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Front brake general view Renault Dauphine

The car shakes when braking (Renault Dauphine)

The situation: Renault Dauphine was shaking under braking.

The mystery of the shakes when braking seems close to being solved. The car didn’t brake badly (considering what can be expected from this vehicle), but it was shaky when braking, especially at the end of the pedal way. It was not a serious situation – it was not even detected in the ITV – but it was uncomfortable.


A few days ago I discovered that the brake shoes are 30mm wide (first Dauphine model) while the drums in this unit accept 35mm wide brake shoes (second Dauphine version). I was able to verify this based on documentation I found comparing the width of the drum “track” Vs the size of the brake shoes. In fact, a part of the inner “track” of the drum is clearly unused (unfortunately, I have no pictures of them, because the drums have already been through the grinding shop machine).

Brake pad Renault Dauphine: 30mm wide version
Brake pad Renault Dauphine: 30mm wide version
CIPERE pads for Dauphine model 35mm wide
CIPERE pads for Dauphine model 35mm wide

In the following photos, the 30mm brake shoes are still mounted. You can see the gap they have at the bottom (see in the pictures the circles marked in red, click on the image to see it in detail). One of them shows how it can be moved with a screwdriver “in” and “out”. This gap-displacement, which is very easy to imitate with a screwdriver, is expected to happen when the cylinder pushes the brake shoes. Besides that, as I mentioned, the drum had (prior to grinding) a part of the track that has no shoe scuff mark.

The solution

I have been able to locate 35mm wide brake shoes at CIPERE (a Franco-German supplier). Additionally, the drums have been delivered to the shop for grinding (fortunately still within the tolerance margins stablihed by Renault for the Dauphine’s which is 229.2 mm for the maximum internal diameter after grinding).

I will mount in a few days the new brake shoes and repaired drums. I am almost convinced that the larger contact surface, the brake shoes of the correct width, and the repaired drums will improve braking dramatically and the problem will be solved. I actually had this experience in another car a few years ago.

Where to buy them?

New brake shoes can be found at CIPERE. They are not very cheap, but it is true that there are not many alternatives. For the Dauphine, brake shoe linings are available, but complete brake shoes are not easy to find (contrary to the Renault 4CV where complete brake shoes are very easy to find from several suppliers). Click the link below if you want to go to the product (or here).

This is a situation I have encountered on many old classics: Poor maintenance that was done to classic cars many years back and once discovered, and resolved, causes the situation to be fixed almost by itself. In future posts I will tell you as an example about the OVERDRIVE of an MGB that came back to life with only proper maintenance.

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