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Brakes, Gentleman’s Work

April 8th, 2008

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Brake work, ideally, should be gentleman’s work. Fussing and cussing shouldn’t be necessary. If you are doing things right, they sort of slip on with only a minimal bit of prying to fit the shoes. Not true for me, at least at first.

First problem is the copy of the service manual I have doesn’t have the best pictures of how to arrange the springs on the shoes. Do they go in front or back? I read wrong the first time. Here’s a color pic of how they should go (behind the shoes). Also included is a shot of my shop made version of tool 6118 which protects the boots on the wheel cylinders.

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Once on, over the kingpin there are lots of configurations that are almost right, but aren’t. Lots of fussing and crying ensues.

Some needlenose vice grips are great for attaching the upper return spring:

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Once you get the right position, the shoes slip right into the slots on the wheel cylinders prying with a screwdriver using the 6118 tool as a rest works well.

It’s a good thing Trog has four back wheels — I finally got good at it on the fourth wheel.

I didn’t install the front brake shoes, because I think I encountered a significant bug in the design of the Volvo brakes. The front lower wheel cylinders are fed wrong! Check out how the feed tube feeds to the upper port on the wheel cylinder. This should make bleeding air out of the system just about impossible. I am having new feed tubes fabricated to connect to the lower port.

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Finally, I have installed Mintex brand brake shoes. Hopefully they are good — I have read good and bad things about them on the web.

The Volvo uses the same brakes as a Series 3 109″ LWB Land Rover. Here’s my order from rovahfarm.com.

Item Description Weight ShippingQty Amount
STC2797G Brakes Rear 109 Mintex S/s of RTC3418 2 107.38
STC3944G Brakeshoe Set FRT 109 4 Cyl Plain Box S/s of RTC3417 8.19LB1 47.99   — These are the wrong part!!! I should have gotten STC3945 — update, 3945 might be wrong too.   Just get them re-shoed!
600200= W/CYL LH FRT 6 CYL DELPHI 2 107.90
600201= W/CYL RH FRT 6CYL DELPHI 2 107.90
243296D Wheel Cylinder – RH Lockheed 1.24lb2 40.22
243297D Wheel Cylinder – LH Lockheed 1.24lb2 40.22
548169D Return Spring Rear 109 0.1lb4 11.00
531893D Spring Shoe Return 109 Pattern 0.09lb4 7.00
234889 Spring Shoe Return 109 Frt 0.11lb4 9.00
RTC3386D Brake Hose Ser IIa Frt & ser III rear 0.22lb3 29.97
RTC5903D Brake Hose ser III Frt 0.224 39.96
RTC3353D Brake Hose 109Rear Patt 0.221 9.95
556508= Bleed/Screw W/CYL 0.02lb4 4.60
252621 Stud 6 2.16
252621 Stud 2 0.00
They seemed to have the best prices in the US.

I also ordered flex brake lines for the jumps from the frame to the axles as well as the front wheels. It turns out the RTC3386D and RTC3353D are too short. I ended up having a Brake and Clutch Supply, a very good local brake shop make longer ones for me. The RTC5903D hoses which go from the front axle to the front wheels are the right length. The studs were also unnecessary.

Finally, one other tidbit. The red return springs for the rear brakes need a little bit of the ends of the springs ground off for them to fit in the appropriate hole in the brake shoes.

Update: The front brake shoes aren’t exact matches. They are narrower by about 3/4″ and the tongue that slips into the wheel cylinder is about 1/2″ too long. I had to grind it down to size. We’ll see how stopping power is w/ less contact area. I’m getting the old shoes re-padded at a brake shop so I may need to swap them.   See above, these are the wrong shoes.

Update:  I got the old shoes repadded at Brake and Clutch Supply and they are now installed.

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