Upgrading the Brakes on my Mini Conversion

by Mark

McGill University's Converted Mini

McGill University's Converted Mini

I've got a 1976 Mini that I want to convert to an EV.

My question is: what is the best way to set up my brakes using the original drum set up? I can convert the fronts to discs quite easily but keeping them standard drums would be more cost effective. I've heard that you can use a vacuum pump. How do you go about this exactly? How does it work?

Hi, Mark -

Yep, you're gonna need better brakes.

This is why: That Mini didn't have adequate brakes to begin with, back in her lighter days as a gas-guzzler. Add 1200 pounds of lead batteries, and suddenly you're a PASSENGER in your own car - you'll stomp on those brakes and she'll keep right on going.

On the other hand, a vacuum pump is for cars with power brakes. If you don't have power brakes, there is a way to get there, but I think your original idea to convert the front set to discs is a good one; just make sure they're BIG discs (if you go with the 7 inch discs, you're wasting your time - the stopping power is about the same as your present twin leading shoe drum arrangement). You'll want 8.4 inch discs and 4 pot calipers.

Money well spent; )

Check out the Mini in the above picture at Austin EV's Photo Album.


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Always upgrade your brakes
by: Cameron

Lots of people don't think about upgrading their brakes or their suspension - thanks.

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