Rear Drum Brake Upgrade

A common upgrade to the braking system for Bugeyes is the replacement of the rear  drum brakes which use a single action 7/8″ rear cylinder with later MG Midget rear brakes using a larger 3/4″ dual action rear cylinder. We were able to acquire the later backing plates, wheel cylinders, and brake shoes with springs, and handbrake levers from Gerard Chateauvieux of Gerard’s Garage. He indicated that the donor car was in the 1968-72 time frame.

Rear Brake Components

LH Rear Brake Assembly with Shoes and Cylinder

LH Rear brake assembly

The conversion also required using new crossbars or rods for the handbrake system as the original Bugeye crossbars are not shaped properly for the later brakes. These were purchased from Mini-Mania.

Adjustable Handbrake Crossbars

We did have problems with the drums rubbing against the backplates and had to grind away some material from the hub edge to avoid the conflict. 

More information about the build-up of the rear brake conversion including an assembly video that details the problems we encountered may be found in two other posts: “Rear Drum Brake Upgrade” and “Bugeye Rear Axle Assembly” in the restoration series. These posts and their included videos show the mounting of the rear hubs and brake assemblies to the rear axle.