Webster brakes - recognise them ?

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Webster brakes - recognise them ?

Post by drcdb15 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:17 pm

Following my shameful demise at the Bug 2018 rally the other week (mine was the only breakdown that couldn't be fixed at the roadside, and I came home on the Recovery Truck of Shame) I have to replace my brakes master cylinder, and overhaul the whole system. The wheels all look fine, but at the time the fronts were both smoking and binding to the point of the car only just getting into the layby at walking pace. So I plan at the very least to strip all the wheel cylinders and refurbish, if not replace depending on what I find when I open up.

But before that, I need to know what brakes I've actually got. Naively, being a Webster, I assumed it would be Robin (the donor car) on the back, and either Mini or Reliant (Kitten, Fox) at the front. However, a suggestion was made at the breakdown that the rear adjusters were from a Triumph, and the two rear drums are different - one has a locating hole, but there is no matching shim on the wheel stud. They both seem to be the same depth. The fronts seem to be twin leading shoes. Now it's a long time since I worked on the Kitten brakes, well over 25 years, but I don't recall the Kitten having TLS fronts...

Anyway, can anyone tell me from the pictures where my brakes have come from, please, so at least I have a rough idea where to start looking for spares? Many thanks.

(I shall also be posting this in the Bug Forum, but the problem there is that most folks have Reliant rear brakes, and only one at the front!)
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Chris
MB61; formerly 1978 SE6A 3.5 V8; 1986 SE6B 2.9 EFi.

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Webster brakes - recognise them ?

Post by drcdb15 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:22 pm

Searching Google Images suggests the rears are Triumph Spitfire - where did *they* come from ! :shock:

Looking like the whole system was lifted from Spitfire/Herald. Same master cylinder too.
Last edited by drcdb15 on Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Webster brakes - recognise them ?

Post by scimjim » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:36 pm



Jim King

Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
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Webster brakes - recognise them ?

Post by drcdb15 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:39 pm

Thanks Jim - I've just been looking at those very diagrams on Google Images ! Great minds... :lol:


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Webster brakes - recognise them ?

Post by drcdb15 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:46 pm

In another thread I wrote that owning the Webster is a voyage of discovery - well it's certainly proving that all right. When I took the brakes apart to see exactly what I had, I found this - four front cylinders with four different pistons - who said diversity is dead?

At least the rears were both the same, even down to the brown sludge that rendered both of them almost locked solid.
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After Jim's helpful post and my own researches I had concluded that I probably have Herald or Spitfire brakes. And looking at the adverts for spares I assumed they would be 19mm bore. What I found is this: 4 x 25mm bore at the front, and 2 x 19 bore at the back. Now call me reactionary if you like, but this seems to me to be just a tad unbalanced (and no nasty comments about the original builder here please !!)

Is there a brake guru on here who could advise please, should I keep this set up, or should I go for 19mm cylinders on the front? And if I do, will they fit the backplates in the same way?

It also concerns me that the standard Girling master cylinder (5/8 - 0.625 inch bore) may not really have adequate capacity to serve so many such large bore cylinders - so if I keep these wheel cylinders, should I upgrade the master, and to what? (the master seems well shot too, by the way, so that *will* be replaced with something).
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I had noticed in driving since last July when I got the car that the brakes tended to grab at low speed, but I assumed that was because it is such a light car. I guess now it's the cylinders. As for the shoes, the fronts are toast, after getting smoking hot at the Bug rally run, so this is turning into a total replacement job. But please don't suggest a front discs conversion - I can only take so much at any one time !!
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Any comments and recommendations gratefully received.
Last edited by drcdb15 on Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.


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Webster brakes - recognise them ?

Post by scimjim » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:49 pm

Surely if it’s spitfire based, a front disc conversion makes eminent sense and would be very straightforward?


Jim King

Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
Previous: SE5, 3 x SE5a, 2 x SE6a, 3 x SE6b, GTC, 2.9i GTC, 3 x 1600 SS1, 1300 SS1, Mk1 Ti Sabre, Mk1.5 CVH Sabre
Chief mechanic for: 1400 K series SS1 (Megan3), 1400 CVH EFi SS1 (Grawpy), Sabre/MX5 auto (The Flying Broomstick),
1300 SS1 (Number One) & Sarah's coupe.
CURE THE FAULT - NOT THE SYMPTOMS

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Webster brakes - recognise them ?

Post by drcdb15 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:58 pm

scimjim wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:49 pm
Surely if it’s spitfire based, a front disc conversion makes eminent sense and would be very straightforward?
But that would surely increase even further the mismatch between front and rear braking, wouldn't it? And I am assuming that's not a good thing. All of the Herald total replacement kits I've seen have 19mm cylinders all round. Besides, isn't there also an issue of the disc calipers physically fitting within the wheel rims - these are only 10 inch rims on the front. I expect the Spitfire had 13 or 14 inch, didn't it?


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Webster brakes - recognise them ?

Post by scimjim » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:42 am

I’d just replicate the spitfire sizes in toto - 10” wheels may be a problem though!


Jim King

Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
Previous: SE5, 3 x SE5a, 2 x SE6a, 3 x SE6b, GTC, 2.9i GTC, 3 x 1600 SS1, 1300 SS1, Mk1 Ti Sabre, Mk1.5 CVH Sabre
Chief mechanic for: 1400 K series SS1 (Megan3), 1400 CVH EFi SS1 (Grawpy), Sabre/MX5 auto (The Flying Broomstick),
1300 SS1 (Number One) & Sarah's coupe.
CURE THE FAULT - NOT THE SYMPTOMS

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Webster brakes - recognise them ?

Post by willholderogri » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:55 am

if you can tell me the diam and width of the shoes I will have a look in a trade brake book that I obtained many years ago.
Back in the 70s my motorcycle was rumoured to be using car brake shoes, identifying was difficult. Back in the day I went to halfraulds and lied to the salesman I had the brake shoe in my hand and said a mate had asked me to get a set for him. The salesman went through his book until he found a match. Morris 1000 it was and I bought a set of four cheaper that two for the bike.
Nowadays I have a company near me Called APD there are two older fellas in there who know what it is and can supply alternatives without using as computer.
So if you have an older style parts supplier near you then this is an option. Take you shoes along and ask to look through the brake book.
Or if you want I will as I say look at the weekend if you supply me the dimensions
will


1962 mini, bedford CA , KR200. morris 1000, mini pickup.several escorts,ford grandad.ford cortina X2 ,astra, SE5A x 2 ,ford focus.

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Webster brakes - recognise them ?

Post by reliant-reviver » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:30 am

The fronts to me looked like standard kitten / Austin Mini, albeit not with Kitten hubs as you would expect given that i is presumably using a mini front subframe?

The rear again looks like standard Reliant Robin (except for the alien drum), which is indeed based on Triumph parts, namely Herald (and in turn Spitfire and GT6 perhaps, but I was always souring "herald" parts)

Regarding cylinder sizing, without doing actual calculations, the staggering front and back that you have sounds about right. Remember of course that your front shoes are each driven by one cylinder, where as at the back the sliding slave cylinder is acting upon both shoes.

The kitten would have 23.8mm at the front (Austin Mini) and a twin piston slave of 19mm at the back. So make of that what you will.

Regarding the master cylinder, off the shelf willwood cylinders are a direct fit but at a price. If you want a larger piston diameter for greater fluid movement and a shorter / harder pedal then a Landrover Defender clutch master cylinder is 3/4" bore.


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Webster brakes - recognise them ?

Post by reliant-reviver » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:33 am

Actually looking at the rear drums again, are they not both the same? It was a trick of the muck / marked paint that threw me. There should indeed be a collar on one stud and an oversize stud hole to match in the drum, is the collar for one perhaps stuck in the drum?


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Post by drcdb15 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:09 pm

reliant-reviver wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:33 am
Actually looking at the rear drums again, are they not both the same? It was a trick of the muck / marked paint that threw me. There should indeed be a collar on one stud and an oversize stud hole to match in the drum, is the collar for one perhaps stuck in the drum?
You're absolutely right. I checked again this morning and indeed one of the collars was stuck in the drum. But there is no sign of the other one, maybe it was lost at the breakdown in the frenzy of activity (when I stopped the 'club mechanics' descended on the car like locusts, there was no stopping them!!), or maybe it was lost during the build. Talking of which, this car spent the first 20+ years of its life in and around Dronfield, which seems to be quite close to you - did you ever see it?

I never understood the point of these collars - obviously to ensure the hub was always replaced in the same position, but these hubs were never balanced, and the wheel was never balanced on the hub, so what exactly were they for? I've never found them on any other car, only Reliant.


Chris
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Webster brakes - recognise them ?

Post by drcdb15 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:36 pm

reliant-reviver wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:30 am
The fronts to me looked like standard kitten / Austin Mini, albeit not with Kitten hubs as you would expect given that i is presumably using a mini front subframe?

The rear again looks like standard Reliant Robin (except for the alien drum), which is indeed based on Triumph parts, namely Herald (and in turn Spitfire and GT6 perhaps, but I was always souring "herald" parts)

Regarding cylinder sizing, without doing actual calculations, the staggering front and back that you have sounds about right. Remember of course that your front shoes are each driven by one cylinder, where as at the back the sliding slave cylinder is acting upon both shoes.

The kitten would have 23.8mm at the front (Austin Mini) and a twin piston slave of 19mm at the back. So make of that what you will.

Regarding the master cylinder, off the shelf willwood cylinders are a direct fit but at a price. If you want a larger piston diameter for greater fluid movement and a shorter / harder pedal then a Landrover Defender clutch master cylinder is 3/4" bore.
Thanks so much for this reply, it's really helpful. It raises a number of points:

First, you reckon the wheel cylinders set up I have is broadly OK - that's reassuring at the very least! And the smaller bore rear cylinder will move (very roughly!) twice as far as the single fronts. As to the exact bore, I see both 25mm and 23.8mm avaialble for the fronts, and 19 and 17.5 for the rears - I am guessing that these relatively small variations won't have any major significance in real-world use (provided they're not mixed, of course !).

I think my Kitten (1978) must have had Lockheed brakes because I've never encountered this sliding arrangement before, which seems to be Girling. So what I have is a 'rigid' brake pipe on the back axle fixed to a cylinder which, albeit only a few millimetres, is moving every time the brakes are applied - is that right? The cylinder itself actually slides back and forth ? Well obviously it works because it seems to have been fitted to half the British motor industry output, but I must say it seems to me not the best of designs. Hey ho, moving on...

So with the cylinders sorted, that leaves the Master. Now the donor car was a 1975-6 Robin, and that seems to have had a 5/8 inch bore Girling master. However, that was for a three wheel car. It occurs to me to wonder, if you add another wheel, with another two fairly large 25mm cylinders, then you are increasing the displaced fluid volume by (let's say) 33%. That's quite a jump. Would the 5/8 master have had sufficient capacity to handle that? Would it be opportune to up this size to the 3/4 inch size? I know you say that was used on Landies, but it seems it was also used earlier by Reliant on the Regals. Is there any reason why I shouldn't raise this size?

I don't want a harder pedal, the brakes were grabbing as it was, but I worry that the 33% increased load on the 5/8 master might in some way have been at the root of the failure - it seems after all that the primary cause of my breakdown was failure of the master cylinder, rather than anything wrong with the wheels or drums.

I'd very much appreciate your thoughts on that. Thanks


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Post by drcdb15 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:59 pm

willholderogri wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:55 am
if you can tell me the diam and width of the shoes I will have a look in a trade brake book that I obtained many years ago.
Back in the 70s my motorcycle was rumoured to be using car brake shoes, identifying was difficult. Back in the day I went to halfraulds and lied to the salesman I had the brake shoe in my hand and said a mate had asked me to get a set for him. The salesman went through his book until he found a match. Morris 1000 it was and I bought a set of four cheaper that two for the bike.
Nowadays I have a company near me Called APD there are two older fellas in there who know what it is and can supply alternatives without using as computer.
So if you have an older style parts supplier near you then this is an option. Take you shoes along and ask to look through the brake book.
Or if you want I will as I say look at the weekend if you supply me the dimensions
will
Thanks for this offer. Again, I had presumed these would be standard Herald, but better to be safe than sorry :) The shoes are 30mm wide at the back, 37mm at the front, and the diameter is shown in the front drums as 179mm max (I presume this is the skimming limit).
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Talking of a local supplier, in browsing all these parts on eBay I was astonished to see listings from Brook Road Garage in Redhill, Surrey - I got some parts for my Kitten there way back in the late eighties. Seems they're still trading, and still offering brake parts for the baby Reliants, so when they return from holiday in mid-June I might well take a trip over to see what they have.


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Webster brakes - recognise them ?

Post by willholderogri » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:23 pm

okey dokey been busy this weekend and only just picked it up will check this tommorow


1962 mini, bedford CA , KR200. morris 1000, mini pickup.several escorts,ford grandad.ford cortina X2 ,astra, SE5A x 2 ,ford focus.

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