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MG TD TF 1500 - Brake Cylinder sleeving

I searched the archives and found 3 options.

White Post who sleeves in brass
Apple Hydraulics who apparently sleeves in brass
Mark Frappier who sleeves in stainless.

I'd be included to go the stainless route but Mark Frappier is not at the number listed.

I also plan on going the dot 5 route.

So a couple questions:

1. Is brass ok, is there an advantage or disadvantage to stainless?
2. Does someone have the contact info for Apple, can't find them in my searches
3. I'll be doing all 6 wheel cylinders and the master. on the rear wheel cylinders, do they also mill that slot so the e brake cable will work? I know I can just get some new ones but they will still be an aluminum bore and prone to problems again in short order. I was thinking sleeving the originals would be better in the long run.
4. From the looks of it, White Post offers full rebuilds not just sleeving, any experience with that. Same question for Apple.
5. and lastly, anyone else do this work and do a good job?

Thanks for you help on this.
l rutt

Apple website:

Mark Frappier resleeved my brake cylinders with good result. He appears to have moved from the last location I had. Here are three possibilities from the Internet:

Mark Frappier
Southwick, MA 413-569-5812
Fitchburg, MA 978-400-5471
Barre, MA 978-355-6996

I can dig more, if you are still intersted in finding him and none of these numbers connect you with the right person. If you track him down, please let us know how to reach him.

Larry Shoer

The Gentlemen at White Post is pretty opinionated about dot 5 fluid, and they don't just resleeve, only sell the rebuild services. So that may rule that out.

Apple also doesn't honor their warranty if dot 5 is used.

What is the paranoia with dot 5. I have some bikes I've converted for over 10 years now with zero problems. And never had to mess with cleaning them. Much more appealing than have to flush brake systems every couple years.
l rutt

White Post did my MC ("lifetime guarantee"), and it came back with a new brass piston, and a really robust outer rubber boot, much better than the thin and cheesy original. They used to just sleeve the wheel cyls- must be something new that they don't. I would still have to think about the new repro rears since they are about $40 on sale, ready to install (still have to order the outer boots separately), and they'll likely last for years. I changed the seals in three front cyls. that had been done in brass by White Post about 11 years prior and they were in excellent shape. One modification I made to the fronts: went to the parts store and obtained thin o-rings that fit over the front cylinder pistons and into the "groove" at the end. The brake return spring pressure then more or less keeps the cylinders sealed when the car is parked, really good to do in our humid climate. Have used silicone fluid for years. George
George Butz

There is also this company that installs sleeves: I have not sent anything to them yet, although I did ask about their warranty if using DOT 5. They don't limit their
warranty regarding it.
Tim Mayor

Dug back through my paperwork...

Mark Frappier also has an 800 number that might be a better bet to call: 800-528-5235.

Mark took over this business from his uncle, George Frechette (413-467-9218), who should be able to put you in touch with Mark.

I'm running with DOT 5. It was a tedious process to tighten up everything so that brake fluid weeps eventually stopped. Be meticulous and make sure all seating surfaces are scrupulously clean and smooth when doing the work. Use all new copper washers and anneal them yourself. I'm looking forward to the benefits of not having to service the brakes for a long time.

Larry Shoer

Just contacted Mark

Still in business,
Still sleeves in stainless only
Phone number did change to:
800 528 5235

Address is still the same though
Mark Frappier
82 Mountainview Street
Agawam, MA 01001
800 528 5235

From what I've read people like his work, he's done several. I'll think I'll go with him on all 6 wheel cylinders and Master.

As for the rears, I can get new for 40 and still have to buy a kit to get the rubber I need so just as well sleeve the old ones to SS and not worry about it.

Thanks all for your help.
l rutt

I have never figured out why the rubber boots didn't come with the rear cylinders. Like you are really going to use the old ones on a new cylinder. Go figure! SS would be harder than brass of course. The underlying problem with the original cyls seems to be corrosion at the cup/base of piston area. Since the piston is basically open to the outside (unlike modern cylinders- or actually the earlier TC cyls), moisture collects along the piston, and the pistons seem to rust, and either physically or galvanically pit the soft metal. I think the pistons can still rust, sticking in and damaging a re-sleeved cyl? But maybe it is the pot metal or aluminum of the original cyl that is the problem? Or maybe I'm too tired to make sense of it at the moment. Driving the cars routinely seems to be the best defense against sticking cyls. George
George Butz

For what its worth I made replacement pistons for the front wheels from stainless steel, of course the piston bores were in good condition. That was over 8 years ago and have never had a sticking piston since.


David Tinker
David Tinker

Do not want to start the whole DOT brake fluid isssue, but did come across a good article on brake fluids on a BMW site.

Can't see where it would matter if the sleeve were brass or SS for use of DOT 5

BTW. Have not touched my brakes in over 15 years of running with DOT 5 and they work perfectly. BUT, I also fully rebuilt the entire system and started fresh with DOT 5. Cannot say if this is the same if you flush an older system and replace with DOT 5.

cylinder has little clearance between the return hole and the piston that any swelling here can cause the piston to partially cover the return hole

Thanks Bruce-C that was the 1st article that made sense to me, even after getting a "C" in organic chemistry forty years ago
Jon Levine

I re-sleeved my own brake cylinders with brass. I just bought 7/8" ID seamless brass tubing and turned it down to size for a 3 thousand's clearance fit into the cylinders. The sleeves were then lightly honed with a cross hatch on a Sonnen hone. Bored the orig. cylinders on a Bridgeport with a boring bar. Then they were "glued" in with Loctite.
You need a machine shop and some skills for set up.
I think it took me about 3 hrs. and I made several sets of sleeves. (since given away)
If you want all the dim's look in the archives.
12 years and never a leak.
colin stafford

This thread was discussed between 05/08/2008 and 19/08/2008

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