Rear brake fix

Reg­u­lar ser­vic­ing is es­sen­tial for ef­fec­tive rear drum brakes. Here’s how to com­pletely over­haul them at home.

Mini Magazine - - Contents -

They might not sound that ex­cit­ing, but your rear brakes still serve an im­por­tant role, even if the ma­jor­ity of the brak­ing force is pro­vided by the front. They need to be reg­u­larly checked and ser­viced, es­pe­cially given the spu­ri­ous qual­ity of parts that have flooded the mar­ket in re­cent times. Ser­vic­ing the rear brakes is also im­por­tant if your Mini has been laid up for a length of time, as the com­po­nents can seize and cor­rode.

A glance at the forth­com­ing pics may have you think­ing that we’ve got more press­ing is­sues on the Cana­dian-mar­ket car we’re work­ing on, like a rusty rear sub­frame for starters. But while that may be true, it’s a good ‘worst case sce­nario’ car, de­mon­strat­ing the pit­falls you may en­counter when do­ing this job. Some cars may only have one or two iso­lated is­sues, but it’s pretty much a full house with this one. Leak­ing cylin­ders, seized drum screws, seized ad­justers, a seized brake hose, rusty back­plates, a bro­ken hand­brake mech­a­nism gaiter – you name it!

If it’s just the shoes or cylin­ders that need re­plac­ing, th­ese can be done in­di­vid­u­ally. But in our case, it made sense to buy new as­sem­bled back­plate as­sem­blies from Mini Spares. The parts are also avail­able in­di­vid­u­ally, but the com­plete as­sem­blies made sense as they use gen­uine AP com­po­nents, which should en­sure in­creased longevity, safety and ease of fit­ment. They come com­plete with the shoes, springs, cylin­der, ad­juster mech­a­nism, hand­brake lever and gaiter, and as such, of­fer a sav­ing over buy­ing parts in­di­vid­u­ally and with­out the has­sle of putting it all to­gether. In this guide, we’ll also be de­mon­strat­ing how to fit cylin­ders and shoes sep­a­rately.

You don’t need us to tell you how crit­i­cal your brakes are to your safety, so if you don’t feel com­pe­tent with the span­ners then this is a job you might want to leave to the pro­fes­sion­als. How­ever, a com­pe­tent home me­chanic should be able to com­plete this job in a few hours. In terms of tools, you’ll need the reg­u­lar AF sock­ets/span­ners, plus a brake ad­just­ing span­ner, a 7/16-inch brake flare nut span­ner, a brake hose clamp, brake cleaner spray, a Pozidriv screw­driver and a one-man brake bleed­ing kit if you don’t have an as­sis­tant. Here’s the fit­ting pro­ce­dure in full on a 1980 car, but the se­quence is largely the same for all mod­els.

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