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Author: Subject: English axle brake drum adjustment
David Jenkins

posted on 13/6/21 at 04:09 PM Reply With Quote
English axle brake drum adjustment

A couple of weeks ago my car had its MOT. It passed, not even an advisory, but the tester did say that one side of the rear axle was not as good as the other (not enough to fail). We wondered whether it was due to an oil leak from a suspect rear bearing/oil seal, but when I looked the shoes and drum were clean. What I did see is that the handbrake adjuster was slack, which means that the shoes aren't going to be pushed as hard on that side during normal braking.

These brakes have the adjuster with an 'omega-shaped' spring meant to hold the ratchet together, but mine doesn't seem to be functioning. Whether this is due to wear and tear, or a weak spring, I have no idea.

So to my question - is anyone aware of a modification to this form of handbrake adjuster that actually makes it work? Considering the low mileage I do, I'd be happy if it was a conventional manual adjustment.

I really don't feel like faffing about trying to get a system to work, considering it wasn't that good in the first place!





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Dingz

posted on 13/6/21 at 08:10 PM Reply With Quote
Presumably the adjuster mechanism works ok on the other side? As you said the omega spring keeps the serrated adjuster parts together, are the serrations worn, or is the spring too weak, are new springs available? I guess these parts are 40-50 years old!





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rusty nuts

posted on 13/6/21 at 08:24 PM Reply With Quote
You may well find that the auto adjuster is sticking on its pivot ? Worth taking the shoes off and freeing off before manually adjusting
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David Jenkins

posted on 13/6/21 at 09:14 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dingz
Presumably the adjuster mechanism works ok on the other side? As you said the omega spring keeps the serrated adjuster parts together, are the serrations worn, or is the spring too weak, are new springs available? I guess these parts are 40-50 years old!


I looked for replacement adjuster springs ages ago - no chance!





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David Jenkins

posted on 13/6/21 at 09:15 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rusty nuts
You may well find that the auto adjuster is sticking on its pivot ? Worth taking the shoes off and freeing off before manually adjusting


I'll be stripping it down over the next few days - I'll take a look. Not my favourite job, as the return springs are a total PITA to fit!





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watsonpj

posted on 13/6/21 at 09:23 PM Reply With Quote
English axle spring sets and all the other bits are available on eBay for £21 isn't it in that set?

Try searching
Accessory ford escort rear drum


Pete

[Edited on 13/6/21 by watsonpj]

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rusty nuts

posted on 14/6/21 at 06:28 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David Jenkins


I'll be stripping it down over the next few days - I'll take a look. Not my favourite job, as the return springs are a total PITA to fit!


Like anything else the job is easier with experience and the right tools , I have a pair of pliers made for fitting return springs that I was given 50 years ago and they were old then , didnít know what they were for until an apprentice I had brought some similar to the ones in the link

https://www.abbuildingproducts.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache/c62f8caaddd959803e7f4e4e311d049f/v/s/vs035.v3_eeppsbzssk0om0q1.png

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David Jenkins

posted on 14/6/21 at 07:18 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by watsonpj
English axle spring sets and all the other bits are available on eBay for £21 isn't it in that set?

Try searching
Accessory ford escort rear drum


Pete

[Edited on 13/6/21 by watsonpj]


Those spring sets contain everything apart from the spring in question - the one I call the omega spring, due to its shape. I'll post a picture once I get it off the brake.





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steve m

posted on 14/6/21 at 07:31 AM Reply With Quote
Burtons ford do the spring sets, and from memory i bought the adjusters and omega springs from them as well

Rally design, also used to deo the sets, but dont appear on their website now

I would be calling both of the above





Thats was probably spelt wrong, or had some grammer, that the "grammer police have to have a moan at




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David Jenkins

posted on 14/6/21 at 07:53 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by steve m
Burtons ford do the spring sets, and from memory i bought the adjusters and omega springs from them as well




Nothing showing on the Burtons website - only the same spring kit that everyone else sells, without the springs I need.

This is why I was wondering if anyone had devised an alternative setup for adjusting the rear brakes & handbrake.





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David Jenkins

posted on 14/6/21 at 12:52 PM Reply With Quote
Buggerit!!!

So I stripped the brake shoes from the near nearside - everything looked OK, apart from the handbrake auto-adjuster being a bit stiff (thanks for that hint Mel!). The ratchet grooves also look a bit worn, so I might try to 'improve' them with a riffling file before I put it back.

What really pee'd me off was finding out that the wheel cylinder is dribbling brake fluid, so that's another job that needs doing (and parts to order) followed by a session of brake bleeding - another job I'm not fond of. I'll try as far as possible to avoid letting all the brake fluid out while I do it - but it may be a good time to change it all anyway (it's been a while since the last fluid change). I guess the usual route is to change the whole wheel cylinder, so I've now got to work out which bore cylinder to order...

Sigh - talk about 'project creep'!

BTW: here's a picture of the 'omega spring' I was talking about...

omega spring
omega spring


[Edited on 14/6/21 by David Jenkins]





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steve m

posted on 14/6/21 at 05:19 PM Reply With Quote
Do you need an omega spring, as i might have one





Thats was probably spelt wrong, or had some grammer, that the "grammer police have to have a moan at




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steve m

posted on 14/6/21 at 05:24 PM Reply With Quote
When changing the rear cylinders, do both, as 1, they will match, and 2, they will work the same, 3, if you dont, the other will fail soon ....

Clamp the flexi hose between the rear chassis and axle, that way no air or debris will get in, and then remove clamp. once cylinders fitted and just bleed the brakes

When i did my cylinders, i made them both bleadable, so a T feed to each wheel, the standard for arrangement was to feed one, and crossfeed the other, hence only one nipple, i didnt like that system





Thats was probably spelt wrong, or had some grammer, that the "grammer police have to have a moan at




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David Jenkins

posted on 14/6/21 at 05:28 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by steve m
Do you need an omega spring, as i might have one


I think I'm OK Steve, the one I took off looks acceptable. I think it's the ratchet that's a bit worn (I've been given a good tip on how to fix that).





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David Jenkins

posted on 14/6/21 at 05:31 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by steve m
When changing the rear cylinders, do both, as 1, they will match, and 2, they will work the same, 3, if you dont, the other will fail soon ....

Clamp the flexi hose between the rear chassis and axle, that way no air or debris will get in, and then remove clamp. once cylinders fitted and just bleed the brakes

When i did my cylinders, i made them both bleadable, so a T feed to each wheel, the standard for arrangement was to feed one, and crossfeed the other, hence only one nipple, i didnt like that system


They seem to come in pairs (mostly) so I'll probably get two.

I have a T-piece over the diff so that both brakes can be bled individually. Not sure how I'd clamp the flexible bit as it's the braided stuff with a PTFE liner - it would break internally if I managed to clamp it fully.

[Edited on 14/6/21 by David Jenkins]





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Schrodinger

posted on 14/6/21 at 06:05 PM Reply With Quote
you could try putting a plastic bag over the reservoir to stop air getting into the system.





Keith

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jollygreengiant

posted on 17/6/21 at 10:59 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David Jenkins
quote:
Originally posted by steve m


I have a T-piece over the diff so that both brakes can be bled individually. Not sure how I'd clamp the flexible bit as it's the braided stuff with a PTFE liner - it would break internally if I managed to clamp it fully.

[Edited on 14/6/21 by David Jenkins]


Make up a blind nut (Brake pipe nut and a piece of brake pipe with one end squashed and folded to seal it). Then when you are ready to do one cylinder (Drum removed, and master cylinder blanking cover on), crack the brake pipe nut (ONLY CRACK IT) and undo the cylinder mounts. Then hold brake pipe nut and cylinder and unscrew/detach cylinder, THEN fit blanking nut.
Clean the area and prepare to refit everything. Crack open the bleed nipple on the new cylinder, then fit to pipe until almost tight, fit cylinder hold down bolts/clips attach bleed pipe to nipple, tighten pipe nut, remove master cylinder cover (and by the time you get back to the wheel and have finished fitting all the shoes, the system should have bled its self (unless of course you HAVE go the rear wheel cylinder higher than the master cylinder), but you can do a manual bleed if you want/want to check, a little wipe down of rear of drum and JD move to other side repeat.





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David Jenkins

posted on 17/6/21 at 11:22 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jollygreengiant


Make up a blind nut (Brake pipe nut and a piece of brake pipe with one end squashed and folded to seal it). Then when you are ready to do one cylinder (Drum removed, and master cylinder blanking cover on), crack the brake pipe nut (ONLY CRACK IT) and undo the cylinder mounts. Then hold brake pipe nut and cylinder and unscrew/detach cylinder, THEN fit blanking nut.
Clean the area and prepare to refit everything. Crack open the bleed nipple on the new cylinder, then fit to pipe until almost tight, fit cylinder hold down bolts/clips attach bleed pipe to nipple, tighten pipe nut, remove master cylinder cover (and by the time you get back to the wheel and have finished fitting all the shoes, the system should have bled its self (unless of course you HAVE go the rear wheel cylinder higher than the master cylinder), but you can do a manual bleed if you want/want to check, a little wipe down of rear of drum and JD move to other side repeat.


That's roughly what I was planning to do - apart from opening the bleed nipple, which I hadn't thought of...

I didn't have a properly thought-through plan though - I do now!

Thanks.





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