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Old 10-29-2007, 09:27 PM
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Braking Probs With 59 Isetta?

Is a 59 Isetta a Hot Rod ?No it is not...
But...the same kind of inovative minds can help on "odd ball" stuff like this-
The little thing is probably worth 20-30 grand...
I'ts a 1 banger...the bluprints were aqiured from a refregerator company by BMW after ww2.
-Funny little veihecle .A collission with a VW would be like a mid size chev with a mack truck...
Anyway I am having trouble with the brakes-
the drums are stamped....
As this is a high dollar project we could probably have custom drums made...I think the owenr wants to keep as much stock as possible..

We put.."pud?" new master,all "3" wheel slaves,new lines,linings..
Still brakes don't work worth ****-
One thing I did'nt do was to test hyd press from the master cyl....
what next?
I think custom or modded brake drums....
Any of you know about isettas???


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Old 10-29-2007, 09:31 PM
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I rode in one in the early 60s, does that help?

Here's a pic for the youngsters in the crowd.

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Old 10-29-2007, 09:49 PM
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Steve Erkles little car from the 1980's tv show, Faimily Matters was an Isatta ( seen in only a few episodes ). Yea there tiny. the BMW 600 was siimmilar, but a little larger and had side rear doors.

if your going to invest in custom, I'd see what SSBC or any other custom brake company can make you in the line of custom disc brakes, you can't see the braking system behind the wheel, so, that's what I would do.

might as well, while your at it. put in a Harley panhead or shovlehead engine to replace the 250cc BMW motorbike engine it has. yupp. I'd hotrod it a bit. w/ the correct muffler, owner will never kno, just tell him it's been warmed over.
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:51 PM
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Yeh that helps...
Talk about scary
I test drove after repair...? and yes-Very scary little ride.
it's like driving around in a eggshell.

Last edited by Haulin327; 10-29-2007 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:21 AM
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I want an Isetta
I had a friend with one back in high school, but I wouldn't get in the crackerbox with him..
No sir.

Did you have the linings arced to fit the drums? Did you rough up or turn the drums so the new linings would seat quicker? Good idea about checking the pressure.

I don't know if SSBC would want to talk to you, every time I have called them with a inquiry about a one off brake set they blow me off. And those brakes have got to be so small that I'd be looking at a motorcycle brake set.

Is this a restoration? Maybe a custom set of drums is in order.

There is a guy in boston who I talked to a while back when I was trying to find a set of drums for a 59 ford retractable...( you wouldn't think those were rare....guess again.) Very knowledgable guy, he didn't have the brakes for the 59, but he sent me right to a place that did.

I'll see if I can find his contact info.

Is there a forum for those things somewhere ..Isetta is a whole 'nother language.

Later, mikey
my signature lines...not really directed at anyone in particular..

BE different....ACT normal.

No one is completely useless..They can always be used as a bad example
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:36 AM
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re: Braking Probs With 59 Isetta?

I saw one with a 4-wheeler engine and trans. and it had a trailer hitch.
Didn't drip oil like a Harley would!
I'd check the pressures at the bleeders, sounds like not enough brake pressure like too large a master cylinder bore.
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:51 AM
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try to lift up on the pedal,

if there is some free play and you can extend the plunger arm even 1/8th inch it will multiply the psi quite a bit....
test it to see if it will help just inserting some washers or a nut or whatever as a spacer to make the arm longer

my gut feeling says the problem is the drums are worn out..... to so big of a diameter only a small area of the smaller diameter shoe is actually contacting it....
try marking the whole surface of the shoes and see how much is actually hitting the drums
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:16 AM
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I had a friend in Rutherford NJ who was in the business of Isetta parts.Try Isetta John or something similar.
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