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Elite rear brakes..... - Ride/Handling/Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Tyres - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content

Elite rear brakes.....

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they are a pain....


Cars with little or no use often get stuck pistons in the wheel cylinders. Easily available as they are used on fords (single piston mk1&early 2 capri- (single piston 1.3) get them off ebay), but a pain when you start needing to remove pipes etc which inevitably round off/snap. Take care on the old adjusters as you will need the ratchet wheels off your old cylinder set.


Shoes are common to the MGC/3L capri, and are available from the MGBhive, or from ebay.


A lot of owners cars (such as mine) have removed the rear seat pads and cut an access hole to get at the handbrake system from inside the car.


You need to pop the drums off and investigate why it isn't moving. It might just be massively out of adjustment. Given the low prices of the parts, it might not be a bad idea just to buy new shoes and a new set of wheel cylinders before stripping it down as you might want to know that its all new back there?

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Not as bad a job as it sounds, you need to keep turning the shaft to gain access to each bolt in turn and then the shaft pulls out of the way and its just a case of getting the drum off the brake shoes, as Dunc says sometimes a puller helps.

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Hi Paul, as mentioned previously it's not a hard job, just boring/frustrating turning the shaft each time for each bolt. I found that sockets fouled the yokes as the bolts withdrew which was frustrating, an open ended spanner is best but REALLY slow and boring.


Because of all this I ended up replacing the hex headed bolts with socket cap bolts to use a long allen key, it was a doddle after that. Some might say you don't get enough torque this way but they never budged once with shakeproof washers.

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In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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I bought my Elite with only 28,000 miles on the od. The rear brakes shoes were fully greased with oil from the rear end as the seals fail after about 25k miles and leak fluid all over the shoes. You have to split the steel ring (done with a cold chisel and hammer) that holds the seal in place. To replace the seal, it is best done with the rear end dropped out completely. Of course, you need to totally dissemble the brakes to get to the seals. 


The first time you drop the rear end is kind of a pain but I could do it quite fast after that. Not sure you could even do it without dropping it down. Not real easy for sure and time consuming but unless you don't need rear brakes this quirk comes with this car.


I used an air powered hammer ( rivet gun ) and punch to drive out the long suspension bolts on each side which is very easy to do with this tool. Not sure how to get them out without damaging them another way.


The other pain, that comes with this job, is disconnecting the emergency brake cable and it would help if you were Houdini. Not fun !



Edited by Elite 4.9
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  • 4 weeks later...

hi all,


I have meant to post a reply before now but you know how time goes by......


I managed to get an MOT pass  :thumbsup:


I removed the drive shafts from the drums, not as tricky as I thought. I was loaned an adapter used for removal of bolts from land rover prop shafts ( although I assume it would work on most prop shafts? )


both sides drums and pads seemed very smooth so I gave them a good roughing up with emery paper. The driver side was pretty much seized up so manager to free this up with a selection of WD40 and a large screwdriver. Gave everything a good clean with break cleaner, gave the drums a coat of paint ( just because) replaced every thing, tested seemed ok to her for a re test. A pass.


I did consider replacing the hand break cable and cut the access hole under the rear seat to do so but have not had the time to do so yet. I took a few pictures during the work for anyone's information will post when i figure out how to....

Edited by sussexelite
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WP_20150410_12_52_31_Pro.jpgshaft off, drum came off



WP_20150410_12_52_49_Pro.jpgYes, I'm very lucky to have some excellent facilities to use( cant find a replacement door mirror anywhere!)


WP_20150411_11_12_56_Pro.jpgreplacing drive shaft with special tool (shiny drums now) 


WP_20150410_13_09_11_Pro.jpgthe special tool / adaptor

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Would love to come along to a meet, unfortunately she has now decided to mess about when warm.... Different topic I fear .

I can only find 1 esprit n/s mirror on eBay, another different topic too....

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