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Old 04-04-2023, 11:52 AM   #21
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

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Originally Posted by BIG KEV View Post
The real brake upgrade is the 1932 and up brakes. I swapped my fronts to the 32 brakes and the difference is hands down amazing.

The floaters do help either these or the stocks for sure... Also ditch stamped steel drums indefinitely.
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I'm with Big Kev, I put 35 brakes on front of my coupe this winter...What a difference !
Hey guys, so I am trying to wrap my head around these comments. If a set of properly rebuilt 11" Model-A brakes and replacement cast iron drums will easily make 9 sudden panic stops in a row from 35mph - 00mph ...and then on the 10th pedal application it will completely lock the drums and slide the tires, exactly where is that difference coming from? Are we comparing worn 11" brakes to rebuilt 12" brakes??
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Old 04-04-2023, 12:01 PM   #22
Dave in Petaluma
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

whirnot, Is it necessary to change the spindles to use 12", '32 brake drums and backing plates?
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Old 04-04-2023, 12:05 PM   #23
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

I put new cast iron drums all around with new woven linings. I put Ted's deluxe floater kit all around. I am having a hard time getting things right. Fronts want to make noise or grab. The set-up definitely works better than what I had, but is really finnicky about rod lengths and adjustments on the front. I believe the length and condition of the operating pins and the front brake actuating arms are critical to the front brakes being dialed in correctly. You will need to have a selection of pins and shims to get things right. It can try your patience. Even with new parts you can have problems, as no two seem to be alike, even if from the same vender. But I'm not giving up.
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Old 04-04-2023, 03:25 PM   #24
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

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I put new cast iron drums all around with new woven linings. I put Ted's deluxe floater kit all around. I am having a hard time getting things right. Fronts want to make noise or grab. The set-up definitely works better than what I had, but is really finnicky about rod lengths and adjustments on the front. I believe the length and condition of the operating pins and the front brake actuating arms are critical to the front brakes being dialed in correctly. You will need to have a selection of pins and shims to get things right. It can try your patience. Even with new parts you can have problems, as no two seem to be alike, even if from the same vender. But I'm not giving up.

Ohhh No! Reading this only makes me sad for you in your struggles.

Therein lies a huge problem for others just like you IMHO when you speak of new parts and the struggle trying to "get things right". There are many things that hobbyists tend to overlook that are huge from my experience in restoring brakes.

The first is, ...I am going to guess about Ĺ of the brake shoe cores we find are either bent where the parabolic shape is incorrect, and/or the pin holes are oversized due to wear. If a brake shoe is not within specifications, then it will cause chattering or noise. Also, it will be hard for it to maintain proper alignment within the centerline of the drum, thus loss of efficiency.

Next speaking about the proper centerline, unless you have a fixture machined to be able to replace the Shoe Centering Bracket (A-2017) in the precise location, they are not going to work well. Ford Engineers did not allow the Agency mechanics to repair brake housing (backing) plates by replacing worn parts. The reason is because these mechanics could not hold the tolerances that Ford Engineers needed. So if the trained Model-A mechanics back in the day could not do it properly, why do we feel hobbyist mechanics today can do it correctly without any fixtures or precise locating methods?? Additionally, for several years now I have posted this when topics like this come up, but even the Mechanic's Handbook suggested measurements are over 5-TIMES the allowable specification variation that Ford Engineers specified. Ford Engineers allowed for there to be less that five-thousandths (0.005") variation. In other words, basically the thickness of one human hair in either direction!! Eyeballing the location and then installing rivets is NOT the correct way to having good brakes. Using a variety of pins to try to correct it is NOT the correct way either!!

Unfortunately it has become the 'norm' to choose a method that masks or compensates for worn parts or sloppy craftsmanship now. Again, I have seen it over & over how Model-A brakes stop superbly with parts that are all within specification, ...and even with stamped steel drums that are within specs. If someone adds cast-iron drums in lieu of steel drums, the benefit of many repetitious stops without pedal fade is all that is added. While I realize all of this is likely falling on deaf ears, please consider doing the restoration correctly instead of bandaids being passed-off as upgrades.


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File Type: pdf BrakeTracks_ErrorDimension.pdf (1.76 MB, 74 views)
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Old 04-05-2023, 12:07 AM   #25
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

It sounds like I should just stick with stock replacement parts with soft woven lining and forget about the floaters.
I see that some of the vendors rebuild brakes. Would it be better to have them rebuild the brakes with cast iron drums and rebuild the backing plates? If they do them regularly they should be better at it? I do not have access to brake lathes or to arch the shoes. The local auto parts stores only sell parts, they gave up on the machine shops long ago.
I have done brake work on modern cars for over 40 years but have never done anything more than check and adjust the brakes on Model A's.
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Old 04-05-2023, 02:47 AM   #26
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

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Quote:
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While I realize all of this is likely falling on deaf ears
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Old 04-05-2023, 07:55 AM   #27
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

The floaters do more than allow the shoes to float. They allow the shoes to self actuate. As Brent said, if the dealer mechanics could not get the shoe centering bracket in the right location, what hope does the hobbyist have. So the floaters do two things: eliminate the need to get the shoe centering bracket totally accurate and improve the braking by making the shoes self actuating.

Brent is right that a totally restored and accurate brake system is excellent, but few people have the ability to restore the brake system to the original specification. The floaters eliminate the need to do that and, in my opinion, are a good upgrade. However, the rest of the brake system has to be in excellent shape and the floaters installed correctly.

Now, a story about one Model A owner and his method of fixing the centering and arcing of the shoes. I was impressed with his car's braking ability. He rebuilt his brakes (cast iron drums) and then rode the brakes until the shoes seated into the drums. He probably used the soft lining on his shoes because the hard lining would not wear quickly enough for him to do the seating by wear.
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Old 04-05-2023, 03:57 PM   #28
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
Ohhh No! Reading this only makes me sad for you in your struggles.

Therein lies a huge problem for others just like you IMHO when you speak of new parts and the struggle trying to "get things right". There are many things that hobbyists tend to overlook that are huge from my experience in restoring brakes.

The first is, ...I am going to guess about Ĺ of the brake shoe cores we find are either bent where the parabolic shape is incorrect, and/or the pin holes are oversized due to wear. If a brake shoe is not within specifications, then it will cause chattering or noise. Also, it will be hard for it to maintain proper alignment within the centerline of the drum, thus loss of efficiency.

Next speaking about the proper centerline, unless you have a fixture machined to be able to replace the Shoe Centering Bracket (A-2017) in the precise location, they are not going to work well. Ford Engineers did not allow the Agency mechanics to repair brake housing (backing) plates by replacing worn parts. The reason is because these mechanics could not hold the tolerances that Ford Engineers needed. So if the trained Model-A mechanics back in the day could not do it properly, why do we feel hobbyist mechanics today can do it correctly without any fixtures or precise locating methods?? Additionally, for several years now I have posted this when topics like this come up, but even the Mechanic's Handbook suggested measurements are over 5-TIMES the allowable specification variation that Ford Engineers specified. Ford Engineers allowed for there to be less that five-thousandths (0.005") variation. In other words, basically the thickness of one human hair in either direction!! Eyeballing the location and then installing rivets is NOT the correct way to having good brakes. Using a variety of pins to try to correct it is NOT the correct way either!!

Unfortunately it has become the 'norm' to choose a method that masks or compensates for worn parts or sloppy craftsmanship now. Again, I have seen it over & over how Model-A brakes stop superbly with parts that are all within specification, ...and even with stamped steel drums that are within specs. If someone adds cast-iron drums in lieu of steel drums, the benefit of many repetitious stops without pedal fade is all that is added. While I realize all of this is likely falling on deaf ears, please consider doing the restoration correctly instead of bandaids being passed-off as upgrades.


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Very well done! Owners that really care are hearing you.

Enjoy.
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Old 04-06-2023, 09:21 AM   #29
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

Gotta love the Chevrolet educational stuff
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMEkxgY8yxE
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Old 04-06-2023, 09:34 AM   #30
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

[QUOTE=mhsprecher;2214060]Wouldn't adjusting the brakes with more bias towards the front be another alternative, or adjusting the brakes so they all have the same amount of drag? The Ford shop bulletin and Les Andrews' approach is to start the rear brakes engaging first. Ideally, you don't want the fronts to lock up so that you maintain steering in the case of a panic stop.

Locking up just the rears is what causes lack of directional control. Find a dirt or gravel road and try stopping with just the hand brake.
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Old 04-06-2023, 09:52 AM   #31
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

>>Ideally, you don't want the fronts to lock up so that you maintain steering in the case of a panic stop.

Just to point out that, that was the thinking back then.

However, by today's standards it is no good maintaining steering if the back swings around and tries to over take the front, for the average punter.
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Old 04-06-2023, 06:20 PM   #32
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

Updraught, The Chevrolet video show self centering (floating) brake shoes. Now if both shoes were a little self actuating, that would help. My point? Well, you can just figure that out for yourself.
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Step on the gas, for tomorrow I die.
Forget the brakes, they really don't work.
The clutch always sticks, and starts with a jerk.
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Old 04-07-2023, 01:26 AM   #33
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

I'd LOVE to have a set of '32 brakes but I've only ever seen one '32 here so I guess my chances of finding them are not real good. What is the availability like over there?
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Old 04-07-2023, 02:11 AM   #34
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https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=322617
Cost a bomb to get em here.
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Old 04-07-2023, 09:04 PM   #35
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

Updraught, I'd get 'em here at an almost reasonable price but the drums are only part of what would be needed. Backing plates (complete) and shoes would help.
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Old 04-07-2023, 09:13 PM   #36
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

My guess is that Berts would have a complete set of backing plates. The longer operating pins are made repo. Good drums are the hard thing to get.
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Old 04-08-2023, 11:07 AM   #37
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

Hot Rod guys love the 32-36 axles, I would think you could find a rodder taking off the old "junk" brakes when they go to hydraulics
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Old 04-11-2023, 10:25 AM   #38
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

New cast iron drums, new shoes, springs, and FHT up front, new rods and Clevisís adjusted correctly worked for my A.
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Old 04-11-2023, 09:54 PM   #39
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Default Re: Brake improvement for Model A's

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Originally Posted by 1928 Sport Coupe View Post
I have been reading the threads on brake improvement for Model A Ford's. I have not seen much about the Floater kits available from the vendors.
Are the floater kits of any help? If so are they worth the cost?
I saw on the thread about brake drums and Hydraulic conversion where nkaminar had talked about using the rear levers on the front. I thought about trying that. But still was thinking about the floaters. Does anyone have instructions on installing the floaters? I just do not understand how they work.
Is the floaters for just the front or are they for all four brakes?
Thanks in advance.
Cast Iron Drums, make sure everything is in good repair and learn how to adjust them properly.....anything else is a waste of money and not necessary. I can lock the brakes up at any time on my 29 and lets face it when you locked up that's all the braking your going to get on stock tires. Henry loved mechanical brakes and so do I as they are very fuctionel and simple once you understand them.
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Old 04-12-2023, 07:29 AM   #40
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Cast Iron Drums, make sure everything is in good repair and learn how to adjust them properly.....anything else is a waste of money and not necessary. I can lock the brakes up at any time on my 29 and lets face it when you locked up that's all the braking your going to get on stock tires. Henry loved mechanical brakes and so do I as they are very fuctionel and simple once you understand them.
This is all that really ever needs to be said about Model A brakes.

Just like the front end. There is no half way here. They need to be taken apart completely, ďALLĒ worn parts replaced, and adjusted correctly.

If Ford authorized dealers were still working on our cars? What do you think they would tell you needed to be done if you went in with brake problems?

Our cars have seen to many years of shade tree mechanics working on them. Looking for the cheapest way to fix things, or without any engineering knowledge at all trying to improve them.

Donít make fun of a properly restored and maintained car.

Worn out, is worn out!

Junk is junk!

Maintaining an antique car is like going to the dentist. You have to be willing to spend the money and do it regularly.

Once done right, it will be good to go for a long time. Itís cheaper in the long run. Correctly done and your good to run.

Haze Gray and Underway.
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