As the first step to sorting out the issues needed to get Snicket on the road, I decided to remove the radius arms, so it also knocks out two jobs in one.
I had suspected there may be some play in the rear arms, as when taking a corner hard, the inside rear edge of the tire would often make contact with the body… and it shouldn’t be able to do that. They also look super old and crusty.
I think I found why it failed on it…
The shocks have leaked all their oil out, and are doing nothing. The other side was worse! Ok, so that’s fair enough.
No obvious signs of brake fluid leaks from the cylinder. As a test I set my camera up and checked what happens when I put my foot on the brake, without the drum on. I should have seen the shoes get pushed out by the cylinder… but I had nothing. Not a mm of movement. Guess that’s that; the cylinder is seized.
Moving along, I proceeded to disassemble the arm for removal.
Removing the shocks was next. For the LH side I had to move the fuel tank to access the shock, which was a pain. Also found more surface rust, which I brushed back and treated (looks worse in the photo than it is). I used my cordless ratchet to spin the nut off
The shocks when removed offer almost no resistance to being moved by hand.
Since the arm can now drop right down, I removed the trumpet and cone. On this side I had to use some percussive persuasion with BFH to free the cone from the trumpet, but it was only stuck there, not seized, so didn’t take much. The other side came apart easy.
Somewhere in here I removed, but forgot to get photos of, the hand brake quadrant. It’s on the underside of the arm, and in the left of the photo above with the cable running to it. Mine was held in place by a split pin, onto a pin that goes through the arm. You also need to remove the cable from the bracket on the backing plate of the brakes (and from the lever, just a split pin and remove the pin). Do this by levering the metal collar with the spring, out of the tab on the arm and pulling the cable free.
The other side is the same deal, and took me about quarter the time to remove that the first one did, but with one little catch. The brake splitter is close to the RH side, so the brake pipe is very short. There is very little movement in it, so to access the nut on the side of the subframe I needed to remove the bolt holding the splitter to the bracket, and gain some space. You could also just remove the pipe from the splitter, which is probably better, but I didn’t want to risk rounding the nut. It looked old.
I’m going to have to chip all that out before I refit the refurbished arms. Oh well.
So the arms are out, I have ordered two new brake cylinders (RH side cylinder didn’t look any better, so doing both) and a new set of shoes. I’ll be dropping the arms into the local Mini specialist to have him fit the rebuild kit, as I don’t have the tools to ream the new bushing out, and I’ll get him to fit the new brake cylinders too. Once they are done and back I can reassemble the rear, and start work on the front.