These little springs are critical to the safe operation of your Bugeye. Steady springs help hold the rear brake shoes parallel to the drums. Without them, the shoes will not retract properly and will also drag and scrape on the drum and/or backplate.
These are often missing on the cars that arrive at our shop. This is probably because they are difficult to properly engage, and easy to break during assembly. We use a stout pair of long needle nose pliers to compress and twist them into place.
Above, you can see an improvised steady spring we saw on one car we purchased, made with a piece of heavy wire. You need the right piece so that your brakes work properly. We have them in our catalog (click here to order some), and next time you remove your rear drums, make sure you have some handy so you can make it right.
Above you can see a FRONT drum assembly, with two wheel cylinders. The design of the early rear drum brake on Bugeyes (and Mark 2s) is completely different, with a single piston, single wheel cylinder. The single cylinder rear design necessitates the steady spring to help stabilize the shoes. Below you can see a Mark 1 backplate with the tangs that receive the steady springs behind the shoes (note, the later rear back plate is different, with no steady springs).
Many people complain about drum brakes on Sprites. More often than not, the issue with drum brakes is poorly set-up or worn components. We’ve bought more than 300 Sprites, and a vast majority of them arrive here with the rear brakes wet, oily, improperly assembled or otherwise broken. When a Bugeye has all four drum brakes properly adjusted and functioning, the stock brakes in these cars work quite well!