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Thread: WLA Front Brake Question

  1. #1

    Default WLA Front Brake Question

    Hello all,

    I finally got my WLA running well. My back brakes well, but my front brake is relatively nonexistent. Yes I realize the are mechanical and not disc. Is this typical of WLAs? Thanks in advance,

    WLA and vintage bike newbie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Beautiful Northern New Mexico


    Generally 45/WL brakes work relatively well. They are nearly the size of Big Twin brakes with a much lighter payload. My personal 45 brakes work just fine, so there is an issue with yours. Shoes not centered, not matched to the drum,glazed, etc. A close inspection is in order. Have you followed the adjustment procedure in the Service Manual?
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  3. #3



    Greatly appreciate your reply. I was adjusting the cable and it broke. I have ordered another one. I believe it was old and didn't have enough travel to engage the brake. When I get the new one I will hope to adjust it accordingly. When I roll the bike and pull the lever I am getting resistance. Thanks again.


  4. #4


    I agree they should work, but for me they are more for rolling the bike around and being able to stop it. Think pulling up to a red light and just rolling the last 10', or rolling her around the garage. At speed and you need to stop in a a hurry, it will be all about the rear brake. My experience is when pushed real hard, they give up the ghost pretty quick. But well adjusted, better then no front brake. Good luck.

  5. #5


    The front brake always does most of the work.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005


    I sent my 45 front brake drum, backing plate and shoes to Vintage Brake. They trued the drum, glued the Ferodo linings to shoes then arced the linings to match the drum. It was very effective work.

    Dan Margolien
    Yankee Chapter National Meet August 3/4 2018 NEW LOCATION at the TERRYVILLE FAIRGROUNDS, Terryville CT
    JD enthusiasts:

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