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Old 03-31-2011, 03:54 PM   #21
sturgis 39
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

I am an expert in my opion and I will not reply because I do not know what it takes to qualify in your mind to be an expert. You must be the same guy that adds the sentence in want ads, "Serious buyers only".
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:02 PM   #22
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

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Originally Posted by Special Coupe Frank View Post
Remember, Ford was one of the last American auto makers to switch to Hydraulic brakes, so their mechanicals must have done an okay job of stopping the V-8 85.
I guess you haven't experienced the miserable cable brakes on a 37!
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:28 PM   #23
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

i use mechanical , rebuilt all 4 & installed "teds" kits , cast drums . i think my brakes are plenty good ! be sure you adjust them correctly !!! .......... steve
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:17 PM   #24
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

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In the 50s, cars got much bigger and heavier. I would hate to stop a 1959 Cadillac going 85 mph with mechanical brakes.

.
You would be surprised how well a 30's Lincoln Model L or K or a Pierce Arrow V12 stops with mechanical brakes, and those are 6500 lb cars that go 70-80 easily. They are big shoed, with cast drums, self energizing on the Lincoln and the Pierce had a drive shaft driven power assist that made it easy to stop with a light touch.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:50 AM   #25
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

With properly set up brakes, either mechanical or hydraulic, those skinny Model A tires are always going to be the real limiting factor in trying to stop quicker. When they lock up, they won't know or care which system is used.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:20 AM   #26
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

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Thanks for everyones reply. I posted the original question because every now and then someone mentions putting juice brakes on a STOCK Model A. I've always thought the brakes Henry put on A's that are properly rebuilt, work just fine.
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Would it be fair to ask you what is your opinion?? Why would/do you feel one is better than the other?

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Old 04-02-2011, 06:54 AM   #27
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

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Thanks for everyones reply. I posted the original question because every now and then someone mentions putting juice brakes on a STOCK Model A. I've always thought the brakes Henry put on A's that are properly rebuilt, work just fine.

So true!!
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:39 AM   #28
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

"Thanks for everyones reply. I posted the original question because every now and then someone mentions putting juice brakes on a STOCK Model A. I've always thought the brakes Henry put on A's that are properly rebuilt, work just fine."

There are also those folks who don't / "can't" leave anything exactly the way the factory built it...

( I wonder what percentage of Harley's stay exactly the way they left the factory...? )

I would add a small qualifying statement to: "Stock brakes are just fine on a Model A" - a STOCK Model A...

If someone goes and substantially boosts the HP of their "banger" or re-powers the car with a hotter engine, then the Model A brakes may no longer be adequate.

My personal opinion is, that unless you're building a "heritage rod", and need to stay "old-school" with the Lockheed Juice brakes, if you really need hydraulic brakes, there are better hydraulic brake designs out there.

Chrysler Corp. finally gave up on Lockheed-derived brakes after the 1962 full-size cars. From then on, they used Bendix brakes. The "new" compact MoPars used Bendix brakes from day one, 1960 ( just like the Falcon & Comet).

Last edited by Special Coupe Frank; 04-04-2011 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:38 AM   #29
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

I changed to hydro.I wanted something I had worked on before.They are easy to adjust
and repair
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:34 PM   #30
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

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I used front brakes from a 35 Ford, made a huge difference on how it stopped. The brakes are bigger than the stock "A" brakes and they are still mechanical. Was a nice upgrade. Properly adjusted and working correctly, these mechanicals stop well. Just dont drive it like your every day car.
Using the 35 Ford brakes - do they fit with no changes?
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:04 AM   #31
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

My Model a has cast iron drums and I can lock all wheels at low speed and they are easy to adjust and maintain. My brothers A was converted to 47 hydraulics and he ran silicone fluid. You never knew where you were going when you hit his brakes, one time it would pull left and the next right. I love my Model A mechanicals and I'll stick with them. I drove a restored 27 Chrysler the other day that had hydraulic band type brakes and I almost sailed through every stop sign pressing down as hard as I could so I think I know why external band brakes aren't used anymore. Stick with the A mechanicals and save yourself a lot of work.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:55 AM   #32
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

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Using the 35 Ford brakes - do they fit with no changes?

The only thing needed to fit them was a hydraulic brake conversion kit, it contained the spacer ring for the backing plate, which you dont need and a inner bearing spacer, which you do need. The brake operating pin that goes through the knig pin from the 35 or 36 Ford mates up with no modes to the Model A brake actuating shaft assemblies. Was a real easy swap, only thing I did not have was the operating pins which were hard to find.
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:27 PM   #33
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

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Originally Posted by Lowbuckboz View Post
The only thing needed to fit them was a hydraulic brake conversion kit, it contained the spacer ring for the backing plate, which you dont need and a inner bearing spacer, which you do need. The brake operating pin that goes through the knig pin from the 35 or 36 Ford mates up with no modes to the Model A brake actuating shaft assemblies. Was a real easy swap, only thing I did not have was the operating pins which were hard to find.
That size was the inner bearing spacer? I am thinking .188 what did you do for the seal? I am working on the swap now. I put 32 rear brakes in the back
Thanks Bill
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:14 PM   #34
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

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That size was the inner bearing spacer? I am thinking .188 what did you do for the seal? I am working on the swap now. I put 32 rear brakes in the back
Thanks Bill


I think the spacer thickness was about 3/8". The seal was a stock 35/36 Ford seal. The spindles I used are 32 Ford. The A spindle where the bearings go were the same. Forgot to mention that, though it shouldnt matter.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:00 AM   #35
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

thanks lowbuck...
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:19 AM   #36
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

Thanks Lowbuckboy - I'd like to stay mechanical - I actually like those dang rods going out to the wheels - just wondering if I can get a bit more 'stop' as I'm hoping to go a bit faster...
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:20 PM   #37
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

In 1961, I had a 4 door 1931 Model A. Now in 2015, I have4 a 1929 model A truck with V8-60 engine. My mechanical set up on the '31 were "Hopefully you will stop in time". Now I would like hydraulic something. Is there a vendor that ships ALL parts needed for the Conversion?
Any help here would be very appreciated
sam heller Greenville SC
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:56 PM   #38
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

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In 1961, I had a 4 door 1931 Model A. Now in 2015, I have4 a 1929 model A truck with V8-60 engine. My mechanical set up on the '31 were "Hopefully you will stop in time". Now I would like hydraulic something. Is there a vendor that ships ALL parts needed for the Conversion?
Any help here would be very appreciated
sam heller Greenville SC
MT CAR Products (click the link below) manufactures these absolute quality Bendix-type hydraulic brake system parts. This stuff is based on the early Lincoln Bendix systems that Henry elected to stop his heavier cars. This stuff is virtually bolt-on to Ford and Model A axles. It ain't cheap...........it IS 1st class, and it works! Make sure you click on the Model A "KIT". DD

http://www.mtcarproducts.com/productsgrid.html
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Old 10-26-2015, 04:17 PM   #39
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

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For the experts only please, just how much different are PROPERLY rebuilt STOCK A brakes vs. 1939-49 Ford hydraulic brakes on a Model A.
How many of the "experts" noticed that your question included 49 brakes which are Bendix and are far superior to mechanical brakes?

I assume you meant 39-48 which are lockheed and not as good as Bendix but better than mechanicals.
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:26 PM   #40
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Default Re: Mechanical vs. Juice brakes on an A

Point car or not?

I said this many years ago.. "Model A Ford mechanical brakes, when properly installed and adjusted, are arguably as good as, or better than, Hydraulic brakes."

Besides the cost, Henry felt that his change to juice brakes was Customer driven, knowing that he still had a superior braking system for the day..

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