By Martin Alva - December 26, 2018
Maintaining The Brakes On Your Classic
Rubber age. Just as the tyre of your classic, brake pads too begin to wear out from the first day, irrespective of your usage. Common trouble with most braking components is that it looks okay. However, a better look at the insides might tell you a different story.
When conveniently procrastinating your brake maintenance, bear in mind that during an emergency stop those old anchors are providing an incredible 4.5 tons of pressure to each front brake pad to their discs. Consequences of a scenario where one of this equipment being damaged can be catastrophic.
a) Starting with the brake linings, they should have a little bit of meat left in them. Brake pads can wear down to 1/16th inch whereas show linings must not wear below the rivets – if fitted.
b) It is fairly easy to inspect the linings of your brakes once the drum is removed. The brake pads should then be removed and inspected to determine any damage or excessive usage.
c) Breaks and cracks should be thoroughly checked for in the pads. Face discolouration of the brake pads might suggest that they have been overheated at some point. Meanwhile, any glaze on the pads might suggest that they have been too lightly used. This can be removed with normal emery paper.
d) Evenly worn pads suggest that the callipers are working normally. Au contraire, this might hint at a seized piston. This can, however, be rectified by ‘working’ them with a lever, pry bar etc and cleaning up their exposed piston surfaces with a rag soaked in a brake cleaner.
e) Check the calliper seals for any leaks. Similarly, on drum brakes, peel back the wheel cylinder dust covers and look for weeps. On both, overhaul with new seals or renew them if you unearth any problems.
f) A spongy brake pedal might point at a faulty master cylinder. A good way to confirm the speculation is to press the brake pedal hard and see if it slowly sinks to the floor. Also check for leaks, of course. It can be resealed if the bore is sound but it’s usually best to renew for safety’s sake.
g) Most of the problems that might arise in your braking components are most likely to barrel down to the basic lack of maintenance. Ensure that the servo’s air filter is regularly changed. Also, if the pedal pressure seems unduly high, check the pipe which runs from the servo to the engine – it can internally collapse and restrict engine vacuum.
At the Collectors’ Workshop in Dubai, we specialise in repairing, maintaining and restoring classic cars and high-end exotics and performance cars. If you are looking for a reliable car garage in Dubai, come visit us for a coffee sometime and let’s discuss your requirements.