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Old 11-16-2018, 10:09 AM   #1
Ned1
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Default Brake Adjustment

I believe that Ford changed the brake adjustment procedure for the A in the early 1930's. Does anyone have a link or copy of this?
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Old 11-16-2018, 10:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

Check the service bulletins, should be in there.
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

The last (and only) service bulletin during the Model A years for adjusting brakes was January of 1928 (service bulletin page #202).

There MAY have been one after Model A production that applied to the Model A when Ford figured out that having the rear brakes come on first was a big mistake.

If you install one of Flathead Ted's full floater kits, he gives instructions on how to adjust the brake rods so that the majority of the braking gets done by the fronts like "modern" cars. The combination of having full floating brakes AND front brakes coming on first transforms the braking of a Model A.
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Old 11-20-2018, 05:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

When I redid my brakes earlier this year, I used the "Brake Buddy" and a modified Les Andrews procedure so both front and rear brakes are applied the same
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

Confusion about brake rod length caused by the service bulletins and the Les Andrews book is what causes a lot of model A's to have poor brakes . The length of the brake levers on the backing plates is what controls when the brakes , back to front activate . Model A brakes are a simple common sense setup . If slack is allowed to remain in the brake rods because of incorrect adjustment , the brakes can never work at optimum level . In other words, it doesn't much matter how many parts are replaced or how much money is spent , if the brake rods and cross shaft are setup incorrectly the brakes will be less effective than original .
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Old 11-21-2018, 02:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

I've seen the longer rear brake levers put on the front for more braking on the front wheels. To my mind, there is some sound reasoning in that. The car I saw with that done has been like that for years but I have not spoken to the owner to ask what they are like. I figure that if the idea was a dud, he would have taken them off.
I know many on this site will not approve any alteration to what Henry did but Henry didn't drive on roads choked with so many idiots as we have today.
What is the reasoned opinion of others?
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Old 11-21-2018, 03:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

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Originally Posted by Synchro909 View Post
What is the reasoned opinion of others?
Does it HAVE to be reasoned?

I believe that Henry just didn't know when the Model A was being designed that the front brakes should be doing 75% of the vehicle's stopping force. 4 wheel brakes were a pretty new thing in 1928. A few years after the A, however, the industry got it figured out and put bigger brakes and proportioned the braking force to the front. It has been that way ever since.

Lots of info on front vs rear braking on the net. Here's one...

http://knowhow.napaonline.com/front-...he-difference/

You can set up your brakes as Henry did and if you have never driven an A set up with a front brake bias instead of the stock rear bias, you'll be happy.
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Old 11-21-2018, 03:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

This string is the 1st I've seen that says to adjust so front brakes lock up before back. Am confused - wouldn't this method be dangerous in gravel/dirt/pea gravel?




In the day unless you lived in town/city most driving was not on paved roads.
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

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This string is the 1st I've seen that says to adjust so front brakes lock up before back. Am confused - wouldn't this method be dangerous in gravel/dirt/pea gravel?

In the day unless you lived in town/city most driving was not on paved roads.
Your concerns were a hot topic for debate back when front brakes were the coming thing. The concern was the loss of steering when the front wheels are locked. That is still a valid concern today (the laws of physics haven't changed!) but we spend most of our time these days on sealed roads so the front brakes can take way more braking before they lock. I will be adjusting the brakes so the front and back come on at the same time.
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

People can make whatever mods that they like and I have no problem . My mention of longer brake levers was that model A's have longer rear brake levers . The leverage of the longer levers cause the rear brakes to activate quicker and should have more power . The rear brake bias is built in because of the longer brake levers .
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

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People can make whatever mods that they like and I have no problem . My mention of longer brake levers was that model A's have longer rear brake levers . The leverage of the longer levers cause the rear brakes to activate quicker and should have more power . The rear brake bias is built in because of the longer brake levers .
Precisely. My reasoning is that by putting the longer levers on the front also, we would bring the front and back to at least equal braking. Even with 50/50 braking the rear wheels will lock way before the front because the weight of the car gives the front ones more traction. I also have the floating pin in the actruating wedge kit installed in the front and woven linings so I expect more than 50% braking on the front and greatly improved stopping.
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

I also use the floating lower pin in the front lower brake wedges . This setup helps center the lower front brake shoes .
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

I usually adjust them for equal or maybe slightly less lock on the fronts from a full lock on the rears. Yes you want to be able to steer the car as well. The stock levers on front and rear properly adjusted brake with the emphasis on the rear more but with increased pedal pressure they can all lock when adjusted to do so.
The key as Purdy said is to have the cross shaft 12 and 6 oclock on the levers and slack taken out on the rear rods and levers for proper adjustment. I do mine on jackstands and adjust all wheels following proper wedge adjustment and drag while the pedal is at progressively more pedal pressure intervals. At an inch and a half or so down on the pedal they should lock and stop the car well. The car should track straight on a hard stop no veering left or right. If it does you need to check your tire pressures first and brake adjustments to ensure a straight track outcome.

I can lock them up and have actually smokes the tires to a stop on my tudor. Key is proper rebuilding and restoration of the entire system, using good soft molded lining these days with a good cast iron brake drum. You will be amazed how well they can stop.

I've done many brake jobs and haven't had any complaints yet. I typically use Randy Gross's brake drums and have had excellent success.
I will be putting on a brake seminar at the MARC meet in Dearborn 2019. Looking forward to seeing and meeting many of you.
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

The upside of having the rear brakes lock first in gravel is that you will be able to steer. The downsides are that it will take a lot longer to stop and the rear of the car will likely pass you during the attempted stop.

How often will we experience a panic stop in gravel vs on pavement?

All cars since the mid 1930's have the braking proportioned so that the fronts do 75% of the braking and will lock first in a panic stop. Was Henry right with the Model A and everyone since wrong? Was Henry right with the 2 wheel brakes on the Model T?
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

Dick,
I do know one thing, restored properly and well the original system along with cast iron brake drums and new soft molded lining can and will stop the car on a panic stop and screech them to the stop. The key is proper restoration and adjustment. A while back I serviced a 29K mile car with original brakes and steel drums. I did some adjustment but was amazed how well it too stopped.
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:08 PM   #16
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

The Model T only had emergency brakes on rear wheels. The regular braking was the band stopping the transmission...which i guess would only effect rear wheels.
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:22 PM   #17
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

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The upside of having the rear brakes lock first in gravel is that you will be able to steer. The downsides are that it will take a lot longer to stop and the rear of the car will likely pass you during the attempted stop.

How often will we experience a panic stop in gravel vs on pavement?

All cars since the mid 1930's have the braking proportioned so that the fronts do 75% of the braking and will lock first in a panic stop. Was Henry right with the Model A and everyone since wrong? Was Henry right with the 2 wheel brakes on the Model T?





Just for the sake of discussion, most cars today have anti-lock brakes, full lockup of brakes is not possible, allowing for safety/steering under max stopping. I still remember driving a rear wheel drive truck on wet and/or snowy conditions. Had to shift down on the automatic trans to stop/slow down quickly, especially if turning - otherwise front locked up and rear right would still be driving. Ex-wife refused to drive the truck in the winter.
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:25 PM   #18
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I also use the floating lower pin in the front lower brake wedges . This setup helps center the lower front brake shoes .
Ditto and I will continue to use them with the longer levers.
I think I will be needing the seat belt to stop my face hitting the windscreen when I press the brake pedal!!
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:37 PM   #19
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

Is there a name or specification for the “new soft moulded linings”. I have bonded linings from quite a few years ago, along with cast iron drums, but doubt they are soft.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:17 AM   #20
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

Went for a drive in the rain this AM and since it is the first rain in eight months or so the streets are slick as can be. Car stops real well on dry roads but the back end wanted to get to the intersection first today. Let up a bit and stopped five feet past the line instead of five feet before it. I might just put the 32 drums and brakes back on the front. They give a little more shoe contact than the 31's. 12 inch verses 11 inch. If I had a lathe I'd make some discs for the front and be done with it. Too old to start now.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:42 AM   #21
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

Who drives their A fast enough to lock up the wheels!?
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:02 AM   #22
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Who drives their A fast enough to lock up the wheels!?
The faster you drive, the LESS likely you are to be able to lock up the wheels.
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:15 AM   #23
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

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Is there a name or specification for the “new soft moulded linings”. I have bonded linings from quite a few years ago, along with cast iron drums, but doubt they are soft.

Terry,

I use some bonded linings to new shoes at times and in addition snyders is now handling soft molded lining. I know I complained quite a bit the last few years and others did as well as the older "woven" style lining was causing squeaking after some time on them with the new cast iron drums.
The soft molded lining is much better with the cast drums .

Give it a try with the cast irons, I think you will like them.
Larry
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Old 11-22-2018, 04:18 PM   #24
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Our local brake and clutch place has just stopped doing the very soft brake linings. The owners have been in the business for many decades and with the falling demand for their services, they are easing their way out. Looks like I will have to stay with woven linings unless I can find someone else to reline my shoes.
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Old 11-22-2018, 04:37 PM   #25
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Who drives their A fast enough to lock up the wheels!?


I get skidding front wheel(s) frequently when driving on rural back roads due
to pea gravel, dirt, etc at stop signs. Is probably not considered to be a true lock up as being discussed, more as a loss of friction/traction.
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Old 11-23-2018, 08:53 AM   #26
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

Good morning all,
After 25 posts no one has mentioned the technique of pumping the brakes to stop the wheels from sliding on hot rubber and loos of steering.
Anti lock brakes pump the brakes for us these days in a panic stop.
In older systems we must pump the brakes to maintain control.
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Old 11-23-2018, 11:08 AM   #27
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Default Re: Brake Adjustment

Pumping mechanical brakes can have a cooling effect on the lining ,drums and tires .
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Old 11-23-2018, 11:57 AM   #28
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Good morning all,
After 25 posts no one has mentioned the technique of pumping the brakes to stop the wheels from sliding on hot rubber and loos of steering.
Anti lock brakes pump the brakes for us these days in a panic stop.
In older systems we must pump the brakes to maintain control.
Al Leach
After thinking about this (pumping brakes) for a little while and searching previous posts I think I need work done on my brakes, or need to brake earlier. Probably need work done.
Thanks to all for the info.
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Old 11-23-2018, 04:31 PM   #29
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After thinking about this (pumping brakes) for a little while and searching previous posts I think I need work done on my brakes, or need to brake earlier. Probably need work done.
Thanks to all for the info.
Our Model A club ran a series of workshops ealier this year. When we did one on brakes, we also did a braking test on everyone's car. Mine were fine but one fellow's brakes were so bad, we refused to let him leave without doing what we could on the spot to improve them. Once he had seen what good brakes a Model A can have, he rebuilt his as soon as he got home. Now, he enjoys driving his A much more and more often.
The worse your brakes are, the earlier you will have to brake but on the other hand, the brakes on a Model A will never be like a modern car. My advice to any novice driver I speak to is understand that and drive accordingly.
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Old 11-23-2018, 05:01 PM   #30
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... the brakes on a Model A will never be like a modern car.
Now if we could just convince the other idiots on the road of that fact maybe they would be a little more considerate and not pull out in front of us.

Never mind, not going to happen...
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Old 11-23-2018, 05:36 PM   #31
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Now if we could just convince the other idiots on the road of that fact maybe they would be a little more considerate and not pull out in front of us.

Never mind, not going to happen...
Yeh, When they see us on the road, all they see is an old car. If it's old, it must be slow so they do all sorts of stupid things to get in front of it without thinking that the brakes on this old car will not be as good as theirs. It would be good if these idiots were able to think things through a little better!
Rant over but I think we can all relate!
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Old 11-23-2018, 06:15 PM   #32
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Yeh, When they see us on the road, all they see is an old car. If it's old, it must be slow so they do all sorts of stupid things to get in front of it without thinking that the brakes on this old car will not be as good as theirs. It would be good if these idiots were able to think things through a little better!
Rant over but I think we can all relate!
It would be nice, but I think it is really OUR responsibility when we choose to drive these old cars in today's traffic, with today's speed limits, on today's roads, knowing their very limited ability to stop and accelerate and that they have minimal crash protection for us and our passengers.

Again, it would be great if others on the road knew our vehicle's limitations and acted accordingly, but it's not going to happen. The majority of them know as much about Model As as we know about some of their fringe hobbies. Hard to blame them.
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Old 11-23-2018, 06:55 PM   #33
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It would be nice, but I think it is really OUR responsibility when we choose to drive these old cars in today's traffic, with today's speed limits, on today's roads, knowing their very limited ability to stop and accelerate and that they have minimal crash protection for us and our passengers.

Again, it would be great if others on the road knew our vehicle's limitations and acted accordingly, but it's not going to happen. The majority of them know as much about Model As as we know about some of their fringe hobbies. Hard to blame them.
I'm sorry but I'm not buying it. I drive a 94 Ford Explorer everyday rain and shine it's my work car it has three hundred and fifty thousand miles on it so to keep it on the shiny side I'm driving like a car with 350,000 miles on it no jack rabbit starts no jolting stops and pretty much the speed long limit at all times. Do this I get honking horns multiple finger signs and general anger toward me and my car for driving the posted speeds. We live in a world of idiots in a hurry talking on the phone instead of paying attention the roads we have now are mostly nice rural roads with the highways being four-lane and yet there is still wreck after wreck after wreck everyday and there is no excuse for it just inattentive driving and being able to drive over the speed limit very easily. Will my model a stop on a dime you know it will not but it will stop more than adequately for the speed limits that I am supposed to drive where I drive it.

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Old 11-23-2018, 06:58 PM   #34
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The faster you drive, the LESS likely you are to be able to lock up the wheels.
You should drive just as fast as you can, that way you get to where you are going before you have an accident.
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:10 AM   #35
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You should drive just as fast as you can, that way you get to where you are going before you have an accident.
Nice first post, Arthur!! You've set the tone for your future contributions!

Welcome to the Barn!

P.S. You might want to add your location to your avatar, so we can look out for you on the road!
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:37 AM   #36
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People can make whatever mods that they like and I have no problem . My mention of longer brake levers was that model A's have longer rear brake levers . The leverage of the longer levers cause the rear brakes to activate quicker and should have more power . The rear brake bias is built in because of the longer brake levers .
Actually, longer levers will make the brakes activate SLOWER but with more power. Perhaps this is why Henry designed it the way he did. The rear brakes come on first but, the shorter lever on the front will make the front "catch up" by applying faster than the rears. Just thinking out loud.
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Old 11-24-2018, 09:09 AM   #37
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Our Model A club ran a series of workshops ealier this year. When we did one on brakes, we also did a braking test on everyone's car. Mine were fine but one fellow's brakes were so bad, we refused to let him leave without doing what we could on the spot to improve them. Once he had seen what good brakes a Model A can have, he rebuilt his as soon as he got home. Now, he enjoys driving his A much more and more often.
The worse your brakes are, the earlier you will have to brake but on the other hand, the brakes on a Model A will never be like a modern car. My advice to any novice driver I speak to is understand that and drive accordingly.
I would have been right there with him before changing to cast iron drums. My brakes weren't just anti-lock, they were anti-stop.
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Old 11-24-2018, 09:34 AM   #38
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one would think there would have been more discussion about brake adjustment in the Bulletins than what there was, as noted above. There is lots of discussion about odd boo-boos that certain dealers were caught doing, but something as important about brakes does not get harangued repeatedly....
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Old 11-24-2018, 11:22 AM   #39
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Brake adjustment is mentioned in two places in the bulletins . one for the early and another in a different page for the later more common model A brakes . . Without copying the bulletin I'll tell how I do mine . I first disconnect the brake rods at the adjustable clevis end so they will be free and ready to adjust when the time comes . I then move on to the service brake cross shaft adjustment . I disconnect the pedal rod and adjust it so that the plunger at the rear of the pedal rod is 1/16 of an inch from the inside rear of the center cross member where the plunger meets the brake light switch on the 30-31 models . This adjustment is the easy way to set the cross shaft levers pointing straight up and down as Larry Sheppard mentions in a previous post . I then prop the brake pedal at the top of its travel . I adjust the clevis on the pedal rod so that the clevis pin will just enter the brake pedal and hold it at the top of its travel . I then adjust the brakes at the adjustment wedges on the backing plates . I pull back any slack at the front brake levers and adjust the clevises on the front brake rods so that the clevis pins will just enter the front brake levers . I then move to the rear and adjust the rear service brake rods. I pull forward on the rear brake levers to remove slack . I adjust the clevises on the rear brake rods so that the clevis pins will just enter the brake levers. This setup will have all slack in the system removed and the brakes will be ready to activate when the pedal is depressed. If the inner brake parts are in usable condition the brakes will be good .
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:03 PM   #40
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Thanks, Purdy. I missed that one. It is on page 297 in the service bulletins and is part of the entry on retrofitting a solid cross shaft to an early car.
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Old 11-24-2018, 02:02 PM   #41
Purdy Swoft
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Thanks Dick , I couldn't remember the page numbers
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Old 11-24-2018, 02:38 PM   #42
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[QUOTE=Purdy Swoft;1699191]Brake adjustment is mentioned in two places in the bulletins . one for the early and another in a different page for the later more common model A brakes . . Without copying the bulletin I'll tell how I do mine . I first disconnect the brake rods at the adjustable clevis end so they will be free and ready to adjust when the time comes . I then move on to the service brake cross shaft adjustment . I disconnect the pedal rod and adjust it so that the plunger at the rear of the pedal rod is 1/16 of an inch from the inside rear of the center cross member where the plunger meets the brake light switch on the 30-31 models . This adjustment is the easy way to set the cross shaft levers pointing straight up and down as Larry Sheppard mentions in a previous post . I then prop the brake pedal at the top of its travel . I adjust the clevis on the pedal rod so that the clevis pin will just enter the brake pedal and hold it at the top of its travel . I then adjust the brakes at the adjustment wedges on the backing plates . I pull back any slack at the front brake levers and adjust the clevises on the front brake rods so that the clevis pins will just enter the front brake levers . I then move to the rear and adjust the rear service brake rods. I pull forward on the rear brake levers to remove slack . I adjust the clevises on the rear brake rods so that the clevis pins will just enter the brake levers. This setup will have all slack in the system removed and the brakes will be ready to activate when the pedal is depressed. If the inner brake parts are in usable condition the brakes will be good .[/QUOTE


Well said and explained Purdy. When you get your drag or wheel individual clevis’s adjusted at that point it’s important to get things pretty even so you don’t have a pull to one way or the other. Even a half turn can make the difference. Road test the car and break them in a little and then adjust as necessary.

Purdy, I’m doing a brake seminar at the 2018 Marc meet. Sure wish you could be there.
All the best !
Larry
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Old 11-24-2018, 04:47 PM   #43
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Thanks Larry for the kind words . I agree that the brakes should be tested for final adjustment at the wheels. I like to test mine in a dirt drive so I can compare skid marks .

Larry , Thanks for the invite to your seminar , I'm sure it will be very good !!!
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Old 11-24-2018, 09:25 PM   #44
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An interesting point is that in the Bulletins and in Les Andrews, the initial setting of the brake rods of some precise length of 51-7/16 to 51-1/2 is mentioned as if that is some kind of precise measurement after all is said and done. I think they should point out that this is simply a beginning point and not have it down to the 16th of an inch. It leads one (at least a beginner) to think that is a final measurement. But, it was written 90 years ago, so it ain't going to change.

With all new components, I took great care to measure my brake rods only to adjust them by quite a bit in the step where you take up the slack after adjusting each individual wheel. Hopefully people don't measure their brake rods and not adjust the clevises when taking up the slack.
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Old 11-24-2018, 09:38 PM   #45
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An interesting point is that in the Bulletins and in Les Andrews, the initial setting of the brake rods of some precise length of 51-7/16 to 51-1/2 is mentioned...
The Service Bulletin on page 259 is about the redesign of the rods to a solid non adjustable type. They are the lengths specified by Andrews.
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Old 11-24-2018, 09:54 PM   #46
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Actually there is REALLY NO need in measuring the brake rods at all !!!!!!! Just install the brake rods and adjust the brake rod clevis so that the clevis pin will just enter the brake levers . Because of the confusion caused by mention of brake rod length it is sometimes impossible to get this fact over to some people .
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:06 PM   #47
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There was a difference in the early brake rod setup that doesn't apply to the later much more common model A's . Because of the confusion that mostly can't be overcome, many will continue to have brakes that leave a lot to be desired .
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Old 11-25-2018, 01:02 AM   #48
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Actually there is REALLY NO need in measuring the brake rods at all !!!!!!! Just install the brake rods and adjust the brake rod clevis so that the clevis pin will just enter the brake levers . Because of the confusion caused by mention of brake rod length it is sometimes impossible to get this fact over to some people .

Yup!
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:23 AM   #49
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The proper setup for leverage at the service brake cross shaft and the elimination of any slack at the brake rod connections is most important for good brakes.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:02 PM   #50
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Went for a drive in the rain this AM and since it is the first rain in eight months or so the streets are slick as can be. Car stops real well on dry roads but the back end wanted to get to the intersection first today. Let up a bit and stopped five feet past the line instead of five feet before it. I might just put the 32 drums and brakes back on the front. They give a little more shoe contact than the 31's. 12 inch verses 11 inch. If I had a lathe I'd make some discs for the front and be done with it. Too old to start now.
The Brakes and how they function and how well they stop the car, also relate to the surface area of tire to pavement.
Talking about this subject of a rain after much dry time, I too had to make a stop rather quickly. Not much surface area, a bit of slick on the road mixed oil and water and stopping without sliding was a challenge. What I learned from this was something about "not overdriving my brakes and tires!" Sadly at my age, when I get in the old girl to drive, memory of this at times escapes me! Dry pavement is one thing, but as you have pointed out, on a road where there has been no rain in a long time, the road is not your friend for quick stops no matter how good your brakes are.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:21 AM   #51
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Up here w/ice and snow on the roads for a good part of the year it's normal to feather the brakes a lot so that you're slowing down, not sliding. I don't like hearing that clk clk clk clk of the anti-lock brakes on the modern vehicles, it tells me that I'm braking too hard.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:35 PM   #52
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When I redid my brakes earlier this year, I used the "Brake Buddy" and a modified Les Andrews procedure so both front and rear brakes are applied the same
Ya know, I was wondering when I adjusted mine about why the rears were set up to grab first. I did it per the Les Andrews procedure, yet, I don't know why other than it was a published procedure. I would be interested in knowing how adjusting the fronts and backs the same has worked out. I am contemplating, as a test, to adjust the fronts to engage a bit before the rears and see what kind of difference it makes. As I try and think why Henry had the rears grab first, I wonder if it had anything to do with horse drawn devices of the day only having brakes (crude) on rear wagon wheels? Just wondering! Henry probably had a more valid reason!
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:41 PM   #53
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Henry probably had a more valid reason!
I don't think so. Front brakes were pretty much experimental in 1928.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:45 PM   #54
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Ya know, I was wondering when I adjusted mine about why the rears were set up to grab first. I did it per the Les Andrews procedure, yet, I don't know why other than it was a published procedure. I would be interested in knowing how adjusting the fronts and backs the same has worked out. I am contemplating, as a test, to adjust the fronts to engage a bit before the rears and see what kind of difference it makes. As I try and think why Henry had the rears grab first, I wonder if it had anything to do with horse drawn devices of the day only having brakes (crude) on rear wagon wheels? Just wondering! Henry probably had a more valid reason!

Venturing a guess
In the day, most previous cars were rear only including the T. Pumping the Brakes was probably not an ingrained habit for stopping, most only knew about braking with rear only brakes.


Perhaps Henry was concerned about safety when braking on dirt, gravel, snow, etc.? People not knowing how to stop the quickest.
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:25 PM   #55
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The upside of having the rear brakes lock first in gravel is that you will be able to steer. The downsides are that it will take a lot longer to stop and the rear of the car will likely pass you during the attempted stop.

How often will we experience a panic stop in gravel vs on pavement?

All cars since the mid 1930's have the braking proportioned so that the fronts do 75% of the braking and will lock first in a panic stop. Was Henry right with the Model A and everyone since wrong? Was Henry right with the 2 wheel brakes on the Model T?

I too think the roads is the key. On gravel roads, braking the rear wheels first will help maintain control. On asphalt rods braking the front first will result in better braking as the nose tends to dive into the front axle.


When Henry built these cars they were primarily on gravel or dirt roads, not the case anymore.
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:10 PM   #56
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I too think the roads is the key. On gravel roads, braking the rear wheels first will help maintain control.
There is no perfect front/rear bias for emergency braking on gravel roads or other slick/semi slick surfaces (other than an anti-lock brake system).

Rear brake bias on gravel roads will cause the car to change ends in an emergency stop. Front brake bias will cause severe understeer in an emergency stop on gravel roads.
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:38 PM   #57
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First time I saw a car spin was a 32 tudor on the road to our ranch. The road was dry as a bone, covered in anything from fine sand to gravel a tad larger than pea gravel. This was about 1943 and the v8 began to heat so the driver had us get out and he drove to the top of the hill to await us there. He hit the brakes and the back end went to the front position and the whole car shuddered to a stop. He then drove past us and told us to wait, he'd get his dads 35 chevy pickup and take us all home, which he did without incident. I think that the engine may have also seized along with the grabbing of the brakes to stop the rear wheels and the car made an impressive about face. The young driver, probably 14 gave us a sheepish look as he rolled down the hill past us. Never saw him drive a Ford again until he was plowing one day with a 27 Fordson tractor. That is another story found in my book, http://bit.ly/FromtheShadows
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