Sometimes new parts are not better

My E-Type has had ongoing problems with the brakes holding on.    This has been on and off since I bought the car in 2010.   Over that time, I have pretty much renewed the entire braking system.   Turns out, that might be part of the problem.    What I have learned, is that the reproduction E-Type Master Cylinder can be problematic.   So much so, that rebuilt units are probably better.

The unit on my car was only around 18 months old, and it was clearly the problem here.    When removed and bench tested, the piston was obviously sticking in the bore.    The theory my mechanic has is that the new parts are susceptible to corrosion, but if they are used every day like a modern car, would probably be OK.   Under irregular use like a classic, they quickly develop these sort of problems.    He has stopped using them on customers cars and now fits rebuilt units.   Same goes for the servo, where a new unit was recently replaced with a rebuilt.

E-Type Master Cylinder

With a rebuilt unit it is possible to ensure the piston and bore have the correct coating to last a long time with irregular use.

This evening I took the car on a longer drive of around 25 miles.   I had almost forgotten how nice the car is to drive when working properly!  I had great pedal feel, the car rolled easily after stops and the engine wasn’t lugging from sticking brakes.   The brakes squealed a bit, probably from the pads being a bit glazed from the sticking.

I will have to drive the car a few more times, but its possible the braking problem is finally solved.   Since I have owned the car I have changed:

  • The master cylinder (twice)
  • The slave cylinder
  • The Servo (twice)
  • All the flexible brake hoses
  • Rebuilt the front calipers
  • Fixed incorrect brake line routing where the rears/fronts were reversed
  • Brake light switch (twice)

I will be very happy if I don’t have to attend to the brakes for quite some time on the E-Type.  The last good drive I had in the car was early 2016, so I am looking forward to a few more.

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