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MG MGA - Braking Bad

My MGA has been great joy to drive since it was restored nine years ago. Only one thing went wrong since that time, and that was when the RH kingpin snapped. Hitch #2 cropped up recently, but was not as scary as the broken pin.

I was out for a nice drive last Sunday morning, when I had reason to brake a little hard. As a result the front RH brake drum seemed to sieze briefly causing the wheel to skid for a very short distance, about a metre or so. Smell of burning rubber was also in the air. This only happened the first time I pushed hard on the pedal. It did not happen again anytime after that.

The brakes were all serviced a short while ago, and all seemed OK, no fluid leakage was apparent, and the brakes efficiency was as good as can be.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my thinking is that either the rubber brake hose was blocked temporarily (collapsed), or the piston got stuck inside the cylinder (pistons renewed last service), and failed to return back to the open position.

I would appreciate if you kindly let me have your comments on this, with suggestions on how to put things right again. BTW this problem occured before on another occasion.

F. Camilleri

I would vote for sticky cylinder.

Another idea though could some dirt have got stuck between lining and drum, long shot as I say but while I have occassionally had problems with brakes pulling I have never had this.

Paul Dean

Thank you Paul for your input replying to my post.

Like you my belief is a sticky piston inside the cylinder. Since all cylinders were replaced with new ones, I doubt if there is a faulty one. How do I remedy this problem? Would a cleanout of the piston/cylinder do the trick?


F. Camilleri

I don't know about slave cylinders in particular but I am very suspicious of the quality of many of the repro parts available these days. (I suffered the pain of the condenser going at 150 miles on a new distributor, and at a rather remote, but albeit beautiful, spot) Also there have been so many similar stories on this list, certainly including master cylinders if not slave ones.

I would start by carefully removing the pistons only first so you don't need to bleed the system. I would also check both sides.

Just back from other rather British Med island, i.e.Cyprus, I did see a midget in Pafos but no MGAs like I saw in Malta a couple of years ago.

Paul Dean

Hi Frank

I would get a garage to check that the brakes are adjusted for balance from side to side. You probably did nothing more than lock up the wheel because of braking harder than usual. If a piston were to stick, it would happen more than once. You will probably just find that the side that stuck is a little more efficient than the other side. Maybe the other side needs tweaking up a notch on the adjuster.

My RH front disc has started making an ear piercing squeal, so that's a job for the weekend, as well as getting my neighbours Midget started. it conked out in September with a burned out regulator, and even though I have replaced it and put in a high quality new condenser from Moss US, the wretched thing refused to start in spite of good compression, spark and fuel, so I'm going to have to start from scratch with the timing, and work though it logically

dominic clancy

This thread was discussed on 28/04/2016

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