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200 series Peerless transmission brake overhaul

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I’m posting this in the hope it may be useful to somebody somewhere, if not to RS members who seem to be generally able to turn their hand to pretty much anything, perhaps for the many out there that trawl the net looking for basic information to give them the confidence to do a job. After all, it’s from the ‘guests’ that a forum’s membership often grows.

Having just finished overhauling my 216-5 ready for the new season which included fixing the brake it was time to overhaul the 227-5. The 200 series rarely seem to feature on RS, possibly because they are vertical shaft and considered to be ‘lawn’ rather than ‘garden’ tractors.

Anyway, on with the job in hand – sorting out the brake which was poor in that it just about operated with the pedal fully down and the parking brake lever ratchet wouldn’t stay locked in the ‘on’ position.

The 200 series are fitted with the ubiquitous Peerless transaxle found on many makes of garden tractor from the 80s era and which have with a transmission disc brake. The rod from the brake pedal applies force to the calliper operating lever via the larger strong spring with the result that you can control the degree of braking action by the amount the pedal is depressed. Adjustment to compensate for the brake pads wearing down is made by tightening locking nut securing the lever to the calliper. If this adjustment is not maintained then eventually the brake only just works at full pedal depression and there isn’t enough tension in the big spring to hold the parking brake ratchet engaged. So it’s simple, just adjust the nut eh? Well, having just overhauled the brake on my 216-5, I would say that having got this far always take the whole assembly apart unless you are certain it’s in good order as you’ve done it in fairly recent years.

Removing the lever revealed the first sign that dismantling was indeed required. The disc must be able to move on the shaft and those splines looked ominously rusty to me so continue on. The two ‘plungers’ (for want of a better word) that transfer force through to the pad can be removed at this point. These were clean and still shiny; those on the 216 were a bit rusty but still came out and cleaned up ok.

On removing the housing, the brake pad it retains dropped out in two pieces! Be careful to locate and put aside the metal plate that sits between the pad and housing to take the force of the ‘plungers’. So now to the brake disc which when new would have simply slid off the splined shaft. A bit of wiggling and it came off (just) by hand. The problem here is that the disc sits very close to the transaxle casing making the use of a proprietary puller difficult if not impossible. With the 216 it was stuck firm and even penetrating fluid left overnight didn’t help so I had to resort to some tapping. There’s a bit of end float in the shaft so I made wedges from scrap steel sheet of various thicknesses that would just fit either side of the shaft between the disc and casing. A few taps with a copper mallet and it moved a bit allowing a couple more thin ‘wedges’ to be inserted and so on. The idea was to bring it far enough forward to use a puller but by the time it had moved that far I managed to pull it by hand.

The second brake pad sits in a recess in the transaxle casing and was part worn but intact. There appears to be a thin fibre shim between the casing and the pad, possibly it was used to hold the pad in place during assembly or possibly it provides a smooth surface. On the 216 it had pretty much disintegrated so I cleaned what remained of it out. It was time now to remove the grass debris, and clean the splines on the shaft and the disc.

When the splines on each are clean of the rust and solidified grease mix the disc should move easily on the shaft – almost a tad loose in fact.

The disc on the 216 cleaned up well and was pretty much perfect but this one was pitted. Looking at the pad surfaces they seem to have broken up a bit and developed pockets that held moisture causing the pits during winter storage year on year but hey, ho – it’s a tractor not an automobile so it’s going back for now and I’ll keep my eye open for a better one. The pads however, needed replacing.

Re-assembly, as they so often say, is pretty much the reverse of disassembly but here are a few points:

Grease the splines and wipe off any excess.

Remember to install the rear pad before putting on the disc.

Remember the metal plate that sits behind the outer pad in the calliper housing.

Remember also that the bolts securing the calliper casting go into ally – don’t over tighten!

Some Peerless diagrams show a coil spring that sits on the adjuster thread before the lever is installed but I didn’t find one of these on either tractor. I think it must have been an anti-rattle device so I’ve added one to each tractor but I guess it’s not that important.

I greased the surface of the lever that actuates the plungers and the reverse face that moves against the washer.

Now it’s time to adjust the brake calliper by tightening the lock nut. I’m not sure what the OEM guide for this is but I tightened it till there was just a little forwards / backwards movement left i.e. in the ‘off’ position the lever isn’t touching the ‘plungers’ but starts exerting pressure through to the pads as soon as it is pulled forward slightly.

Having reconnected the brake rod to the lever and also attached the return spring to it one can check the operation of the brake and the parking brake ratchet – they both worked well.

I’m sure someone will chip in and correct me if I’ve done something drastically wrong here but it seems to have worked ok on both tractors now.

:woohoo: I've used tags for this post and images uploaded to the forum gallery!

As I said, hope this is useful to someone out there.


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Excellent write-up, Andy! :handgestures-thumbup:

I would like to add to be VERY careful when attempting to loosen the bolts that fasten the caliper to the tranz housing. They are notorious for twisting off.

I apply anti-seize compound to the brake disc splines, both "plungers", and the caliper to tranz housing bolts during assembly.

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I think my dad and brother might have something to add to this, probably along the lines of breaking castings or the whole mechanism vibrating and falling apart whilst towing!

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yes meadow field is right on this topic

We bought a b111 And the braking system was c*** On looking closely Found the cam part was missing.

And one of the bolt holes was stripped.But at this house we wont be beat? Got some flat bar about 1/4x1" Cut to size and drilled near enough.

Then put in press and bent to what we thought was the right shape.Might have made three or four.Got an old brake pad cut to fit holes.

Re threaded stripped hole.A bit of tweaking.And hi presto it works a treat.

Next step is to get meadowfields hand brake working. :ychain: :ychain: :ychain:

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I would like to add to be VERY careful when attempting to loosen the bolts that fasten the caliper to the tranz housing. They are notorious for twisting off.

Thanks for adding that Terry. When you try and write things up it's easy to forget things you do all the time and take for granted as being par for the course.

I always use just the ring end of a standard little ring / open ended wrench or a 1/4 inch square drive ratchet wrench when it comes to little 3/8 inch headed bolts. You get a good feel for how much force you are applying and there's a limit to what you can apply. Never use a 1/2 square drive ratchet - its just way too easy to twist things off.

I also forgot to mention cleaning the threads on the little bolts before reassembling. I've always coated the cleaned threads with stuff called 'Waxoil', don't know what the US equivalent is but it is for applying under automobiles to keep rust at bay. Works well on threads where you don't have to use a locking compound and many years later they're still easy to undo.

We bought a b111 And the braking system was c*** On looking closely Found the cam part was missing.

Hi Nortlet - I have a little B-111 as well ( a project for somewhen) It has an earlier type Peerless tranny with a slightly different caliper brake arrangement to the one I've covered here. Guess what, apart from the shaft and disc, I don't have much else so a photo of what you did to get yours working would be great.


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Had to wait for the new disc pads to arrive in the post before reassembly so for completeness here are the final pics. I've stuck to uploading them to the forum gallery but I'm not really happy about the way they're displayed in the post. Not sure if this can be overcome - if not I'll return to hosting the photos elsewhere which seems a shame. Probably I'm doing something wrong.

Caliper assembly back in place, 'plungers' greased, and additional coil spring added.

Everything else back in place and the lever arm adjusted. I'm not sure about this being the correct arrangement for the return spring which has been rather stretched in the past. This is how I found it and how I put it back.

The wrench is just to indicate the size I used in order to minimise the risk of overtightening the caliper retaining bolts.

I'm probably doing something wrong in the way I've put gallery images in the post. - Can anyone help on this or is it just the way it is?


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Thank you for the information, I never thought about looking at my brake but I might do now, also just going a tad off topic yours says Europa is this a special version or is mine just missing a sticker?

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Great post.  Thanks for the information.  I have two 252H tractors (12 horse Kowasaki) which I believe is the US version (as is the 257H, 17 horse Kowasaki).  One needs the parking brake overhaul so thanks for the how-to.  Great pictures.

Edited by JackC
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Excellent write up and pictures.  This thread should go in the "How To" Section.  :)

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Good Info and nice write up! :thumbs:  :text-thankyouyellow:



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