Europa Master Cylinder Replacement - Gary David
I've owned my Europa S2 from new and the master cylinder finally gave up. It had been rebuilt once successfully, but the last time it still didn't work following a rebuild attempt. New master cylinders are no longer available but I found a story on the Internet from member Aaron Hines on fitting a Nissan F10 master cylinder to a Europa (Twin Cam in his case). I had considered a single cylinder such as had been used in the UK but that took changes to the brake lines and I preferred to leave them alone.
I read Hines's story a few times, thought it seemed reasonable, and purchased a factory rebuilt cylinder from Advance Auto Parts for $45 with a life-time warranty. Problem one is that it does not come with a reservoir. There might be a perfectly good one available for it but I have not been able to find one. Luckily the reservoirs that come with Tilton master cylinders fit the cylinder perfectly. Aaron used Tilton remote mount fittings in his TC but there was more room in my S2 so I used two of the small reservoirs, which I had from our racing efforts. Tilton will supply them individually and, if you can't bum them from any friends who race, you can contact the Winners Circle at www.spridget.com as they have told me they will supply whatever is needed. Each part is listed separately by Tilton so tell them exactly what you need. The reservoirs even include screens to keep trash out and the newest ones feature screw caps rather than quarter turn caps.
Next came mounting the cylinder. It didnít fit. Close but not quite. The large hole in the Federal Europa's pedestal base needs to be opened up about .010". I used a Carbide cutting tool and a file to clean it up afterwards. It doesn't need to be perfect but try to come close. The mounting holes on the cylinder need to be extended about 0.125" to the outside to fit the mounting studs. For this I used an aluminum cutter on a Dremel Tool. A milling machine would do a great job and a file will work.
Now that it fits I found that the outlets of the cylinder were on the wrong side. Also on an S2 there is very little room so the adapters that Hines used won't fit and I preferred to mount them with banjo bolts as in the stock setup. You will find that the threads in the cylinder are 10mm x 1.0 and local Auto Parts stores have never heard of them. Another trip to the Internet and Bonaco Performance Lines at www.bonacoinc.com carries them, complete with washers, at $1.00 each. This is as close to a gift as you will ever find. In an S2 you cannot install these bolts with the cylinder in place. The mounting nuts need to be loose and then the brake lines can be routed over to the other side of the cylinder and the banjo bolts screwed in loosely with a washer on each side of the banjo. Once the cylinder is firmly mounted an open end wrench can be used to tighten up the bolts. There was a kit of two plastic fittings and tubes with the cylinder and dire warnings to bleed the cylinder first before attaching it to the lines. It took a few minutes but it worked and then system bleeding went quickly.
The standard brake pushrod, running from the bell crank to the cylinder in a Europa S2, will work fine with this cylinder. The lock ring and mounting washer are not needed and I used some contact cement to attach the old dust boot to the cylinder. At the pedal end you will probably find that the adjustable pushrod, that attaches to the pedal, is too long. You must have some slop in the pedal (trust me the results are not pretty without this).
If you need to adjust this you will first need to remove the entire mounting assembly from the Europa chassis. This pushrod has a lock nut on it but it is only needed for the factory when they were assembling them. With both ends secured and only one threaded adjustment, it cannot change more than a couple thousandths when installed. I just turned it in from the pedal end until I could get the pedal to show a little slop. Don't forget to use a cotter key or a hitch pin clip to attach the clevis pin when finished.
My standard master cylinder had a bore of 0.700" while the new one is 0.750". This will make the pedal a bit harder and take a little more effort but well within reason. To me it feels even more secure than the original. The Twin Cam master cylinder was a bit larger so it might be lighter and move a little farther with the replacement. Aaron reported it as working fine on the TC with less effort (servos removed) and plenty of feel. Both of our cars also have stainless steel flex lines which help pedal feel.