Snagging brakes in reverse can happen for a variety of reasons and below are some of the main reasons and my suggested remedies.

1.  The bolt holding the rear of the radius arms is loose, spring is broken or brass cups are worn.  REMEDY: Replace, preferably all three, with new. Check the fitting is secure.

2.  Brake linings are not chamfered and/or overhang brake shoe.  REMEDY: Cut to size and/or chamfer with rasp file.

3.  Nut(s) securing front of radius arm to axle beam are loose. REMEDY: Ensuring radius arm is steady using a large spanner or grip, tighten nut. (If radius arm is not steady during tightening it will twist and, therefore, be able to flex under load, impairing braking capabilities somewhat.)

4.  Shackle pins and/or bushes are worn allowing whole beam to twist under forward and reverse braking conditions.  REMEDY: Replace with new. Ensure that the bushes are tight fits in the axle and spring eyes. Any movement will soon turn into lots of movement!!

5.  King pins are loose or worn.  REMEDY: Tighten king pin securing nut initially. If this does not cure the slack then replace king pins and bushes. Check the axle eye for ovality as this is more often the actual problem. If you find this to be the problem the eye will need to be repaired or another suitable beam found.

This is by no means definitive, although if any of the faults 1 - 5 exist it will undoubtedly have a negative effect on the braking capabilities of the car and let's face it, Austin Sevens need all the braking they can muster at the best of times!

Ruairidh Dunford with thanks to Meshing Point March 1999)