Alfin Brake drums

If you wish to improve the brakes on your 400, 401 or 403 by fitting Alfin drums then this company can supply

Typecast Engineering Ltd
Unit 9 Leeside
Merrylees Industrial Estate

T: +44 (0) 1455 822440
F: +44 (0) 1455 822191

(Adapted from a post in the Old Forum)



Suppliers of brake parts and services

Girling Brake Parts List


According to Girling, this is the master cylinder they supplied for the 411. The Girling master cylinder part number 64068550 cross references to Chrysler UK part number 3058872.

Removing Rear Brake Calipers on 411-S1


  • 13/16 socket wrench to remove caliper bolts and heavy hammer to get it started (not sure why this is Imperial, not metric, but 13/16 worked the best)
  • 7/16 open wrench to remove brake line (or vice grips if either the nut or line is shot and must be replaced)
  • Wire cutter to cut split pin (cotter pin)
  • 13mm socket wrench to remove shock absorber bracket
  • Small bucket to collect dripping brake fluid
  • Heavy welders gloves to protect hands when a frozen bolt breaks free and smashes your hand into something hard and sharp
  • Magnetic back light that can be positioned inside the wheel well. I bought a strong LED light at the hardware store and a round 65 kg magnet that I bolted to it


  1. After the health and safety lecture on what you need to do to jack the car up and remove the rear wheels, position the light so you can see the inner workings of the brakes
  2. Cut off the split pin that holds the emergency brake on, remove the pin and remove the cable controls
  3. Unbolt three bolts holding the shock absorber bracket to the axle. Note that the inner one may be hard to access if you leave the shock on the bracket, with the alternative of removing the shock
  4. This gives you room to unbolt the two heavy bolts that hold the caliper to the axle
  5. To loosen the heavy caliper bolts, use an extension bar on the socket wrench, or gently tap the wrench with a heavy mallet. Wear gloves
  6. When the bolts are loose but not yet off, shift to removing the hydraulic brake line that goes along the axle. If badly corroded you may find you have to sacrifice it using vice grips and flare a new pipe when reassembling. Wear gloves
  7. Position the bucket under the pipe, it will slowly drain
  8. Remove the heavy bolts and the brake calipers should come off.

For the most part, this is a standard job, except that the emergency brake and the shock absorbers get in the way.

In my case, the car had been rebuilt 14 years ago and then garaged, so bolts and nuts came apart reasonably easily. For most Bristols, you may not be so lucky. On reassembly do yourself or the next owner a favour… use anti-seize compound.

Sticking rear brakes on a 411

Here is how to identify if the brake lines are blocked and what to do.


  • New hardware store oil can (metal tank with pump squirting lever and 1/4″ solid tube) See for an example
  • New hardware store 6mm clear plastic hose (3 metres) and several hose clamps to fit
  • New brake fluid
  • Kunifer brake line (a soft alloy also known as cupro/nickel) 3/16″ SAE and male & female flare tube nuts to match the Bristol thread
  • Brake flaring tool that does double flare

Remove the driver’s side (RHD) brake tube flare nut (male) from the T section. Temporarily you will be replacing this with a test brake tube flare nut. BTW, if you don’t know how to flare Kunifer brake line, it’s forgiving and easy to learn. Get the tools and watch a few YouTube videos or buy a case of beer and stop by your brake supply shop half an hour before closing time for a tutorial.

Make up the testing tool:

  • Slide the clear plastic hose over the oil can tube and hose-clamp it tight
  • Take a section of the Kunifer brake line (say 300-500mm) and double flare one end with a male tube nut that will go into the T section.
  • Put a similar double flare on the other end and slide the clear plastic hose over. You will need to use the host clamp on top of the flare to keep it from leaking under pressure.
  • Slide the other end of the clear plastic pipe over the oil can and hose clamp it.
  • Fill the oil can with new brake fluid (this is why you buy a new oil can… no contamination)

Begin testing

  • Open the bleeder valve on the opposing side of the rear axle (left/passenger side on RHD). Attach a hose into a clear glass jar on the ground that you can see from your side.
  • Pump the can. If fluid comes out on the opposing side, you know the rear axle lines are clear. You might as well keep pumping until the fluid is clear, you’re doing the equivalent of a bench bleed.
  • Close bleeder valve
  • At the front end of the car in the battery compartment, disconnect the battery to avoid sparks and then disconnect the brake line leading into the servo that connects to the rear brakes and pump again. If you are unsure which servo, climb under the car and follow it from the back to the battery compartment.
  • In theory this would reverse flow brake fluid forward until it dripped out (have a cup or big towel ready to catch pumping brake fluid (or make up and attach a female nut to metal line to plastic hose to glass jar)
  • If it does nothing (no flow from the front brake line), remove the rubber flex hose that connects the body brake line to the axle brake line. This probably is the culprit (it was for me). Try blowing air through it. If no air, you know it is junk.
  • Then hook the testing pump to the metal brake line in the battery compartment . If fluid flows out of the rear line where you removed the rubber hose, you can presume the metal line is OK.
  • You can also mechanically test this if you have a new stainless steel bicycle brake cable wire that you slide inside the car’s metal brake lines. It should come out the other end clean and with no resistance.

When doing this job, make sure you know where to buy replacement Kunifer brake lines and matching nuts because most cars will not come apart easily. Nuts may strip, or if frozen may twist the old metal lines, requiring replacement. A brake supply house should carry both the metal lines and the rubber hose. The 1970 411-S1 hose seems almost identical to “H892 Hose for British Ford, Hillman and many other British cars” (try also GBH136). Try Powertrack for parts.

406 Disk Brakes

Disc Brakes

One of the features of age is that I can remember many things from a long time ago – but not always accurately. My first memory of disc brakes was in the 50s as a young apprentice mechanic in the nearest Morris/MG Distributor to Fort Dunlop in Birmingham. Their development department used us as a fitting service for their test cars. In particular they had an MGA 1600 to which I fitted more sets of hydraulic cylinders than I care to remember as they attempted to make the pull back mechanism work (they never did). I well remember the constant exasperation of the Dunlop engineers, their cynicism and their bad opinion of their own product.

Even though in recent years I have fitted Dunlop brakes to four Jaguar XKs and my own 406 my prejudice has stayed with me to this day and I have never felt comfortable with their performance or durability. Imagine my joy to discover that there is now an answer. Zeus Engineering now makes front calliper sets and rear cylinders to modern standards and high quality.

Their product fits with little complication and additional pipework plus adjustment shims and instructions are included. One small point is to be careful to centre the calliper over the disc; my car had significant variance side to side.

I have now bedded in the pads and find the brakes to be powerful and progressive in the manner of a modern car. Beyond that I no longer have the comments of disgruntled Dunlop engineers ringing in my ears.

Roger Charlton


Zeus Engineering
Unit J2, Dunkeswell Airfield
Devon, EX14 4LE

Tel 01297300010

401-406 Brake switch

Model 54C ? Lucas 31281B 5 64

This switch is also used as a reversing lamp switch in many applications.

31281B is listed as fitted to the following :

  • AC 16hp Saloon 1948-51
  • Allard ‘J’ 1951-52 ; ‘K’, ‘L’, ‘M’ and ‘P’ 1949-51
  • Alvis 14hp 1949-50
  • Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane, Lancaster 1946-53, Whitley 1950-53
  • Aston Martin 2litre 1947-50, DB2 1951-54
  • Austin 8hp, 10hp, 12hp 1946-47, 16hp 1946-48
  • Austin A40 Devon 1948, A90 Atlantic 1949-52, A125 Sheerline 1948-54,
  • A135 Princess 1948-57
  • Bristol 2litre 1947-48, 400 1949-50, 401 1949-53, 403 1954, X404 (Arnolt Body) 1954
  • BSA FWD Three Wheeler and Scout models 1931-40
  • Citroen 15hp 1946-53, 23hp 1946-55
  • Daimler 36hp 1946-53, 2.1/2litre 1946-53, Consort 1950-53, 3litre 1953, Conquest and Century 1954-58
  • Dellow 1952-54
  • Healey 16hp Saloon and Roadster 1948-49
  • Hillman Minx 1946-54, Minx Series III 1955-57, Husky Series I 1955-57
  • HRG 9hp and 12hp 1946-52
  • Humber Hawk 1946-54, Imperial 1946-54, Snipe 1946, Super Snipe 1946-52
  • Jaguar 1.1/2litre 1946-48
  • Jensen 3.3/4litre 1946-47
  • Jowett Javelin 1948-54, Jupiter 1951-54, 10cwt Bradford Van 1946-54
  • Lagonda 2.1/2litre 1949-52, 3litre 1954-58
  • Lanchester 14hp 1952-53, 10hp LD10 1946-51
  • Lea Francis 14hp 1946-54, 18hp 1951-54, 1.1/2litre and 2.1/2litre Sports 1950-54
  • Morgan Plus Four 1946-50
  • Morris 8hp 1946-48
  • Paramount Roadster and Coupe 1946-52
  • Riley 1.1/2 1946-55, 2.1/2litre 1947-52
  • Rover 10hp, 12hp, 14hp and 16hp 1946-47, ‘60’ 1948-56, ‘75’ 1948-56, ‘90’ 1954-56
  • Landrover 1948-59
  • Singer 9hp Roadster 1946-51, 1200cc 4AC and 4AD 1952-55
  • Standard 8hp, 12hp and 14hp 1946-48
  • Sunbeam Alpine 1955-56, MkIII 1955-56
  • Sunbeam-Talbot 10hp, 2litre 1946-47, ‘80’ 1948-50, ‘90’ 1948-52
    Trojan 1946-60
  • Wolseley 8hp, 10hp, 12hp,14hp and 18hp 1946-48, 25hp 1948

400-406 Braking systems

406 Brake Data



However, this does not resolve the mystery that all 406′s are believed to have had disc brakes not drum brakes.

Master Cylinder Repair Kit Wheel Cylinders Repair Kits Brake Hose Brake Shoes
88840 KL 71410 Front 30635
Rear 83604
Front KL71490
Rear KL71529
Front KL57424
Rear KL57426
Front LB134
Rear LB135M20


The 88840 Master Cylinder was also used on a number of other vehicles, namely:

  • Austin Commercial LD1, LD01 (1 Ton), LD2, LD02 (1.5 Ton) up to chassis 16120
  • B.M.C. Commercial 1 Ton FC LDM20 1962 – 1967 & 260LD 1968- B.M.C. Prime Movers FD.2 Loader 2WL Loader
  • British Jeffrey Diamond – Wakefield Road Grader 603 1966 on
  • Conveyancer E20-20 / 6-20 (Some) / E20-20 1955 Mk XXV / E2-24, G4-24
  • E3-20, D4-24 / E4-15, G4-15 / E4-20, G5-16 / E22 RC Truck 1965 on / MkII, MkIv, MkVI
  • Coventry Climax IGY / Electrical IndustrialTractor Model-TE 1965 on
  • Universal Major Trucks Models MSD, MSDA, MSP, MSPA, MCD, MCDS, MCP, MCPA, MED, MEDA, MEP, MEPA,
  • Universal Major Electric Fork Lift Truck MSE, MCE, & MEE 1963- / Research Truck RT.812 / TLJ / UTF
    Universal Petrol & DieselFork Lift Truck IGPT, IGPTA Series II, IGDT, IGDTA Series II / IGEUS
  • Universal Major Electric Fork Lift IGET / Series I & II, IGETA Series II / Bulkloader (Mechanical Shovel)
  • Halifax Tool Company 26Hr Battery Electric Tractor1967 on
  • Lister Tractor 50cwt 4’7.5″ W.B.
  • Morris Commercial LLD1, LD01 (1 ton), LD2, LD02 (1.5 Ton) up to chassis 16120, LD4 LDOA Petrol RHD & LHD)
  • Morrison Electricars E type25 cwt. BE, E25 cwt. / BEV (Morrison BM60 & BM60 MkII 1928-
  • Trojan 15cwt, Van 1950 on / Electrojan Battery Electric 20cwt Van 1952 on / Trojan-Carrimore Articulated 1952 on
  • Trojan-Tasker Articulated 1954 on
  • Yale & Towne K51-60 Fork Lift Truck Model Yale Tractor Shovel (Throttle Control).

400-403 Wheel Cylinders


As of Sept. 2010, the following are the cheapest prices that could be found

and there were significant difference in the prices quoted and all include VAT at 17.5%

  • Rear Wheel 25453 £84 from PowerTrack Ltd.
  • Rear Wheel 34348 (The believed replacement for 25453) £74.03 from David Manners
  • Rear Wheel 34348 – possible replacement for 25453, £108.98 from Guy Broad
  • Front Wheel 25452 £45.00 from David Manners
  • Front wheel 25452 – If not in stock with David Manners, £88.71 from Guy Broad
  • Note these are also available from US Jaguar Parts suppliers
  • Rear Wheel 34348 (The believed replacement for 25453) £74.03 from David Manners
  • Rear Wheel 34348 – possible replacement for 25453, £84.00 from Guy Broad
  • Rear Wheel 34348 £75.50 Recon. Exchage Classic Brakes
  • These are also available from US Jaguar Parts suppliers

405-406 Wheel Cylinders


Again, the latest prices as of September 2010 were as follows:

  • Front wheel 30635 £59.00 from David Manners
  • Front wheel 30635 – Jaguar XK 120 late available from Guy Broad
  • 30635 £68.50 Recon. Exchange Classic Brakes
  • These are also available from US Jaguar Parts suppliers

We have yet to compare the 1 1/8″ 401 rear 25453 and the 1 1/8″ 405 rear 83604 to see if the only difference is the handbrake lever?

Brake Master Cylinders


The XK120 early/single brake system Master cylinder looks the same as the Bristol Master Cylinder. An unknown person has apparently tried one but legend has it that it didn’t fit. However, it is not known which Jaguar Master Cylinder was tried. Nevertheless they still look identical and this is still worth exploring. It may be that just the bodies are the same as it uses the same KL71410 repair kit – has anyone physically compared the two?

Brake Shoes


Brake Pads for the 406

Brake pads for the 406 are often listed on EBay. However, as an alternative, EBC state they are the Manufacturers of the World’s largest Range of Brakes. For more information see EBC Brakes Direct or Tel:0845 225 5011.

406 Servo

Servo Data (from a Lockheed list)

  • There seems to be some cross information in the Lockheed catalogue, as elsewhere the unit listed below is shown as for the 407 and below (4257- 551) as the correct unit for a 406.
  • “Major Repair Kit” – includes the items that should be replaced whenever the unit requires servicing regardless of cause.
  • “Piston Packing Kit” – includes parts which must be used, in addition the parts included in the major repair kit, if the leather Piston Packing needs to be replaced.
  • “Air Control Valve Kit” – consists of a sub-assembly of the end cover, valve and air pipe to be fitted as a complete unit each time a valve requires replacement.
Servo Unit Repair Kit
V4257-567 Major Repair Kit SSB.72573
Piston Packing Kit KL 72523
Air Control Valve Kit 72525



(See also 407 LOCKHEED SERVO 4257-567)

The Jaguar XK 150 Servo 4257-552 is much the same as the Bristol one but we have yet to work out the exact difference and whether or not it actually makes any difference in use?

4257-552 units are available from David Manners. for £480 including vat (Jan 2011).
406 Servo Kits & Parts are also available from J & L Spares Export Ltd.

The remote brake servo kit enables the fitting of a remote brake servo to cars which do not have one, and enables the easy replacement of non-functional or obsolete servos. Boost ratio 1.9:1 Measures approx 224mm length by 189mm diameter. The beauty of a remote servo is that fitting requires no interference, modification, or change to the existing brake master cylinder. As well as being a suitable fitting for all single circuit cars lacking a servo (and kit cars), it is also a direct replacement for remote Girling Powerstop servos fitted to Austin, Bedford, Ford, Hillman, Land Rover, Lotus, MG, Morgan, Morris, Singer, Talbot, Triumph to name a few, covered by the Girling part numbers 64949023, 64949077, 64949178, 64949354, 64949330, 64949000. Supplied as a kit complete with brackets, hose, connections, instructions etc. Please note that if fitting to a modern car with twin circuit brakes, then you will need twin servos.

Fitting instructions for a remove servo


Remote servos are available from Ratsport, among other sources.