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The clues were in the box of spares.


Wagger
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Hi again folks. You are gonna love, or hate, this post.

Following on from doing the rear end of this Vitesse and discovering the RH caliper leaking, I decided to fit the spare calipers from the spares box, nicely serviced and ready. The box contained a matched pair of calipers, and a large new one, all with 3.25 in spacing of the mounting holes. So, I have a total of five calipers, two on the car. The box also contained three spare rear brake shoes. Why just three? I am always wary of odd numbers when things should exist in pairs.

Anyway, I removed the RH caliper and attempted to fit the RH spare. It would not fit. Wrong offset for the disc AND the mounting holes were out of line. They are 3.375in apart. OK, so I checked the LH side for comparison and discovered that the LH caliper is identical to the LH spare, BUT the LH disc is 1/2in smaller in diameter than the RH one with a thckness of 5/16in. The RH on is 1/2in thick. The caliper fitted to the RH side is ODD being the only one with the larger spacing between the mounting holes. None of the others match it or 'Pair' up with it.

Amazingly, it was pulling up in a straight line. Must have been due to similar size pistons and actual radius from the centre. I suspected nothing during the road test.

So, I now need to obtain two new matching discs and a caliper mounting bracket for the RH side with 3.25in between the mounting hole centres. I am not sure if these are always a separate part from the vertical link.

I believe that the previous owner of the car (now deceased) must have found brake parts from a late spitfire. I do not know for sure, but I suspect that the spitfire and 1500 midget may have used similar calipers that take larger discs and pads. No doubt some of you will enlighten me.

I have read that many of you fit different calipers and discs. I just want to make this car as safe as possible. Any comments or advice is welcome, as usual.

 

 

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The caliper type will be on the side of the caliper; the position may vary between sizes, but it will be there somewhere. This one is from a GT6 and says 16p.

caliper.jpg.4db780f00861bf79e664e3fb405ccd69.jpg   DSCF0404.jpg.1933dd874fde598d1a82c1cfec40c627.jpg

The type 12 and type 14 calipers used on the smaller cars have the same distance between the mounting holes. Type 12 left is smaller, type 14 right is larger - see photo below - but same fittings as each other.

1053462617_pic5.jpg.ff1c4d812db4364395e7ad568e07211b.jpg 

The two types ie types 12 / 14, and 16, are not interchangeable unless the entire uprights have been changed, or an adaptor fitted. Have a look at the calipers and see how it's attached to the upright, but I suspect from your post that someone has used an entire upright from a four cylinder car on one side, and kept an original six cylinder version on the other. For safety's sake you'll need to source the proper upright and the proper caliper, probably the larger for the Vitesse, (owners will confirm the exact model of type 16) and a pair of the larger discs.

 

 

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58 minutes ago, Colin Lindsay said:

The caliper type will be on the side of the caliper; the position may vary between sizes, but it will be there somewhere. This one is from a GT6 and says 16p.

caliper.jpg.4db780f00861bf79e664e3fb405ccd69.jpg   DSCF0404.jpg.1933dd874fde598d1a82c1cfec40c627.jpg

The type 12 and type 14 calipers used on the smaller cars have the same distance between the mounting holes. Type 12 left is smaller, type 14 right is larger - see photo below - but same fittings as each other.

1053462617_pic5.jpg.ff1c4d812db4364395e7ad568e07211b.jpg 

The two types ie types 12 / 14, and 16, are not interchangeable unless the entire uprights have been changed, or an adaptor fitted. Have a look at the calipers and see how it's attached to the upright, but I suspect from your post that someone has used an entire upright from a four cylinder car on one side, and kept an original six cylinder version on the other. For safety's sake you'll need to source the proper upright and the proper caliper, probably the larger for the Vitesse, (owners will confirm the exact model of type 16) and a pair of the larger discs.

 

 

It’s also possible that both uprights are  correct, but one has been fitted with the calliper bracket for a type 16 calliper and the other side fitted with the bracket for a type 12/14 from the very early disc brake Heralds.

I would also look very carefully at the stub axels, hubs and bearings and make sure that they are Vitesse/GT6 ones and not one from a Vitesse/GT6 on one side and one from a Herald/Spitfire on the other

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You need the fatter discs, and the calipers with the wider bolt spacing on both side.

It is possible, and really do not recommend it, fitting Lockheed calipers and matching discs from a Triumph 2000 to Spitfire uprights. It requires machining the disc mount face down to about 2mm thick to get offset right.

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Thanks guys. Either of your answers may be correct. I have Win's International just 25 miles away from me and they do s/h refurbished and new parts. All bought from them so far has fitted, so I'll take a trip and look at what they have. I will buy a LH assy to match the larger RH fitted to my car. That way, I will know that that it works. If I buy bits, much 'Fettling' will be necessary. I would buy parts from the club if I was certain of the fitment. May still do so if I find nothing.

I'l read the numbers off the two fitted calipers and compare with your photos.

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41 minutes ago, KevinR said:

It’s also possible that both uprights are  correct, but one has been fitted with the calliper bracket for a type 16 calliper

I had thought that being a Vitesse it would have had the type 16 brackets, and one may have been 'downgraded'? If the Vitesse didn't start off with the larger brakes, as the GT6 did, then it's possible it's got one early upright and one late. Personally I'd go for the larger on both sides, I like brakes.

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the vitesse uprights have a bolt on caliper bracket which has to change if you go from Vit6 with type 12s to Mk1/mk2 with type 16s as the fixing hole centres are about 1/2 hole 

out of line 

and they can be hard to find 

canley sell 12/14 brkts in alloy  at £145  !!!  doesnt help much on their Vit pages  

and https://www.canleyclassics.com/?catalogue=triumph-gt6-mkiii&diagram=triumph-gt6-mkiii-upper-wishbone-vertical-link-hub

  type 16 in alloy to order on the GT6 pages    only £149 "!!!

Pete

 

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Hi Guys. This is what I have found after looking at your pictures and the car.

I have a matched pair of type 14 calipers in the spares box and a giant Lockeed one with the same hole spacing as the Type 14.

The RH side of the car has a Type 16 caliper, the separate caliper mounting plate and a 10in Disc fitted, 1/2 thick.

The LH side has a Type 14 caliper but the 'Upright' does not have a separate caliper mounting plate. It is integral with the upright. That side has a 9in Disc only 5/16in thick.

So, I need the LH upright, a type 16 mounting bracket, a LH type 16 caliper and a pair of 10in discs unless I can trust one replacement to work properly with 'tother side. I am amazed that the brake balance was not notice-able and two matched old discs may just work better than what is now fitted.

Do any of you know if the type 14's will work on a 10in disc? That may be a less expensive solution, but then I need to find a pair of caliper brackets. They are not cheap either.

Good job the previous owner is deceased eh? Maybe he expired halfway through the job. Let's be kind to him.

I'll contact Win's tomorrow and have a chat. They might swap some of what I won't need. Worth a try as these bits new

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1 hour ago, Wagger said:

Do any of you know if the type 14's will work on a 10in disc? That may be a less expensive solution, but then I need to find a pair of caliper brackets. They are not cheap either.

Discs are actually quite cheap, so go for the bigger. Same with the calipers; if it were me, I'd upgrade to two type 16s with the required upright assembly - it might not be much different to the cost of sourcing the smaller upright and associated parts.

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If it’s a Herald/Spit upright in the LH side, you will also need a new stub axle and hub.  Basically you’ve got a Vitesse/GT6 setup on the RH side and a Herald/Spit setup on the LH side.  You need Vitesse/GT6 uprights, stub Axles, callipers and hubs on both sides.

Never ever underestimate the “ingenuity” of a previous owner. 


Does the car have a valid MOT ?

The MOT tester should have spotted the difference in the two sides and failed the car with a “dangerous” failure.

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You have all been very helpful. I always do the most difficult jobs first as they are, usually, more interesting. Hence I did the rear end because that required more grovelling on he floor in the 'Supposed' warmer season on the drive.

I moved my garage door outward to gain another metre and then decided to do the front end 'Indoors'. That was 'Supposed' to be easier. Well, it is, usually. The last MOT was around 2007. I believe it has been undergoing work since then and the last owner expired in the middle of it all.

I will go for correcting the LH side to Vitesse 2L spec, and obtain two new type 16 calipers. I will make note of the bits that you have all advised and see what I can find this week. When I have sorted this, I am gonna do some of the cosmetics one panel at a time, in my nice warm garage. It is 19.5 x 8.5 ft now and, with a bedroom above it, cool in Summer and warm in Winter. The gas boiler is in there, so just needs a Rad! Fridge and freezer are already in situ. Ice cream and refreshments close to hand without invading the kitchen.

 

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If you can get a hold of a pair of reconditioned type 16 calipers it would be better than getting new ones.

The new ones that are out there apparently have a machining error in the groove where the piston seal sits and this means that the pistons wont retract properly when you take your foot off the brakes.

You may need to acquire an old manky type 16 LH calliper as an exchange for the reconditioned one. 

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I procured a used hub, caliper mtg bracket, steering arm and vertical link together with a new pair of discs, pads bearings and fitted recon caliper to the left side today. Had to skim the hub a tad to clear the caliper (actually smoothed the caliper a bit too). Also had to take a mm off the caliper to clear the road wheel. It is all ok that side now, and it did have a complete Herald set of parts on that side. I'll fit the RH side with disc and caliper tomorrow (or Monday) and replace all front brake pipes.

I expected to have to do some fettling as the parts are not quite as the 'Originals' were.

Whole lot cost me £300. All new would have been over £600. Luckly there are still some good classic dismantlers in the South East.

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