REAR BRAKE TYPES
Pre-7/1993 manually adjusted
Post-7/1993 self adjusting rear brakes
Pre-7/1993 self adjusting rear
Datsun Z drums, (designed along the same idea of the famous Alfin drums but frankly better) were made in bimetal of cast aluminum with fins for extra cooling and a steel insert and used on the famous Datsun Z sports cars series.
The advantages are much improved rear braking, cooler drums, lighter weight and of course, the ability to shine them up to a gleaming finish (smile)..all without modifying the car. When I tested them, I tested them hard...yet when I stopped that car after some time of this, the brakes were only tepid to the touch.
The problem will be to find used Datsun
drums still in good condition with only acceptable wear. The maximum wear
permissible is marked on each drum on their inner surface. I have seen
a good set go for $450 USD without machining though Nissan US carries them
for $195.13 each on occasion. The same new ones are available in Canada
for $92 CAN from any Nissan dealer. Part number is 43206-E4100
|UPDATE (March 2008) Nissan Canada has discontinued the part.|
|UPDATE (January 2009) I can no longer find the Aimco part and the only Brembo offering is on Amazon.com and dated.|
|UPDATE (October 2009) There have been Datsun-like drums for sale in Europe since 2007. At one time there were available from Morgan suppliers. However, these drums reportedly proved to be substandard, out-of-round and with unacceptable porosity in the casting. The Morgan trade wisely ceased offering them. Buyer beware as they are still being offered by other suppliers in the UK.|
|UPDATE (August 2012) The drums are available, and drilled for Morgan pre-7/1993s and Triumph TR3As from Rimmer Brothers I have no idea of their quality. However, Rimmer is a reputable supplier. I have found another source in the USA with what purports to be Datsun Originals. I do not know the supplier. The least expensive source I could find is from Morgan Spares, a US Morgan Agent with an excellent reputation.|
There is also some machining to do depending on what type of wheels your car was made for.
With a tip from Fred Sisson and some specifics on the machining from John Sheally II, I fitted a set first some years ago to my made-for-alloy-wheels Plus 8. That meant these drums (which come for four holes) must be drilled to to fit the Morgan five. As well, the centre hole must be enlarged to the Morgan standard and a small bit taken from the dust flange on their rims which will then fit over the Morgan rear back plate. It is much wiser for you to refrain from filling the old holes with aluminum. This can be dangerous and it is not necessary. The nature of the bimetal will cause 1 in 2 to crack if extraordinary precautions are not taken. As there is far and away enough structural strength in the modified drum and considering the holes will be cover by your wheel rim or wire wheel adapter, there is no need to run the risk for aesthetics. See the one at the bottom of the page..example on the far left..
The picture below shows your Morgan drums and the untouched Datsun beside it.
There are three mods necessary to get it to fit a car
made for bolt on wheels.
1. Increase the size of centre holes "A" to match those on your Morgan drums. You will find that the two sides of the car are possibly slightly different. (smile)
2. Drill the new bolt holes "B" The Datsun comes with
four and none will fit. It is best to overlap one of the new holes as best
as possible over one of the old holes and then others will be clear
of the originals. It is a small thing but you can have him place the countersunk
fixing screw for the drum as close to the overlapping hole as possible.
He will have to play a bit to get it all right.
3. He must remove one half the thickness of the inner side of outer edge of the groove around the perimeter of the drum. That sounds complicated but it is clear when you are looking at the drum. Simply put, the groove is not wide enough to accommodate the Morgan back plate...with this mod it will be.
P.S. If you are using your old brake shoes, you will have wait a bit of driving for the shoes to adjust to a new curvature of the drums depending on the difference in wear between the Morgan and the Datsun. If you are lucky enough to find new Datsun drums and the spirit so moves you, have one of the companies (i.e.Porterfield) making carbon kevlar brake shoes to make you up a set to match the curvature. You will be surprised at the braking improvement.
NOTE: With the older brakes and brake adjusters you should back off the brake shoe adjustment before fitting the z-drums as you would with any new drums and then re-adjustment as you would normally. If the brake shoes are still too tight you can remove the shoes (if you know how) and file a tiny bit off the contact points at the ends to give you a little more leeway.
Post-1993 Self-adjusting rear brakes (wires)
The post-1993 self-adjusting rear brake made-for-wire-wheels Morgans have much less machining. The Morgan drums on these come already made for 8 holes (four to give clearance to the bolts holding the assembly to the axle and 4 to hold the drum on the assembly).
With a the almost identical bolt pattern on both the Morgan drum and the Datsun Z-drum there are no excess holes left as in the earlier cars. That will leave you with a very "clean" result.
1955 Plus 4
by Harald Sakshaug
Pulled the front brake drum off my 55 +4 yesterday, and preliminarily fitted the disk wheel hub with the drum back plate and shoes in situ. It fits. Then took the front drum brake, disk wire wheel hub and the Nissan Z240 aluminum drum to my workbench. Lads and ladettes, it is indeed possible to make a spacer which will fit on the disk wire wheel hub so I can mount the Nissan drum to it.
Hey presto, I have wire wheels on my +4 without having
to convert to disk brakes. Much cheaper, and much less altering to the
original layout. When I want to go stud wheels again, I just pull the wire
hub and remount the studded one.
I'll pop down to the local metal wizard shop for some lathe work to the drum itself, and have them to make two cylindrical spacer rings (one for each side) to fit over the wire wheel hub. This spacer will be mounted on the flange of the wire wheel hub with the 5 connecting holes. Then the Nissan drum will be connected on the top of that spacer with the four bolting holes in the drum.
The room behind the wire wheel hub is an issue, and I have a general idea how to make the connections, which is attached to this email as an image.
If anyone out there has ideas, opinions or just want to address me for advice, please do. It would be welcome. Harald