It is imperative that the braking system on ANY vehicle works correctly. Please ensure that if you do any work on the brake system of your car that you know what you are doing and are 100% comfortable with the procedures involved!
For my AK build I decided to have new components throughout the whole braking system from the master cylinder downwards. This involves new brake discs, front and rear; new callipers front, rear and handbrake; new hydraulic pipework and new brake pads all round. The handbrake lever is from a Jaguar XJS and is second hand but the handbrake cable is new. The plan is to fit the front callipers, the rear
callipers including the handbrake parts and the pipework now, then fit the master cylinder and servo after the body is fitted to the chassis.
I started by painting the callipers, the front in the same black polyurethane paint from the rust shop and the rears in aluminium coloured paint (the same as the hub carriers). Fitting the front callipers is easy and straightforward although ensure they are fitted with the bleed nipple at the top or else you will not be able to bleed them. Whilst fitting the front callipers the AK supplied steering arm has to be fitted and the bolts need to be lockwired together once torqued up. The correct way to lockwire bolts is to set them so that the lockwire is “pulling” the bolts tight, I.e. If one wants to undo then it must tighten the other to do so. It’s not an easy task to do here though, as the bolts aren’t at the same depth but hopefully the picture below will explain better than my words.
The rear brakes were next on the list. First I fitted the rear discs and fixed them into place with washers and nuts so they were solid, I then trial fitted the callipers to check that the discs ran central to the calliper opening. The near side on mine was fine but the off side needed two shims between the disc and the diff to get the disc on that side to run central. I then built up the rear callipers. When I sent mine off as an exchange for the new callipers I forgot to take off the bridge pipe on each calliper so had to buy some new ones TIP- remember to remove yours before you send them off for exchange! The new ones weren’t expensive but as I didn’t realise I needed them until I tried to fit the callipers it put me behind schedule while waiting for them to be delivered. With the bridge pipes fitted I put new handbrake pads in the handbrake callipers and fitted the them to the proper callipers, as a precaution I used new handbrake return “fingers” on each side. Once built up I then fitted the callipers to the diff and lockwired them into place. Sounds easy doesn’t it, but it was a pain doing the lockwiring with the handbrake calipers fitted so I ended up taking them off, doing the lockwiring and then refitting them. With my previous experience with AK I knew that they fitted an extension to the bleed nipple each side to make it simpler to bleed the system once on the car, so that was my next job followed by fitting the pipework to connect the callipers front and rear to the master cylinder. I used stainless braided pipework for most of this and ensured that it was clipped at the correct distance to ensure it didn’t foul any IVA guidelines.
Having looked at several AK petrol tanks in the past I decided that when I built mine I’d have the filler in the side rather than the top so that I could have a boot floor that didn’t contain the filler tube. This meant that I also needed to move the sender out of the boot too. AK kindly gave me the dimensions to the petrol tank and I had a local fabricator cut me the stainless steel, I welded the outside edges but struggled with the small pipework for the pump feed and return so got my good friend Tinka to do those parts for me, cheers mate!As I’ve said I have a feed and return on my tank, this is because I’ll be having fuel injection on my engine if you are running a carb then only a feed is necessary. I tested the integrity of the tank as best as I could and although there appears to be no leaks when tested with water, I will be painting the outside of the tank with polyurethane paint to be on the safe side. Before I welded the top onto the tank I set up the fuel gauge sender as best as I could to ensure that the gauge read correctly whether full or empty, something that was certainly easier while I could look at the float in the tank. With the tank fitted I turned to where I could place the fuel pump. I needed it to be close to the tank but with my “big tone” chassis modifications the inner rails were quite close together so finding a good spot wasn’t easy. I ended up making a couple of brackets and some “u” clips to hold the pump in place, not the prettiest solution but it works! After that I fitted the fuel feed and return lines ready to connect up to the engine once its in the car. I fitted the pump and feed line along the nearside and the fuel return on the offside using the same mounting points as the brake lines.