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Ghostly Goings On - 106 MOT time

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Essentially, as the brake shoes wear down, the bar that is under the wheel cylinder gets slowly longer so that the shoes don't get pulled back all the way from the drum by the big spring between the bar and the cylinder.  Over time, the backing of the shoes gets further apart (as you'd expect, as the friction material wears away.)

The adjuster is the bar I've pointed to.  It has a set of teeth on the left-hand shoe as we look at it.  The spring end you can see is what keeps the adjuster held together.

If this doesn't work, it ends up as both excessive brake pedal travel and (as you're seeing) excessive handbrake travel.  The handbrake lever (on the back of the right-hand shoe, as we're looking at it) is waaay off it's stop.  You need to leave MUCH more slack in the handbrake cable to allow the stop lump to go back against the shoe, and get the automatic adjuster working properly.  Or just shove a new one in.

Do not leave them as they are.  The handbrake lever is doing the work of the automatic adjuster, which isn't right.

£5 please.  :mrgreen:


Edit:  You need to take the shoes and the entire mechanism out, clean it up, reset it and re-fit.  Once it's in, you then refit the drum, and activate the rear brakes,  you should hear a click or two every time you press the pedal as the adjuster takes up the movement that shouldn't be there.  Every click will reduce the shoe travel to the drum, and hence also the brake pedal travel.  Eventually, you will have the correct travel and the adjuster will stop clicking..... until the friction material wears away a bit more, and that time when you do a heavy-ish stop, there will be a click from the adjuster as it takes up the slack again.

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19 minutes ago, Ghosty said:

Cheerz. I'll hold myself to that at some point.

I wouldn't hold you to that.  It's not like you accepted the challenge anyway.  I'm just glad you're finding the real reason for the handbrake travel and fixing it properly.

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  • Ghosty changed the title to Ghostly Goings On - incoming
7 minutes ago, beko1987 said:

Oooft nice! Is it so fast the windscreen trim flew off in l4 whilst you flashed an audi out of the way? 

Lol, no it needs a new one. The seller had a replacement but it turned out to be the wrong side. He's going to send me another. 


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5 minutes ago, Angrydicky said:

Didn't you have one pretty much the same before though?

Yes, and it was a rather good one at that. 
For a loooong time I've been annoyed at myself for selling that one, I even asked to buy it back but was refused.

When this came up in the same spec, and crucially, in equally good condition but with more history to back it up (the old one had zero) I knew I had to have it as the chances of finding another short indicator Diamond White automatic saloon were close to zero - R8s are getting rare now and prices are rising fast. My mum is also a big fan of R8s and has been quietly hoping I'd get another too.

It's a wonderful car, and a definite keeper. 

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  • Ghosty changed the title to Ghostly Goings On - 416 deja vu

So, today.
Uneventful train journey took me to Birmingham International, where I'm met with a rather shiny 416. The seller, rather efficiently, had arrived 40 minutes early and opened all the windows for Covid safety. Top man. Business was done, I was shown all the bits that are included and a couple of niggles, then I'm on the way. 
The M6 is awful at any given time - mercifully Birmingham International is on the M42 which feeds directly into the M1, so getting home was easy, and I got to take one of my preferred routes home when collecting a car - up the M1 to J30, into the centre of Sheffield through the townships, then over the Snake Pass. It's a great route as it has a little bit of everything to help you get a feel for a car - town/city driving, motorway, 50mph A-roads, twisties etc. 

Well the 416 was flawless, and with half a tank of fuel included, it got home without a fillup. 

The drive home and a look around has yielded a small to-do list:

-throttle cable is slack (TADTS) 
-valve clearances (TADTS)
-clock needs a new bulb (TADTS)
-hockey stick needs revarnishing (TADTS)
-shifter cable stiff going into P, will need replacing (common) 
-brakes need bleeding, the pedal was stiff at first and the brakes are rather on/off 
-straighten up the bumper mounting bars 
-better routing for DAB aerial 
-refit lower dash trim

A bit of the dash trim is also badly damaged, I'll have to sort a replacement out for that. 

Mechanically it's spot on (and it has the giffer hallmark of several oil stickers on the underside of the bonnet), starts first crank every time (this is a sign you've got a good D16), it's on four good name brand tyres, handles confidently, and cruises effortlessly and surprisingly silent. The throttle response is a bit naff but cleaning the throttle body and setting the throttle cable correctly (it's so slack the pedal is on the bulkhead before the kickdown actuates) should sort that. If not then some ignition components might be needed. 

It's a wonderful car and should be a joy to work on. It's definitely a keeper. 

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On 4/2/2021 at 9:53 PM, Talbot said:

Every single drum brake ever made has an adjuster.  Post up a photo and I'll bet you a fiver I can point one out.

Apart from Volvo park brake shoes from a certain era . They deleted the adjuster and put a bar in there 

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On 4/2/2021 at 10:30 PM, Sigmund Fraud said:

Automatic adjusters on this one, a pretty smart design that unfortunately is very unreliable :


If the adjuster teeth are not worn out, a good clean may get them working again. They're pretty cheap, though, so I normally just replace because taking drum brakes apart over and over again is soul destroying !

That’s a VW adjuster 

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Waste no time:


Brakes investigated as the pedal feel was... strange. Rear bleed nipples are seized (argh) and a rather small 8mm, and some sockets foul on the brake line. Soaked them in penetrating oil and left them for another day.  While under the rear, I noticed that the exhaust has been replaced at some point, and looks fairly recent. Nice. 

One of the screws holding the drums on was loose so I wonder if maintenance has occurred at some point - the handbrake is excellent (they generally are on drum braked R8s, but the disc brake ones are shit) so I don't think the rear drums are where the issue is anyway. 
I bled the front brakes though, and was surprised to find clean fluid came out. No sign of air in the system, but bleeding them made the pedal feel a lot better. 

The front discs will need replacing due to warpage: 



With that done we moved over to the other pedal. Two 12mm spanners are all you need to tension the throttle cable - with that it's feeling a lot better. 

Spark plugs were pulled out of interest: 


some healthy NGKs came out - exactly what I fit to R8s myself. Happy days. 

Things are already massively improved - tomorrow I'll do the valve clearances. 

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Valve clearance time, it's snowing sideways so into the garage. 

Wheel off: 


on the left there's a circular bung - that is the access for the aux pulley, which has a 17mm nut in the middle. We're in here so we can turn the engine by hand. 


That's an engine. At this stage the spark plugs come out -for ease of turning the engine,  which is the perfect time for a compression test. Unplug the fuel relay (behind the centre console in the passenger footwell) and turn it on the key. A healthy 150psi across the board. 
Unbolt everything from the rocker cover, there's four nuts, two bolts on the front, one to  the back on the left, and a breather hose on the top left. 


Ah, that's not ideal. It's a lot cleaner now, trust me. 

Anyway, we're up to the valves now. 


(note at the top, the protective plastic is still on the PGM-FI badge!) 

A bit of sludge to clean up but nothing major. 


Turn the engine by hand til each cylinder's at the top of its travel so there's play in the lifters, measure them with a feeler, crack the nut, dial in the screw til the feeler can just move, hold the screw and tighten the nut back down. Repeat 16 times, remembering that inlet and exhaust don't have the same tolerances.

And that's it, once it's done just pop everything back on and see what happens when you start it. 

Result? Much better. It's running really happily now.

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Before the AS Zoom call this evening I gave the 416 a run. 
It runs well, but I think the car needs some exercise, and maybe a clear out of the throttle body to improve it a bit, the throttle response isn't quite what I expect.

I suspect a change of the ATF will help too. 

I had a mess around with the slightly fancy DAB radio, and found that you can change the colour of the button lights, so I set them to orange to match the rest of the instrument lighting. Also, whoever plumbed it in did an alright job, as when you turn the headlights on, the display dims! The dash clock does the same in R8s, so I definitely need to replace the clock bulb for the full effect. 

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Couple of minor things today, I tensioned the alternator belt. Squeal begone. The belt was virtually new and had just been badly fitted. Levered the alternator back on its slider with a big screwdriver, tightened it up and job's a goodun. 

DAB aerial was routed a bit more neatly while still being easy to remove - it goes down the side of the dash now and the excess length is stowed behind the glovebox. I gave the interior a bit of a vacuum out - it was mostly clean but there was some dog hair on the back seats, and cleaned up one or two small bits.

I need to take the bumpers off one day to straighten the mounting bars out. 

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Mild failure today - having successfully replaced the bulb in the clock, I had a look inside the distributor. 

I think the last person that did was in Longbridge in 1991, the cap had corroded terminals and the arm was almost completely worn out. 


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Hey Ghosty, did you do a V62 for the 106 and if so have you had the logbook back yet?

I am sending one off today and wondering how long they are taking at the moment.

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7 hours ago, Dave_Q said:

Hey Ghosty, did you do a V62 for the 106 and if so have you had the logbook back yet?

Yes I did, posted it off with a cheque 22/3.

As of today - 3 weeks later, the V5 issue date hasn't changed on the tax checker. Website says to allow up to 4 weeks for turnaround and I'd fully expect that if not longer. The Volvo's V5 took a good 3-4 weeks to show up too as that was done by post. 

Online applications are still sub-1 week turnaround, I got the Rover's V5 on something like last Thursday and I've only had the car a week. 

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5 hours ago, LightBulbFun said:

wouldn't it be hilarious if your old one also shows up and once again everyone thinks the OTHER Rover is yours? LOL

That would be amusing but he's not the type to do shows like that I don't think. He was quite amused when he saw I'd bought another white automatic 416 though. 


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More mild annoyance today. 

No description available.

This is the tailgate. 

The grey plastic numberplate plinth bolts on to the tailgate from inside, which is OK, there's access.

What's less OK, is that at some point someone's spray painted it for some reason. With no prep. The paint had terribly inconsistent adhesion and is completely the wrong shade for anything on the car, and looks like arse, and removing a GB sticker lifted a lot of it on the far side of the pic too. 
I tried to scrape it off as evidenced in the right side in the foreground of the pic (nothing to lose), but results were mixed. Also, that 16v badge is held on with an excessive amount of superglue, so is junk. 

What's even less OK, is that the rear numberplate, that replaced the (admittedly fucked) original plate at the last MOT, about two weeks ago, has been fucking well SUPERGLUED onto the trim.
I have a new trim on the way from a local Rover guy (I went to pick it up today but the chap mistakenly told me he'd be in through force of habit, but wasn't, so he's said he'll drop it off to me), but if I want to fit it I'm going to have to get a new numberplate, too. 

(hey! an excuse for old font plates!) 


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  • Ghosty changed the title to Ghostly Goings On - 106 MOT time

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