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MG TD TF 1500 - Leaky brakes

I have a thread going about the arching of brake shoes. The reason that I am replacing my brakes shoes is because of a problem that has been brewing for a long time. I learned a lesson that I would like to share with everyone. When I got my TD about 12 years ago, I found a slightly leaky wheel cylinder in the left front. I cleaned, honed, polished and resealed all of the wheel cylinders and that was that. The pads on that side did get slightly wet with fluid. I cleaned them thoroughly and reinstalled them; they were almost new. I subsequently found that when the car had sat for a long time, the car would pull to the right slightly when braking. This would go away after the brakes heated up a little and would not come back until after a long period of rest.
Well, a couple of weeks ago, I took my first short test run for the season, around the neighborhood, and the same pattern developed. The next day my wife and I ventured out a little further. I was going about 40 mph, when someone swerved in front of me in a turn. I applied the brakes moderately-not a panic stop, and wham, the right front locked up and the steering wheel was almost snatched out of my hands! I carefully limped home and pulled the drums off and found that both pads on the left had debonded a good portion of their length. Evidently, brake fluid (the old fashioned kind), not only will attack your paint, but also whatever glue the brake reliners use. Makes me kind of wish that I had riveted pads!
It also, most probably, altered the friction characteristics of the pads. I will never again consider reusing even slightly contaminated pads.
Steven Tobias

Steve - " I will never again consider reusing even slightly contaminated pads. " Not as a put down, but that has been the conventional wisdom ever since I can remember. Brake fluid and oil will soak into the lining material and no amount of cleaning will remove it entirely. I won't even touch the lining material with oily hands when I am working on the brakes on our cars. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

Dave, You are absolutely justified in admonishing me for defying conventional wisdom...I wanted to share this embarassing incident with anyone else who might have been willing to probe the edge of the envelope! The "doesn't look so bad, let's carefully try it" mindset can be disastrous. In my case, the fluid continued, unseen, to eat at the bonding material. What would have happened if the pads had come loose in a panic stop or at highway speed!? We must keep in mind that, at best, our cars leave no margin for error with regard to safety.
Steven Tobias

This thread was discussed between 29/03/2010 and 30/03/2010

MG TD TF 1500 index

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