I stopped 'trying' yesterday after I installed this brake rod - adjusted to the 149.5mm length shown in the Bentley repair book - and it didn't have the 5mm space (show at the top right @ 'x') between the master cylinder and the tip of the rod. The pedal stop was adjusted all the way back to no avail.
So, on a whim, I dug through my parts and found the exact rod shown in the book and I cleaned it, adjusted to the 149.5mm length and swapped it with the one in the photo. Right off the bat, it fit better and - oddly enough, it was too loose. This simply meant that I could bring in some of the play on the floor stop. I'll now go on a bender to find another one...
Once the floor stop was adjusted and tight, I pulled the brake return spring over the seat on the pedal cluster. And then the brake pedal swung forward-pulled by the tension on the spring. The stop on the floor had suddenly failed to stop the pedal. I removed the OE pedal stop and retrieved a replacement new part I bought a while back. First thing I noticed was that it was a good 5mm taller than the OE part - which is exactly what I needed. I installed the new stop and it worked perfectly.
Which lead me to reach this point: The cluster is installed, the proper gap between the master cylinder and the rod, the clutch pedal no longer experiencing the weird hang that it had in the past. I don't know if it was the crap that'd accumulated on the floor (bottom of the pedal arm was scuffed) or if it was starting to make its way past the too short pedal stop and scuffing/hanging as it passed. I'm officially closer to bleeding the brakes.
In other news: I sort of volunteered to help out a new Type 3 owner in the UK with cowl drains that I don't need - and the discussion about the emergency flasher bracket/light came about...I dug out the three of the four knobs that I have and pulled the bulbs - I'll be on the hunt for a replacement the day after Christmas so I can test the switch I'll be sending out with the one on the left. I'll have three switches for two cars and that suits me fine.
I'm anticipating being able to wash my hands of the disaster that was the first disc brake kit (not to be named) in the next couple of weeks. I took a deposit on it and it's packed and ready to ship. Sucks that I'll be losing 50% of what I put into it but I'm done screwing around with what has simply become a distraction.
Speaking of distractions...I am still on the hunt for a decent adhesive remover to clean up the inside of the car. I'm on my fifth product with no positive results...maybe it's just too cold.
Spent a few hours in the garage today in the oddly warm weather - it was 62°F today - double what it should have been for this time of year.
I took the rear drums off and fixed the spring clip issue. That's knocked off the list of things to check out.
I pulled the pedal assembly apart, cleaned the pan on the car and pulled out the blue Bentley to check on the brake plunger rod length. It's listed at 149.5 +/- .5mm so I adjusted the rod to that length and installed the pedal cluster. The rod is too long - there's no 'resting' of the pedal even after I adjusted the pedals to be as loose as possible via the floor mounted stop. The pedal cluster will have to come back out and I'll swap it out for a rod that's 5mm shorter and hopefully that'll solve the problem. I'm wondering if the book accounts only for the ATE master cylinder in one variation or if I'm missing something else in my adjustment.
I didn't tackle the turn signal cancellation issue yet.
I have to assemble the pneumatic brake bleeder before I can bleed the brakes - hoping I can get to it next week.
Then some wiring issues to tackle and I should be in good shape...in theory.
I bought this exhaust tip - either as something to use or as a potential part to be resold another day...depending on if I keep the stock exhaust on the car. I've now got three for one car.
I haven't had time to do much about the brake spring clip that's on backward - the holidays are quickly creeping up on me and I'm unprepared - so the brakes and the turn signal cancellation issue are on hold.
A little over a week ago, I stopped in and dropped off a set of hub caps and two horn bars to be stripped and hard chromed. The lead time is 12 weeks right now - seems a lot of other people have Winter projects going on - good thing I'm not in a rush. They quoted me $350 per bumper to straighten and chrome...which is about what I expected it to be. I'm rather happy that I don't have much to chrome because it's very expensive.
In the meantime, I'm either buying or selling parts.
I took the day off today so I can get to some things that have gone to the back burner. But I had some time for the car this morning so I went back at the brakes knowing that I'd missed something simple. Something that I didn't do correctly that caused the issue. Human error, yeah?
I first loosened the already loose parking brake cables until there were 2-3 threads on the nut at the lever in the car. Just to make sure they're not the issue.
After various methods of comparison between the right side, which went together fine, and the left side that was troubling me, I discovered one error: The parking brake 'spreader bar' was installed upside down - pushing the shoes out and likely preventing me from installing the drum and having a freely rotating wheel. I set about pulling the brakes apart and flipping the spreader bar around to the proper orientation. With that done, I again attempted to install the drum...no dice.
Wondering if the brake shoes were incorrect or warped/shaped poorly, I pulled out a NOS set that I bought a long time ago and placed them in the drum...and they fit as expected. I removed one of the two shoes from the car and placed it in the drum and it fit properly. It's not the shoes.
Not the shoes, not the parking brake cables, not the spreader bar orientation...springs/retainers are largely irrelevant here so I eliminated them as a culprit.
Took it all apart again and replaced the adjusting stars while I was checking that I'd oriented the adjusting screws correctly. No issues so I can add those to the slowly growing list of 'what it's not'.
The only other semi-logical thing to do was to remove, one by one, the new parts and replace them with the old parts until things fit again. So, for the fourth time in 90 minutes, I was taking it all apart again. If swapping the old part with the new part didn't resolve the issue, I put it back on...you know, just to complicate things a bit.
After fifteen minutes of swapping parts, I found the culprit: The new spreader bars were 6mm longer, both externally and at the contact points for the brake shoes and lever arm. The old spreaders are a little beat up but they still work. I swapped both new spreader bars with their old counterpart and both sides went right back together.
Unfortunately, I've way over-scheduled my activities for the day so I had to stop after it all fit back together to do what I'd originally planned for the day.
As I sit here, ready to post this and reviewing my photo I realize that I've got to take it apart again because the clip for the top spring is on backward. FUCK.
Photo from the workshop manual that I had open while I was working on the car...yeah, some days I'm the guy who needs the Denny's menu.
The next task will be to adjust the shoes and parking brake cables and bleed the brakes. It seems like I've been saying that for months.
In addition to the brake system fun, I checked into the turn signal cancellation issue that I discovered. I pulled the steering wheel and checked the cancellation ring which is in good condition. So I activated the turn signal as if I were making a left turn and attempted to trigger the reset manually using a screwdriver. To my surprise, it didn't work...it's a NOS Koln column that will now need to be taken apart (Noooo!!!!) or swapped with my NOS SWF column.
After waiting two weeks to get all of the possible pieces to swap out the potentially faulty rear brake parts, the process of replacement was under way. The left side was fairly straightforward and after some cleaning, the parts went right back in.
I went to the right side and noticed that there was about a tablespoon of gear oil from the transmission on the floor. Before I resigned myself to tearing the whole thing apart, I checked the bolts on the bearing cover and found that all four were loose. After tightening them up, I swapped out the parking brake cable and put everything back together.
Last step was cleaning the NOS rear drums - removing the wax on the braking surface on the inside - and installing them. My expectation was that I'd at least get these installed and maybe get the brakes bled with the vacuum bleeder...but what wound up happening is that I got it all installed and then the left side seized up on me. The right side went together easily but the left side is stuck.
Here's where I am:
Brake adjusters are dialed back completely
New brake shoes/hardware
New spreader bar and lever arm
New parking brake cable
Everything is tight/aligned.
The old drums came right off after the axle nut was loosened...the new one went on but doesn't turn and won't come off. The right side was assembled exactly the same and works fine. It'll be 'hammer time' tomorrow when I attempt to remove it again with a little more force (hammer and wood block) but I can't think of anything that'll keep it from turning. I have another set of brake shoes I could try but I don't know what else it could be if that doesn't solve the issue...the blue Bentley wasn't much help.
Yet another reason I'd prefer to have disc brakes at all four corners.
This popped up in the classifieds for about an hour - it was $125 shipped. I thought about buying it but decided against it. Another one will pop up in a couple of years and I'll still have at least one car in pieces so perhaps it'll be more interesting.
It is interesting that a lot of rare parts show up for sale right before Christmas and right around tax time.
NOS parking brake boot I bought today. I also found a repop in Europe that looks closer to this one than the other one I bought earlier in the year - which is both too light in color and, several months later, smells like a place where old action figures go to die and get melted down.
This one is not anthracite but it's the right shape. And let's be honest: the odds of finding the original rubber mat are slim. It's more likely that I'll install carpet and this one will be a much closer match to the carpet, so I'm okay with it.