Monday 9 January 2023

It's Done Really!

 Yes, not an "ish" in sight, the Stylus is ready for re-taxing on the 1st Feb. This momentous event came after a dreadful day's spannering yesterday - one of those days when every time you put a tool down it vanishes - only to return 20 minutes later in a place you'd swear you'd looked three times. Compunded by working right under the car, so every little thing means wriggling out, standing up, laying down & wriggling back.

But the car now has a functioning handbrake - YAY! The handbrake was truly appalling, I could push the car along with the brake on. This opinion was backed up by photos I found on-line of the car outside the previous owner's garage with chocks under the tyres.

I've been tinkering with it on & off for months, I replaced a pulley seemingly made from play-doh, mounted on an M6 bolt made of cheese, in a 10mm hole, changing it for a proper aircraft control pulley mounted on a proper bolt, with spacers made to suit. I also improved the mounting of the cable stop bracket so it didn't distort the transmission tunnel bracket & changed a balance bar that was far too short to work with another aircraft pulley. All that was good, but still the handbrake was next-to-useless.

Thinking that the problem was the lever being designed for drum brakes, but actually driving discs, I'd re-drilled the lever to move the cable nipple closer to the pivot - it improved the brakes, but now they jammed on.

So yesterday I properly checked that all the individual parts in the system traveled easily & smoothly, it seemed to be so & the brakes mostly disengaged, but still not properly on the near side. I checked everything again & even removed the near side caliper, stripped & rebuilt it, to make sure it wasn't binding up. Then I found I couldn't adjust the cables properly because there wasn't enough travel to release the pads - so back under the middle of the car, remove the lever (again) & move the nipple back where it had come from.

Around this point I also added another return spring to the the balance bracket, so the springs on the calipers ONLY return the caliper lever & the rear bit of cable, the new spring returns the front cable. Now the brakes come on such that I can't push it, with a couple of "clicks" to spare AND they release as well.


So what was the problem? Hard to tell precisely, but I think the poorly designed system & the car's lack of use (700 miles a year for 20 years) meant that most of the force from the lever was lost distorting various parts of the system & didn't really get to the calipers to move the pads, so the rear of the system got gummed up & was even less inclined to move. Certainly the levers on the calipers had to be "persuaded" to move over their full travel with a hammer & punch, whereas I can now move them with finger pressure alone.

The proof of the pudding of course will be be out on the road, but it seems SO much better.

Oh & also, the nice people at Protec shocks put my cat on a FaceAche post.

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