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MG MGB Technical - better brakes?

I took the MGB GT out for quite a long drive, and was pleased at how well it behaved. The suspension is not yet complete, still have to replace the bushes, and front pan etc and king pins, complete with the swivel axle. Along mountain roads, Mount Tamborine, Queensland, Australia, it got warm but I noticed the brakes squealing when I came to slow down. There was no problem with the stopping power all felt good just the annoying squeal. Probably some 'copperslip' behind the pads should stop it. I am using standard pads, would this green stuff be any better? And, incidentally, has any body tried this mod that Peter Burgess mentions in his book, that of Austin Princess callipers which are two pot I believe?There need to be machined etc but any easier that V8 kit or not? Mike
J.M. Doust

Hello J.M.

There is many swaps possible with Toyota 4-Runner or Nissan or Jag. But it is expensive for a daily driver. My few bucks improvement is ceramic pads+ vented discs brakes( may be an unecessary investment).

Anyway, braking is more that adequate...


Jean Guy Catford

Reports of Green Stuf pads seem to indicate that squealing is much worse with them. I would put a smear of copaslip grease on the back of the pads, that should do the trick. My GT sometimes squeals a little but the roadster never does. Nothing really to get upset about.
Iain MacKintosh

I have been very pleased with my Green Stuff pads they stop well dont squeal and last well. My car has no servo and the brakes are more than adequate for the cars performance. The black brake dust they leave is hard t9 clean off though.
Stan Best

Thanks for your comments I will go the copaslip route for the time being. I would agree the brakes are really qute up to the performance and pull up weel and straight. The account for conversion of Austin Princess calipers to MGB axle uprights is quite complex. My only thoughts was that the handling performance was improving to the extent that I was going into the corners fast braking hard then exiting fast and I feel that the engine performance was now the limiting factor. But up this too much then the braking performance will need uping. Mike
J.M. Doust

The stock B brakes were oversize for their time. Who else used 10" drums in the rear on a car that weighed 2,000 lbs.? A stock system, in good condition, is more than adequate at stopping these cars even when the HP has been raised. I'm running a slightly tuned engine, with a supercharger, in a B that is pretty much stock. I live on the Northern coast of California and the roads here are all windy, steep and treacherous. The car handles beyond my expectations and stops on a dime. This is with the single circuit braking system and no servo, using factory pads and shoes. RAY
rjm RAY

When you have the pads out you can also check the correct position on the caliper pistons.

The small cut out in the edge of the piston should point down, towards the caliper-mounting flange.
(according to this excellent write-up:
Willem vd Veer

"A stock system, in good condition, is more than adequate at stopping these cars even when the HP has been raised."

Besides which it should be the grip between tyre and surface which is ultimate arbiter in stopping power, i.e. you should always be able to lock the fronts with gradually applied pedal pressure (not banging them on which will lock them easier). The only reason to uprate the brakes should be for competition to resist fading and boiling.
PaulH Solihull

The only time MGB brakes show their weaknesses is when subjected to long hard braking...i.e., they are prone to fade. Although green stuff profess to have more fade resistance, I'm not convinced. Fade is a product of the systems inability to dissipate heat quickly enough to stop the pads over-heating. To improve fade performance you can go down several or all roads. 1.Harder pad material, but you need more pedal pressure or a servo. 2. Bigger pads, hence the V8 or 4 pot princess calipers, 3. Discs with more metal, drilled or grooved or otherwise vented to help dissipate heat and gases. V8 calipers and discs are the easiest fix, especially with cross drilled discs.
Allan Reeling

This thread was discussed between 23/01/2011 and 26/01/2011

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