Dauphine Steering & Brake Issues.
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Thread: Dauphine Steering & Brake Issues.

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    Fellow Frogger! geodon's Avatar
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    Default Dauphine Steering & Brake Issues.

    I'm getting it ready for RWC testing prior to registration & would appreciate input on two issues:

    1. Brakes

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    The pedal is poor despite new everything, bleeding the system to within an inch of its life and adjustment to the point of lock up. On investigation I clamped up all the flex hoses right up to the inlet side and the pedal still went halfway to the floor. But it doesn't feel spongy. It feels as if the pushrod has to "freewheel" until it makes contact with the hydraulics. From memory, the master cylinder pushrod was not adjustable for length.


    2. Steering

    It's very stiff. Not what I would expect for a car that weighs 630kg. And it won't self centre after turning. And I can't go lock to lock by swivelling a wheel with both jacked up. I was suspicious of the rack when I was installing it. It felt unusually tight but due to ignorance, I assumed that once installed the leverage via the steering mechanism would overcome it.
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    COL
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    1: The master cylinder may need to have new seals or may not be bled properly. My R12 is like that and I need to re-visit at some stage.

    2: The rack sound like it wants dismantling, clean out all the old grease and wash all the parts in solvent. Dry all the parts off and re-assemble with new grease.
    Regards Col

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    1000+ Posts geckoeng's Avatar
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    Brake pedal is adjust the pushrod, or get one that adjusts. I presume the master cylinder is rebuilt, with stainless sleeve, and correct size seals ???

    Rack is as COL says, and were kingpins done ??? Maybe too tight ???

    Ray
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    Fellow Frogger! geodon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geckoeng View Post
    Brake pedal is adjust the pushrod, or get one that adjusts. I presume the master cylinder is rebuilt, with stainless sleeve, and correct size seals ???

    Rack is as COL says, and were kingpins done ??? Maybe too tight ???

    Ray
    Yes I'm a fan of SS sleeves!

    King pins were left alone. They swivelled freely. The car has only done 41,000 miles. Rubber bushes replaced. They were perished.

    Is there adjustment at the pedal mechanism to get more "push"? I had an identical problem with the 404 clutch and there was no adjustment so I did a "cut & shut" to increase the length of the m/cylinder push rod. I suppose I could do the same here.

    Old VW's had a threaded clevis on the pedal so you could take out any slop.
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    Fellow Frogger! geodon's Avatar
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    Well shoot!

    "When all else fails read the instructions!" The push rod is adjustable!
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    The clearance between the pushrod and the piston in the master cylinder is measured at the brake pedal. When the pedal has been moved 5mm, the pushrod should contact the piston.

    There is also a grease nipple on the steering rack on the spare wheel side of the pinion shaft. But as already mentioned, it sounds like all the grease in the rack has dried out. There is also a return spring in there too, so there is some resistance there when the wheels are off the ground but not a lot. Peel back the dust boots on the ends of the rack, that should give you an idea of the stickiness of the grease inside if they are very dry.
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    There are three other things that come to mind.

    1. Does the MC have the correct valve inside? The disc brake ones fit but don't retain the wee bit of pressure required for drum brakes - that might give you a low pedal.

    2. I presume you've greased the king pins? I'm sure you have....

    3. It is the correct rack? Shouldn't make any difference, stiffness-wise though.

    These cars typically have good brakes, with a high, firm pedal.

    Is the pedal feel different between handbrake ON and handbrake OFF?

    I'd be inclined to pull the cover plate off the rack and have a look inside - some WD40 or light oil in there and at the ends where the boots stretch on, and some fresh grease, might free it up? But ideally you'd pull it off and clean it up properly. The pinion bearings can fail too, and get a bit lumpy in rotation as case hardening comes off.

    Good luck
    JohnW

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    Brakes tackled first. I removed the pushrod (just possible by sliding the pedal to the right) and cleaned up the thread: M8x1.0 then put it back

    I made up the F2 spanner for the 12 mm lock nut. I was able to turn the 14mm nut with my fingers to lengthen the pushrod while testing the pedal. But when I got to the required 5mm free play I ran out of thread & the pushrod came apart.

    I can get some more length by welding a M8x1.0 nut onto the 14mm nut but had better have a look at how the master cylinder got bolted on to make sure it's OK.

    Another options are to build up the knob end with weld then dress it into shape with a grinder or cut it then splice in a few mm of rod to extend it
    Last edited by geodon; 15th June 2019 at 06:51 PM.
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    I've been there with the R8 master cylinder - more than one piston spec. with different internal lengths. I just put a ball bearing inside to make up the space...
    JohnW

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    Thanks John

    I'm pleased to hear this is not unusual

    The ball bearing was suggested for the Pug 404 clutch master cylinder where the pushrod was vertical. I'm loathe to use it with a horizontal version!

    I'll do a few trial runs then cut the pushrod & weld in ~ 10mm of 8mm rod. I have a nifty small vice on my pedestal drill that will hold the bits nice & straight
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    Sounds like a rogue master cylinder. There were two types for the drum brake Dauphine, however both used the same pushrod (apart from the locknut). Where did the one now fitted to the car come from?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    Sounds like a rogue master cylinder. There were two types for the drum brake Dauphine, however both used the same pushrod (apart from the locknut). Where did the one now fitted to the car come from?
    "They" advertise MCs as being suitable for a range of mixed disc and drum brake cars, which cannot be correct.... Heaven knows exactly which end valve and pistons they use!
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by geodon View Post
    Thanks John

    I'm pleased to hear this is not unusual

    The ball bearing was suggested for the Pug 404 clutch master cylinder where the pushrod was vertical. I'm loathe to use it with a horizontal version!

    I'll do a few trial runs then cut the pushrod & weld in ~ 10mm of 8mm rod. I have a nifty small vice on my pedestal drill that will hold the bits nice & straight
    It's a bit unusual but at least there are a few logical reasons and approaches out there...

    Horizontal is OK as the ball bearing can't fall out once assembled, and next time (someday....) at least you know your pushrod is the correct length. Why there is more than one length piston cavity is beyond me. If the piston free play adjustment doesn't work, I'd be pulling the MC out to check that end valve to see which type it is, presuming the brakes are properly adjusted of course.

    It'll be interesting to hear the steering solution.
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    Sounds like a rogue master cylinder. There were two types for the drum brake Dauphine, however both used the same pushrod (apart from the locknut). Where did the one now fitted to the car come from?
    It's the one I took out of the car.

    But remember it sat in storage since 1984 and had no brakes when I fired it up in 2014 so who knows??
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    It's a bit unusual but at least there are a few logical reasons and approaches out there...

    Horizontal is OK as the ball bearing can't fall out once assembled, and next time (someday....) at least you know your pushrod is the correct length. Why there is more than one length piston cavity is beyond me. If the piston free play adjustment doesn't work, I'd be pulling the MC out to check that end valve to see which type it is, presuming the brakes are properly adjusted of course.

    It'll be interesting to hear the steering solution.
    John I have all 4 flex hoses clamped off with needle nosed vice grips so brake adjustment is irrelevant. The pushrod wasn't that far off the max. length when I took it out and that gave me about 40-50mm of travel at the pedal!
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    Quote Originally Posted by geodon View Post
    John I have all 4 flex hoses clamped off with needle nosed vice grips so brake adjustment is irrelevant. The pushrod wasn't that far off the max. length when I took it out and that gave me about 40-50mm of travel at the pedal!
    Ah..... You never know what previous owners have done to these cars...
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    JohnW

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    Update:

    Brakes

    M/cyl is coming out. I want to confirm the piston is coming all the way back. What a job!!

    Steering.

    Driver's wheel has too much toe out and I've run out of adjustment on the tie rod. The car was damaged on this side. If I remember correctly, there was a dent in the valence panel under the bonnet like it had hit a signpost or similar right in line with the end of the rack. Fortunately the wheel is dead central in the mudguard opening so it appears the suspension is OK

    I took the rack off there was a lot of tension on the flexible coupling. I'm wondering if the rack was bent?? I'm taking it to a specialist to be checked out.

    I bought a front end on Gumtree a couple of years back. It's older (spider wheels) but the rack looks identical. Are they interchangeable?
    Last edited by geodon; 17th June 2019 at 07:44 AM.
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    It wouldn't be the first time that the wrong size cups had been fitted to a MC by a brake place or by a home mechanic (I've made the mistake so know...). A wee bit too big but they fit and the piston doesn't come back properly. It's not my favourite job.

    Do look closely at the valve that the big spring holds in place at the end - post a photo here if uncertain and someone will know if it is correct.

    I wonder if the rack mount is displaced a wee bit if the car has had a bang? The rack housing is alloy but I suppose the rack itself could be bent. AFAIK the 4CV ones are all the same dimensions (and some cars now have R10 racks which fit but give a larger turning circle I'm told) so another one might be the go. The flexors are available new too....

    Never dull. Good luck with it.
    Last edited by JohnW; 17th June 2019 at 07:09 PM.
    JohnW

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    The racks between the early and late cars are interchangeable. However, there was a minor internal change internally which won't affect the interchange or how it operates.

    Also check the rack mounting onto the front crossmember. I wouldn't have seen enough Dauphines, but apparently on the works 8G's with shortened steering arms, the extra force of competition caused the standard rack mounts to part from the crossmember. Perhaps the bump on your car may have caused something similar to happen.

    It'll be interesting to hear what you find with the master cylinder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    The racks between the early and late cars are interchangeable. However, there was a minor internal change internally which won't affect the interchange or how it operates.

    Also check the rack mounting onto the front crossmember. I wouldn't have seen enough Dauphines, but apparently on the works 8G's with shortened steering arms, the extra force of competition caused the standard rack mounts to part from the crossmember. Perhaps the bump on your car may have caused something similar to happen.

    It'll be interesting to hear what you find with the master cylinder.
    I never thought about that!

    I'll put a straight edge on the passenger side mount and see if the drivers side one has been displaced to the rear. It MAY need shimming out if I can't get it done hydraulically. It would most certainly explain why I put tension on the flex coupling when I tightened the mounting bolts.

    When I think about it, it wouldn't take much displacement to cause a significant change in steering geometry (toe out if the rack pivots to the rear) due to the leverage effect. A small movement at the pivot point gives a large movement at the extremity
    Last edited by geodon; 18th June 2019 at 08:45 AM.
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    I bolted a length of angle to the drive's side mount

    It matched up perfectly with t'other one.

    Oh well! One more thing eliminated.

    I await news on the rack
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    Brakes:

    Master cylinder piston WAS all the way back so I welded in 7-8mm of 8mm rod to increase the length of the pushrod and re-installed.

    Initial feel was real good- about 10mm of play at its shortest setting BUT when I pushed down hard the pedal went to the floor with a hissing sound.

    So, out it came again & back to the brake shop that re-sleeved & re-rubbered it. They said the main cup was pitted (I took their word for it because it looked fine to me) so they replaced it N/C. They said to make sure everything is clean. I was pretty sure I did.

    Back in it went again & the same thing happened! TBH I think the main seal is not right even though they said they pressure tested the cylinder.

    It's going back again but I'm ordering a new one ex Europe. The angst of remove/refit the m/cylinder was the decider!

    Steering.

    The report from the rack experts:
    Broken tooth on the pinion & a collapsed bearing- typical impact damage.
    Sundry bushes need replacement too

    That explains the stiffness but I don't see how that fixes the toe out but I'll wait and see.
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    Quote Originally Posted by geodon View Post
    Brakes:

    Master cylinder piston WAS all the way back so I welded in 7-8mm of 8mm rod to increase the length of the pushrod and re-installed.

    Initial feel was real good- about 10mm of play at its shortest setting BUT when I pushed down hard the pedal went to the floor with a hissing sound.

    So, out it came again & back to the brake shop that re-sleeved & re-rubbered it. They said the main cup was pitted (I took their word for it because it looked fine to me) so they replaced it N/C. They said to make sure everything is clean. I was pretty sure I did.

    Back in it went again & the same thing happened! TBH I think the main seal is not right even though they said they pressure tested the cylinder.

    It's going back again but I'm ordering a new one ex Europe. The angst of remove/refit the m/cylinder was the decider!

    Steering.

    The report from the rack experts:
    Broken tooth on the pinion & a collapsed bearing- typical impact damage.
    Sundry bushes need replacement too

    That explains the stiffness but I don't see how that fixes the toe out but I'll wait and see.
    Hmm.

    Re the MC, there were three IDs and there's something in my mind about metric vs imperial sizes - they are Lockheed and imperial if I recall. Geckoeng has just been through this tedious issue so maybe PM him. I'm presuming there are no puddles on the ground!

    Was the 10 mm the free play or the movement to the point of hydraulic resistance? The real free play should be rather less than 10 mm according to the book.

    Re the rack, it must have had quite a whack. You mentioned the flexor being oddly distorted if I recall, so I'd still put money on the rack mount needing attention. Alternatively are you sure the track arm from the kingpin to the outer end of the tie rod isn't bent too? Or indeed the suspension arms? None of this stuff is particularly strong with respect to sideways impacts.

    Ongoing good luck wishes.....
    JohnW

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  24. #24
    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geodon View Post

    That explains the stiffness but I don't see how that fixes the toe out but I'll wait and see.
    I wonder when someone has replaced the steering flector that they refitted it say 1/4 turn out (rack not centred) so that the rack actually had uneven amounts of rack out of each end, requiring one toe adjuster to be fully extended (long tie rod) and the other adjusted in. (short tie rod)
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan moore View Post
    I wonder when someone has replaced the steering flector that they refitted it say 1/4 turn out (rack not centred) so that the rack actually had uneven amounts of rack out of each end, requiring one toe adjuster to be fully extended (long tie rod) and the other adjusted in. (short tie rod)
    Thanks Alan but won't that just displace the steering wheel away from its central straight ahead position?

    Is there an offset on the flex coupling??
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