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skychs
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VBMWMO #9221
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1968 R60/2

I love my R60 but I have to tell you the brakes are horrible. If is step hard on the back I can get it to skid but the front is another story. I need more front brake. The cables are new. The pads are in great shape. One of the pads has been replaced. Is there a trick to centering these pads or something I can do to make them actually work? Im almost getting scared to take it out anymore.
thanks

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Daves79x
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Adjusting Brakes

Do you have any kind of manual that describes in detail how to adjust the double-leading shoe front brakes? That's what you need to try first, but I hesitate to recommend replacing just one shoe also. There is very 'grippy' lining available.

Anyway, the rear brake arm needs to be set so that it travels very little until shoe contact (slightly rearward of 90 degrees to the brake cable usually. Then adjust the brake adjustment cam. You have to verify that the small spring for the cam is still in place inside the hub. If it's not, you need to get one, or reattach the one there that's fallen off. They fall off because of incorrect installation. You have to be very careful the direction the spring end faces and that it's seated on the correct part of the cam bolt. Then get the front end in the air and loosen the lock nut for the cam bolt. Turn the bolt clockwise (will adjust either way but the spring can fall off if you go counter clockwise) until the brake shoe makes contact inside the drum. You'll feel and hear a drag. Then back off just slightly and tighten the locknut. Check that there is no drag. Then measure the approximate recommended distance to the front lever from the rear one. Should be approximately 185mm hole to hole. Back off the lever adjuster at the bars almost completely, install the cable at the wheel. Adjust the nut at the front lever until there is the desired free play at the top lever.

This should give you decent brakes for your current set-up. The very best brakes are gotten by having the drums trued, the best grippy lining installed on the front and having them radiused to your newly-cut drum. Adjusting as above, you will have excellent brakes. Scottie Sharp did mine and after only a few break-in miles and a re-adjustment, my R50 has just fantastic brakes. Totally confidence-inspiring in modern traffic and you feel safe in any braking situation. I find myself using just the front brake most of the time as you would modern disc brakes - which isn't really a good practice since the brake light is activated only by the rear brake. It's a good project for maybe this winter and doesn't cost a fortune.

Dave

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skychs
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VBMWMO #9221
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Brakes

Thanks Dave,
I have a couple manuals I can look at. I will go over your detailed description while I look at the book and see what happens. The last time I adjusted them they got better but still not good enough. It may take a week or two to get back to you.
thanks

312Icarus
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On the front, the back shoe

On the front, the back shoe should contact the drum first, and then as you pull the cable further the front shoe should contact. The rear brake arm should be set up so that it is virtually a straight pull from the cable housing.

Mine is set up so that the rear arm is at about 8 o'clock, the front arm straight down at 6 o'clock. There is exactly 7" between the eyes of the arms as best I can measure. It is important to adjust the free play on the handle bar so that you get the grip you like, and then adjust the nut adjustment at the end of the cable so that the rear one moves about 3/8" (clearly contacting the shoe to the drum) before the front shoe contacts.

With original linings and properly set up, my front brake is actually quite good. With modern HF brake shoe linings it would be even better.

Hope this helps. I think Duane (do a google search for him) has a pretty good primer for setting up the brakes. http://w6rec.com/duane/bmw/brake/

Icarus

PS. I had terrible time with mine until I replaced the new brake cable with the old one. I could never figure out why the new one was binding on the lever. There seemed to be nothing wrong with it, but as I said, i could never get it to perform right, so check your cable as well.

MikeL46
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Joined: 01/01/2016
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You have a couple of choices

You have a couple of choices for better brake linings.

Scottie Sharpe can bond better linings on your shoes.

Or you can use /5 brake shoes in your /2. The /5 linings are narrower, but the material has has better friction. I have these in my /2 and hated the stock brakes; with the /5 shoes the brakes are much better.

Mike

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67 R50/2 w/R100 engine/trans and Ural Sidecar
69 R60/2 76 R90S 78 R100RS
70 Triumph w/Spirit Eagle Sidecar

skychs
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VBMWMO #9221
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Brakes

Ahh .... now its making more and more sense. Thanks again guys. I should be getting to this soon.

skychs
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VBMWMO #9221
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Brakes

I just finished adjusting the front breaks via the Barrington Motor Works Service Manual. With the brake hub off the bike I set the front lever at 45mm and the rear lever at 145mm. Total distance between the two is around 185mm.

I then installed the hub, adjusted the hand lever and went for a ride. The front braking did improve but not enough to really put a smile on my face. When I got back from the ride the measurements were a little different .... measuring 40-140-180 .... probably changed from the hand lever adjustment.

The rear lever is more like 7 o'clock. The front lever is more like 5 o'clock.

Should I readjust the levers one more click/slot "out/away" to bring the measurements back around to 45-145-185 or should I just keep riding it to see if it improves for now?

Im trying. Oh, and the small spring is in place.

Daves79x
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You Have To

You absolutely HAVE to adjust the brake cam as well. You need to be sure the shoe it adjusts is in the correct position, as I outlined above. That's your problem, I think.

Dave

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skychs
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Brakes

Ugh.... Im so stupid. I omitted that entire part. Dave, thanks for being patient with me. First thing in the morning I will go out and do as you described.

I remember reading about the CAM but my mind was telling me the CAM would be addressed by the lever settings. Now I understand its a completely different setting/adjustment. Lesson learned. Sorry.

Daves79x
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Then

Then once you get the cam adjuster correct, adjust the cable for free play. Then you should have brakes. Take it out and get them good and warmed up from repeated hard stops. Then go back and adjust the cam again to just a whisker shy of dragging. Reset free play and you'll have pretty good brakes. Reason for all this repeated work is that now since the cam shoe is now actually working, you will scrub off the shoe from years of not being used.

Dave

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skychs
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Brakes

Ok ..... what a difference. After finally slowing down and paying more attention to everyones advise it all came together. I now have "two" brake pads that are making contact and stopping the bike. Huge difference. Im sure after I reset the CAM one more time it will be even better. I even went over Icarus's link to learn more about the springs and how they are supposed to work. Everything measures out fine. The rear lever is moving first. The front lever is moving second and finally making contact with the drum. The weaker spring is on the rear and the stronger spring is on the front. The smaller CAM spring is in place and working. All is well !!!

Thanks again for all your help.

312Icarus
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You can scuff the shoes with

You can scuff the shoes with sand paper to remove any glaze, and hone the drum with some Emory paper as well to remove the glaze. /2 brakes are actually pretty darn good given the era from whence they come.

Icarus

Daves79x
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Glad To Hear

Glad to hear you finally made progress. I think you've got it now!

Dave

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