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Spitfire MkIV front brake discs seized on


Gnbickley
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Good afternoon everyone,

I'm hoping that some one can help me with a brake problem. Toward the end of last year my 1972 Spitfire MkIV developed an issue with it's brakes. It was fine out on country lanes but whenever I took it into town the brakes started to fail. I'd depress the pedal and it would go right to the floor with no resistance. Pump it and the brakes worked but not as effectively as normal. So I decided to buy a load of new brake parts from Rimmer Bros to sort it out.

I've been fighting on since 09:30 this morning trying to sort out the front brakes (I've managed to get one done!) I've removed the Caliper and fitted new Discs - that seemed to go fine although the rubber dust covers in the caliper are in a right state and I haven't got any new ones at present. I then fitted the new pads. First problem was trying to get the pistons to move so I could fit the pads in. It took far more force than I expected and eventually I had to open the bleed nipple to get the pistons to move. I fitted the new Discs and noticed that they seemed to drag on the disc. I then applied the brake pedal to make sure the pads moved and they're now locked solid on to the disc. I haven't touched anything else on the brake system yet as I'm getting pretty disheartened with messing up what should be a simple job! 

Any advice or ideas as to what I should try would be very gratefully received as I'm stuck for 1, ideas and 2 how to test to see what the problem might be.

Thanks in advance,

Gary

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i would check the recuperation valve is working , if the brake pedal is partly seized and there is no free rattle/ slack on the push rod  the fluid will never  return to the reservoir

and you build up pressure in the system , 

all controlled by push rod free play, the end seal and its thin wavy washer inside the cylinder .

so check the pedal does actually return to its pedal stop and the rod is a rattly good fit   its a cheap fix , and causes lots of headaches 

Pete

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Gary I assume its a single line system so are the back brakes locked on as well? If so as Pete says it could be master cylinder but if its only the front then its more likely to be a caliper problem possibly the pistons arent returning because the new pads have pushed them back further and now corrosion on them is making them stick?

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Pete, it was a made up 'Italian' chicken with spaghetti. And the 'source'was excellent even if I do say so myself!

As to the car it seems that both front wheels are affected but the rears are turning freely. The brake pedal returns to it's normal position instantly and there's plenty of free movement and rattle on it. The hoses do look in poor condition as did all the rubber around the pistons in the caliper on the drivers side when I had it in bits.

So my thinking is to order a Caliper repair kit and replace all the seals and covers on the calipers as well as sorting out the pistons and making sure they're in good condition. I'll also order some new brake hoses and replace the rubber ones currently fitted. 

Hopefully that will cure the problem

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If you remove the calipers again and then push the pistons out using the brake pedal - put something between the pistons and do this very carefully or theyll come out too far and youll have fluid everywhere! You can then assess the condition of the pistons to see if theyre useable and whether it wouldnt be better to do as I did and just get exchange calipers.....

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My bet would be seized pistons. Looking at the hoses, they could do with changing as well. Exchange calipers from TSSC and new hoses will be approx. £150 but you know all will be OK. NOT to be joked about, cutting hoses and re-gluing them, some people might do that!!! Block of wood in place of pads, pump gently until pistons reach it, remove knackered rubber seals and observe all the rust on the pistons? Exchange calipers etc will save hours of fiddling etc. It may very well be master cylinder etc related but my bet seeing those seals is that its calipers.

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From OP: " First problem was trying to get the pistons to move so I could fit the pads in. It took far more force than I expected and eventually I had to open the bleed nipple to get the pistons to move."

This is diagnostic of an internally herniated brake hose.   A flap or bulge of lining prevents back flow.    Replace your flexible hoses.  

"Aeroquip" cost a lot, do nothing that a new pair of rubber hoses would do, but look nice! But will NEVER do this to you!

John

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There is an argument for not using braided hoses. Basically it’s harder to see when they are going off. 

Having said that I bought a set of these for my spitfire. 

https://www.goodridge.co.uk/products/car-brake-kit-for-triumph-spitfire-all-variants-1974-1980?variant=12848588226625

I also bought new callipers too. 🤷‍♂️ 

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1 hour ago, johny said:

one step at a time - theres no learning opportunity in just throwing money at it🤗 

 

40 minutes ago, Anglefire said:

There is an argument for not using braided hoses. Basically it’s harder to see when they are going off. 

If in doubt, don't mess about,  REPLACE IT ALL! Every thing else can be iffy, but not the brakes.

Doug 

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I agree with Doug.  If you can’t go you generally can’t kill yourself. 

Though I also agree steering should be up to snuff too - but that isn’t a consumable item unlike brakes and tyres. And is unlikely to just break, there will usually be a sign that something isn’t right a long time before it’s dangerous. 

Brakes on the other hand can just fail. 

Many years ago I had a 1200 Beetle - I replaced all the brakes and flexibles.  Unfortunately I routed the one flexible incorrectly.  And on full lock it came in contact with the tyre. 

Fortunatley when it failed I was at low speed just about to turn right. Like most of our triumphs was single circuit. 

I walked home with my mate, got his car, went back to pick mine up - and I drove it home with no brakes and him riding shotgun behind.  

Different times! 

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