The 25 year old Sprite Sport was not going to let me get
away with plain sailing through the roadworthy test. Perhaps I shouldn’t have told
the test station boss that I worked for CAR magazine. He went quiet and might
have thought that this was a test of how thorough they were with their testing?
Not being able to test the brakes myself, apart from pulling up the handbrake, it turns out that
the brakes were both weak and binding. A crack in a chassis member and some
loose body/chassis mountings were also picked up and the manufacturer’s plate
was coming loose which naturally leads one to assume the worst – that the
caravan was stolen somewhere along the line. Well, we do live in one of the
highest crime countries on the planet, so it could happen. So now I have to
locate the chassis number somewhere on the A-frame to prove that the chassis
and plate belong together. Failing that, it will be a long rigmarole to get a
request for police clearance with affidavits of ownership followed by a trip to
stand in a long queue for the cops to go through everything and hopefully be
persuaded that all is legit.
In the meantime I managed to get one of the drums off the
axle. I could not see any locating screw after removing the wheel so removed
the castellated nut which freed the outer roller bearing. After some easing off
of the rusty brake linkages and some tugging, the drum popped off with the
outer bearing. Everything looked dry and dusty so a clean-up is in order plus
some oiling of moving parts and re-greasing of the bearings. The brake shoes have lots of friction
material left, so hopefully some sandpaper will do the trick?