Thursday, February 24, 2011

No Brakes - literally.

Swiss cheese wheel
When I collected the J van from its previous owner he pointed out that the two extra wheels supplied had extra holes drilled. The wheels didn't seem to match the set that were on the car, but he mentioned that he'd had to "gas axe" some extra studs off to get the unmodified wheels on. I didn't think about it too much at the time, but then I was underneath the van not finding any parts for the handbrake and I noticed that the slave cylinder was missing from the drivers side wheel. I remembered what the PO had said and decided I'd better have a look.

RHS brake drum
What the ...?
Sure enough, on the passenger side there were the five original studs, plus another five that had been drilled and welded into the drum. On the driver's side it was even worse. The original studs had also been welded in but were now (mostly) gone -  probably bashed out - and there were five big bolts welded in to add extra studs. Whoever had done it has stuffed it up because they were all asymetrical and probably eccentric, and not the same on both sides. It would have made balancing the wheel a bit challenging.

A further problem is that the entire brake mechanism is missing from the drivers side. The backplate is damaged and everything, brake shoes, slave cylinder, springs clips, etc are gone. This thing would have been interesting to try to stop, with a six cylinder engine and no rear brakes.

I have no idea why anyone would need 10 wheel studs. Its possible that a shortage of correct wheel nuts was the problem, there were three different sizes on it. The split pin on the hub nut had been replaced with a big nail.

I might be able to salvage the brake drum from the passeneger side but I don't like that it has been drilled and welded. For the driver's side I'll definitely need to try to track down replacement parts, but I'm hoping to have some exciting news on that subject soon.


  1. Your van looked a challenge when it was sold, and you are finding the challenges
    Mine was ROADWORTHY in NSW, but I am having a challenge to get a ROADWORTHY in Vic
    Good luck - it will be terrific when it is finished

  2. That is incredible. Why would someone do that?!!