Simplifying the task of draining and re-filling the brake system

Issue 1 of Totally T-Type 2 included a very useful guide to brake maintenance presented by Brian Rainbow.

I use DOT 4 in my TF and in order to avoid corrosion due to water ingress, I purge and re-fill the system with new fluid each spring.

To simplify the task I’ve designed and made a kit that takes a lot of hassle out of the job and eliminates the risk of spilling brake fluid (which doubles as an excellent paint stripper) onto the chassis.

The pictures and drawing show what the kit looks like and how it’s made.

The procedure is as follows:

Having exposed the master through the floor board, remove the filler plug and attach the reservoir. Now fill the reservoir with clean brake fluid.

Follow Brian’s guide to bleeding the brakes and top up the reservoir as and when necessary. This is easily done because the mouth of the reservoir is wide, it is well clear of the floor board and the fluid level can be seen without the need for a double jointed neck.

Completely purge each slave cylinder – this is still a two-man job.

I find that even after only 12 months the old fluid is cloudy, suggesting the presence of small amounts of water.

Finally to the clever bit:

Insert the length of brake pipe through the reservoir and into the master cylinder – suck out the excess fluid with the aid of a small bore flexible tube and plastic bottle – mine is an old hand cream container.

The length of the brake pipe (see drawing) is measured to leave the brake fluid level in the master cylinder ½” below the neck, as per the Workshop Manual for TD/TF.

Keith Douglas

Editor’s commentary: The photo immediately below shows the early stage of the manufacture of the kit. A brass disc has been silver soldered to the bottom of the length of copper tube to form the base. Under the base is a short length of hexagon bar and the dummy filler cap.