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Restoring brakes

Restoring Brakes

Hello all, Just an update on my 120 dhc restoration, which is (slowly) progressing, and some questions. During August, we have almost finished the repair of the back section of the car, including both inner wings: these were the most complicated ones, but it seems that we got them to fit right, and keeping the proper shape. Also, the engine came back from VSE engines in the UK after a full rebuild, that included also a new clutch. They have done a really good job (Dick White, I will send you some more pics as soon as I have the film developed. I tried to take some close up's of the inner wings and this may be useful for someone). The most difficult part was adjusting some of the curve patches to the shape, and after the welding, trying to contract some of the new sections which had expanded (creating a couple of not very nice looking "eggs"). This required many small punctures using a carbon point in the welding machine. After heating the wing with the point you need to cool it very fast (we used water) so that the part contracts fast, helping the wing to gain resistance. After doing this lots of times, the eggs dissapeared. The right wing required five different patches and took us almost two weeks. The left one was in not such a bad shape, and took 3 days. Next step are the doors. It's funny what sort of misconceptions one has when first buying one of these cars. When I bought my dhc in november 95, I thought that putting her once more to the road in good shape would take more or less three months. It has taken so far the best part of two years... We expect the body to be finished by Christmas (the doors are the only thing left), if we get it right soon with the alignment. Now for the questions. 1.- I do not expect the engine to be back into the chassis in four or five months. Should I fill it with oil? It is now stored in a wooden crate and covered with plastic, but I thought that filling it with oil would help to a better conservation. 2.- After taking the rust of the brake lines, I found out that some of them where steel, and some other copper. I will have to replace one of them, but was wondering if the rest of the steel lines (which I assume are original) would be much better protected if I applied a zinc coating. Or should I replace them all with new ones made of copper? The copper ones were in excellent shape. 3.- The brake cylinder has two copper parts where the piping connects. I've primered all of it, before painting but wondered if the copper parts should be painted or not. 4.- The front shocks are beyond salvation, and I will replace them with a pair of Koni's, as I've heard some other people doing it, but I don't have the specification. Which ones should I use? One of the lever dampers needs new seals, but I was wondering if the car would gain putting another pair of Koni's, doing a conversion to the 140's disposition. Has somebody gone through this conversion? If so, is it worth in terms of improving roadholding? and, how difficult is it? Thanks in advance - Jose del Pino (120 DHC).

Jose, In a effort to make the car safe and troublefree, I would suggest replacing all the pressure side lines with new stainless steel tubing and end fittings. The tubing will come in straight lenghths which you have to cut and fit, using your old lines as a model.The stainless tubing is in the annealed (dead soft) state and forms very easily. You should be able to get the tubing from a local industrial supplier, or if not try some of the brake specialists in Hemmings. Brakes are super-important don't hurry or cut corners, do it right and do it once. - Regards, Wray Schelin

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