[ROVERNET - UK] P6B - Removing rear brakes

Vern Klukas vern at inkspotco.com
Sun Mar 18 18:07:30 GMT 2007

A few notes regarding the rear brake debacle, from someone who 
started working on these cars as an amateur in 1974 and eventually 
did it for a living, working for a ex-factory-trained mechanic:

First off, everybody is right, in one way or another.

The manual's method is perfectly sound, except:
* you do need a thin walled socket. I presume British tools were made 
with more economical use of material than us brutish colonials. Also, 
a pair of stubby 9/16" wrenches  for the brake hose (preferably 
tubing wrenches, our shop actually had a cut down pair at one point 
just for replacing the joining brake hose)
* Early cars have a peculiar, short nut with a metal cap that can 
make the socket impracticable
* The manual assumes perfect conditions, not 40 years on and:
* In any event, age, operating conditions and poor previous work can 
make it easier to remove or lower the diff complete than loosen the 
nut in situ. This is particularly true when you get the nut off, only 
to discover that the previous lad didn't grease the pivot pin, which 
is now well and truly seized.
* Removing the handbrake lever eases the task, but without some kind 
of plug the handbrake "tappet" inevitably falls into the shaft bore. 
Still, it is little work to replace the tappet on the bench.

Removing the disks:
* Great option, but be sure to place your jackstands on rods in the 
jacking points or on the body itself, for two reasons: first the 
dedion tube will expand and second, jackstands on trailing arms don't 
give enough angle to easily rotate the half shafts off the disks.
* Reattaching the half shafts can be an ordeal, solo you can use a 
spanish windlass or a comealong to pull them together, otherwise some 
one pushing from the outside will work, after you make sure they 
cannot push the car off the jackstands! Don't try to use the bolts to 
pull the halfshaft in because:
* Be aware that the bolts for the disks are special, as are the thick 
washers underneath. The locking tabs are useless after the second use 
or so (technically the first, but if care tapping back can do 
wonders), but as long as the threads and bearing surfaces are clean 
and not oiled and you use a torque wrench, is is safe enough for a 
lightly driven car. The more cautious can add loctite. If you scrap 
the locking tabs, make sure to check the first time that the bolts 
don't now protrude far enough to score the oil catcher on the stub 
axle housing (rarely happens)

About dropping the rear end:
* The rear mounting bracket for the diff was not intended to be 
removed and refitting as a matter of course. The best way, mostly 
because it can be done completely from under the car, is to just to 
drop the diff from the bracket. If you are going to remove the 
bracket, please hold the bolt head still beneath the car and remove 
the nut inside the trunk.
* When dropping but not removing the diff, you can leave the front 
mount attached if: the mount is not oil-soaked and swollen or dry and 
shrivelled up; and you only drop the diff far enough to get good 
access to the brakes. Rotate the prop shaft so that the cross in the 
ujoint is horizontal. Otherwise detach the front mount and let it 
rest on a jackstand so the prop shaft doesn't support the diff's 

And finally, about the all-caps in e-mails. Regardless of the 
"shouting" convention, remember that writing in all-caps makes your 
text much less legible. It takes more effort to read, so not only is 
your message going to be regarded as combative, it is also not going 
to get across. Double-edged sword, that.


Vern Klukas                             I'm a little . . .
Inkspot Type & Design
vern at inkspotco.com

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