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1968 Commando twin leading shoe stiffening kit

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Can anyone who has fitted the brake stiffening kit pluslonger brake operating lever give me any advice and the results before I spend the required £100.

Many thanks.

Harry Weaver

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The stiffening kit will improve your braking IF the brake is in good shape. If the brake is marginal without the kit, it will only improve slightly if you fit the kit. If the brake is weak, look to fix it before buying the stiffening kit.

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According to my (German) customers the stiffening kit improved their front brake by more than 100%- this came as feedback from many customers. Obviously, if your brake linings are glazed/shot, the kit can only do so much.

No idea what you need a longer lever for- my current everyday Commando got the stiffening kit and a decent set of linings, standard levers, and I can stop the front wheel at virtually any speed.

Stiffening kit part# 06-3410, available as Genuine Factory Part from Andover Norton.

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Previously wrote:

According to my (German) customers the stiffening kit improved their front brake by more than 100%- this came as feedback from many customers. Obviously, if your brake linings are glazed/shot, the kit can only do so much.

No idea what you need a longer lever for- my current everyday Commando got the stiffening kit and a decent set of linings, standard levers, and I can stop the front wheel at virtually any speed.

Stiffening kit part# 06-3410, available as Genuine Factory Part from Andover Norton.

Thanks for the information Joe. The longer lever for the brake drum (a Norvil part), I suppose as it is longer it gives greater leverage. I've been told that the old asbestos brake linings were best (no longer available of course) but by closing off the air scoop and preventingmuck andwater getting into the drum this will help.

I'll now get the parts and install them over the winter.

Harry

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Previously wrote:

The stiffening kit will improve your braking IF the brake is in good shape. If the brake is marginal without the kit, it will only improve slightly if you fit the kit. If the brake is weak, look to fix it before buying the stiffening kit.

Thanks Colin for your reply. I will do as much as I can before the kit goes on.

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I'm just about to fit a TLS stiffener kit and am stumped with how to rivet the short pivot pin. I've searched around expecting to find hoards of other people who've had the same problem who have a solution, but nothing, not a single word. I don't have the correct drift (or the incorrect one) and I can't  make one because I cant find a single scrap of information about them other than that I think the part number is CD-003. I haven't seen any adverts from anyoneoffering to do this job either. Can anyone help?

I would also love to find the chamfered washer that the fitting instructions suggest we are going to be able to save when we drill out the old rivet... I'm doubtful it will survive considering how rusty it is. 

Shouldn't all of this be included in the kit? or does everyone have a rivet drift of the right size in their tool kit other than me?

Graham

 

 

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I have both types of brake in use (without the stiffening kit) and find an extended lever makes the SLS work as well as a TLS (so it must be doing something). The kit seems expensive to me ,for that price I would expect the conversion to be done by the supplier if engineering needed.Worth asking?.

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I had my stiffening kit installed by a local fellow who is specialised in brakes.

He "riveted" the short pivot with a steel ball from a large used bearing he dismantled

and a hydraulic press.

I can ask him about the diameter of the ball.

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Yes , the pivot sits firmly in the brake plate. No issues so far. I can send a pic in the next days.

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I ran my fastback for the first time this weekend with the stiffening kit. At first there was no improvement in the brakeing but it got better, the brake tended not to release properly, so I stripped it again and found that the shoe had been operating on about half of the shoe. Most likely due to the shoes now operating squarely. New shoes and return springs are now on order. 

 

It seems there's quite a lot to do to get it all right.....Skim the drum, turn the new shoes to match the diameter of the drum, sleeve out the backing plate spindle bore. I'm not sure where to draw the line. Simple things like arcing the new shoes to the drum aren't easy to get done where I live. I'm not sure if sleeving out the spindle hole is a good idea on the earlier Commandos either, they were designed to have a bit of play and then be centred manualy before tightening the spindle. 

How did you rivet your pivot in? The idea of an old bearing ball seems to be quite popular. Andover Norton do it this way too. 

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I had a very tired SLS front brake drum on my Atlas skimmed and shoes trimmed to fit. The results were fantastic and for about a year the brake was good enough to make the tyre squeal but still remain totally controllable. Then as dirt got into the drum the surface became scored once again and the performance declined. My Wheel-Fix man explained that another skimming would make the brake liner thin and possibly lead to it distorting under load.

Plan B was a second-hand 2LS brake plate. This had all the pivot connection points drilled and reamed out to oversize  plus new pins made to match. A stiffening kit was fitted plus a set of new shoes. This set-up gave fairly good results once the shoes bedded in. It was brilliant when some A4 (green) equivalent shoes were tried but lethal in the wet or after being left overnight in damp weather.

The significant points I learned from the 2LS set-up were ........you really do need a stiffening kit to prevent the shoes from being pulled over sideways. Also if there is significant play in any of the pivot connections then one shoe will generally come on before the other no matter how careful you are when setting it all up.

 

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Same experience as Phil with my TLS in that the first application when pulling it out of the garage after being unused for a while must be made with care on a dead straight road at low speed. Until the surface has cleaned off it can jam and throw you off. Not nice. For what it's worth I set the connecting rod with the brake plate on the bench so that both cams start to move both shoes at the same instant. It bedded in fine. Big leading edge chamber helps.

 

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