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MG TD TF 1500 - Brakes on TD are 'soft'

I am replacing brake parts on my 1950 TD. Drums are ok. New shoes, all new cylinders front and rear, new master cylinder, new adjusters. The system was bled properly. The brake pedal was soft. Have to pump the brakes a few times to get any brake action. It was suggested that the hoses deteriorate from the inside and might be absorbing fluid when pressure is applied to the pedal. Just installed the three new hoses and guess what. The brakes are still soft. Has anyone got any suggestions?
M Resnicoff

You still have air in the line or in the master cyl.Also make sure that you have adjusted the shoes out to where they lock the drum, then back off a click or two (the same) on each drum.

If you can pump up pressure with the brake pedal, then there is air in the system somewhere.
When the hoses go, they usually tend to keep the brakes on for a bit (sort of like a one way valve)
Are your front cylinders facing the right way...leading edge? (check D Braun's website).
Tighten your adjustors until the wheels won't turn, back off one click...there may be a bit of smoke for the first mile or three.

gblawson(gordon- TD27667)

Good thoughts above. If you used silicone fluid, it is pretty tricky to bleed totally, have to go really slowly, etc. I also suspect adjustment. Nail the brakes really hard, and really crank on the handbrake to totally set the shoes. Then re-adjust.
George Butz

This can also be caused by drums that are turned too much and the brake shoes do not conform to the larger radius. New drums were actually 9" ID.
If you can find somebody that can re-arc shoes to the new ID it could help.

You may still have air in your brake cylinders, as the bleed nipples only do a good job of bleeding the lines not the cylinder because of where they are located. You might have to disconect the lines at the cylinders and inject fluid into the cylinders directly with a syringe to eliminate all the air. If you have reused the expelled brake fluid or shaken it, you could also have a problem with micro air bubbles being introduced into the fluid. Cheers Phil
Phil Atrill

when installing a new or rebuilt master cyl. I bench bleed the cylinder before putting it on. get all the air out on the bench - use a plastic plug to seal off install, remove plug, connect line, blead the lines beginning with the wheel closest to the master progressing to the one furthest away till no bubbles are present. Help to have an assistant pump the pedal while the other person works the bleeder/bleed hose/bottle.

Start with the wheel furthest away and work to the closer ones.... right rear, left rear, right front, left front....
gblawson(gordon- TD27667)

And......Speedi Bleeders make the job so much easier. Many of us have installed them in our T's. Cost is about 30 bucks.

'54 TF
Tom Norby

BTW I want to thank all of you in this community for the helpful suggestions on my previous questions.
One comment. I have seen several mentions of the workshop manual being wrong with respect to the diagram of the orientation of the front brake cylinders. The error is one of omission. They do not mention that it is a diagram of the RIGHT front brake not the left. I guess in England with RHD that would be a natural view. Here we all assume it is a left wheel and that is what makes it wrong.
M Resnicoff

Actually, there is a typo in the brake section of the WSM, on M.12 (Issue 2 (E) 8/52) it states:
The front brake wheel cylinders are interchangeable but the link pipe banjo unions must be fitted to them so that the flexible hose is connected to the FORWARD cylinder and the bleed screw to the REAR cylinder." (caps are mine)

The opposite is the case. It contribrutes to the pictures in Section M.3 (Fig. M.5 and M.6) to be assumed to be the LHS of the car. It should be noted however that the figure of the Hydraulic System and Components on [age M.2) everything is shown correctly, albeit small.

Dave Braun

This thread was discussed between 22/10/2010 and 26/10/2010

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