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Old 01-14-2016, 01:05 AM   #1
solidirish
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Default Centering Front & Rear Brake Shoes

I just started a complete brake job and noticed a section in Les Andrews Vol I discussing this procedure using a tool most vendors sell. I haven't seen or heard this subject discussed. Is this commonly being done? How important is it? How are roller tracks being bent as Les suggests to adjust for proper clearance? Also, what are people preferring to use for new drums.... Schneider's cast iron drums or Bratton's nodular iron drums which Bratton says is over 2 x stronger than cast iron? Thanks in advance for commenting.
Ray in Illinois
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:06 AM   #2
Kevin in NJ
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Default Re: Centering Front & Rear Brake Shoes

If you want the brakes to work right the shoes must be the same diameter as the drums (well slightly smaller). They must be centered in the drums at the operating position. Your tracks must be level (I do not think bending them is a good idea). You also need new matched wedges. Used can have uneven wear or worse they are often filed to look better. This can upset the balance of the braking.

Steel drums with wear are not good if you really want to drive. There are all kinds of thoughts on the drums. Really just have 4 drums that are properly installed along with properly set up brakes is going to work real good.

For the average guy with no special brake tools buying pre-made backing plates matched to new drums is probably a wise choice though it may seem pricey. Good brakes are not cheap anyway you look at it.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:34 AM   #3
Mitch//pa
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Default Re: Centering Front & Rear Brake Shoes

Check with Randy Gross he is a very good resource for brake items as many here have used his services, it's worth a call
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:39 PM   #4
H. L. Chauvin
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Default Re: Centering Front & Rear Brake Shoes

One (1) opinion:

If one:

1. Handles fitting Model A brake drums and Model A brake shoes every day, all day long; and,

2. Sees used Model A steel drums mailed in with used Model A hubs and shoes every day, all day long; and,

3. Learned from his encyclopedia minded Model A expert Dad's many years of Model A service, specializing in Model A brake service, every day all day long, one can become an outstanding master technician of Model A brakes.

Also, as suggested above, Mr. Randy Gross, like his Dad, is far more interested in having satisfied customers with fail-safe Model A brakes rather than just making money.

Just one call to Mr. Gross could be what you are looking for concerning Model A brake advice.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by H. L. Chauvin; 01-14-2016 at 12:40 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-14-2016, 01:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Centering Front & Rear Brake Shoes

Regarding your question of bending the roller tracks, the original cast iron tracks can be bent a small amount, maybe 1/16" or less. However, they will break. I found on mine where some of them had been brazed in the past at break points.
The new replacement tracks are steel and will not bend to adjust. I had to use Flathead Teds Shoe Centering Pins (Snyders #A2045 FHT) to center the brakes on which I used the steel replacement tracks.
There are lots of threads on brakes in the Search feature the will cover about anything you need to know.
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Old 01-14-2016, 01:28 PM   #6
H. L. Chauvin
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Default Re: Centering Front & Rear Brake Shoes

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Just one (1) successful experience on how to "slightly" bend new steel tracks:

After asking Mr. Walt Bratton how to bend new steel tracks, he advised that if new steel tracks are only a "few" thousandths off, they can be slightly bent with an adjustable crescent wrench, "after" installation.

Whether track bending is mostly just luck, or strictly regulated by Obama-Care, it worked for me.

Last edited by H. L. Chauvin; 01-14-2016 at 01:31 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Centering Front & Rear Brake Shoes

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Originally Posted by PC/SR View Post
Regarding your question of bending the roller tracks, the original cast iron tracks can be bent a small amount, maybe 1/16" or less. However, they will break. I found on mine where some of them had been brazed in the past at break points.
The new replacement tracks are steel and will not bend to adjust. I had to use Flathead Teds Shoe Centering Pins (Snyders #A2045 FHT) to center the brakes on which I used the steel replacement tracks.
There are lots of threads on brakes in the Search feature the will cover about anything you need to know.
My Tracks were very worn. I welded them up and filed them nice and flat.
Mine are 1928 Roadster Pick up. I don't think they are cast iron. I know mine are steel and original. If mine were cast iron I would not have been able to Mig Weld the worn material back on.
I made a video showing the repair of my front tracks on YouTube.
Here is a link. http://youtu.be/XG7VlsucKNM?list=PLa...jAZ7Z1tGvHpVq-
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Old 01-15-2016, 12:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: Centering Front & Rear Brake Shoes

I too have had good luck with Flathead Ted's centering pins. They can be confusing to position at first, but you will figure it out. Really a clever item and well made too.
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Old 01-15-2016, 01:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Centering Front & Rear Brake Shoes

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I too have had good luck with Flathead Ted's centering pins. They can be confusing to position at first, but you will figure it out. Really a clever item and well made too.
Flathead Ted of New Zealand makes an excellent project. I have his system on my Vic and I have very good brakes. The front shoes will center them selves. The back shoes, if you have what Ted calls his "pins" you can center the shoes with a centering tool from Bratton's.

The "pins" are a rectangle that slides on the tracks. They are on an eccentric and each side is raised by a small amount. What I did was glue some white paper to the back and number each edge 1 through 4. Then it was an easy matter to try each side for the proper centering.

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Old 01-15-2016, 01:53 PM   #10
solidirish
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Default Re: Centering Front & Rear Brake Shoes

Thank you to all who responded. A lot of very helpful advice. Also, I called Randy Gross and had a good discussion on my questions and he was also very helpful. I will be purchasing new drums from him. I purchased new drums for my 1930 Coupe from his dad in 2008.
Ray in Illinois
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