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1936 Ruby handbrake adjustment

I am completely stumped on how to adjust the handbrake travel on my 1936 ARR Ruby (cables to all 4 wheels, semi-girling brakes). When fully engaged the lever is almost at the end of the ratchet, using loads of travel.

I have studied the drawings in the Woodrow manual and elsewhere, but I don't understand how adjustment can be made. The brake cross shaft assembly seems to be working properly - it's not seized up at all. The drum brakes are all adjusted correctly.

I am assuming the handbrake only operates on the rear brakes as the front wheels spin freely with the handbrake engaged (all wheels off the ground), but the footbrake operates front and rear brakes efficiently.

The rear cables are fixed and have no adjustment.

In short, the foot brake system is working fine, all I need is to reduce the handbrake travel - any advice?

Location: Doncaster

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Re: 1936 Ruby handbrake adjustment

Mick - Do check on the size of the roller at the lower end of the handbrake assembly. They can wear to almost nothing and then the handbrake lever will have little effect. The roller can be replaced with a few 1" penny washers.

It is on page H2-11 of Woodrow marked as item E

Location: North Herts

Re: 1936 Ruby handbrake adjustment

Thanks Nick.

I've just checked the roller as you suggested, but that seems to be in good order which is a relief, because it looks like a complicated job to dismantle the ratchet mechanism to replace the roller, especially lying on your back and juggling with a lamp and tools!

Now the mechanism is degreased I can see I've only got a couple of teeth to go on the ratchet.

I wanted a shorter action on the handbrake because with such a long travel the lever tends to get in the way of the gear lever when put in reverse (they overlap like knitting needles) and I'm stuck on a steep hill having to back up to negotiate a tight bend as is generally the case on Sheffield and Lincolnshire PWA7C runs!

Location: Doncaster

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Re: 1936 Ruby handbrake adjustment

Hi Mick,
Firstly the hand brake works on all four wheels, not just the rears!
Without adjustment on the rear cables you are on a hiding to nothing, best to renew both front and rear cables and start from scratch.
J

Location: As far east in Kent as you can get

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Re: 1936 Ruby handbrake adjustment

AH! Thanks for that, John. I will definitely have to do something with the front cable if that's the case. I suspected the handbrake should work on all four wheels, but could find no reference to this in any of the descriptions of the semi-Girling brake set up.

Since my last forage under the car to check the handbrake lever roller I have now discovered the rear cables are adjustable at the hub ends, although of different designs. I wonder if taking up the slack in the front cable would help reduce the handbrake travel? Sounds like a job for tomorrow.

Location: Doncaster

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Re: 1936 Ruby handbrake adjustment

Mick adjustment is a bit of a fiddle but if you enter "BRAKE ADJUSTMENT" and look under that heading you will get some good advise.

Location: Piddle Valley

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Re: 1936 Ruby handbrake adjustment

Reading up about brakes requires some care. A lot of info is not specific (or directly applicable) to the Girling setup. For Girling, the handbooks assume that the cables are correct lengths and do not cover adjustment of, whereas it is mentioned for the previous where it is part of maintenance.

It pays to study the later cross shaft (or drawing) to grasp the balance mechanism in particular. When all else and that is correctly adjusted, the handbrake operates the rear brakes initially, whereas the foot brake is more evenly distributed.
Assuming the handbrake parts are ok and the hub adjustments have not run out (ie you can still adj to lock the wheel) the cables seem too long. Sort the rear without the front then adj the front cable to centralise the balance beam with firm foot application.

Before getting involved with the somewhat tedious adjusting of cable length, ensure the cams are correct, levers are in correct position off, moderately more acute than a right angle, influenced by cotter pins around the right way etc. Also levers on right way around with the front lever balls facing the backplate.

With a low power Seven dragging brakes are to be avoided. To be sure this requires cables free of kinks and slack, involving generous brake travel, so do not be too keen for short handbrake travel. The hub adjusters compensate for wear. On Girling cars, the footbrake adj should not be holding the cross shaft part operated. Beware adequate thread remains engaged for the rear cables.

Jack the car so weight is on the axles.

Location: Auckland, NZ

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Re: 1936 Ruby handbrake adjustment

On reflection, and it being a few years since I last did the job, I have a feeling the penny washers are 3/4".

Just setting the record straight for others in the future.

Location: North Herts

Re: 1936 Ruby handbrake adjustment

Thanks Peter - I always check earlier threads first and the answer is generally there to be found. There was nothing specific to the ARR Ruby set-up in this case and Bob picks up on this in his helpful post (thanks Bob).

Nick, thanks for the correction - I thought penny washers would be overlarge but understood the intent - even a ha'penny washer might be too large, but a farthing measures 3/4"(apologies to the younger reader)!

Like our ex-Chancellor, I've got about 6 jobs to do today (unpaid, unlike our ex-Chancellor), but the Ruby brake job does not feature. I'll have to return to it later on in the week and I fear a parts order is in the offing.

Location: Doncaster

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