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Old 08-04-2020, 12:14 PM   #1
Dobie Gillis
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Default Re-drill Brake Drums

I need a set of new front drums for my '55 Merc, 5 on 5" x 11", 2 1/2" shoes. Evidently '55/'56 Merc drums are made of unobtainium. I can get drums of the proper diameter and width for a '55/'56 Ford but they have a 5 on 4 1/2" bolt pattern. So my question is have any of you guys had drums redrilled to fit a different bolt pattern? I know it can be done, I'm just wondering what experiences you may have had. The only new Merc drums I've found are from Kanter Auto Products for about (sit down) $700/pr. There's also a place that installs new liners in drums but the price is only slightly less. Any input appreciated.
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Old 08-04-2020, 02:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

I have seen a die grinder w/a steel bit used to lengthen the holes to fit the proper bolt pattern . Just make sure the center hole on the new drum is the same size as the old drum , and not larger .
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Old 08-04-2020, 04:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

rottenleonard on the HAMB used to sell jigs to re drill axles but the link he posts doesn't work. Here is another link that has info about re drilling axles. I assume but don't know that they would work on a brake drum as well.
https://m.roadkillcustoms.com/wheel-...ill-guide-jig/
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Old 08-04-2020, 04:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

You don't have to drill new holes just elongate the ones that are there.
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

I got curious and searched "brake drum interchange". Found several sites about heavy equipment brake drum interchanges but not cars. Maybe if you spend some time you could find something.

Also, have you tried https://www.car-part.com/
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:30 PM   #6
Dobie Gillis
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

I did the same thing and got the same result. I went so far as to get a Hollander classic car parts interchange book and found that '56 Merc drums will interchange with '55 Merc drums but no other makes will interchange with Mercs.

Car-part.com "could not match" my request for '55 to '56 Merc front drums.

I'm gonna ask a couple of local machine shops about re-drilling.
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Last edited by Dobie Gillis; 08-04-2020 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimvette59 View Post
You don't have to drill new holes just elongate the ones that are there.
Yes, that's what I meant to say in my post above . Jim said it much better !
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:40 PM   #8
Dobie Gillis
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford Freak View Post
Yes, that's what I meant to say in my post above . Jim said it much better !
Wouldn't slotting weaken the drums? It seems to me slotting the existing holes would remove material than drilling new holes.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

I believe drilling new holes would remove more material than elongating a bit the existing ones .
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

Doble Gillis,
BEFORE you go to all that trouble on a Ford Drum That might even be the wrong height -- frequently that was ALSO different on Ford And Mercury.....
AND start drilling -- and ruining what you have -- and make a mess of things,

Give me a call ...... I might have the Absolutely 100 % correct brake drums -- at far less than $ 700 for a pair... That is absurd, indeed.... Those are even high for Lincoln brake drums.....

Always best to simply call me --- Craig --- 516 - 485 - 1935 ..... New York.....
---- That brake drum I S 1955 - 1956 Mercury -- ALL -- ONLY --.....
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:06 PM   #11
Daves55Sedan
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford Freak View Post
I have seen a die grinder w/a steel bit used to lengthen the holes to fit the proper bolt pattern . Just make sure the center hole on the new drum is the same size as the old drum , and not larger .
Actually, the Ford wheels had a larger center hole to accomodate the larger hub size on the Ford brake drums. The Merc hub tapers down and uses a smaller wheel bearing.
Nevertheless, I would not recommend using slotted holes.
You could possibly use Ford drums, but you would need to also use Ford wheels, front wheel bearings and dust cap. Not sure if you would need Ford grease seal on back side of hub or if it will even fit on the Merc spindle.
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Old 08-05-2020, 01:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

Apparently there's one in stock here:

https://autopartsobsolete.com/1955-5...mc-1125-a.html


Link is now changed , so it must be gone already.



-

Last edited by Randy in ca; 08-05-2020 at 08:13 PM. Reason: Link no longer valid.
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:42 AM   #13
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

I have re-drilled lots of drums over the years where I worked. The center hole has to be right though. That's what keeps it all centered. I would re-drill over slotting the hole, although I have done that as well for people. If all other dimensions are right it should not be a problem.
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:46 PM   #14
mobileparts
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

Dobie. Gillis,
I checked today... I have exactly two (2) 100% correct drums... One perfect matched pair of FOMOCO / KELSEY-HAYES. 1955 - 1956 Mercury Front Brake Drums.
No cutting, slicing, dicing, stuff in a blender, modifications, necessary.....

Call for details..... Craig..... 516 - 485 - 1935 .... New York......
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Old 08-06-2020, 03:27 PM   #15
Dobie Gillis
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

Left you a voice mail.
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Old 08-06-2020, 09:44 PM   #16
mobileparts
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

Yes,
I was sending three orders and paying three bills at the post office... Did you ever notice that paying bills never stops ???? (Well, We all are aware which day we don't have to pay bills any longer....)
Great talking to you today !!! Call me whenever you need or want.... I will check with James tomorrow, and give you a courtesy call at the very least...
Yours, Craig.....
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Old 08-14-2020, 12:05 AM   #17
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

Dobie Gillis,
I left you a message today... No can do on that head you are praying for --- you will need to be in the right place at the right time......

But, you do know that I have exactly two (2) Front N.O.S. Brake Drums and N.O.S.
100 % Correct ++ Asbestos ++ Brake Shoes for the 1955 - 1956 Mercury Fronts!!!!!!!!

C'mon man, Puff Out your chest and say " I am the Man"....Grab the Gold .... Only one person can be "The MAN". Is it you ???
Yours, Craig.....
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Old 08-14-2020, 08:10 AM   #18
Dobie Gillis
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

Call me. BTW, I'm in the central time zone. Only the extreme eastern end of the state is on eastern time.
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Old 08-19-2020, 04:22 AM   #19
mobileparts
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Default Re: Re-drill Brake Drums

Dobie Gillis,
You said "call me".
I called twice -- left messages each time -- and 3 days later you haven't returned the call.
Is there some other meaning of "call me" I am not familiar with ??
Craig....scroll up for phone number....
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