Adjusting the brakes
Tuesday, February 14th, 2017
The annual maintenance on the cars is progressing well but there still seems to be an awful lot to be done. One car is virtually ready action but I have left the worst job until last. I have overhauled the brakes, replacing the brake shoes and lubricating the joints. This leaves me with the task of balancing the brakes to ensure the front ones come on a fraction before the rear and the left and right sides come on at the same time. The way to do this is to raise the car onto axle stands, get an assistant to gently apply the brakes, and turn each wheel in turn, feeling the point at which the shoes make contact with the drums. You then need to judge which needs to be loosened and which tightened. Adjustment is carried out by crawling under the car, disconnecting each brake rod in turn, screwing it in or out as appropriate and then re-connecting it. You then road test the car to see if you have adjusted the brakes correctly and then repeat the whole exercise again and again until you are satisfied you have got it exactly right.
This really is a fiddly job and is a nightmare if you have perfectionist tendencies. Bob the mechanic has volunteered to help but he only has an afternoon to spare; I fear this task will take three or four days at least. Oh well, I must buckle down and get on with it; there are only six weeks to go before the first wedding of 2017!