I wanted.....   No, I NEEDED something to do and since the Great Commonwealth of Massachusetts has instituted a strict "Hands-Free Phones While Driving" law, I decided to add a Blue-tooth phone connection to my Speedster.

Sounded pretty easy to do.  A USB/Power Outlet connector and an ANKER Bluetooth thingamajiggie from Amazon that plugs into power and my AUX input on my (quickly becoming old news) Pioneer "Mega-Whomper" stereo to then connect, "Seamlessly" to my iPhone or iPhone equivalent.    Whoo-Hoo!!

Then, 60 year old technology Reality settled in.

I didn't want something stuck on the dash looking out-of-place in a '50's car, so I abandoned putting the little hands-free controller puck on the dashboard.  

That, and to do so meant that I had to temporarily remove the radio for a space to route the teeny-tiny cable to the puck to hide it, and while I loosened the radio on it's 10-24 mounting screws - a formidable task in and of itself because nothing is within easy reach and anything that is, is really hard to work with.  

Suddenly, I dropped a 10-24 nut into the radio compartment/tray from above.  I then spent over an hour trying to fish the nut out using a series of different magnets.  I never got it.  

I finally conceded defeat and found another nut in the hardware bin, and it was THEN that I discovered that the lost nut was made of Stainless Steel and not magnetic.    

After I got everything back together and in a desperate move to show who's boss, I thumped the bottom of the radio a few times with my fist and heared the woebegone nut clatter down to the bottom of the tray where I could fish it out with my fingers.     

By that time, my back was going into early cramp mode from the under-dash contortions and besides - It was tea time on Sunrise Ave so I called it a day, gave the car the finger on the way out (actually, a double finger) and headed to the house.

Friggin' 60-year-old technology, anyway.

 

The Speedstah Guy from Grafton

Original Post

Gordon,

I don't know if my thumbs up "like" of your post sent the opposite of my intended sympathetic response. I/we have all been there! And as long as we continue to enjoy challenges and attempt to perform"easy" tasks, we will forever repeat such frustrating experiences. I suspect you and everyone else in this group is (much) younger than I and not yet as intimately aware of mortality; but at times such as you just experienced, maybe just being on the right side of the earth is some measure of consolation. 

Why not just pair your phone with a Bluetooth earbud and be on your way? Most every state in the country allows the use of one earbud while driving. Or just don't answer your phone while driving. And if you have to answer it just pull over to answer. If you can't answer fast enough pull over and immediately call the person back.

Last edited by Robert M

Gordon: I have the exact same unit. I put the little magnetic puck down by my shifter, so you don't really notice it. But I refuse to answer or call when in the Spyder. I only use it for music streamed through my phone.

Dude, will you stop using stainless steel nuts? You could help yourself out quite a bit that way.......

Heroic effort, Gordon. And I know you'll succeed.

Meanwhile, here at The Brass Hammer Motorwerks & Pub, I decided to set Bridget right for spring after literally driving her home from VA Beach through the rain last October and putting her away wet. 

One of the e-brake cables busted some time in August, and I had a new set in stock so I put her up on the lift for the two-hour replacement and set about removing the two-eared knockoffs that fix the wheels to the hubs.

The rubber mallet just tickled it so I got a 2x4 and the five pound sledge and that...

also tickled. 

OK, fine, time to make the knock-off  wrench. A 3-foot length of 2x6, plus a couple shorter stubs of 2x4, plus a couple old MDF shelves to sandwich them between...

Couple hours with the jig saw and the file and...voila!IMG_5127

That was Tuesday.

Next I lit up the ol' compressor, bripped off the little nuts, then bripped off the big axle nuts and got the drums off with relative ease.

The cable broke just under the handle, so I went in and pulled that out, which was a chore since the handle is set way back almost on the split, and I had shortened the cables and clamped them together over the handle in order to make said handle look more like a proper MG TD type, so undoing them requires a 7mm open wrench and a lot of patience loosening all eight tiny nuts which, to keep that from happening spontaneously under normal usage, I thoughtfully encased in clear silicone caulk seven years ago. 

Pulled the old cables, got out the new ones and checked them against the old ones—yep, they're the right ones. Marked the length of the old ones and added six inches to that before cutting the ends off the new. Then I greased them up and threaded them back in to set about re-tensioning them without the aid of the threaded ends.

It was about then, two or three iterations into my attempt to pretension the new ones properly, that I discovered that the pawl on the brake handle (got the chrome aftermarket one since the original MG ones were chrome) was jamming/hanging up.

Out it came for adjustment.

An hour or two after that, having obtained no joy, I dug into my spares pile and retrieved the original VW unit, gunky with grease and chipped up but very much better-functioning than the chrome aftermarket unit. And so...

degreased that one, stripped the paint and repainted it in pewter hammertone, as it was the closest working rattlecan to the bench I was doing this on.

Dried overnight, reassembled and installed. 

Another hour or so fettling the cables to get them pull evenly, cut the excess length off the ends, and I was done!

IMG_5139

—OK, not quite...

Now it was time to readjust the brake shoes. I put a screwdriver on the passenger side star wheels and got no movement. Whatsoever. At. All.

Sledgehammer plus screwdriver?

Tickled.

Driver's side almost the same. One finally turned, the other didn't.

Broke out the liquid wrench. More hammering. More hammering.

And more hammering.

An hour or so of this and the Driver's side one finally gave way. YAY!

Passenger side soaked over night. 

IMG_5136

 

That brings us to yesterday am when an additional application of the sledge-plus-blunted-screwdriver finally yielded no further progress, necessitating resort to the fire hammer.

Four applications of MAP gas plus ambient oxygen plus the sledge and aforementioned screwdriver-that-is-now-a-chisel-only finally got a good result.

Spent a half hour or so after that R&Ring the brake adjusters. A nice wire-wheeling, some emory cloth, a file, degreasers and then new grease before reassembly. 

Put the drums back on.

Looked at the drums.

"Goddamn these look like crap don't they?"

Took the drums back off. Degreased. Wire-wheeled them. Cleaned with acetone. Taped off the studs and painted four coats of chassis black. Let em dry over night.

That brings us to this am when I reinstalled the drums and adjusted the shoes to them before testing the e-brake again. Good! Dug out the Torquemeister tool and put 270 ft-lbs back on the big nuts via 30 pounds on my 3/8 torque wrench, then pushed them another eighth turn or so to line up the cotter pin holes (which, owing to the very tight fit of the Triumph TR3 wire wheel hubs over the VW drum snouts, is now fitted with a short exterior deck screw instead of a cotter pin). 

IMG_5140

Everything else went back together without a problem. I inspected the undercarriage, cleaned up and brushed a lil Rustoleum on a couple of spots and called it a day.

Test drive tomorrow.

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Looks good, Ed. Up here at DP Carbs Inc. I always use never-seize in the threads of the star-wheel adjusters. I also use it on the brake shoe parts that touch the backing plate. And on wheel stud threads. And disc brake caliper pins. I also use it on suspension bolts and such, you know, anything that tends to get rust-welded together.

To replace the air spring on my old Allroad is a real PIA. They do fail, catastrophically, necessitating a flatbed ride home. The front suspension drops down so far that the tire is slammed up into the inner fender. There is a long bolt that goes through the upper spindle and retains TWO ball joints for  the individual/split upper A-arm arrangement on Audis. The fire hammer(great term!) and penetrating oil combined with gentle impact wrench application will eventually remove these bolts without breaking.  They get SLATHERED in never-seize, because if they break, it's a real beeyotch to get out.

P.S.: The Audi is sold and down the road. It was 15 years old, and at the point where I didn't want to put any more into it. Law of diminishing returns.

DannyP posted:

Looks good, Ed. Up here at DP Carbs Inc. I always use never-seize in the threads of the star-wheel adjusters. I also use it on the brake shoe parts that touch the backing plate. And on wheel stud threads. And disc brake caliper pins. I also use it on suspension bolts and such, you know, anything that tends to get rust-welded together....

I also use it liberally on the outside diameter of the adjusting stars (and id where it fits) as well; grease just seems to wash out quicker.

Yeah, I forgot to mention why. Grease seems to either melt and get where it isn't supposed to, or dry out and stay where it's supposed to. Either scenario isn't good. But never-seize seems to always stay put.

DP: couldn't you just say that you use nevrsieze on everything, and save a whole lot of words?  That's what I do. 

 

PS: Ed: terrific looking job, hope the damn thing stops properly.  I think I might have given in and just beat the crap out of the cylinder to get it off ther backing plate, then replaced it with a new one, properly lubricated, of course.   Fire-hammer.  Need a picture of that -- you are so good with pictures . . .

No. Because I don't use it on everything.

Friggin guy isn't on here for months, then comes in and tells us how to act. Sheesh.

Last edited by DannyP

... Looks like while I was away, you guys should have had some oversight.  It'll take a while, but I'll tend to that.  Sheesh . . .

PS: you should use it on everything.  Except your shirt.  Put some there and it will never, and I mean NEVER, come off.

El Frazoo posted:

 

PS: Ed: terrific looking job, hope the damn thing stops properly.  I think I might have given in and just beat the crap out of the cylinder to get it off ther backing plate, then replaced it with a new one, properly lubricated, of course.   Fire-hammer.  Need a picture of that -- you are so good with pictures . . .

Hey Kelly, the star wheels were frozen to a cast-in part of the hub, not bolted in like a wheel cylinder, so smashing it all would've been somewhat counter-productive. Not that I didn't consider it.

Pip: please be civil to our elders. They fought in the trenches at Verdun so that we could have nice things like white lithium grease, Neversieze and, ultimately, disc brakes.

 

 

edsnova posted:

Pip: please be civil to our elders. They fought in the trenches at Verdun so that we could have nice things like white lithium grease, Neversieze and, ultimately, disc brakes.

Kelly didn't see action at Verdun-- he was at home with all the Boer War veterans leading scrap drives for the boys on the front.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Go easy on el Frazoo - Those "Rocketeers" are a thinning bunch.

And remember, all of you Speedstah Aficionados:  

BEFORE you use ANY Anti-seize compounds, place a Nickle-size dollop into one palm of your hands, thoroughly work it in to both hands and then liberally spread it around to as much of your body and clothes as you can reach (special points for reaching "private" areas and spreading it across the surface of your car).

Because by the time you're finally done using it, it's gonna be all over you, the parts and the car, anyway, so you'll be getting a jump on it.

From "Grampa Nichols' Workshop Tips and Tricks" page........

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

I don't know man. I use nitrile gloves, and roll them off inside out. I only get never-seize where it's supposed to go........

Ed, copy, sort of. You are saying that R&R of the cylinder would have left the adjuster behind?  Do not follow that.  But its not important.  You did it and the rattle can ended up making the whole job look like new.  And my question about does it stop is going to wait for drier weather, I'd guess.

And Piperato being civil?  When??  Where??  At the wedding, maybe, but then I was not there so . . .

"Thinning" ?? On the top of my head, maybe.  As to the group I work for, never had so many rocket scientists there as they do now. And I'll have you know I'm a boomer, not a doughboy.  So as Lane would say:  phhhittt. 

El Frazoo posted:

Ed, copy, sort of. You are saying that R&R of the cylinder would have left the adjuster behind?  Do not follow that.  But its not important.  You did it and the rattle can ended up making the whole job look like new.  And my question about does it stop is going to wait for drier weather, I'd guess.

And Piperato being civil?  When??  Where??  At the wedding, maybe, but then I was not there so . . .

Kelly: the wheel cylinder, which hydraulically pushes the brake shoes out toward the drum, is near the top of the assembly, 12 O'clock. The adjuster stars, which push the shoes out to just near the drum once or twice a season (if you're doing it right), are at the bottom, 6 O'clock.

                                                                  Wheel cylinder

                                                                                           V

                                                                      Adjuster ^

Doh!! I knew that.  Or used to.  As many times as I have fooled with these things -- adjusted, repaired, replaced -- I should have got this straight.  Been riding on discs too long, memory fades.  Also the age thing . . .

knocking off that block would have been a MAJOR PITA, and likely not possible.  Would have led to a whole new backing plate in a big hurry.  So... Um, no, gonna bust my britches getting this stubborn SOB lose, or know the reason why not. 

i'm Still looking for the picture of the fire-hammer . . .

There is such a thing as a duplex drum brake with two cylinders at 180 degrees, I'm pretty sure.  These being "simplex" I think. With duplex, adjusters are one of the cylinders.  I think.  Will scout for a picture.

@edsnova wrote- " the wheel cylinder, which hydraulically pushes the brake shoes out toward the drum, is near the top of the assembly, 12 O'clock. The adjuster stars, which push the shoes out to just near the drum (which are adjusted) once or twice a season (if you're doing it right), are at the bottom, 6 O'clock." 

You are right, Ed- the pic in your post is of a Beetle rear brake assembly. It isn't quite as effective as 356 brakes though, which Kelly describes, with a cylinder and adjuster for each shoe, 180° apart. Pic of 356 B backing plate with cylinders, adjusters, shoes et al-    356 B brake356 backing plate

and the backside showing the brake line connecting the 2 cylinders- note the tie rod end obscures the bottom cylinder/adjuster somewhat, but you can see where the end of the brake hose screws into it. This is of course a front brake assembly.

A little more looking on Google images and voilá!- a 356 B rear brake assembly- not that much different than the type 1 after all- 

356 B rear brake ass. passenger side

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Last edited by ALB

Yeah I had heard of duplex drums but hadn't seen one. Pretty cool if you have some reason to not do a disc brake. Alas, Bridget's just a '69 Beetle with a few minor modifications....

edsnova posted:

Yeah I had heard of duplex drums but hadn't seen one. Pretty cool if you have some reason to not do a disc brake. Alas, Bridget's just a '69 Beetle with a few minor modifications....

... like a Subaru engine. Nothing important, or special in any substantive way. 

Glad you got the brakes loose, man. That would have been a setback at a time when setbacks get really frustrating.

Last edited by Stan Galat

@edsnova wrote- "...OK, fine, time to make the knock-off  wrench. A 3-foot length of 2x6, plus a couple shorter stubs of 2x4, plus a couple old MDF shelves to sandwich them between... Couple hours with the jig saw and the file and...voila!"

I forgot to ask- do we get to see a pic of this precision engineering?

Oh- and Piperato- stop picking on Kelly- after all, he's old. Actually, according to Stan, really, really old! Damn, I never would have guessed, Kelly- you look really (and I do mean really!) good for (I don't think I can count that high)- good on ya mate!

Ah, "precision" it ain't, @ALB but functional it is. Here's how it looked when I used it...

IMG_5141

—and this a.m. as I gussied it up. Trimmed the edges and took it apart, then glued it all back together and screwed and clamped it.

IMG_5143

Now there's another MDF cover piece at the far end, glued with construction adhesive and screwed. Last thing I'll do as bore a big hole through the end. Then I'll file and sand it smooth and paint it.

And NO I'm not gonna drill a whole bunch of lightening holes.

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Last edited by edsnova

@edsnova- Ok, it looks about like I thought it would! The lightening holes are only useful if you have to carry it in the car.

PS- I'm sure it will be quite the conversation piece hanging on the wall...

Last edited by ALB

Ed, that looks similar to something I made to get the spinners off of our Healey 3000.

I found a steel hammer in the trunk that the PO had used to smash the crap out of the spinners AND put them on so tight I ended up destroying two of them just getting them off.  THEN I made a spinner wrench like yours (mine was far less fancy) and that worked well.  When I sold the car I made sure that the wrench (and no hammer) was included.

I especially like the wood ball at the end of the lever to balance it off....  

i had knock offs on my 66 396 vette....never really trusted if they were tight enough..factory lead hammer was it,, i used a tshirt to soften the blows on  the spinner not a good design to me..

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