enough to BRAKE my heart!

March 21, 2013

As part of my car prep for this trip i decided to replace with new or totally refurbished items on my braking system. Surprised and rather perplexed in fact i was to find that i could not in fact find any brakes! The pedal went all the way to the floor and even when resorting to removing my double fuel tanks to replace the master cylinder this did not improve matters. In fact i had in spite of having my braking system reduced to a gradual and gentle retardation system i did drive the car around for a few weeks in the vain hope that the problem would one day sort of miraculously just correct itself!!!

Some hope!

Well at least i don’t feel soooo bad! Even though I failed to discover why I was unable to get brakes on my Little Imp! Having given up the ghost and handing it over to the brake experts at CBF, it took them three full days to sort out the problem. In fact if the truth be told, they did not actually discover why i had not pressure on the pedal so they just replaced the original plunger out of the master cylinder. So at least now i have brakes and good one at that! However the interesting thing is that the brake pedal is now much higher than normal. So when you lift off the accelerator to push brake pedal you end up with your right knee about level with your right ear!!! But I’m positive we will get used to it. It will just take a bit of re-adjusting if we then drive a normal car.


Tonight having taken the Imp for another short run i found the engine power slowly being sapped so much so that i was down to first gear on a slight incline!!! This was definitely serious and worrisome. Firstly thought it could have been fuel starvation, but it turned out to be binding brakes!!! So 45 minutes to let it cool off and off i managed to get home and adjust out the brake shoes.


Indeed i was soon seething as i found the specialist brake shop had successfully and well and truly beetled one of my brake shoe adjusters! Grrrrr!





  1. Good luck with your venture! We drove from Edinburgh to Zambia through the Sahara, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, The Congo and East Africa in a Hillman Hunter in 1970. You might enjoy the book “Appointment in Zambia” by Sara Dunn, and also pick up some tips!

    • Hey thanks for the info, not sure if i will have time to do much reading other that Hillman Imp workshop manuals for now but thanks anyway.

      • What is your route? And how long do you expect to take? I think you are very brave and possibly mad too!

      • i am off up the East side of Africa, Botswana Zambia, tanzania, Ethiopia, sudan egypt and somehow across the med and i expect the rest to be plain sailing! Well Sara, they say you dont have to be mad to undertake a challenge like this but clearly it is a makred advantage!!!
        soo you in the UK now now! Terence.

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