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MGB Brake Squeal - Problem Solved

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sparseunderground Avatar
Croydon, UK   GBR
1972 MG MGB GT "Matilda"
All,

This is the first time I have left something on this forum, however this problem has been winding my up so much I just HAD to tell everyone the fix!

Around March 2012 I changed the front brakes of my MGB over to new callipers, Goodridge brake lines, drilled/slotted discs and greenstuff pads. At the same time I gave my bearings a good once over and they appeared to be fine.

First of all I was confronted by a spongy brake pedal that was eventually due to a sticking calliper piston. Nb. Even though the calliper maybe brand new - it's always a good idea to check the pistons using air pressure from a foot pump or similar.

Once this infuriating problem was fixed - another popped up in its place. TYPICAL MGB! The brakes at the front offside/drivers/right side were squeaking and squealing like there was no tomorrow when coming to a stop. How can this be?? ALL parts for the braking system are brand new!? Not reconditioned...

I have had these brakes apart around 30 odd times trying tips and tricks I have found on the internet but with no luck. This is what I have tried:

- Copper Slip/grease
- Specialist anti brake squeal
- Teflon stick pads (ebay)
- cross hatching the back of the pads with a senior hack saw
- chamfering the edges of the pad surface
- change of brake pads
- Fabricating my OWN brake shims from thin brass plate
- not braking *hazardous
- spending HOURS turning into DAYS on the internet trying to find the issue!!

This is finally what stopped my brakes from squealing with so far** excellent results. Two images I have uploaded will be familiar to any home mechanic - disc in the middle, calliper pistons either side. On the bottom of the calliper there are two wear marks either side of the disc and the marks can be seen through the paint I applied. If you cannot see the photos just imaging looking at your calliper. Where the top and bottom edges of the metal pads make contact with the calliper (to stay in place) - this is where it wears. This is where the squeal comes from. The second photograph shows a small strip of black tape being placed over the top.

Naturally I removed the rest of the paint for a good contact, cleaned the area and applied small strips of Teflon anti-squeal tape. I did this to both the top and the bottom of the calliper. I then applied specialist anti brake squeal stuff to the back AND THE SIDES of the pad (metal side of course) and used a hammer to gentle tap the pads into place. Existing brake pad retaining plates but new split pins and the job is a good'en! I have not had my brake pads squeal since and have struggled as to why this simple fix is not already on the internet. I haven't bothered with Teflon tape on the back of the pads - just the sides. It's so easy to do and doesn't take long. Good luck with yours.

Also just to add - sometimes the Teflon tape slips out a bit when you tap the pads back in - don't be too disheartened. Persistence is key and it's critical you stay calm!!

And further to the above - I have always found brake bleeding better with these callipers by using a Miti-vac vacuum technique. Yes the Miti-vac is crap sometimes but for this it isn't bad smiling smiley

Cheers :

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thecat600 Avatar
thecat600 gordon ferguson
belfast, UK   GBR
Hi

My 73 is doing exactly the same thing with new callipers new pads and new discs , will try this tonite if it stops raining. I found the Gunson from Halfords worked well but still needed to jam the bake pedal in overnight to get a good pedal with the new gear.

sparseunderground Avatar
Croydon, UK   GBR
1972 MG MGB GT "Matilda"
Any luck with fixing the squealing issue??

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thecat600 Avatar
thecat600 gordon ferguson
belfast, UK   GBR
No is the short answer , glued a CAF joint to the back of the pad , placed the CAF strips as per your photo , same squealing only this time it went away for a while ... when the calliper overheated and seized the brake:-). I have ordered 0.5mm PTFE sheet and will try that when it arrives.
This morning (Saturday ) i stripped the wheel again and noticed a bit of play so after viewing John Twists video on you tube i correctly torqued the bearings and shimmed them for 0.002" float , no idea if this will help but it can't do any harm. I have removed the pads and checked that both pistons move on the new calliper and they do, i am now milling the pads dead flat with the backing and will be cutting radial grooves as read in various places and will fit again with copperslip on the area that touches the pistons. Its a new calliper but i checked to see if there was any roughness in the area you applied the strips and there wasn't , i have also used a smooth file to take any sharpe edges off the pad backing where it touches the calliper.My head is now melting with this problem. i am doing so many things all at once that i won't know which one actually fixed the problem assuming it is fixed . At this stage i don't care i just want to drive the bloody thing without it squealing its head off.

sparseunderground Avatar
Croydon, UK   GBR
1972 MG MGB GT "Matilda"
Ouch... Sounds like you've gone through quite a lot of notions yourself with this problem.

I too was pulling my hair out - probably along with other MGB owners. This was the absolute solve for my brakes thankfully - otherwise I would have left it sitting there for ages unused! Just to add - the squealing I found was not from the back of the pads but just from the sides. Just try some tape on the edges of the caliper only and not the back of the pad... Just out of interest what pads are you using??

I had to ditch my Greenstuff pads as they were useless. Such a shame as i've had them on previous cars before. I bought cheap pads as a replacement. Only a tenner.

thecat600 Avatar
thecat600 gordon ferguson
belfast, UK   GBR
When the PTFE strip arrives i will be doing as suggested , the things i have done already seem to have slightly reduced the squeal but its still like a banshee.What thickness were your strips by the way?I got my pads from the local MG centre in Belfast , pretty sure they by from the hive. I bought a set of steering column bushes from them that were slacker than the ones i was replacing so not sure about the quality. If the ptfe strip doesn't work i have a set of new pads from an MX5 that i will machine to fit , desperate measure i know but what else to do.
When i bought the car the brakes were fine but i decided to fit braided hoses and while doing do i discovered the pads were well worn and the pistons had lost their chrome , so new hoses , new pads , caliper rebuild and then of course a bleed nipple sheared so new caliper , decided while i was at it to check the discs and of course they were below min thickness so new discs. Bad enough but when i used the Gunson pressure bleed system a few small pin holes appeared in the top of the master cylinder reservoir so it had to be replaced , then i couldn't get the air out of the system and discovered the bore of one of the rear cylinders was corroded and allowing air back in , new rear cylinder and pipe.
My next nightmare is the heating system , one at a time.

sparseunderground Avatar
Croydon, UK   GBR
1972 MG MGB GT "Matilda"
PTFE is like plumbers tape isn't it? It maybe to thin but anything is worth giving it a go!

The anti-squeal shim stuff is this:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bremtech-Anti-Squeal-Shims-Self-adhesive-Fits-all-makes-and-models-1299-/230836341625?pt=UK_Vehicle_Oils_Lubricants_Fluids&hash=item35beeb0b79#ht_1318wt_1052

Although I had cut the 'shims' to fit as described in the pictures above.

Adapting MX5 pads is extreme but wow! If you can then good luck to you! Problem is... you may put all the hard work in to find that it STILL squeals after that. Have you replaced both calipers? Is the squeal coming from your new caliper? Has the piston been inserted the correct way round with the cut outs towards the hub? Check your Haynes guide for proper fitting. Try some cheap brake pads too. Something in the process I did above worked for me and I'm pretty sure it's that anti squeal teflon shim cut to size.

Good luck!

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thecat600 Avatar
thecat600 gordon ferguson
belfast, UK   GBR
I think i have it cracked, i installed the 0.5mm ptfe strips as per your photo and also installed a square between the piston and the back of the pad... made no difference ... squealed like a pig.

Thought some more.

Re-intalled ptfe strips but this time extra long just incase the old ones had moved during installation , removed the squares from the pad backs, mixed some two pack plastic metal and applied it between the pad and the pistons effectively glueing them together , jammed the brake pedal down so that everything was square when the two pack set.

The squeal is dramatically reduced and very intermittent , fingers crossed.

Now the heater controls.

melmg Avatar
melmg Mel S
Maidstone, kent, UK   GBR
Thank you god of squealing brakes you have made my day .I had the very same problem and could have written the article myself .I was about to find a rope and a tall tree .
I bow to your wisdom thank you for saving me from a life of purgatory .what a man ..

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Donthuis Avatar
Donthuis Don van Riet
Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands   NLD
I had the same problem after new calipers, Goodrich braided hoses etc.. but solved it in quite another way: mounted a superior type of brake pads, called V8 by my parts provider.
The first type of pads were quite unforgiving and hard and copper slip at their back did not help at all, but these other pads sure did. They give a more gradual type of braking as well.

I feel these improved pads, with visible copper strands inside, resemble the MOSS special ones, so do not take this V8 term of mine too literally eye rolling smiley

Getting all the air out of new calipers make take a while, I guess small air bubbles will stick to the caliper innards and only move upward after some driving.
The bleeding before this I did by Gunson originally, followed a few days later by my son helping me with the familiar pedal/bleeding nipple actions after some driving.

PS I remember that even in those asbestos permitting 70's, changing the brake pad brand often made all the difference smileys with beer



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016-04-03 11:46 AM by Donthuis.

Mustangsix Avatar
Mustangsix Gold Member Jack Collins
Orlando, FL, USA   USA
I had a set of EBC green pads that worked great for several thousands of miles but then started squealing. Under heavy braking, no noise, but under light pressure coming to a stop, they were very loud. I also tried most of the usual remedies as above, but finally gave up and in a fit of sudden grrrrr I popped into Autozone and bought their cheap $13 pad set.

Surprise! No more noise, less dust, and the pedal feel is better and lighter than with the EBC pads. I don't know what they would be like in a hard stop from 80 mph but I don't think it would be a problem. Also don't know how they will wear either, but I guess we'll find out.

Anyone want to buy a used set of EBC Green pads?sad smiley


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Donthuis Avatar
Donthuis Don van Riet
Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands   NLD
I told you so: just change the pads to a different type first, the cost of a another set of brake pads can never be a problem. Your price is even VERY low... thumbs up

You can always keep the squealing ones as emergency spares for vacations eye rolling smiley

In reply to # 3232646 by Mustangsix I had a set of EBC green pads that worked great for several thousands of miles but then started squealing. Under heavy braking, no noise, but under light pressure coming to a stop, they were very loud. I also tried most of the usual remedies as above, but finally gave up and in a fit of sudden grrrrr I popped into Autozone and bought their cheap $13 pad set.

Surprise! No more noise, less dust, and the pedal feel is better and lighter than with the EBC pads. I don't know what they would be like in a hard stop from 80 mph but I don't think it would be a problem. Also don't know how they will wear either, but I guess we'll find out.

Anyone want to buy a used set of EBC Green pads?sad smiley

GlennMGB Avatar
GlennMGB Glenn G
Fort Worth, Texas, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB GT "Rose"
I've always found the cheapest brake pads squeal the least.

Donthuis Avatar
Donthuis Don van Riet
Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands   NLD
One never should be overconfident when it comes to controlling the challenges the B poses, be it oil leakage or brakesqueal. Since my last post on this thread I had to renew my rotors, because at speeds higher than 60mph/100kmh light braking got me shaking in the steeringwheel, hard braking led to a shorter shaking, but still no stable reaction. No squeals though.thumbs up

After finding new shiny rotors with crossdrilledholes and light grooving, I mounted them, renewed the front bearing seals, the bearing grease and doublechecked the bearing shimming. And did not put my existing, not squealing MGBV8 pads back, since they had adapted themselves to the old, slightly grooved rotors, but put brandnew V8 pads in. Guess what: completely stable braking at any speed after bedding in and fine, progressive braking. But suddenly squealing returned with a vengeance eye popping smiley

What should I do next: put the older V8 pads back in and let them bed in as well on the new rotors, try any mod on my new V8 pads (copper grease did not help) or try another type of pad like the ones from MOSS: EBC, Greenstuff, Red stuff...etc? BTW I found the earlier V8 ones having a more chamfered shape for the pad material, than the V8 ones being used right now.

PS These V8 pads from Mintex are semi-metallic with I believe copper in the material, contrary to the standard pads I used for many years (green striped, flat boxes) and which ALL squealed until I threw them all away recently.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2017-05-17 02:57 AM by Donthuis.

Donthuis Avatar
Donthuis Don van Riet
Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands   NLD
Yet another preparatory step taken, see picture: from copper sheet metal (0,18mm thick) I cut with a metal scissor 4 antisqueal, made to measure backings for the Mintex V8 brakepads (GBP240)
They are now shown lying on two of the earlier, non-squealing set of pads before I renewed the rotors. I can either try to squeeze them in under the new set or just re-install the old pads with them.

Instead of copper grease these metal sheets should prevent steel to steel squealing from the rear of the brake pad and the piston facing it.

On the metal contact side of the brake pad to the caliper body I made an observation when cutting these sheets so precisely: I thought earlier the pads were symmetrical, but now it is clear to me there is an indent on one side and just a rounded shape on the other. Does this mean one could accidentally shift the pads inside upside down? On my rightfront wheel I had to push quite hard to get the clips inwards and the splitpins through their holes in the rear of the caliper, so I wonder. I will check myself as well of course, this is yet another potential explanation of difference between 2 sets mounted.

BTW, these V8 pads have highly chamfered pad material off-factory, only as wear progressively thins the material, the braking surface extends more and more to cover the whole height

To be cont'd I am sure confused smiley



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2017-05-18 10:11 AM by Donthuis.


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