Woeful brakes advice sought!

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My Triton has terrible brakes front and rear. They are SLS Norton items circa 1962? Should i go for the stiffening kit or twin leading shoe? Advice on where to purchase these items would also be appreciated!
 
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First thing to try is open out the hole in the backplate by 1/32", if it's not already done. The mod is in the manual.

That allows the shoes to better centralise when you squeeze the hand lever, before tightening the spindle nut.

The rear brake may have chain oil in it.

The stiffening kit is for the twin leading shoe brake.
 

Fast Eddie

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Adrian1 said:
My Triton has terrible brakes front and rear. They are SLS Norton items circa 1962? Should i go for the stiffening kit or twin leading shoe? Advice on where to purchase these items would also be appreciated!
If you want to keep drum brakes (and there's no reason not to) you'd be we'll advised to put the SLS item on eBay and put the funds towards a Grimeca 4LS or similar.
If you email Chris (see rebuild Seeley 500 Daytona thread) he might have a genuine Robinson 4LS front wheel for sale...
Whatever you do, a SLS brake isn't good enough in braking power for any half decent Triton.
And they don't look right either!
All IMHO of course.
 
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I think a lot depends on what your Triton actually is. If it is a period piece i.e. existed back in the era and has all the old features, a Grimeca brake would look out of place. I suggest you should find yourself a good second hand commando 8 inch TLS front brake, and get an experienced road racer to set it up for you so that it does not crash you. If you don't care about your bike looking authentic, a single disc on the front is a much better option.
 
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If you're trying to adapt the Commando 2LS brake don't waste your time. That thing was a real POS. In testing, we found that beyond a certain point in the lever travel, the braking effect didn't chsnge, I did some brittle laquer stress tests on the brake, and and foumd that, beyond a certain lever force, the brake back-plate was deforming and not allowing any increase in braking force.

It took several months to get management attention to the problem and I'd quit N-V and emigrated to the US to work for Boeing before it was resolved. I think the brake backplate wes significantly stiffened for the later drum-brake versions.
 
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I've always wondered why someone just didn't make some brake backing plates out of thicker slabs of aluminium.
The fixtures and fittings are all sitting up on little pedastals of alloy,
as though that thick slab has been whittled down to as thin as they could get it.

The early dommie (7") brake plates you can flex just by hand, I swear.
And later versions are very little thicker. ?
Just a few rudimentary stiffening ribs.

Penny wise, pound foolish = save a few ounces ??
 
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mmm a real mix of comments here :) I've always thought of a Triton as anything goes. Tends to head off the rivet counter types! :roll: I think I need a later model twin leading shoe. A little puzzled by the "get a racer" to set it up comment though? What's so hard about it? I presume I join the EBAY pack to source such things?

Thrasher, can you elaborate on that Mod or could somebody post the relevant page? :wink:
 
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Just an add-on to my previous post to clarify.

When I left N-V to emigrate (June 1968), the 2LS brake in production was still that flimsy Italian one. I understand the stiffening kit made a significant difference. I wasn't aware that NV actually changed brake suppliers, but thought they incorporated the kit in production

The reason our testing didn't reveal the weakness in that top tube was that the wimpy front brake coudn't put enough beding force into the frame!
 
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In the olden days drum brakes and pudding basin helmets killed a lot of guys. If the brake is set up incorrectly several things can happen. If the backing plate is wrong it can cause the situation where there is too much self-servo and the brake might not come off immediately after braking, so the bike remains stable and steers itself off the road. If the leading edges of the shoes heat up and become sticky, on the second braking the brake can lock at the slightest touch and launch you. If you set it up to be finger light to get quicker response, you need to stay in practice so that you don't inadvertently grab a handful. If you are using it a lot you might need two different linings so that you've still got brakes at all times.
I have crashed all over the landscape due to drum brakes. A disc brake is a much better option - you have none of those problems. In Australia we have an historic race class which requires the bikes to have drum brakes. The good brake often costs as much as the motor. They should be banned - thankfully nobody uses pudding basin helmets these days, so at least one part of the fatal combination is not there.
When I started racing in the 60s, I crashed at about the first 5 meetings, and once about 4 times in one day - all due to the drum front brake. Just before I finished racing, I locked my 7R AJS brake and went down the road on the top of my head at about 70MPH. Thankfully I was on my side when I reached the ripple in the bitumen. I still have a dislocated chromo-clavicular joint, however the accident was really a potential killer. These days my Seeley 850 has two Suzuki discs with AP Lockheed calipers up front with asbestos pads, and a single cast iron disc on the back. I can stop it like hitting a wall without crashing and it has to be that way. Everything about the bike is light and quick - handling, braking, acceleration. NO CRASHES !
 
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Depends if its for pootling about in traffic , respectably. Or doing a ton down the by pass , respectadly.

If its Std hidious old linings , ugradeing them should get it so it works respectably at 60 mph at least .
TLS should howl it at 80 , with race lineings . Though you DONT want ones that have to be HOT to WORK
for in traffic .

Useually sanding the glaze of the drum and the lining face , stripping cleaning & lubeing the pivot pins etc
gets it satisfactory, provideing the cable is run smooth open curves and hasnt a stupid brake light switch in line to
add stretch - collapse . A havy cable isnt a bad idea at all .

If you want to try outbrakeing things at 80 - 100 mph , the TLS set up will be a improvement , though SLS should be less grabby .
 
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'If you want to try outbrakeing things at 80 - 100 mph , the TLS set up will be a improvement , though SLS should be less grabby .'

If you want to do that buy yourself a nice cheap disc brake, then you can grab a handful and know you are not going to crash. I'm still carrying an injury from locking a drum front brake. These days I avoid them like the plague. I know they look lovely however they can be horrible dangerous shit.
 
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when I assemble a brake I always shim the foot of the shoe that rubs on the cam, by this I mean you minimise as much clearance between the shoe and the drum as possible as the cam has maximum leverage at the start of its movement.
AL
 
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possm said:
when I assemble a brake I always shim the foot of the shoe that rubs on the cam, by this I mean you minimise as much clearance between the shoe and the drum as possible as the cam has maximum leverage at the start of its movement.
AL
Show us the shimming arrangement, please
 
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On most shoes there is a metal foot that clips to the shoe [so the cam is not acting against the aluminium shoe] simply pack shims equally under both until the brake plate just fits in the drum.
Al
 
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Triton Thrasher said:
Show us the shimming arrangement, please
That explains the bits of beercan I keep finding in the brakes of projects.... !
Not aware, in Nortons, of any other way of doing it ?

In earlier AMC brakes, the steel shoe that sits against the brake cam is located by a peg in a hole.
That can be shimmed up so the shoe is closer to the cam.
 
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