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Old 02-09-2020, 01:56 PM   #1
harleyjohn45
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Default New Brake Shoes

I want to install new brake shoes on my 1956 Fairlane. When I go down a steep hill the brakes fade fast and the emergency brake does not hold well. I am looking at Raybestos organic shoes. Every one has them for the rear, but I can't find them for the front. I would also like to up grade to self adjusting brakes. I understand a kit is available, but all I can find is 62 Ford and up.
If anyone knows, your information would be appreciated.
John
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: New Brake Shoes

IMO ...

You need to research Kevlar linings. They take your shoe tables and add the linings.

The problem with adding self adjusters to an early car is that the top shoe anchor seems to be too short to accept both retracting springs and the cable eye. As for hand brake, once the rear shoes are worn in and at optimum adjustment, you tighten the cables to take-up slack without interfering with normal operation.

Drums have to be within spec as if over the wear limit they will expand from heat much more quickly. And of course good hydraulics.
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: New Brake Shoes

I did research kevlar linings, they sound good, there is a company (Porterfield) that will reline your shoes. I think they are good, but I would like to just order shoes, address the drums and be done with it. That's why I was looking at the Raybestos organic. They are made up of a combination of materials including some kevlar, resins, rubber and what ever. They are supposed to be very sticky and long lasting. Reviews are good. I plan to do something within a month, so I might just do Porterfield. I have a power booster and everything else seems ok, but it will get checked out.
I drive this car maybe 1000-1500 miles a year, so adjusting brakes is not a biggie.
Thank you
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: New Brake Shoes

Harleyjohn45,
The very best brake shoes are the ++ N.O.S. ++ Asbestos ++ which have been illegal to manufacture for many years now --- the softest smoooooothest braking surface known to mankind.....
Thankfully, I have ++ N.O.S. ++ Asbestos ++ and it is not illegal for us to transact on it -- they were manufactured before the statutes and are grandfathered in.

Always best to simply call me -- Craig -- 516 - 485 - 1935.... New York....
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: New Brake Shoes

Thank You Craig
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Old 02-09-2020, 10:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: New Brake Shoes

I put Kelvar brakes on my 57 Bird many years back. Best thing I ever did. Added power booster at the same time. Not as good as disks but much better than anything i ever had before. Don't remember where I got them but was able to buy complete new shoes, front and back.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: New Brake Shoes

I'm running an old set of asbestos composite brake linings on my '55. Wouldn't trade them for nothing and they don't seem to wear down much. had them on since the early '80's.
As far as rear brakes, pull the drums and check the thickness of lining against shop manual recommendations and replace if your are worn too thin. Also sounds like your parking brake front cable has way too much slack. The shop manual has a procedure for proper adjustment of the parking brake cable.
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Old 02-10-2020, 01:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: New Brake Shoes

Thanks guys:
my brake shoes were installed in 1984. There is an incline going to my house, about 800 feet very steep. By the time I get to the bottom, I have no brakes left. I considered front discs, but there seems to be problems with rotors. I don't want headaches. I would buy kevlar shoes in a minute, but the only place I've found them requires me to send the shoes to them.
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Old 02-10-2020, 02:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: New Brake Shoes

I have front discs. What are the rotor problems as I have not used them yet?
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: New Brake Shoes

I've been running front disc on my 55 bird since 1999. A Granada rotor with the hub turned down a bit to clear the small center hole in OEM wheels, early Fairlane calipers, custom brackets. There's a bearing spacer and new bearings, moves the front wheel out about 1/8" or so. Commonly sold by all the Tbird suppliers. No problems at all except the pads were kind of low quality and needed an upgrade.

A very knowledgeable member with a 56 passenger car on another forum used the current conversion kit from Prestige Thunderbird and was very pleased with the engineering and brake balance. They're in Santa Fe Springs, CA. I don't think they list passenger cars, but it's worth a phone call.

http://prestigethunderbird.com/
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: New Brake Shoes

I would take it apart and measure the drums to see if they are beyond limits. It doesn't sound safe to drive if it fades out in couple of blocks.
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:49 PM   #12
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Post Re: New Brake Shoes

Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyjohn45 View Post

I want to install new brake shoes on my 1956 Fairlane.
Are you wanting to keep the car as it came from the factory?

RAYBESTOS was once a premium name in the industry. I always used them (PROFESSIONAL GRADE) on brake jobs except ASIAN or EURO. The last set I bought were off-shore. I called and all went off-shore. If you want quality now, you have to research it really thoroughly.

As for KEVLAR, if you had an old set of shoes, you could send them off.

You have original power brakes?
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:25 PM   #13
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Default Re: New Brake Shoes

Quote:
Originally Posted by 56sedandelivery View Post
I have front discs. What are the rotor problems as I have not used them yet?
I probably should have not said that, because I do not have direct knowledge, but I understand certain wheels will not work. I think it gets pretty cramped in there.
I would prefer some sticky brake shoes. I put some soft linings on my 1942 WLA and now I can chirp the front tire. Old Harley front brakes are known for being worthless.
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:37 PM   #14
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Wink Re: New Brake Shoes

Quote:
Originally Posted by KULTULZ View Post
Are you wanting to keep the car as it came from the factory?

RAYBESTOS was once a premium name in the industry. I always used them (PROFESSIONAL GRADE) on brake jobs except ASIAN or EURO. The last set I bought were off-shore. I called and all went off-shore. If you want quality now, you have to research it really thoroughly.

As for KEVLAR, if you had an old set of shoes, you could send them off.

You have original power brakes?
Thanks Kultulz: The car is pretty much original, I believe I have good shoes, they were replaced in 1984. I do have original power brakes. I hate to tie up my lift for 3 or more weeks, I could park the car in an area of my shop and just jack it up and pull the shoes and send them out. I can't get down like I used to. I can get help.
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:42 PM   #15
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Default Re: New Brake Shoes

Today I spent the entire day calling all these professional ad runners, several had the rear shoes and no one had the front shoes. I really want the Kevlar, that looks most promising.
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: New Brake Shoes

The story you heard is probably about the stock wheel with the small center hole. I don't think the 1/8" or so offset change is much of a problem. But some aftermarket wheels may not clear the calipers, depends on the combination. Even with that, I've got 225/60 15's on the front of the bird on 7" rims. Offset is critical, but nothing hits.

Any chance you've got a good truck shop around who might have a line on someone local who can reline the brakes, grind them to fit, etc. Drum brakes are kind of a lost art on cars, you used to be able to get that done anywhere.

I don't know the "mobileparts" member above, but he's right about the old linings being much better.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:20 AM   #17
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Post Re: New Brake Shoes

BRAKE SHOE SOURCE - http://www.brakewarehouse.com/catalo...=centric-parts


Maybe call them and discuss quality and source.
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:08 PM   #18
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Default Re: New Brake Shoes

This "fade" might just be due to the fact your linings dont fit well.. I struggled with a similar problem for ages. Be careful not to just get linings put them in and hope they work, my 56 had new linings when I got it [imported] but they weren't thick enough. You guys in the U.S. often talk about "arching" the linings ,well here in Australia we just buy over size linings to match the diameter of the drum, standard , 1st, 2nd and 3rd oversize. you match them they work, I could not believe the difference when I finally worked out what was wrong. I have the power booster and dual circuit setup on mine and boy brakes are dynamite !
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:19 AM   #19
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Post Re: New Brake Shoes

Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyjohn45 View Post

I believe I have good shoes, they were replaced in 1984.
I missed that. Brake lining materials have a limited service life also.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:06 AM   #20
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Post Re: New Brake Shoes

New revelation -

FORD began using self-adj on high-end cars (FORD-BIRD-MERC-LINC) in 1958. Of course they used upgraded foundation brakes.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BRAKE - Self-Adj - 1958 MERC.JPG (18.0 KB, 9 views)
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