TECHNICAL TIPS - BRAKES

HANDBRAKE LEVER:  Excessive handbrake lever travel on late Ruby Saloons, where the hand brake moves nearly full travel even if the brakes are in good adjustment, is usually caused by the diameter of the wheel that touches the actuating lever on the cross shaft.  Remove the hand brake lever assembly, remove the wheel and replace it with five, 1Ē diameter plain washers with a 5/16" hole.  In most cases this will remove the free play completely.
CABLE BRAKES: When adjusting Austin 7 cable brakes (on cars with coupled brakes) with all 4 wheels jacked off the ground, have a mate apply medium pressure to the brake pedal, or if all your mates are down the pub, wedge a block of wood between the seat and the pedal, and test the resistance on each wheel. It is most important that the brakes are tested from the footbrake rather than the handbrake, as the latter acts on the centre of the cross-shaft rather than from the offside end. The difference being the handbrake wonít pull and twist the shaft, especially if the brakes are worn, in the same way as when the pedal is used in normal road conditions. As you all know the cables should be adjusted so that the front brakes come on slightly in advance of the rear and the near≠side rear should under light pedal pressure come on slightly more than the offside rear, so that under heavier pressure as the cross-shaft moves they equal themselves up. Having successfully adjusted the cables, go for a test drive and join your mates down the pub to celebrate.
HYDRAULIC BRAKE ADJUSTERS: Morris Minor brake cylinder adjusters can be reversed so that the screwdriver slot faces the back plate. Drilling the appropriate hole would allow adjustment from the rear.  The hole needs to be 3/8" as the adjuster changes position as it is adjusted and you also need to cover the hole as well to keep water out.  All this means that by drilling a couple of carefully aligned holes in the back plate it saves all that hassle of drilling the cast iron brake drums and removing the wheels every time you want to adjust your brakes.
BRAKE CAM ADJUSTERS: If new brake cams have a sharp edge where they push against the brake shoe, it must be rounded off. Also, look for a groove that may have been worn in the old brake shoe by previous cams. Should your brakes lock-on, it may be that the cam has lodged underneath the groove. In which case, drive the car in the opposite direction and it should release. In a worst case, a plate can be attached to the end of the brake shoe to remove the groove.
BRAKE LININGS: When removing old brake linings, donít drill out the old ones as this may damage the shoes. Instead, break off the old lining, if it will come, and hacksaw off the heads of the old rivets then punch out the remaining bits. If they donít break off, just carefully put the saw blade between the lining and the shoe and proceed as above. Glyn Llewellyn
REPLACING BRAKE SHOES: When replacing brake shoes, especially the fronts, take off the hubs first to remove and replace shoes. It saves a lot of sore fingers, a lot of time in the end, and gives you a chance to check and grease the bearings. Ian Mason-Smith
SNAIL ADJUSTERS: There are two types of snail adjusters in use on Morris braking systems. The smaller type is used on the front brakes because there are two leading shoes !! The rear has only one leading shoes so a larger snail adjuster with greater lift because there is only one in the rear brake. If a small adjuster is fitted to the rear brake it will barely lift the shoe to a contact point for the brake shoe with the drum leading to virtually all the braking on the front axle. Take a look at your hydraulic brakes if you are NOT aware of this technical feature. You may find a problem that you were did not know you had. George Mooney DA7C
IMPROVING REAR BRAKES ON PRE-1930 SEVENS: Earlier Sevens with uncoupled brakes suffer from a very spongy pedal, due to the amount of flexing in the brake linings. Most of this is because the cross-shaft bearings are made from strip, and move considerably under braking force. A quick mod. can be done to improve this. It takes half an hour or so, needs no dismantling, and the only materials needed are a 5/16 BSF x 2Ĺ" bolt, spring washer and two pins. Drill a 5/16" hole in the front cross member in line with the centre of the offside cross shaft bearing, and insert the aforementioned bolt with one nut on, fit the washer and second nut. Adjust so it bears against the cross shaft. That's it!  As a bonus, this will also give a fine adjustment for balancing the rear brakes.  Mike Phelan PWA7C
REFITTING GIRLING BRAKE SHOES: After relining brake shoes it can be quite a fiddle fitting them once more with the springs connecting the shoes together behind the hubs. For older Sevens itís usual to remove the hub but that shouldnít be necessary for the later Girling brakes aided by the springs with a little loop at each end into which a specific tool can be used to pull the springs or one can use a combination of bullnose pliers and a large screwdriver. However even then it seems that it would be easier to have three hand with one holding the shoes in place whilst you try and fit the springs! Instead itís useful to use large elastic bands to hold the two shoes in place.  A spring removal tool (not A7 specific) is availble from most motor suppliers, or from eBay for under £5. Peter Trebilco DA7C