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Improving braking - vitesse mk2


Paul H
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The effectiveness of the brakes on my mk2 vitesse is poor and lacking confidence should emergency braking be required. The vitesse would stop but takes too long . At the mot I asked the mechanic and he said the brakes were fine plus handbrake was satisfactory . The front pads , discs and rears drums and shoes are original and haven't been changed for years with some scoring plus corrosion. Front and rear brake cylinders have been replaced , master cylinder has had new seals. i was looking to purchase new drums , disks , pads , shoes . Are there any preferable brands to buy ? Plus I note you can spend £40 or £14 on a set of pads . Any advice would be appreciated as looking to spend my monies wisely. The vitesse is used for daily trips plus longer holidays planned when I'm confident she will come back☺️

No track days or racing is envisaged

 

Thanks in advance

Paul

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If the MoT man says they are fine, they are fine.   Your subjective impression that they are not may be due to something else.

 

You say there is 'corrosion' - on discs?   If there is, you are not applying the brakes hard enough, or the calipers are not operating effectively.  Light rusting overnight is common, but discs should appear bright and clean after a run.  Take it for an "Italian tune-up" of the brakes.    Find a safe place to apply them HARD, several times, from a reasonable speed, not high.   In fact experiment - can you get the  wheels to lock up?    If you can, the MoT man is correct.  If not, your gut feeling is!

 

This can be useful too, to point to ineffective brake parts.  Is there a 'pull' to one side or the other?

 

Lastly, you have alreday spent a lot on new brake parts, but not the most important, the flexible brake hoses.  The rubber of these eventually perishes, and can partly or completely block the internal bore.   Buy some new ones - no need for expensive braided hose.  The Club sells ONLY those, @ £40 a set, but the usual suppliers have the ordinary rubber ones at £6 each.

John

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Hi John , thanks for input . Forgot to add that I have added Goodrich stainless flexi all round from the Club . As to to discs , they have some minor scoring but no rust apart from outer edges , rear drum have some minor scoring . I will carry out safe emergency braking and report back

Best regards

Paul

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Whats the back of the disc like, they can get very heavy build up of resin/rust

 

Check the front hub end float light nip of the castle nut and back off 1 -1.5 flats

old pads do deteriorate, and if been in for years what are they ?.

 

I cant advise on using green stuff as had poor experiences with them easy to clean but dont stop

 

some go for mintex 1144 which need initial bedding as john suggests but have some real grip

can be dusty

 

std pads for std braking are fine

 

When looking at rears many have the trailing shoe upside down, rear shoe must have square hole at the bottom.

 

disconnect the handbrake cable , lock the adjusters up hard re adjust the cable to suit , back off the adjusters

 

dont do this with axle hanging, must be uo1p in running height or you get poor result.

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If you are used to a modern cars braking the brake efficiency of the Vitesse will feel somewhat lacking.  Like John says you need to test the brakes to highlight any faults.  Whereas the front discs effectively self adjust the drums needs to be adjusted manually (but as you have had the car MOTed recently they must be adjusted properly at present.).

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Hi,

 

In my experience Vitesse brakes, provided they are set up correctly, should feel pretty good, even compared to a modern car.  Obviously the Vitesse doesn't have clever features like ABS but that shouldn't affect "feel".

 

I have run mine both with and without a servo and I have to say I don't miss the servo now I've removed it.  And, like many here, I also switch from a modern car to my classic and I must say, I consider the Vitesse brake to be pretty good.

 

As others have said, new high-performance hoses will help (old ones can suffer from ballooning under pressure) as will good quality pads.  I also wasn't keen on the green ones (despite great claims) and have gone back to Mintex 1144, which are IMO great.  Again, as others have said, keeping the rear brakes adjusted properly helps too.

 

I think you will be amazed by the improvement with a bit of fettling.  Let us know how you get on.

 

Regards,

Tom

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New discs are cheap, and can really help if the old are looking poorly.

 

And although the cheap pads, or even mintex (MGB633, though you will probably need to drill the pin holes out a tiny bit) will be OK at well under £20 a set, moving to mintex 1144 will see a decent improvement.

 

However, I do wonder if you are missing the servo that your everyday car has. That can make a huge difference to the feel of the braking. 

 

You can gain confidence by trying hard braking on a deserted road. The brakes should all lock up with a hefty prod on the pedal. Ifnot, there is something amiss.

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Hello Paul.

 

How far does your brake pedal travel before you start to feel the car braking / being responsive ??

 

When you changed the hydraulics and bled the system, can you recall what your bleeding system was ?? I ask this because I have found that bleeeding the calipers first and THEN bleeding the system as directed in the WSM can make a huge difference.

 

Additionally, after you bled the brakes did you jam the brake pedal down for at least 12hrs to pressurise the system. This trick helps to expel the last remaining air bubbles in the system. Individually they amount to very little, but through the system they make a difference.

 

Can I also confirm that you locked out the rear shoes by expanding the rear adjuster prior to bleeding the system ??

 

I have a Mk2 and it stops on a sixpence when needed; surprises modern drivers when driving too close !!

 

Regards.

 

Richard.

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Interested in the comments about green stuff pads as fitted some over the last winter, I bought them from the club shop several years ago. My Vitesse 2L MK1 has a servo fitted which you can do without drilling any extra holes in body or manifold, pictures in my gallery.

Mot due in a couple of weeks so will try and remember to ask the examiner his opinion of the brakes, assuming it passes.

My impression with the green pads is that the car brakes well but it is more difficult to lock the front wheels.

 

Regards

 

Paul

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Vitesse brakes in good working condition are pretty good imho.My Herald with type 14`s is nowhere near as good.

 

I changed to Mintex 1144 in my Vitesse last year,i know they will lock the front as i found out when trying to overtake on last years Northern tour,pulled out and saw a motorbike coming towards me.

 

Quite dusty though.

Steve

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I changed the tiny  type 12s on my Vit6 for type 16s  + mintex1144   + servo .......... this stops 

making quick stops or heading at speed into a roundabout with 12s and greenstuff proved  bowel enlightening   

std 12 pads just created wind, something had to change ....not the pants 

 the result   with 16s+mintex +servo   =   raised eyebrows at the MOT

 

 

when the  caliper capacity  on type 16 or thereabouts the master cyl was increased from 0.625 to 0.7"  

 

you could reduced pedal pressure / increase line pressure ...but increase the stroke by fitting the smaller master cyl .   care taken with this idea in certain  poor circumstances you can run out of travel

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Hi all, many thanks for all input and advice

 

I didn't tighten up rear brakes to lock on before bleeding , the shoes are on the correct way round , though they weren't when I got the car. I did jump on the brakes on a road test yesterday and the front end nosed though no skidding . The shoes could well have contamination plus I can't vouch for their pedigree so will renew these. New front discs are cost effective plus new pads plus proper brake bleeding should improve matters

Regards

Paul

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Hello Paul.

 

When I purcahsed my Vitesse I renewed the the brake components front to rear as it had been standing for about three years and most of the brake parts looked as though they were well past their sell by date prior to that !!

 

I purchased:

 

new calipers via Rimmers - did a price match and they delivered to the NEC

 

these front discs, a bit pricey but worth every penny IMO: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GD197-EBC-FRONT-BRAKE-DISCS-RC64363P-/291445271718?epid=656289249&hash=item43db7deca6:g:VO0AAOSwymxVPelU

 

replaced all the flexi hoses with Goodridge s/s units

 

used TRW FRONT PADs A026964 - about £18 a set

 

​nos Girling rear shoes I picked up at an Autojumble

 

​new brake M/C and S/C, not overhauled

 

​With all that fitted, I bled the system through a quite few times and ended up with an excellent responsive pedal and I do not run a servo.

 

​By the sounds of it you are almost there and the fact you can make the nose dip on your car has to indicate that the braking looks to be getting spot-on.

 

​I agree with the views on modern cars with servos, but in reality the transition from switching from modern to classic should be a very quick adjustment of braking skill.

 

​Presume you do have the correct 16P calipers on your car ??

 

​As mentioned before, the one thing that did make a difference as far as I am concerned was the locking down of the brake pedal to its fullest extent after the brakes were bled; this was maintained for about 12hrs or so.

 

​Hope the above assists ??

 

​Good luck.

 

​Richard.

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Hello Paul.

 

When I purcahsed my Vitesse I renewed the the brake components front to rear as it had been standing for about three years and most of the brake parts looked as though they were well past their sell by date prior to that !!

 

I purchased:

 

new calipers via Rimmers - did a price match and they delivered to the NEC

 

these front discs, a bit pricey but worth every penny IMO: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GD197-EBC-FRONT-BRAKE-DISCS-RC64363P-/291445271718?epid=656289249&hash=item43db7deca6:g:VO0AAOSwymxVPelU

 

replaced all the flexi hoses with Goodridge s/s units

 

used TRW FRONT PADs A026964 - about £18 a set

 

​nos Girling rear shoes I picked up at an Autojumble

 

​new brake M/C and S/C, not overhauled

 

​With all that fitted, I bled the system through a quite few times and ended up with an excellent responsive pedal and I do not run a servo.

 

​By the sounds of it you are almost there and the fact you can make the nose dip on your car has to indicate that the braking looks to be getting spot-on.

 

​I agree with the views on modern cars with servos, but in reality the transition from switching from modern to classic should be a very quick adjustment of braking skill.

 

​Presume you do have the correct 16P calipers on your car ??

 

​As mentioned before, the one thing that did make a difference as far as I am concerned was the locking down of the brake pedal to its fullest extent after the brakes were bled; this was maintained for about 12hrs or so.

 

​Hope the above assists ??

 

​Good luck.

 

​Richard.

Hi Richard, I have 16P Calipers and MC is 0.7"

Regards

Paul  

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I run Vitesse front brakes and master cylinder on my 1500 Herald, with type 16P calipers, S/S braided hoses, silicone fluid and EBC Green Stuff pads, but no servo. Although I am not having to arrest the forward momentum of the huge iron boat anchor that is the Vitesse engine, I have no problems stopping, and can lock the wheels in extremis if needed. You do have to adjust when stepping into a classic after driving a modern with servo, but once you remember that the servo is now your right leg muscles, it is no problem.That is what cars were like then - if nothing happened, you pushed harder!

I have heard many naysayers about silicone fluid and EBC pads, but in 7 years of use, I remain happy with both.

 

Regards

 

Steve C.

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I got Mintex 11/44s from the club shop, what a difference! A vast improvement over standard pads. I also fitted grooved and dimpled disks. No improvement at all! And they were noisy, so went back to standard disks. Replaced my dead Girling servo with a Lockheed, very pleased with that. As Steve says without a servo it's all down to the muscles in your leg but as my legs grow weaker by the day...... :lol:

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Look at yer clevis pin, an also the holes that it goes thru

All 3 doo wear,  clevis wears all roond

brake pedal lever an MC lever wear ovalled int line of thrust

as Pete says, worn bearings or badly adjusted will mek yer pads suffer  pad nok back

Can fit a spacer tube, an then tighten hub nut up tight, this way it meks it moer solid

an dont ev t,worry about end float as much, as its set for good,!!

 

worn oot rear brake drums are useless, as the cylinders have got moer room t,push the shoes onto drum

BEFOER they start t,bite

adjusting the brakes on adjuster does nowt, as its ont bottom, cyls ont top,  think aboot it, !!

AND, rears need t,be adjust sitting in loaded condition, as if done jacked up, then yee,l never ever get em right

they become slack whenst set doon, GTs are even wuss for this

 

So check yer rears at ride height wid a load int car

Also, what is OK, v v slight drag at push speeds, becomes v v slak when brake drums get hot, as they expand, moving drum away frae cylinders, so cylinders got moer space t,tek up, = moer Brake pedal movement

 

all this adds up to a very long brake pedal travel befoer the brakes bite

some times yer pedal can be ont floor, !!!

 

can also bung in a  adjustable MC rod, a well worth wee mod

 

Or, get some RPV valves fitted

yee,l need 2 as ye got drums an discs,  a 2 ana 10 lb version

easy t,splice into line

will work wonders for yer brake feel,

 

M

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Look at yer clevis pin, an also the holes that it goes thru

All 3 doo wear,  clevis wears all roond

brake pedal lever an MC lever wear ovalled int line of thrust

as Pete says, worn bearings or badly adjusted will mek yer pads suffer  pad nok back

Can fit a spacer tube, an then tighten hub nut up tight, this way it meks it moer solid

an dont ev t,worry about end float as much, as its set for good,!!

 

worn oot rear brake drums are useless, as the cylinders have got moer room t,push the shoes onto drum

BEFOER they start t,bite

adjusting the brakes on adjuster does nowt, as its ont bottom, cyls ont top,  think aboot it, !!

AND, rears need t,be adjust sitting in loaded condition, as if done jacked up, then yee,l never ever get em right

they become slack whenst set doon, GTs are even wuss for this

 

So check yer rears at ride height wid a load int car

Also, what is OK, v v slight drag at push speeds, becomes v v slak when brake drums get hot, as they expand, moving drum away frae cylinders, so cylinders got moer space t,tek up, = moer Brake pedal movement

 

all this adds up to a very long brake pedal travel befoer the brakes bite

some times yer pedal can be ont floor, !!!

 

can also bung in a  adjustable MC rod, a well worth wee mod

 

Or, get some RPV valves fitted

yee,l need 2 as ye got drums an discs,  a 2 ana 10 lb version

easy t,splice into line

will work wonders for yer brake feel,

 

M

Hi GT6M, thanks for input - Will check clevis pins are ok , front bearings are adjusted & like your suggestion of fixed spacer . Rear drums are rough so ordered new ones + shoes. Pretty sure its the rear brakes letting the side down. I do have long travel - What are RPV Valves ?

Regards

Paul 

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Will check clevis pins are ok ,

 

clevis pins easily changed, butt, ovalled other bits requires welding

Adjustable MC rod can get rid of quite a fair bit of play

 

 

 

 

front bearings are adjusted & like your suggestion of fixed spacer

fitted t,most MGs, so should be able t,get one easy enough oft the useual suspects

they should no wot yer on aboot or after

 

 

 

Rear drums are rough so ordered new ones + shoes. Pretty sure its the rear brakes letting the side down. I do have long travel -

 

 

yes thowt so,  really gotta set the brakes LOADED up, ever jacked yer car up an tried to turn wheels,if wheels are ..hanging,

this is the symptom im onaboot, the brake line alters wid hieght

 

 

 

 

What are RPV Valves ?

 

thees are  one way valves that fit into brake lines

if on discs all round, then only one is needed

 

the rears requir a stronger,n as they got bigg stiff springs that the valve es t,fight against

they keep a ..residual pressure int brake line, so the system is sort of pree charged

 

I bunged one on mine{discs all round } as 4 pots up frunt, and bigg 35 mm pistons at back { yours 13 MM ish } gave a long pedal travel on fust pump

after that, it wer OK

now, pedal is solid, nee need for pumping

 

NOTE, most modern,ish cars already ev em fitted into the MC as standard

 

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=brake+rpv&client=firefox-b&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwieodCFvMDVAhVDDcAKHcR7Cy0Q_AUICSgA&biw=1368&bih=807&dpr=1.25

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_sop=2&_nkw=residual%20pressure%20valve&rt=nc&LH_PrefLoc=1&_trksid=p2045573.m1684

 

bearing spacer clips

https://youtu.be/RJYIXZtnIiw?t=63

 

https://youtu.be/NIAfepR5VbM?t=71

 

M

 

M

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Its possible to lock up the adjusters with car siting on the road , if you can get under turn the square headed adjuster till it stop, and back it off around 4 clicks to free the wheel

 

but its really best to lift the car to be safe on stands and then jack the upright to raise the wheel into its

normal running height ,

 

this is because with the axle hanging you need the cable to be longer to connect it , then when dropped on road the cable becomes slack and you get excess handbrake lever travel and too many clicks on the handbrake ratchet.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ref. previous post about green stuff pads, which some people do not like, I fitted to my Vitesse over the winter.

Just got back from getting a brand new MOT on the car and I asked the examiner about the brakes, his reply was that they where very good and exceeded the requirement of the test.

 

Regards

 

Paul

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Interesting. Always set handbrake at road height, didn't know this for normal shoe adjustment  and have always set on the droop.

 

To adjust under load and check there not binding, then I guess, if will move by pushing car, then ok ?. 

 

Cheers, Dave

I really do not think it matters when adjusting the shoes. And for most cars the cables to. However Rotoflex does need the car to be at ride height to get the cable adjustment correct. ((i often disconnect the cables when adjusting the shoes)

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