Welcome to this blog which will detail the restoration of my 1961 Reliant Regal, Reg. Starting as a complete novice I hope to be able to carry out a total restoration of the car from 2011 onwards to coincide with its 50th birthday. For many a Reliant Regal may seem like a strange choice of car to restore, but for me there was only ever going to be Reg. I inherited Reg from a sadly departed friend and vowed to get it back into full working order as much as a tribute to him as anything else. Almost seven years have passed since that vow in which time I have gone through university, job hunting and house purchasing and renovation. I now finally find myself in the right position to make a start and will be sharing that journey on this blog for my own personal record and also for everyone else to enjoy. I hope you will follow along.

Sunday, 1 January 2006

Master Brake Cylinder Disassembly

Over the Christmas holiday I decided that it was finally time to have a look at the master brake cylinder off Reg seeing as it has been rolling about the boot of the Focus since my last visit. For those of you that have been following the problem was that the lid had sealed itself on, necessitating its removal as testing was impossible with it in situ. I had been doing a bit of research on the internet and have found several places that offer new or reconditioned brake parts for classic cars including Reg's master cylinder. I would like to leave this as a last resort though, as I'd feel much happier actually reusing as many of the old parts as is realistically possible. To this end I liberally soaked the lid in releasing fluid and left it to work its way into the joint for a couple of hours. Needless to say with a bit of force it came straight off. If only I had tried that whilst it had been on the car.....

On closer inspection the seal within the lid was in perfect condition, looking like it had been replaced fairly recently. Based on this and the lack of any evidence of leaks anywhere else on the cylinder I am assuming that the seals inside are in a similar condition. This all points to either the slave cylinder or one of the rear cylinders leaking fluid. I should be going back in a month or so to take the wheels off and have a good check. As for the inside of the cylinder, these all look clean and free from debris.

reliant 4.1 reliant 4.2

The next problem was that the bolt through which the brake pipe exits the cylinder had the remains of the pipe well and truly stuck inside it. This is a legacy of our bodged attempt at removal. Well what I thought was a bodged attempt but it turns out that this is a common occurrence on old cars so we hadn't actually broken anything that wasn't going to get broken anyway. Nevertheless the pipe needed to be removed as I can't imagine it being an easy job to find a replacement bolt. I left it to soak for a couple of days in the releasing fluid and with the help of a hammer managed to ease the pipe out (a job made harder by the fact that the pipes dimensions had become distorted due to previous removal attempts).

The next step is to take the cylinder back to Reg (it's currently in my bedroom), and measure up for a new length of brake pipe, as well as the aforementioned checks that need to be done. I have also found a place where I can get my hands on a flairing tool to flair the end of the pipe so fitting shouldn't be a problem. The Easter target for a working brake system is still looking achievable.

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