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Old 10-15-2015, 09:38 AM   #1
DJ S
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Default Brake Overhaul

At a recent club meeting, we got to talking about doing a brake job over the winter. I've heard that brake jobs on Model As can get pricey real quick, so I was wondering how much it would cost to do a complete brake job? In addition to cost, what are the things that should be looked out for?

Last edited by DJ S; 10-15-2015 at 09:39 AM. Reason: Improper Punctuation
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:07 AM   #2
Great Lakes Greg
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

I just sent my hubs on a round trip to Brattons for new cast drums. Shipping and parts alone was $1000. Yikes!
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

There IS...ANOTHER option.
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:25 PM   #4
Mel Gross
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

I really don't understand why more of you don't try us out for all of your brake needs.

We have cast iron drums, relined shoes. e bands.

We rebuild backing plates and can swedge our drums on your hubs.

Ask on this website and see how others feel about our product, quality of work performed, turn around time, and customer service.

Call or email if interested

Randy Gross
melmodela@aol.com
714-292-8660
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:36 PM   #5
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Gross View Post
I really don't understand why more of you don't try us out for all of your brake needs.

We have cast iron drums, relined shoes. e bands.

We rebuild backing plates and can swedge our drums on your hubs.

Ask on this website and see how others feel about our product, quality of work performed, turn around time, and customer service.

Call or email if interested

Randy Gross
melmodela@aol.com
714-292-8660
Everything I have heard about Randy has been good. As with any vendor search for his name in the archives. Your are correct that it can get expensive but you first need to take everything apart and see what needs to be replaced. The first thing you need is to be sure you have a good puller for the rear hubs. I like the KR Wilson reproduction from Winfield Tool Works but there are probably less expensive ones out there that will work just as well. Check the archives. The wrong puller can ruin the axle/hubs any may not even work in the long. If they come off easy they probably weren't tight enough, look carefully for cracks in the axles. The right puller is expensive so try to borrow one or VanPelt rents them, http://www.vanpeltsales.com/FH_web/flathead_home.htm Be careful the puller may not work with all hubs, post a picture of your hubs (both hubs as they may be different.

Charlie Stephens

Last edited by Charlie Stephens; 10-15-2015 at 12:44 PM. Reason: add information
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:44 PM   #6
CarlG
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

The rear hub puller I got from Mitchell works great and will accommodate both styles of hubs.
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:45 PM   #7
TomballMottershaw
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

In a budget to rebuild the braking system give yourself $700 wheel.
When all is done this is not far off, if you already have cast Iron drums and new bearing/races.... you are 60% done.
My stock brake rebuild setup cost $3k, and my backing plates were in OK shape.
With this stock setup, I can stop at the limit of the narrow tires, very little fade over 10 full stops from 45mph. The cast Iron drums... really help.

Stopping the car is a critical function, that keeps you driving the car.

And don't neglect the parking brake either.
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:47 PM   #8
burner31
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Gross View Post
I really don't understand why more of you don't try us out for all of your brake needs.

We have cast iron drums, relined shoes. e bands.

We rebuild backing plates and can swedge our drums on your hubs.

Ask on this website and see how others feel about our product, quality of work performed, turn around time, and customer service.

Call or email if interested

Randy Gross
melmodela@aol.com
714-292-8660
How about a website so we can check things out?
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:47 PM   #9
Kevin in NJ
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

Here in lies the problem with the Model A brakes.

They are not easy, cheap for quick to properly rebuild the system to make them work like factory.

It really requires some specialized tooling.
From proper riveting tools to a machine to get the shoes the right size and centered. Plus they really require a bunch of quality new parts to ensure even action.

Having my own special tooling I can do all the areas myself, but others have options.

If I have this figured out properly (Mel or someone else please correct me if I am wrong).......

Luckily the A is really a precision built machine in many areas.

So a drum can be replaced and cut to size and then a backing plate properly loaded with all new parts.
The backing plate can be set up on an axle or spindle and the shoes can be cut and centered on the backing plate for the drum.

So you get 4 drums and 4 backing plates. You just have to bolt them in place matched together. Then do the correct brake adjusting procedure to get the rods set up properly.

This takes a lot of the problem areas out of your hands and gives you a best possible set up.

There are ways to do brakes good using tools at home, but they may not turn out as well as you could get. So the expense has a big payoff in the end as you end up with great brakes.

Of course, you could try to accumulate the proper tools. A kick riveter is a nice tool and you can spend up to $200 to get one. Individual shoe grinders are running $200+ (shipping is killer). The best tool, the Barrett Brake Doktor, typically run in the $400 range for a complete unit. Try and find the proper tool for swaging the drum to the hub. Plus the 40 ton press it takes. Then there may be other tools needed to change the plates in the backing plates and so on. You also have to know how to use the tools properly, that is a lot of time there.
So the $$$$ it cost to have various places supply you with finished backing plates and drums is not so bad.

Generally speaking, a properly rebuilt set of brakes will likely last the rest of your life and maybe a couple of grand generations. So the return on investment (stopping when you need it and lasting a long time) is pretty good.
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Old 10-15-2015, 01:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ S View Post
At a recent club meeting, we got to talking about doing a brake job over the winter. I've heard that brake jobs on Model As can get pricey real quick, so I was wondering how much it would cost to do a complete brake job? In addition to cost, what are the things that should be looked out for?
As far as to watch out for use the Model A Ford Mechanics Handbook Volume I, $36.00.

https://mafca.com/cart/index.php?productID=166

I finished installing cast iron drums on my 1931 68B this spring. I spent a total of $690 +, and did a lot of the work myself. With the help of a club member who has a press, I removed the steel drums and installed the CI drums on my hubs. I also had the roller tracks welded up and ground to the correct dimension. I have my own Ammco 1750 brake centering tool and I centered the brake shoes. Here is a list of my expenditures. I have brakes !!!!

Cast iron Drums from Mel Gross $325
Relined brake shoes locally $180
Cost to have the drums trued to the hub $60
Wheel bearings and seals $125
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Last edited by 160B; 10-15-2015 at 04:16 PM. Reason: added quote
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Old 10-15-2015, 01:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

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Originally Posted by CarlG View Post
The rear hub puller I got from Mitchell works great and will accommodate both styles of hubs.
Carl,

Is this like your's ?

http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/universal-hub-puller
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Old 10-15-2015, 02:17 PM   #12
Tom Endy
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Gross View Post
I really don't understand why more of you don't try us out for all of your brake needs.

We have cast iron drums, relined shoes. e bands.

We rebuild backing plates and can swedge our drums on your hubs.

Ask on this website and see how others feel about our product, quality of work performed, turn around time, and customer service.

Call or email if interested

Randy Gross
melmodela@aol.com
714-292-8660

Certainly my recommendation. Many Model A folks here in Southern California have done business with Randy and are pleased with his quality service and reasonable cost.

Tom Endy
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Old 10-15-2015, 02:30 PM   #13
CarlG
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

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Originally Posted by mshmodela View Post
Yes it is. If you look at the instruction page, it even says Mitchell on it.
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Old 10-15-2015, 02:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

A couple months ago I rebuilt my brakes. EVERYTHING new/rebuilt from the brake pedal to the wheels. New cast drums on original hubs.
Didn't keep track of exact costs; didn't really want to know.
I'd estimate somewhere around $2000- 2500 for the job.
Randy Gross is your best choice for the cast drums. Can't say enough good about him.
Whatever it cost it was worth it. I have great brakes now.
The biggest difference is less brake fade after repeated braking.
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Old 10-15-2015, 02:33 PM   #15
CarlG
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Gross View Post
I really don't understand why more of you don't try us out for all of your brake needs.

We have cast iron drums, relined shoes. e bands.

We rebuild backing plates and can swedge our drums on your hubs.

Ask on this website and see how others feel about our product, quality of work performed, turn around time, and customer service.

Call or email if interested

Randy Gross
melmodela@aol.com
714-292-8660
Probably next winter's project, engine is this winter
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Old 10-15-2015, 03:03 PM   #16
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

I just received a pair of drums from Randy. I sent my hubs to him. Turnaround was very quick and the work was first class. Highly recommend!
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

dj I can help u call me 8608835290
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Old 10-16-2015, 02:47 PM   #18
larrys40
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

comprehensive brake job is a 30 -40 hour job when you know what you are doing .
It would include tear down, cleaning, blasting all parts, evaluating use and condition of original parts and replacements required. Relining all shoes, drums replaced/reworked as desired, all bushings , shafts, levers, brake rods , restored/replaced as per specs as new
Labor cost is whatever your respective restorer / service shop may charge per hour plus parts.
Brakes are one of my fortes and I know them well.
Its wise to do the job correctly the first time. If you do the labor yourself it will probably be 1k in parts including new drums. If you farm out the labor I believe my hour range is very fair. It's not like going to Midas for a modern brake job
Larry Shepard
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:20 PM   #19
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrys40 View Post
comprehensive brake job is a 30 -40 hour job when you know what you are doing .
It would include tear down, cleaning, blasting all parts, evaluating use and condition of original parts and replacements required. Relining all shoes, drums replaced/reworked as desired, all bushings , shafts, levers, brake rods , restored/replaced as per specs as new
Labor cost is whatever your respective restorer / service shop may charge per hour plus parts.
Brakes are one of my fortes and I know them well.
Its wise to do the job correctly the first time. If you do the labor yourself it will probably be 1k in parts including new drums. If you farm out the labor I believe my hour range is very fair. It's not like going to Midas for a modern brake job
Larry Shepard
MIDAS now thats funny
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:27 PM   #20
CarlG
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Default Re: Brake Overhaul

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Originally Posted by larrys40 View Post
... It's not like going to Midas for a modern brake job
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch//pa View Post
MIDAS now thats funny
It doesn't take much to get to $1K on a modern car even at Midas, Mineke, or even Sears anymore. Add that to the lack of quality of work coming from either of these places, I prefer to source my modern car work elsewhere.
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