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MG MGB Technical - Brake pedal not returning

Hi, Recently bought a 1969 MGB GT and the break pedal has started sticking. I need to put my foot under it to make it return fully. I tried tightening the return spring (perhaps I need to replace?) and WD40'd inside the pedal box. I am new to all of this, so any help appreciated!
Conor Murnane

Conor - Clean out the WD40 and use a lubricant on the pedal bushings. WD40 is a water displacement product and become sticky when it dries. I am aware of the "101 different uses for WD40" but it was designed for protecting sheet metal from rusting and while it will work (somewhat) for those 101 other uses, there are other products that do the job much better (such as oil as a lubricant). I would check the entire pedal over very closely for any binding and perhaps replace the return spring. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois


Thanks for your help! I can tell it's going to be a long road for this newbie. I'll order a spring and clean & oil the bushings next weekend. Regards -Conor

Im quite a fan of lithium grease. WD40 make some in a can as well. Its great stuff to get in at those inaccessible places and works much better than WD40 to keep things slippery.
Ross Kelly

The pedal should be slightly loose on its bushing. If it is and has a little free-play when moved up and down then the problem is in the master cylinder.
Paul Hunt

I had a similar problem for a short time with my 74b. I had long neglected the rear drums so I finally pulled them off. The shoes were about 50% worn but over time they were way out of adjustment. Much too far from the drums themselves. I simply adjusted them much closer til they bearly touched and then backed them off one click. This was a great improvement! They work fine now and the hand brake lever tightens them much sooner and works well too. In American cars the old rear drums would self adjust by putting the brakes on hard while in reverse. I don't know if MG brakes have this feature but if they do it didn't work on mine. I hope this helps. Its so simple. Good Luck BOB
Bob Ekstrand

Bob, The MGB rear brakes have always been adjusted manually probably because they wear so slowly. RAY

I refurbished/lubed the pedal box a few weeks ago and the pedals are so much better...It's worth the effort...The pins get worn out and easy to replace...and lube and tighten things...

I prefer manual adjust brakes. My VW had auto adjust brakes and they were a pain in the ar*e. They never self adjusted and were more difficult than necessary to service. Manual adjust brakes, you dont even have to take the drum off to adjust and they only ever need to be done at every service really.
Ross Kelly

You *don't* have to take the drum off to adjust the rear brakes, but you *should* take it off at least once a year to check for any fluid leaks from the slave cylinder or axle oil seal, and to remove, clean, and lubricate all the linkages for the handbrake.

You have to learn how much to pull them up by trial and error, I had my roadster for several years and always tightened them up until they just rubbed (not dragged) pulling up the handbrake several times and pressing the footbrake several times, then tapping the drum with a mallet to settle the shoes. When I got my V8 I did the same thing, only to find that they tended to bing and overheat, to I have to slacken those off one notch.

The handbrake cable should be adjusted (nut under the tunnel at the hand-operate lever) so that on the 1st click there is no increase in rubbing and certainly no dragging, only at the 2nd click. That way you know your handbrake is fully off when it is fully down. This should give about 5 or 6 clicks to fully on.
Paul Hunt

This thread was discussed between 28/06/2008 and 01/07/2008

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