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MG MG Y Type - Upgrade YA brake lining

As all Y fans know, the YA brake configuration of leading shoe/trailing shoe doesn't perform well even in comparison to the YB setup. Has anyone investigated alternative lining materials and availability? I certainly would not expect a miracle transformation but a little more margin of safety would be nice.

Paul Briggs
1950 LHD YA
Paul Briggs

Paul - There should be a shop somewhere you that will reline brake shoes. The YA's shoes in and talk to them as to appropriate materials that can be used. There is a good chance that they can come up with something for you.
Good luck - Dave
David DuBois

The lining will have to be a little softer, which means it will wear more quickly. Check you have not got a seized piston, very common in cars that are not used often. This will mean just one lining is working, and if you are unlucky enough to have this both sides, you will not even get any 'pull' to one side upon application.

To update the sls brakes on the YA would need YB/TD brake cylinders and shoes fitting to the backplate, not as difficult as it sounds if the drilling is done accurately.

Neil Cairns

Neil - Good point regarding sticking wheel cylinders. I should have thought to add that sas I have had that problem in both our TD and Magnette (three out of six cylinders on the Magnette were sticking when we bought it, the seller saying that "these cars have notoriously weak brakes").

Paul - Take the car on a gravel road at about 10 to 15 miles per hour and stand on the brakes (preferably without another car behind you), then check the skid marks and see if they all start at the same point. The wheel(S) that has no skid mark, or one that starts late is (are) the culprit.
Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

I hadn't thought about a sticking wheel cylinder, but since I tend to drive the Y so gently a pull to one side might not show. I will definitely try the "panic brake test" soon, the sand roads around here will be ideal. This morning the temp. was 12F with a high of maybe 40, so it will be closer to mid-week before I try. I will report back upon completion of this assignment.

Keep warm - Paul
Paul Briggs

Dear Paul,

Just as a footnote really.... I too have always driven Y2313 with somewhat tentative braking, and had always assumed they were never going to be brilliant, but they worked okay. She's gone through two MOT's now without a braking issue being raised, and I've never driven another Y to make comparisons against.... no real pull to one side felt.

However, a recent winter service by my local MG man has shown both front cylinders sticking badly and rear brake linings on one side soaked in oil due to the half shaft gasket weeping.... and yet she still stopped safely. The cost of new shoes & cylinder repair kits has been absolutely minimal and should/will improve things dramatically, with new cylinders on order for later fitting.

Can't wait to try her next week when she's actually got some brakes!!!!!

Kindest regards

Ken Jones

A tentative report back to report that I have nothing to report.

I went out to start the Y and perform the above tests but now she has decided to try to run on only two cylinders. I have been fighting this for a while, and I think the dist. cap is the culprit, everything else has been changed out!
Paul Briggs


Finally got her running properly, new plugs and a VERY thorough cap cleaning, so the stopping test was performed as suggested. No pulling to one side detected and all skid marks appear even. Stopped quite well, actually, considering the damp sand road conditions.

I will investigate softer linings soon.
Paul Briggs

This thread was discussed between 22/11/2003 and 04/12/2003

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