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Old 06-04-2021, 08:36 PM   #1
bucket-o-rust
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Default Brake springs

I'm rebuilding a 1930 front end and have new brake shoe springs and a good set of old brake shoe springs. I would like to use my old springs. My old springs are not as strong as my new springs. My new springs seem to me to be stronger than I need them to be. What are your opinions on this.
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Old 06-04-2021, 08:54 PM   #2
trevorsworth
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Default Re: Brake springs

I am not an expert, but I have just done the brakes on all four corners of my coupe. Here is what I learned: your brake shoe springs can't be too strong. The old springs have endured many stretch/relax cycles and many heat cycles - they are tired. The brake shoe springs are providing most of the return force on the pedal, so you want as much power on them as possible to ensure the shoes retract fully and the pedal returns as soon as you let off.

I was tempted to reuse my old springs because the new springs were almost impossible to install because they were so strong. Use a cutoff wheel on an angle grinder to cut a slot in the end of a small flathead screwdriver. You can use the slot to hold the loose end of the spring and stretch it to catch on the shoe. This made the job a cinch and my brakes work way better now.

Last edited by trevorsworth; 06-04-2021 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 06-04-2021, 10:22 PM   #3
bruceincam
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Default Re: Brake springs

Back in the day when I was working on drum brakes, we used to fold the brake shoes in close to perpendicular to the backing plate while at the same time ensuring that the top and bottom of the shoes were resting on the wheel cylinder and the lower fulcrum point. Hook the springs in their slots and then press the shoes out against the backing plates until they snapped into position. Much easier to hook up the springs that way. Admittedly that was not on a Model A and I've never installed shoes on an "A", but something along that line may work on an "A".
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Old 06-04-2021, 10:45 PM   #4
larrys40
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Default Re: Brake springs

The brake springs do make a difference in the return of the shoes and brake pedal return.
Snyder’s springs used to be the best but they recently changed their springs as there were complaints they were too stiff. I use the brake spring helper tool available now I believe only through macs and it helps on stiffer springs. I purchased the remaining Stock from Snyder’s so at this point all the newer springs are nit as food in my opinion. It does make a difference.
Some of the other supplier springs are weak. The short springs are the key to good return.
Of course well rebuilt roller tracks and rollers are key along with the other components as well.

Larry Shepard
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Old 06-04-2021, 10:50 PM   #5
Synchro909
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Default Re: Brake springs

Like Bruce says, leave the shoes off the wedge so they are close together. Attach the top spring, then the bottom one and only then, pull the shoes apart and slip them into place using a tool that hooks over the end of the shoe with two fingers - one each side of the central stiffening "ridge" and a handle that gives you leverage. The secret is in the tool which makes it EASY!
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:41 AM   #6
Benson
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Default Re: Brake springs

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Posts 3,4 and 5 methods are what we used also for the first end of spring.

This is the tool I have used on VW, GM, Model As and other brakes since the 50's.

Click to see photo
https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/BK_7...ABEgLRW_D_BwE&

Upper end of handle on Tool Removes & Installs Car Drum Brake Retaining Springs used on some cars.

Lower end OF HANDLE is for installing the SECOND end of each spring, like on Model A.

Last edited by Benson; 06-06-2021 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Brake springs

I do not understand some people.

I know a guy who used to 'REBUILD' engines who was too cheap to have heads planed at the machine shop.

He used a rotary grinder or belt sander to "plane heads".
Babbitt with re-melted babbit which spilled on the floor, lead wheel weights and fishing sinkers melted down.

His "rebuilt" engines were and STILL are a disaster!

Who knows what else he did.

The word "Rebuilt" has NO meaning sometimes!

Last edited by Benson; 06-06-2021 at 06:51 AM.
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