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Lotus Elite simple guide to brake drum removal


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Hi rear drum in binding on rear brakes handbrake cable seems to release therefore I need to get the drum off my elite 503. Looked in forums and manual but bit confused as to minimum bolts to undo to take off brake drum . 

Jacked up car removed rear wheel and removed 4 bolts holding drive shaft to drum .

If possible can someone simply list steps of what to do next , ie what bolts  to undo and in what order and what needs jacking up .! Looks like I need to remove totally the  whole shaft where I had thought it could be slid out the way and this would involve even disconnecting the suspension spring ??

 

 

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Move drive shaft away, it should just be a little loose. No need to remove damper/spring. There should be a little slack on the hub, just pull it towards you. Move shaft towards the trailing arm, and down.

Drum should just pull off, nothing else keeps it there. A rubber mallet might help too, could be a bit tight around the collar on the shaft. You might need to turn the brake adjuster round to loosen off the shoes. I think it is down direction on the ratchet wheel to loosen, lift the little ratchet plate with a small screwdriver as you lever wheel around. shouldn't take much to loosen it. Inspection hole should be roughly at 1 o'clock (looking at drum on passenger side) to see the adjuster.

I would try to move the drum into position to loosen adjuster before taking bolts out however(so you have more purchase on shaft) and make sure shaft can be easily turned.

good luck.

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Had another look and undid the bolt damper to radius arm and then the long bolt radius arm to hub carrier. Cannot believe but turning on one end the bolt came out all 9 inches or so of it. Someone had kindly put two nuts together on one end so it allowed bolt to be threaded through . assembly dropped down allowing the brake cover to be prised off .

More simple than I thought , socket on drive shaft to brake cover best use small sockets with1/4 inch drive they are smooth and fit. Remove 4 bolts. Undo and extract long bolt radius arm to hub carrier , screw airll way out using two nuts to grip , undo bolt damper to hub carrier. All falls down.

 

Now lots of debris chocking brake linings. Will renew. Everything moving , handbrake only moves 2 or 3 notches. 

Question cannot find a brake adjuster as per MG's on back of brake usually 1/3 inch drive . if I fit new shoes how do I adjust so can get drum on and its not tight. Thought the knurled wheel was for handbrake , how can I adjust brakes when drum is on . how many notches ideally suggested for handbrake , I do not want to stretch or break cable , do I turn the knurled wheel ?

 

 

 

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Sorry Clive took my impatience to work . I see I have undid more than I should when a mallet would have worked. I will know next time . I will delete my post above in case somebody follows my lead.

still confused with the knurled wheel , is that the only adjuster and how can it work as the cover is off the brakes. . I can only see I could turn it with the cover off , there is no inspection hole in the brake cover. Is it accessed from the rear of the brake housing , usuallyo MG's etc than have a square drive adjuster on the back of the brake housing . 

One other thing I notice the triangular large radius arm has been used for jacking and has a crease although looks structually good. Any Idia if this is not pristine it would be a mot fail . 

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This a pic of radius arm , look bad on close up caused by someone using it as a jacking point . seems to be structural so assume MOT fail. Expensive from new painting and welding may repair if i can find someone .Not heavily rusted and crack only one side and not a strong item although assume pretty important if it gives way at speed. Looks to be about 200 quid with vat , ouch. Any suggestions appreciated  as usual seek to  mend a fault find another ....

One a good point the ujs in the drive shaft look good and have grease nipples. Any best grease suggestions don't want to ruin them.

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Car I thought was ready for the road washed and cleaned before the binding brake and now radius arm probable renewal , wife will not be happy as I told her was stopping playing with cars and actually driving one ..

 

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Lotusbits have good trailing arms available, second hand of course, about £60. I bought one recently, and was in excellent condition. My bad one was better than yours! Not a big deal to change, as long as you can get the trailing arm mount off, but access to the bolts that hold the rubber mount is possible with everything on, and probably worth a clean and check anyway.

I think any gen purpose lithium bearing grease is fine for UJ's

 

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Surprised you don't have an inspection hole. Both of my cars have them(76 and 80), so odd that yours doesn't. If you adjust so that you can just get drum on, then all should be good, and they will self adjust during any reversing I think. Just make sure the adjusting wheel can turn easily, a bit of grease on the thread is useful.

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Thanks Clive I will check the drum again in case I’ve gone mad . Glad to hear brakes  self adjust I will look into how that works as not obvious why brakes were binding solid then only releasing after dragging car wheel under power. 

Thank for tip on second hand will try to get one and the grease type. Thanks for your help, I  finding the car not as bad as it’s reputation, although it’s much easier when someone has done it before.

Edited by Robbie
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Robbie,

When you put the shoes back on get them as central as you can, the adjuster is operated by a spring steel arm which is fixed to the handbrake operating arm, when you use the handbrake the spring steel arm rides over the toothed part of the adjuster and it will wind it outwards when the hand brake is used, thus moving the top end of the shoes outwards towards the drum. if the car is moveable give the brakes a good stamp and that will help centralise the shoes. you can see all this working with the drums off. if you wind the adjuster out too much you can't get the drum on.  if cars not moveable give the brake pedal a stamp and turn the wheel 180degrees.

so operate foot brake use hand brake, repeat till handbrake only comes up a couple of clicks, remember you got to do both sides of the car. Hope this helps.

Have fun, best regards to all, John 

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Thanks John . Car been stood for some time appeared to freewheel and initially drive . One wheel then locked and with some stamping on brake and handbrake it released, then stuck again.. stripped down and lots of debris inside no scoring and brake shoe still has life . Will assemble next week have taken shoes of one side of car only did not intend dismantling other side wil was set up work for just one side.

Will follow your instructions . Assume nurled wheel should turn freely both ways

strugging to see when the handbrake handle is released how the shoes return . Perhaps this was what caused shoes to stick . Assume for brake pedal pressure the piston moves in our out which I can check . Does the handbrake release also rotate the nurled wheel the other way   if this is not happening it could be the handbrake stay on

 

Sorry for confusion on simple terms shoes are off one side only . Looking at cylinder and will get wife to slowly lift handbrake and see if anything moves , what should move .

will then get her to put slight pressure on brake pedal , what should move .

when I put it back do I really have to do both sides to make handbrake work. 

Finally what   Do I use to turn the knurled wheel, should it be very loose to turn 

 

 

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Thanks John . Car been stood for some time appeared to freewheel and initially drive . One wheel then locked and with some stamping on brake and handbrake it released, then stuck again.. stripped down and lots of debris inside no scoring and brake shoe still has life . Will assemble next week have taken shoes of one side of car only did not intend dismantling other side hope that’s not necessary

Will follow your instructions . Assume nurled wheel should turn freely both ways

strugging to see when the handbrake handle is released how the shoes return . Perhaps this was what caused shoes to stick . Assume for brake pedal pressure the piston moves in our out which I can check . Does the handbrake release also rotate the nurled wheel the other way   Not sure can see it turns at all

Next

Okay piston out as moving freely , wife pushed pedal too hard , doesn’t look too bad , boot is cut to fit is this right. Can I push it back if I release bleed screw, were is it.

still cannot understand the purpose of the knurled wheel is it meant to turn.

managing to turn a lack of understanding of how this lotus brake works into much more work.

 

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Found these for £17 will buy and show me most of what I didn’t realise . Forums indicate changing them is a nightmare involving dif removal.  I can perhaps just use the new  piston and seals on my fitted cylinder it seems lotus cleaned them in the workshop manual .I see the bleed screw is attached and I can hopefully access mine from rear of drum although space is tight. I also see what a thought was a botched boot is what was intended

The exploded view in pic is useful but covered by cylinder and is not in workshop manual, has anyone got a pic they can post

the nurled wheel obviosly it can come out. Therefore turns  I see the slider plate operates. Is it on a screw thread can I unwind it or wind it in in situ by hand or pushing teeth with a screw diver. I would like to extract the nurled wheel with cylinder in situ.

If by I miracle I put it back together,  and follow johns instructions re self adjust, will it do so without messing with the other wheel.

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Dear Robbie,

 

don't mind there is nothing important hidden on the picture.

If you look precise you will see everything you need.

For me I take the diff out for working on the breaks. At the end it cost less time.

 

But it is possible to manage with diff inside. The break pistons can be removed easy if you dissconnect the tubes and bleeding screws.

Then you need a hook to remove the retaining plates. And it is easy to fit this plate (best new) again.

Don't mind about the knurled wheel it will adjust it self while using the Hand brake. As long as you mounted the corresponding lever correct.

Don't use new pistons in the old housing ! You will do the work twice.

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Mad wolf thanks I thought that may be that answer , but desperate not to remove diff , Good news the underside is very clean and everything seems to undo easiliy. Suppose new shoes and wheel brake cylinders will mean I know it’s right.  Pic of nurled wheel which I did not under stand . Turns freely clockwise from passenger side to extend ,, handbrake moves top slider to turn it one way hence adjusting  brake shoes for wear compensation . The actual handbrake action to put it on is normal lever action , I thought it was that nurled wheel hence my confusion thinking somehow it puts the handbrake on and off rotating both ways.

 

will search forums on simplest way to remove diff first, the fear I think is about the handbrake linkages cutting holes in floor etc. As my cables worked okay renewing cylinders I hope will not mess that up

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As I have a 1974 Elite I do not now anything About differences between Elite and Erclat.

But for the handbrake linkage: do not worry. It is not more tricky than working on the drum without removing the diff.

But you have the chance to see clearly whether erverything is mounted right.especial the levers vor the automatic handbrake adjustment.

With 1 or better 2 hydraulic jacks the refit of the diff works fine.

And fore the re-assembly of the handbrake cables just be in a relaxed condition  and remember the only enemy will be the gravitation force.

 

Look at the Picture .

It is a fun to work this complete view on the breaks.

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Robbie, Wolfgangs photo above shows what you need to know, the spring steel arm sits on the toothed cog and when you operate the handbrake it will turn the cog in one direction only, ie outwards, this is the self adjusting part of the rear brakes, stamping on the brake pedal centralises the shoes in the drum. I can't remember if it's the putting the handbrake on or taking it off that makes the cog move. When you reassemble turn it fully in ie takes the pads off the drum makes it a lot easier to get the drums on. then up & down on the hand brake to adjust them. Wolfgangs photo shows the adjuster full wound in.

I've got my diff out at the moment to change both cylinders as one failed the day before the mot, new shoes and all the new replacement bolts, mounting rubbers arrived from SJ's yesterday evening. Going to start work on them next weekend when I get back home.

Keep us posted on progress,

Nice photo Wolfgang, let us know how you get on putting the diff in with the shoes attached. I was planning to put them on afterwards.

Regards to all John

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Good photo shows the position of the adjuster and before I reassemble which is some time away I would like to see a slight pull  on the handbrake turning the wheel ie I position it right . Ordered some cylinders.  Thanks all I’m sure  I will update as this is all put in place .

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Re the photo of rear drum the cylinder look exactly like the ones i have bought . The dimensions are the same and look like they will fit including the brake adjuster wheel . However as I have the old unit piston I see it is larger diameter. Has anyone found different piston Sizes In these cylinders.

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On 25/07/2018 at 19:36, The Nut said:

Robbie,

When you put the shoes back on get them as central as you can, the adjuster is operated by a spring steel arm which is fixed to the handbrake operating arm, when you use the handbrake the spring steel arm rides over the toothed part of the adjuster and it will wind it outwards when the hand brake is used, thus moving the top end of the shoes outwards towards the drum. if the car is moveable give the brakes a good stamp and that will help centralise the shoes. you can see all this working with the drums off. if you wind the adjuster out too much you can't get the drum on.  if cars not moveable give the brake pedal a stamp and turn the wheel 180degrees.

so operate foot brake use hand brake, repeat till handbrake only comes up a couple of clicks, remember you got to do both sides of the car. Hope this helps.

Have fun, best regards to all, John 

With this process, when would you start to consider the flexible strap/mounting? Would that be only if there is slack in the handbrake and the cable doesn't start to move the handbrake operating arms straight away? Am just wondering as my handbrake needs to be up at its limit before it bites at all (I know the self-adjuster on the passenger side doesn't self-adjust on my Eclat).

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Hi, both adjusters need to be working for you to adjust the handbrake, when the handbrake is used the cable operates both adjusters togegether, if one is not working the one that is working will lock only one side of the car and the play in the cable will be transfered to the side thats not working, hence the handbrake travel goes to the top. Its the shoes resting on the drum that stop the handbrake moving up.

Hope that helps John

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