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MG TD TF 1500 - Binding Brakes Waxoil

The TF has been tucked away for the winter because of the salt on Scottish roads. I tried to push it out of the garage today but found the brakes had seized on. They were so bad I had to remove the drums with a puller. When I rebuilt the car a year ago I fitted new brake cylinders all round. I put a smear of Waxoil on the pistons to stop corrosion and when applied this was nice and fluid. As the solvent has evaporated the waxoil has turned to wax - exactly as it should and this has caused the cylinders to bind. There was sufficient hydraulic force to push the pistons out but the springs could not return them. The shoes were so tight I couldn't even back off the adjusters. The bright side is the waxoil had prevented any corrosion and after a good wash the cylinders are like new. I have a tub of correct red, rubber grease on order. Absolutely no criticism of waxoil - just use it for the correct application.

Jan T
J Targosz

Not to get into an old discussion, but when I was storing my car in Wisconsin through the winter, My brakes would bind. I changed to DOT 5 silicon brake fluid and never had that issue again. That was over 20 years ago.
Bruce Cunha

some suggestions ref winter storage and brake issue:
1. if concrete floor place several layers of cardboard under car
2. after placing car on jack stands, totally back off brake adjusters
3. once per month, manually spin each wheel
4. once per month, pump brake pedal several times
R W Hinton

I've a somewhat similar situation affecting my front wheels. The TF has been up on stands for quite some time. During this time frame the master cylinder and brake hoses have been replaced. There currently is no brake fluid in the system...replacement fluid will most likely be DOT5 silicone-based.

Early-on I had backed off the brake shoe adjusters to what I thought was sufficient, and I would spin the wheels every now & then when I was in the garage, but.........the fronts are now locked tight without access to any adjusters as is.

The rear wheels spin freely as I would expect.

If the car was running, I'd lower it to the ground, put it in gear & use horsepower to break it loose (with handbrake at the ready), but I'm not at that stage yet.
T.A. Sirp

T.A., it could very well be caused by rust forming between the shoes and the drums. This same thing happens to clutch discs when rebuilt engines are allowed to sit for a good while before being run.

I just remembered a technique developed by Steve Wincze for holding rear drums while tightening axle nuts. See In your case I would picture you putting the rod across two opposite lug nuts, so that it's not touching the floor. You could then apply a lot of weight onto an end of the bar. I'll bet that it would break the bond between the shoes and the drum. No guaranty, just MHO. Good luck, Bud
Bud Krueger

Here's what Steve's idea looks like:


Bud Krueger

I've just returned from the garage with a bit of success. The binding situation is 1/2 resolved. The front driver side is spinning freely again. Yay!

The jackstanded floor height allowed me to squat & position myself around the wheel with arms at 10 & 2 o'clock and knees at 7 & 5 o'clock. Thinking of legendary power-lifter Vasili Alexiev, I then gave the wheel everything I had to rotate the adjustment hole to the closest adjustment screw...unfortunately, that screw was already backed-off all the way. Drat!

Elated by this initial rotation success (while simultaneously pissed off by reaching the wrong adjustment screw first)gave me just enough adrenaline & reserve power to rotate the hole to the other screw & back it off.

I then spent some time adjusting both screws back & forth before backing them off completely for the time-being. I have a feeling I only originally backed-off one of the two screws on each front wheel.

The front passenger side wheel currently provides a confirmed ZERO movement. Safety Fast. I'll avoid "stroking out" today by attending to it at a later date...or just by letting the engine do the work as originally considered.

T.A. Sirp

Hey Bud, just saw your post. Thanks. I wish it were that easy. No lugs on the TF. I've got wire wheel hubs!

If I did indeed FORGET about the 2nd adjustment screw, I NEVER will again. LOL.
T.A. Sirp

Happy Ending! At great effort, the remaining binding brake is now free (thanks once again to the "Alexiev' method). I momentarily feared I was going to power the TF's front passenger side off its jackstand prior to obtaining rotation.

I started laughing thinking that the wheel & I must look like two Galapagos tortoises attempting sex!

All good to go now for brake fluid replenishment.
T.A. Sirp

This thread was discussed between 25/01/2017 and 31/01/2017

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