When I arranged to have some of the MoT "failures" sorted by a repair outfit I've occasionally used for over twenty five years now, the Guvnor mentioned that he sometimes has difficulty with the Handbrake Auto-adjuster on these cars. This was the case with my wife's MG ZS following fitting the new rear Brake Pads I supplied. Drove the car for a few miles the other day and soon after stopping, I placed my hand on both rear wheels. They were very warm. A sure sign of binding brakes.
Jacked the car up and unable to manually rotate the rear wheels with handbrake OFF unless I used a breaker bar on one of the wheels nuts. No chance of spinning the wheel freely as it should with rear pads properly set up with Auto-Adjuster. Both sides were binding so needed fixing.
Because of the way it was parked, started on Driver's side brake binding issue which was the side not as bad as the other side. Soon had the Caliper and the Carrier off after carefully undoing the carrier's two 14mm Bolts. Using wire brushes in my old Black and Decker Electric drill, the various components came up in better condition than expected as these pictures show.
Carrier before wire brush cleaning. :~
After wire brush treatment. Note the Stainless Steel Shims which locate the Pad's Lugs cleaned up well. I will apply some Copper Grease to the slots where the Pads slide into.:~
A smear of Copper Based Grease over the threads and Bolts Interfaces will help assembly and the next time it needs to come apart again :~
Now for the all important priming of the Auto-adjuster to stop them binding :~
This involves cleaning the Caliper's Piston and its Seal with brake fluid. Allow it to soak in the fluid for a few minutes then wipe surplus away with a cloth. They usually clean up nicely with this treatment,Then, using the special socket to rotate the Caliper Piston as in the above image, I first unwind the piston out of the Caliper anti-clockwise a little more than one rotation, then, slowly rotate the Piston back ( clockwise ) both slowly and carefully as far as it will go watching to see the Piston Seal does not get tangled up which sometimes happens if you are heavy handed or wind back too fast. It may be a loose fit over the pads but that looseness will disappear as soon as you start the engine and firmly apply the brake pedal several times. Then check that it can be rotated manually by hand. That I was not able to do prior to this TLC work.
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Repeated the process on the other side again with the desired results. Took the car for a three mile run with a numerous light brake applications. No heavy ones at these stage with those virgin new Brake Pads. It is no exaggeration to say that the brakes on this car have always been excellent. Some of the best I've ever used on any ordinary production car. I do not think I'm kidding myself believing they are better now than at anytime since I picked the car up new back in May 2003. Car is a delight to drive.