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Misc: Everything Else Brakes, Linings, Drums and Shoes

davidd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Brake linings contain many odd materials to make them work better and I don't think that they all age at the same rate. I tend to look at linings like tires: fresh ones seem to work better. Additionally, adhesive technology has improved considerably over the decades.

When the friction of a lining is increased it makes the brake slightly less stable. Squeal is one of those problems that arises from improving the mu. Squeal, being a result of vibration, can cause mechanical destruction of the springs or the hooks. The lining itself tends to wiggle around and vibrate, which is why we chamfer the leading edge of a new, tall lining. You don't have to chamfer worn linings because they have lost enough mass to be much more stable.

Manufacturers tend to "detune" the rear brake to prevent the rear wheel from steering the bike by stepping out sideways during heavy rear braking. Vincent detuned the rear brake by activating the trailing shoe most. On the front brakes, it is the other way around. the leading shoes are activated most.

With the detuned rear brake, the AM4 linings cannot get the bite they need to cause squealing. Almost all brake linings are hygroscopic, so they will absorb water if they are left idle for a period. This will also increase the friction of the lining which results in that early morning squeal or harshness that disappears quickly with a little heat.

David
 

Matty

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I was directed from somewhere to a supplier of brake shoes at around £80 a pair as against £300 I have been quoted elseware, which looks very good if mine get lost in the Post, but I cannot now find where the information came from and my machine tripped out at the moment I as trying to save the file.
I think it may have come from Timetraveller but not being very IT literate I canot find the information again.
Help - can somebody give me directions to the information please from here
Matty
 

Matty

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Was worried that my brake shoes might get lost in the Post and that 2 replacement pairs might cost in excess of £600 though I valued them at this based on another quote for the Post insurance out, but this does not cover the return.
This latest offering looks as if I can buy nice new shoes for about £80 a pair plus linings which is a much better deal for around £200.
I do not expect mine will get lost but I now feel comfortable that the bike will not be off the road for ages while any loss situation is being sorted out.
However I can not use it much while the lock down is in operation - only for collecting food or medication!!

[U]T [/U]
[U]timetraveller[/U]

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member


20 March 2020

There was a time when replacement brake shoes for the post war bikes were difficult to source. I have been involved with the development of replacement shoes and a photograph is shown of the items. They are made of LM25 heat treated and several changes (hopefully improvements) have been made to the originals. They are stiffer than the originals by incorporating stiffening webs. They do not have the small tongues sticking out to take the springs. Instead they have robust through holes. In addition they do not have the dips at the end of the brake linings which allows a longer lining to be use if wished. They will be supplied in pairs only, complete with the spring and metal end plates (H48) fitted. The price, per pair is £80 and you can organise the fitting of your preferred linings if you wish. Alternatively, they can be supplied with linings suitable for touring use or alternatively for racing use if you wish. The price for touring linings fitted is about £12 per shoe.

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Matty

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Have fitted brakeshoes relined by Saftek which came back for £52 for 4 shoes in around 4 days.
I hope I have have attached a picture of the shoe lining which is "woven" and light green.
Have filed a taper on the leading and trailing edges and also taken a small tapered skim off the outside and inside edges to make sure that any wear on the drum is missed.
The linings were also a snug fit in the drum but seem to be OK and not rubbing.
The performance is greatly improved. but it will be interesting to see how they work once fully bedded in, and how they work when hot - though they will only be used for touring.New Brake Lining 2020.jpg
 

Chris.R

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I just simply need to know where to look for front brake adjustment the various manuals Stevens, Richardson and Riders manual seem vague on the matter, I have new relined shoes turned to fit and now need to know how to complete set up with the new cables, my 54 Comet has the balance arm stop mod fitted. I need a set of instructions.
 

Marcus Bowden

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
All you need to do now is grind the drums on the wheel bearings to get it perfect.
Can you fit wheels without brake plates and measure the excentricity as there will be some.
bananaman.
 

Chris.R

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
All you need to do now is grind the drums on the wheel bearings to get it perfect.
Can you fit wheels without brake plates and measure the excentricity as there will be some.
bananaman.
Hi all is assembled but balance arm does not return when the cable is tightened and the lever applied.
 

Chris.R

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I think the long cable might be too tight ?,
Do you have the outer spring on the brake plate, Speedo side ?.
Is the balance beam free ?.
Hi just as I was about to answer I got a phone call from Alan he and brother Arthur were outside my garage with a would you like the brakes set up so I just had an institutional on brake set up and now is done so just waiting on a new dipswitch to finish of the electric set up then petrol and oil can go in and see how she runs.

Thanks to all for help.
 

Matty

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
My balance arm also does not quite return and another spring might help but it has not caused any problems for me

If the brakes pull on smoothly when the wheel is rotating then the brake drums do not need to be skimmed.
In the past I had slightly oversized linings fitted and turned on the base plate to fit the drums. This did not improve the brakes at all on my bike or that of a friend.
This assumes the front brake cables are on the machine and all slack.
With the wheel in and the cable adjusting screws set to fully off I then slacken the brake arms which have a serration on the inside to mate up with the brake cam spindle and then turn the spindle with a mole wrench or similar until the brake shoe is just touching the drum. I then set the brake arm to be at 90 degrees to where the cable inner is coming from as the brake is just touching and clamp up the brake arm nut.
I repeat this for the other side. These brake arms serrations can be set to give this 90 degree s angle because they can work as a sort of Vernier with the serrated washer on the loose serrated washer with a square hole for the cam spindle, so you may have to take the arms and serrated washer on and off a few times to find the optimum setting
You may find you need 3 hands to hold all the bits in the right place against the various springs, but should end up with both brake arms at the optimum just before 90 degrees just as the brakes begin to bite. This should be the correct situation after the brakes have been set up and are in operation
Next step is to connect the cables to the brake arms with the clever push in devices.
With the cable adjusters all fully slackened it is just possible to then connect the cables while holding the brake arms in the "on" position - the balance arm adjustments may also have to be fully slackened off to do this.
On the brake plate on the forks there is an eccentric adjuster with a lock nut and screwdriver slot which can be used to set the stop for the balance arm. I usually adjust this for the arm to be horizontal and clamp it before setting the right hand cable adjuster so that the brake shoe is just touching.
I then go to the left hand side cable adjuster and and set this so that the left hand side brake shoe is just touching.
This procedure sounds complicated but in fact is very simple and logical.
You may have to adjust the cables etc. to provide a bit more freeplay or feel depending on what feels most comfortable to you.
I hope I have got this sequence right but with the new green linings my brakes work fine - though most of my poor brake problems had been caused for many years by using the incorrect linings for steel drums when most linings fitted were of a type for cast iron drums.
Hope this helps and does not cause even more confusion.
Matty
 

Chris.R

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
My balance arm also does not quite return and another spring might help but it has not caused any problems for me

If the brakes pull on smoothly when the wheel is rotating then the brake drums do not need to be skimmed.
In the past I had slightly oversized linings fitted and turned on the base plate to fit the drums. This did not improve the brakes at all on my bike or that of a friend.
This assumes the front brake cables are on the machine and all slack.
With the wheel in and the cable adjusting screws set to fully off I then slacken the brake arms which have a serration on the inside to mate up with the brake cam spindle and then turn the spindle with a mole wrench or similar until the brake shoe is just touching the drum. I then set the brake arm to be at 90 degrees to where the cable inner is coming from as the brake is just touching and clamp up the brake arm nut.
I repeat this for the other side. These brake arms serrations can be set to give this 90 degree s angle because they can work as a sort of Vernier with the serrated washer on the loose serrated washer with a square hole for the cam spindle, so you may have to take the arms and serrated washer on and off a few times to find the optimum setting
You may find you need 3 hands to hold all the bits in the right place against the various springs, but should end up with both brake arms at the optimum just before 90 degrees just as the brakes begin to bite. This should be the correct situation after the brakes have been set up and are in operation
Next step is to connect the cables to the brake arms with the clever push in devices.
With the cable adjusters all fully slackened it is just possible to then connect the cables while holding the brake arms in the "on" position - the balance arm adjustments may also have to be fully slackened off to do this.
On the brake plate on the forks there is an eccentric adjuster with a lock nut and screwdriver slot which can be used to set the stop for the balance arm. I usually adjust this for the arm to be horizontal and clamp it before setting the right hand cable adjuster so that the brake shoe is just touching.
I then go to the left hand side cable adjuster and and set this so that the left hand side brake shoe is just touching.
This procedure sounds complicated but in fact is very simple and logical.
You may have to adjust the cables etc. to provide a bit more freeplay or feel depending on what feels most comfortable to you.
I hope I have got this sequence right but with the new green linings my brakes work fine - though most of my poor brake problems had been caused for many years by using the incorrect linings for steel drums when most linings fitted were of a type for cast iron drums.
Hope this helps and does not cause even more confusion.
Matty
Thanks for the up on brake adjustment saved for future aid to memory.
 

peter holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
When fitting Lightning style brake plates I came up with a far simpler balance beam return spring, all you need is a large diameter stainless steel washer with one small hole drilled near the periphery to accept a far lighter gauge spring than Martyn is using, the washer is trapped between the threaded knurled locknut and the balance beam and stays in the correct position when make any cable adjustments, no need to disconnect any springs or make sure any holes line up, if not clear I can post a photo when I have fully woken from my slumbers.
 
Last edited:

davidd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
There is a spring available for Lightning brake plates but is designed for the 8" brake. It should fit the 7" Lightning plates.

100_0493.jpg

David
 

Matty

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi
There is a lot of information on the internet outside the Club forums about Vincent brakes for instance at


and a few other threads on the Club forum on brakes besides this one.
The Vincent owners club write up above is very comprehensive but involves many processes and workshop machines which I do not have.
My front brake is now pretty good, but not really able to lock the front wheel with a gentle squeeze.
So being pragmatic and having used the bike since 1956. I ended up doing the following.
1. Brake shoes relined with green woven material (from Saftek) to suit the steel drums on my Comet.
2. About a quarter of the lining removed from the cam end of the trailing shoes, otherwise the leading shoe wears out first, leaving the relatively unworn and inefficient trailing shoe trying to do most of the work.
3. Slightly elongating the pivots in the shoes so the cam pushes them a bit forwards into the drum.
4. Setting up the brake arms to be 90 degrees and the cables etc to be set to optimum ie. good quality and flow.
These fairly cheap and easy steps have now given me a front brake which is satisfactory but probably not as good as it could be if all the suggested fixes are incorporated.
The green woven material seems to have made the greatest improvement however.
 

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