During these difficult times, we understand the importance of doing a little of what you love - which is why we're launching a new series of blog posts for those seeking solace and trying to stay sane by escaping in to the garage to work on your Mini! We're going to be suggesting ideas and helpful tips on things that you can do to everyone's favourite little car whilst in social distancing.
To kick this series off, we're going to talk about one of the most important parts on your Mini - the brakes! The stopping power for your little pocket rocket need some TLC every now and again to keep yourself safe when out and about.
There are two different brake systems used on Classic Minis, Drum Brakes all round, or Disc Brakes on the front.
Before you start, here's a list of what you'll need to hand:
- Dust mask,
- Safety specs
- Latex gloves
- Axle stand
- Wheel brace
- Torque wrench
- Brake adjusting spanner
- Assorted AF spanners and sockets
- Brake cleaner
Torque wrench data:
Drive flange bolts: 50Lb/Ft
Drive flange screws: Hand tight
Caliper bolts: 38Lb/Ft
Front hub nut (Disc Brakes): 180Lb/Ft (single split pin hole), 155Lb/Ft (twin split pin hole)
If your Mini is fitted with Disc Brakes on the front (see further down for the rear brakes):
- Chock the rear wheels and apply the handbrake, slacken the front wheel nuts, jack up under the subframe, stabilise with axle stands
- Remove the wheels and inspect the discs for grooves or corrosion - replace as necessary
- Inspect the brake pads for uneven or excessive wear – replace as necessary
- Remove master cylinder cap and place a cloth over the reservoir to absorb any overflow of brake fluid
- Push the caliper pistons back to check correct operation – if the pistons are corroded or seized, they will need replacing.
- Replace the wheels and securing nuts
- Drop the Mini back on its wheels and torque up the wheel nuts
These are the steps to follow for replacing the Brake Disc:
- Remove the hub nut split pin and slacken the front hub nut.
- Remove the brake pads and the caliper, secure the caliper to prevent strain on the flexy pipe
- Remove the disc/drive flange assembly and separate the two parts.
- Replace the disc and torque the securing bolt/screws
- Refit the assembly
- Refit the caliper and re-torque the securing bolts
- Fit new pads and pins
- Secure the hub nut to the correct torque and fit new split pin.
If your Mini has Rear Drum Brakes we would recommend the following steps:
- Slacken off the handbrake cable
- Chock the front wheels and/or put it into reverse gear
- Slacken off the wheel nuts on the rear wheels
- Jack up the rear of the car under the subframe ( not floor panel ) stabilise the car with axle stands.
- Slacken off the brake adjusting screw
- Tap the drum lightly to assist in releasing the brake shoes and to centralise them.
- Release the brake drum securing screw
- Remove the drum and inspect the brake shoes for condition and wear
- Replace the shoes if they are worn to excess
- Inspect the wheel cylinders for operation and leakage
- Replace the wheel cylinder if leaking or seized
- Inspect the handbrake lever for correct operation.
- Clean the back plate assemblies and inside the drums with suitable brake cleaner
- Refit the drum and securing screw, adjust the brake shoes up until you can’t spin the drum (adjust in the direction of rotation on front brakes)
- Tap the drum with your hammer to centralise the brake shoes
- Check the drum again if it has loosened then tighten up the adjusting screw again and then back it off so there is movement with a slight amount of resistance
- Refit the wheels and tighten the wheel nuts
- Drop the car back on its wheels and torque up the wheel nuts on each side.
- When both rear wheels have been done, adjust the handbrake to the required setting
- Continue this process for the front wheels (except the handbrake)
For Minis with front drum brakes follow the above instructions, but be aware the front has two wheel cylinder per side and no handbrake cable to release.
Whilst servicing these important parts, we would recommend that the following parts are replaced if they are showing signs of wear. These can all be purchased on our website:
We also offer Fully Assembled Mini Brake Kits that have been professionally built by Mini Sport Technicians using superior equipment components, that have been developed for easy fitment in any Classic Mini.
Some of the above parts are dependant on the year & model of your Mini - or dependant on the size of your Brake system - so if you're unsure about which you need, please give us a call and our friendly, knowledgable team will be able to assist you.
Our team is available 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am - 12pm on Saturdays to assist you with any questions you may have - or assistance you may need, please don't hesitate to get in touch!
The above mentioned parts are things we recommend to check & potentially replace when servicing your brakes. Alternatively, you can shop our entire Brake Parts here: