The new calipers went on nice and easy, and whilst I was doing the job, I thought I might as well also fit the braided hoses I picked up at the NEC Classic Motorshow a few months ago.
The new hoses all went on fairly easily, once I’d worked out which nut of the brake unions I was meant to be undoing It’s obvious once you’ve done it, but up till that point you seem to need three spanners and four pairs of hands.
Everything was going fine until I tried to get the rear drums back on. Try as I might I couldn’t get the shoes to close up enough to fit inside the drum, and none of the exploded diagrams in the books were making any sense – heck, half of them had pictures of a different brake setup! After spending a fruitless hour trying everything bar hitting the damn thing with a hammer, I gave up and slept on it.
Next time I got out to the garage, I seamlessly adjusted the adjuster, as though Henry Ford had spoken to me in a dream, and the drum slid straight on For the delectation of anyone struggling with a similar issue and failing to come up with the right search terms;
This is the n/s rear, with the adjuster lever in its extended position, which means the shoes are spread too far apart to fit within the drum.
Here is where you should wedge a trusty flat bladed screwdriver, before levering it down in the direction shown, pressing the tip up against the back of the shoe.
If you’re lucky, you’ll now be able to get the drum on, but if not, place your screwdriver on the nose of the adjustment lever and give it a good shove so that it goes right in.
Congratulations, you’ll now be able to get your drum back on. If not, hit it all with a progressively bigger hammer until you can
With everything connected back together, the next step was to fill up with new brake fluid and bleed the brakes. I kind of remember doing this with my dad years ago on a Singer Vogue, but the finer subtleties escape me – and there’s only me in the garage, so I got an EaziBleed kit.
Everything went fine to start with, but whilst I was lying on the floor under the back end watching little bubbles come down the bleed tube I started to hear a funny gurgling hissing noise from the other end of the car. I got up just in time to see the cap launch itself off the top of the (pressurised) reservoir and spray brake fluid all over the engine bay
Either I didn’t put it on right, or it was a faulty cap, but the chap at the factors was gracious enough to suggest the latter and offered me a replacement kit Bleeding through what seems like a gallon, but is only probably a pint, I think they’re now free of air. The pedal’s still a bit spongy, so I’ll see how it is and give it another go in the morning, if needs be.