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MG MGA - Brake master clyinder

My 1956 MGA has a problem with the master cylinder. Brought it into my garage and tried to stop and the there were no brakes. Has anybody rebuilt one. If so what do you recommend.Replace or repair?
Thanks Lar
L E Marchand

If your MC isn't pitted, a rebuild should be a pretty straghtforward affair. Some on this BBS will tell you, however, that since brakes are what is standing between you and your life, you may wish to either have it professionally rebuilt or purchase a new one.
If you rebuild it, insure that you lightly hone the cylinder.
There really isn't much to it.
mike parker

Checkout Barney Gaylord's web site. Here is a link to the "Hydraulic" section of his site.

You will have to cut and paste the link above.

You should also check all of the wheel cylinders for leakage. That turned out to the problem with my brake system last year.

Don Carlberg

I'm sure that most of you do this, but anytime I drive one of my older cars; I check all fluids, fasteners, knock-offs, under the car for unusual leak spots, the usual suspects, anything that could cause a problem. A few minutes check time has saved me many potential hours of way too much excitement. I have a brake master cylinder filler extender that allows checking master cylinder fluid at a glance, great accessory for a nice old car.
Russ Carnes

Hi Lar - I had a lot of problems with my brakes in the months after buying my car. Both rear wheel cylinders leaked one after the other and then the master cylinder. A DPO had put the valve in the clutch rather than in the brake master. I putnewbrake cylinders in but just put new rubbers in the masters - no problems after 5 years. Good luck.
Cam Cunningham

A master cylinder rebuild kit is inexpensive and in most cases will work just fine. If it doesn't work out then you can break out the visa card and sleeve or replace the master cylinder.
One other hint; Don't forget to fish the rubber washer out of the bottom of the brake cylinder before honing/rebuilding.

Rich McKIe

Thanks for the interesting comments I sure have some great info. I will take the unit apart and assess what i have. Russ where can i get a fill extender that you mentioned.
Can you post a picture?
Thanks again
L E Marchand

Hi Lar,

I bought mine some time ago, I'm not sure where. 7 Enterprises has one for Minis. The height is a close fit. I think that it is the same as mine.


Russ Carnes

Bob West over here has them in stock.

Steve Gyles

This thread was discussed between 08/11/2008 and 11/11/2008

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This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGA BBS is active now.