and never had any problem wit that. Until that time I described above.
The difference with the previous times was that this time everything has been dismantled and cleaned. When I read in Lindsay
Rik de Krom

This thread was discussed between 18/04/2010 and 21/04/2010

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