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Installing a Front Disc Brake on a Series ‘C’


CarlHungness

Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi:
I am now hot on the trail of installing a front disc brake on my Series C. I have seen the installation done by Justin MacKay Smith on his Prince, and was suitably impressed. I am now seeking Justin's e mail address and of course any information anyone wants to forward regarding this modification.
I would like to hide the master cylinder behind the existing steady plate and have heard of such an installation, so again I'm seeking knowledge.
 

roy the mechanic

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
cable operated master cylinders have been around for a long time. Unfortunately most do not get good write-ups. If you have disc brakes(as i do) why try to disgiuse the patently blinking obvious? As was said in a section report a while ago " a pair of disc brakes appeared ,followed by my pal's shadow" No names + no pack drill. Roy.
 

CarlHungness

Active Website User
VOC Member
cable operated master cylinders have been around for a long time. Unfortunately most do not get good write-ups. If you have disc brakes(as i do) why try to disgiuse the patently blinking obvious? As was said in a section report a while ago " a pair of disc brakes appeared ,followed by my pal's shadow" No names + no pack drill. Roy.
HI:
I have had several Vincent riders say, "I don't see them," when I tell them to, "Take a look at my front turn signals."
Then I hit a turn signal switch that makes a row of LED's blink from a slot I milled in my Britax crash bar. They don't look at the bar usually, so I've hidden the obvious. Plus they don't stick out. I made a similar bar that goes across my license plate. The point is, I want to hide the master cylinder and shall go to a craftsman's length to do so. I'd also like to hide the disc behind some plate that says "drum brake" when you glance at it. I haven't figured out how to hide the caliper.
 

roy the mechanic

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Most of the "systems" with said bellcranks are the ones with the bad press. I understand where you're coming from, if you could see a better picture of the "thing" in my avatar you will discover I am the master of "hidden" but it's still got to work efficiently. Roy.
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I'm with Roy its a disc brake why try and hide it? I believe many utilise a small 250 say Honda type calliper I would do it, but I shall wait to see the final result of the UK version of the "roadworthyness" legislation first, I could have enough fun removing my indicators and mikuni to worry about taking off my new disc brake
 

greg brillus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
After the huge discussion we had about front end woes (suspension, that is) I do wonder whether having good stoppers on the front would exacerbate the problem, and make the problem worse. I have a good four leader on the front of the racer, but my front end dives under braking, as most all other bikes do.... Just a thought.
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
And some people only fit one !, Which I would have thought may unbalance the forks ?, I have been talking myself out of that Mod' for years, But as you know , I like a standard bike !!. Cheers Bill.
 

ClassicBiker

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Carl,
I've been considering the same project for awhile myself, just haven't got around to it. Anyway, here are some pictures and articles I've collected on the subject. I believe I got them from www.thevincent.com some time ago. Don't know if you already have them or not hope they help. I would be interested in seeing what you come up with.
Steven
 

Attachments

CollingsBob

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I believe Norton made some cunning drum brakes for racing that had a disc hidden inside..John Bennet had one a few years ago..
 

roy the mechanic

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Carl, mine were done some while ago, the calipers, discs and master cylinder came from a kawasaki zephyr. This may not be very helpful as it has been obsolete for a while now. The result is confidence inspiring, as the bike now stops easily with very little effort. Thanks to my pal Dennis who did the work, so I only had to fit the ready made assemblies. Roy.
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Am I the only one to find Discs are a pain in the wet ?, I have to ride with one finger on the brake to keep them dry, Cheers Bill.
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Justin used the disc brake set up that I made as a pattern to make his own. He mounted the calipers below the fender stay because he was concerned about clearing the Prince Fender, although I believe the calipers would have fit. I used the Kawasaki parts for the first attempt. When Sam Manganaro wanted a set I suggested the Susuki TL 1000 brakes, which were becoming readily available at that time. It was a very easy build. I liked the TL discs because you could use a flat carrier which made the machining straight forward. The caliper mounts were based on my originals. The only change was to the shape of the mount where the calipers attached. They were changed only to accommodate the different caliper mounts. If I were building some today I would use something more modern that was plentiful. I would not use a single piston or anything too old because the performance goes way down.

Here is Sam's bike:

SamManganaro-Rapide2777cp.jpg

This PDF is a tracing of the caliper mounts. It is a tracing, so it can be scaled for a full size template. I used 4130, if I remember correctly. The lowest hole is for the axle. The hole directly above in a straight line is for the brake anchor, which is now a bolt instead of just a peg. The remaining two holes are for the caliper mount. I milled out a small amount of material on the inside of the mount around the axle. It was milled to the thickness of the the brake plate, so it takes no more room on the axle, except, the nuts are on the inside of the plate rather than the outside.

I think the plate was 1/4" or so. The flat side of the plate is bolted to the inside of the Girdraulic through the anchor hole and the axle. The milled portion on the inside of the plate just mimics the brake plate.

David
 

Attachments

CarlHungness

Active Website User
VOC Member
Justin used the disc brake set up that I made as a pattern to make his own. He mounted the calipers below the fender stay because he was concerned about clearing the Prince Fender, although I believe the calipers would have fit. I used the Kawasaki parts for the first attempt. When Sam Manganaro wanted a set I suggested the Susuki TL 1000 brakes, which were becoming readily available at that time. It was a very easy build. I liked the TL discs because you could use a flat carrier which made the machining straight forward. The caliper mounts were based on my originals. The only change was to the shape of the mount where the calipers attached. They were changed only to accommodate the different caliper mounts. If I were building some today I would use something more modern that was plentiful. I would not use a single piston or anything too old because the performance goes way down.

Here is Sam's bike:

View attachment 12548

This PDF is a tracing of the caliper mounts. It is a tracing, so it can be scaled for a full size template. I used 4130, if I remember correctly. The lowest hole is for the axle. The hole directly above in a straight line is for the brake anchor, which is now a bolt instead of just a peg. The remaining two holes are for the caliper mount. I milled out a small amount of material on the inside of the mount around the axle. It was milled to the thickness of the the brake plate, so it takes no more room on the axle, except, the nuts are on the inside of the plate rather than the outside.

I think the plate was 1/4" or so. The flat side of the plate is bolted to the inside of the Girdraulic through the anchor hole and the axle. The milled portion on the inside of the plate just mimics the brake plate.

David
Hi: Many thanks, and probably just what I am looking for. I need to decide exactly which disc and caliper to get and am now researching master cylinders. I want a remote one I can hide behind the steady plate, and some of the chopper guys are making them, I just have to make sure it will match the caliper requirements.
 

BigEd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
Hi: Many thanks, and probably just what I am looking for. I need to decide exactly which disc and caliper to get and am now researching master cylinders. I want a remote one I can hide behind the steady plate, and some of the chopper guys are making them, I just have to make sure it will match the caliper requirements.
b'Knighted has already mentioned that BMW used a cable operated master cylinder. The BMW R75/6 I had in 1976 had a cable operated master cylinder that was mounted under the petrol tank. It worked well. Only a single disk was fitted and two disk was better especially two up with the panniers loaded. I think it is likely that most BMW models around this time used a the same system so they should be easy to find at a m/cycle breakers if you want something to experiment with.
 

MartynG

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Appreciate the replies thus far, but am still seeking information on what disc and caliper to obtain.
Hi Carl,

Care to tell us the reason(s) why you are planning to replace the TLS brake you only recently installed? I only ask as I know a few folks are considering installing TLS and your experience with it would be of value to all.

regards

Martyn
 

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