Brakes, Wheels & Steering

General specifications - Brakes

  • Internal expanding type on all four wheels
  • Shoes and linings - 9 in diameter pressure cast aluminium shoes with Ferodo linings.
  • Hand control - Right hand.

General specifications - Steering

  • Worm and nut type with spring loaded connections. 

General specifications - Wheels & tyres

  • Bolt detachable 19in x 3in. wire wheels 27 inx 4.40 inch tyres. 

Adjustment of brakes

Whilst the AJS instruction/service manuals recommends jacking up the car to adjust the braking system, I no longer use that method. When the car is lowered to the ground, the chassis flex's and the brakes are no longer in correct adjustment.

In the early years, after the total refurbishment of the car, I used the suggested adjustment method and subsequently "burnt" out one set of linings - plus melted grease ruined the other brake shoes.

So I adopted the following: Providing all of the linkages are correctly aligned, the pivot points greased and the system is working then I leave the car on the ground in a generally flat location. I then go to each of the four brake adjustment wingnuts and adjust these until the "sound of the bell" disappears. I use a small spanner to hit the drum producing the bell note.. i.e. when adjusting to the point where the shoes touch the drum, the "ring" of the drum (bell) disappears. Then turn the adjuster back half a turn and you are at maximum effect and minimum pedal movement.

I keep a spanner in the glove pocket and, when parked up, often just "Ping" the drums to ensure that they are correctly adjusted - not too tight

The AJS wheel and Cousin Brian

Cousin Brian worked in the Wheel and Rim Division of Dunlop in Coventry, in the drawing office and responsible among other things for product development. When he first set eyes on the AJS he said those are my wheels and sure enough a few days later we received the drawings of the wheel from the factory archive. Unfortunately the wheel rims of our newly purchased car had corroded very badly but after sending the centres to Brian within a short while we received for a very reasonable charge a set of newly spoked wheels together with a few spare rims, some pierced for spokes, some not.

I hadn't realised how detailed the drawings for the wheels had to be, with all the drillings for bolts and spokes, all at the contact angles.

And here is picture of Brian, the one in the middle, with his team, in I imagine a trade journal advert.  

Years later when I wanted to buy new wire wheels for an AC I discovered that I could have tubeless tyres, which took me back to a patent that Brian filed many years ago describing a method of sealing the spokes in the rim to allow just that. By this time Brian's patent had expired of course and Dunlop Wheel and Rim and the wire wheel business had gone off to India, much to Brian's disgust! But after all this we do have in the Club some new rims if anyone ever needs them. And if you fancy a full size copy of the drawing to hang above the mantlepiece just let me know !  

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