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Old 04-07-2020, 05:24 PM   #1
pjdeb
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Default Front Hub Advice Needed

As a new Model A owner, I am learning. Today I pulled the front hubs to repack the wheel bearings.

Before removing the hubs, I gave both a spin to see how freely they turned. Both had drag and both had a high point where drag was enough to stop the spin. I certainly would not describe either as "should spin freely."

Removed the cotter pins and found that the castle nuts could both be removed by hand. Not all that tight.

Removed the hubs. Found a lot of old grease inside the hubs and around mechanism at bottom. None on the linings however. Is it wise to clean the mechanism with brake cleaner?

Surprised to see that the linings looked so hard....almost glazed. Normal? Pictures attached. Rivot heads still well below the surface.

Looked at the vendor sites. Some offer molded. Some weave. Some of the molded with what looks like wear lines across shoe. Opinions?

Repacked the bearings. Reassembled. Tightened up and backed off 2 castle slots. Better, but does not spin easily. Still can feel a high spot.

The truck stops as it has since I bought it, but no way would they lock up at 30 mph in an emergency.

Thanks in advance
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File Type: jpg Brake2.jpg (36.0 KB, 152 views)
File Type: jpg Brake3.jpg (36.8 KB, 142 views)
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:39 PM   #2
Patrick L.
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

The glaze could have sanded off the shoes, but, its probably not worth taking it back apart. The shoes are not contacting, or, don't look to be contacting fully. The wheel not spinning completely freely is normal, its just catching on a high spot which is normal. Backing off the adjustment would probably stop that, but, its normal as long as its not too bad. Adjusting the wheel bearings, should be snugged up while spinning the wheel until its just barely tight and and free-play is removed, then backed off to take off any tension until the cotter falls thru the nut. [ 1 or 2 notches should do just that.] I'm a believer that they should be a bit loose rather than a bit tight.
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Old 04-07-2020, 07:33 PM   #3
barnstuf
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

Before the Model A era a few makes of cars, Chrysler comes to mind, had hydraulic brakes. It was determined that these cars needed molded linings as hydraulic brake pressure exceeded the foot pressure of mechanical. Thus for a period of time cars with hydraulic brakes used molded linings and cars with mechanical brakes used woven lining. If you have molded linings they are not for a Model A. Yes, lots of pedal pressure but you cannot press hard enough for proper operation.
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Old 04-07-2020, 07:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

When planning a stop it is best to stand on the binders early. I am unable to "lock em up" on my 31 Tudor. I have been told braking on a Model A is more of a suggestion rather than a command. My front wheels spin evenly and smoothly. Think you might have a bearing issue starting.
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

If you haven’t done this already I would check to ensure that there isn’t old grease packed in around the brake adjustment wedges, adjusting pins and operating pins. I had one like that and the old grease prevented the brakes from retracting properly. I use a light coating of brake caliper grease to lubricate those parts. Supergnat
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

Are you saying the binding is from contact of brake shoes to drums or from the wheel bearing?
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

It is not the bearing. I believe it is the shoes. There is a bit more side play than I would have expected, but I am hesitant to tighten the nut further. If we ever get out and on the road again, I will ask club members to drive and see what they think of the brakes. My problem is that I have no bench mark experience on how the should stop. I know the brakes are more of a wish than a command.
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Old 04-07-2020, 11:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

Need to check this next time you have your wheels off, they never get changed because you have to drill out the rivets and (hot rivet) them back on, (not that hard really)
and yes, sand the shoes lightly with 80 grit
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Old 04-07-2020, 11:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

Opps...forgot the pic
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Old 04-08-2020, 12:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulletwagon View Post
When planning a stop it is best to stand on the binders early. I am unable to "lock em up" on my 31 Tudor. I have been told braking on a Model A is more of a suggestion rather than a command. My front wheels spin evenly and smoothly. Think you might have a bearing issue starting.
The weels should lock up with hard braking, the rear first. Adjust or rebuild for safe driving and to minimize any negligent insurance claims.
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Old 04-08-2020, 12:04 PM   #11
Patrick L.
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjdeb View Post
It is not the bearing. I believe it is the shoes. There is a bit more side play than I would have expected, but I am hesitant to tighten the nut further. If we ever get out and on the road again, I will ask club members to drive and see what they think of the brakes. My problem is that I have no bench mark experience on how the should stop. I know the brakes are more of a wish than a command.


As said, The contacting of the high spot is due to the brake shoes not the bearing.
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Old 04-08-2020, 03:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

My p/u will lock the brakes on hard braking but I do have the late cast iron model B style drums on the front . As the front end is flexible there is a servo element when braking as the backing plate rotates forward very slightly under braking load . The actuator being on the top is "assisted" by this. The reverse is true at the rear brakes .I have seen front radius rods bent when on a car with hydraulics and "B" drums .Could be Ford engineers realised the servo effect so set the rear bias so achieving even braking on all wheels,just my nutty theory .

John in sadly in total lockdown cant go out in my A Suffolk County Egland .
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Old 04-08-2020, 04:59 PM   #13
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

My 30 coupe acts the same way even after a complete rebuild on the breaks. If I spin the front wheels you can detect a slight high spot where the shoes and the drum come slightly into contact. Never worried about it as they work fine. With my breaks adjusted correctly, I am able to lock them up even on the pavement. The reason I know this is, I did it last fall in order to keep from smucking a deer. Clean everything up real well, pack and adjust your wheel bearings as has been suggested above and you should be fine.
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Old 04-08-2020, 07:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

You need soft linings. If you don't know what they are then chuck them. If you have original steel drums then it is time for a Randy package of cast drums and matching shoes and linings. Your life and the life of others depends on it. Maybe get him to rebuild the backing plates as well.
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:23 AM   #15
Kevin in NJ
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

So first off Ford switched to molded brake lining before the end of the A production.

Not related to the problem at hand.

Judging by the rusty backing plates I am going to make a pronouncement that these brakes will likely never work right as they are. They are likely just thrown together from random parts and never made to fit the drum or centered properly. Likely with all good used parts.

There are many who believe the A brakes do not work well. They have never driven a Model A with brakes done right. The A stops surprisingly well for it little bias ply tires which are the limiting point for the brakes.

The best advice is to get a set of brakes made up from you favorite supplier or Gross. I think they all do the same thing. That is do all the work that requires expensive special tooling for you. You just need to properly bolt everything together.

I do recommend that you check the spindle bearing saddles for roundness. I have found some are significantly out of round where they can affect brake set up.
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Old 04-13-2020, 10:14 AM   #16
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

Looking at the edge of the linings, those are woven type.
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Old 04-14-2020, 12:09 PM   #17
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Default Re: Front Hub Advice Needed

My steel drums had rivet tracks in them! and shoes were glazed! ordered cast iron drums and got the hubs and lugs separated with a lot of force, and then the challenge of swedging the new lug bolts to the hubs got interesting! I live out in central Missouri, and it took some word of mouth to find a machine shop out in the middle of a soybean field to find and old fellow who had a the right tonnage press to get the job done. Also suggest the bonded shoes and important, make sure the new cast front drums are trued up for roundness at your local brake drum turning place! easy to do on the fronts, the rears need special centering flanges to get them right, the kind for old vw drums as I recall!
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