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while looking at the spare parts list, I realized that the brakes of my 1929 B.C. Special are not like the normal ones.
Are this bowdenex brakes ? I have no cable at all (front & rear). Where can I get the cables or does anyone have a good picture of a cable so I have a pattern.
The brake level at the rear wheels are missing. How should they look?
They don't look like any of the Bowdenex brakes I've seen Oliver, but the operation is the same, so I would imagine Bowdenex cables may well fit.
Speedy Cables should be able to help if you get accurate dimension for them to work to.
But then again one of our cherished suppliers may have them on the shelf!
Location: Near Bicester and nowhere near Europe
Hi Oliver, this page should be an interesting read for you. There is a photo of some Bowdenex levers there which look very much like the ones you have on the front.
That's the Bowdenex system I recognise David, thanks for posting.
Exactly the same as the set I took off my car...ahem!
Location: Near Bicester and nowhere near Europe
Ian, though I'm specifically interested in the conversion, that's a very interesting page,
another one to be copied out and put in 'The Folder'.
Location: Out - Plotting the Club's Penwith Run for Sunday !!!!
Yours look like the ones we had on our special, the blocks on the back plate are identical.
I have worked on several bowdenex cable systems with the same components as yours.
Have you used the setup you have shown in your pictures? It looks like the bar underneath the cross tube is solid in the arm. I thought that the idea was this had the comnpansation between the 2 front brakes, so needed to have a pivot capability?
Just guessing as I have not got round to fitting the Bowdenex conversion I put together.
Rear cables are standard, normally, and available new from Cherished Suppliers, rear arms are standard also, again, available from Cherished Suppliers.
Front cables should be available new, did someone mention avilability above?
My own preference is to remove Bowdenex systems completely and return to standard setup however.
I dont know of a supplier of Bowdenex cables myself. but I would put the whole thing back to standard if it were mine.
Sorry, my wife turned up with the boys just as I was typing the reply. I intended to add that we changed ours to standardish, with long arms after a short while.
I tried this Bowden set-up on my pretend Ulster for about 8 years and then changed them for the standard Austin single front brake cable,mainly because the Bowden type were quite stiff to operate. (too much friction) . However,they were there on the shelf in my garage,along with all the bits to build another A7:-axles,steering gear,brake parts (except for a front cable!),wheels,instruments and along with the chassis I acquired a few decades ago which I kept falling over I decided to assemble them all into a car.New parts have consisted of king pins,track rod pins, steering ball joints and brake linings.I will give the Bowden brakes another go and lubricate the cables with oil and not grease,which was my mistake before,....possibly. This is not going to be a "cheque book restoration", more a cheapskate affair (but no risks taken with dubious components). The bar through the pendant lever is as supplied originally I think but having looked through the Cambridge Engineering brochure I can't say if that is so.I'm not sure how you could fit a compensating (ie. pivoting )balance bar easily with the existing geometry.
The various suppliers must have sold hundreds of these in their heyday,so don't they work and was it all a big con,although not on the same scale as HBOS?
The standard set up has a lot to be said for it now that good high friction linings can be put in.
As on the Speedex web page my experience with Bowdenex cables, and probably why everyone thinks they're no good, is that they're tight in the outer cable usually because they've got 50 year old grease in them. The adjustable cable ends allow each to be quite finely tightened so little compensation is needed on the balance bar most of which are like Dave's - a 1/2" diameter steel bar. There's enough wobble on the bar to give the limited compensation you need. Unlike others have said, the curved front Bowdenex levers should be matched by equivalent longer straight ones on the rear, not standard ones. Like many things A7, these work fine if correctly assembled or a nightmare if just flung together.
Location: NE now
I should have looked on your website first of all! I had forgotten you would know about Bowdenex.
Thanks for all the information...
I apreciate that very much, as I'm not familiar with austins so far, any sort of information is helpful.
I have been restoring an amilcar over the last years - almost no information is around, spare parts are ridicolusly expensive and experts are not really willing to part with their knowlege. It looks like the austin-world is much different!
Oliver Re Bo/cables I have a used set in good condition' free ,I have all my cars on hydraulics and this set is surplus.Give me a call with address
Oliver'received your message .Have a grandsons birthday tonight(21st)however will post cables before the weekend
thank you very much!
Don't forget to leave your address, so I can send some swiss chocolate in return...
Just out of the garage and cellar,cables will require a wash in paraphin or similar as they have lain unused for many years ,however they are in good condition,obviously they will reqrire fresh grease to make perfect.Sorry to state the obvious,but I would have preferred to have carried this out myself
but time is running out.I have found both front and rear levers so if all goes well you should receive a parcel late next week.
thats just great!
thank you very much.