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Old 07-11-2019, 08:06 AM   #1
37 Coupe
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Default Rearching brake shoes.

I asked a Model A Ford parts rebuilder a question as to how hard is it to find someone today to rearch a Model A Ford brake shoe.I was surprised at his response as he told me to stand the shoe on edge and either strike with a large mallet or press on the end to reshape the entire shoe to fit the drum. Seems a bit extreme to me reforming or trying to reform the entire shoe instead of the lining itself. Has anyone every heard or done this procedure? Might work but sure would be hard if you over did it to get back. Think if I don't find someone to properly do it I will let friction do the job.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

Personally I think that is ridiculous.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

Do it without the lining..pre arcing the foundation is what he's talking about.Get the foundation close enough,rivet on the shoe and your done.To check the work set the foundation in a drum and factor the lining width,check top to bottom.Once you get the foundation close,rivet on the shoe and touch it to a belt sander if you need to to tune it.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

The new linings are already on the shoes so I guess I could use my belt sander.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

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The new linings are already on the shoes so I guess I could use my belt sander.
Gently..take off material evenly. remember a poor roller track defeats your arcing work
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

FWIW

If you bend the shoe you change the centerline distance between the holes that you use to mount the shoe. The result is that when you install the re-arced shoe it is not properly centered due the change in the distance between the holes.

The position of the shoe is determined by the roller pin sitting on the lower track.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

Well I have seen it done with a mallet and a press, to change the arc of the shoe. They came out perfect, We went around between the lining, and the drum with a feeler gauge. Perfect fit. So...wasn't ridiculous actually worked really well. Better than grinding off lining that you just put on.
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Old 07-11-2019, 02:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

There was a day that I would do my absolute best to discourage someone from doing something like that. I guess I have mellowed after reading the foolish comments on social media Model-A pages and now I just take the attitude, do whatever makes one feel safe. Would I do it to a customer's vehicle, -or even my own? Not a chance!!
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

That was common with Macs when they were in Lockport. I didn't think much of that idea either once the shoes were attached.

One way to set the shoes is to put a piece of sand paper inside the drum then carefully 'rub' the shoes against the paper. It works.
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

One place I have heard of that may rearch shoes is a big rig shop. I think they still do that sort of stuff.


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Old 07-12-2019, 01:06 PM   #11
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

Don't know the truth of the matter, but a local shop told me it is illegal to re-arch the shoes (by grinding) in California. Anyone know for sure?
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

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Don't know the truth of the matter, but a local shop told me it is illegal to re-arch the shoes (by grinding) in California. Anyone know for sure?
Perhaps put into law when brake linings had asbestos?
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

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Originally Posted by 31Tudor View Post
Well I have seen it done with a mallet and a press, to change the arc of the shoe. They came out perfect, We went around between the lining, and the drum with a feeler gauge. Perfect fit. So...wasn't ridiculous actually worked really well. Better than grinding off lining that you just put on.
Ditto. Have done it for years.
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

I have seen it in an old Studebaker, I think, service manual.

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Old 07-12-2019, 05:10 PM   #15
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

I am in Ontario Canada and have the shoe arcing machine that grinds off material so that it conforms to the diameter of the drum. Measure the drum, set the dial to the diameter and run the shoe and linings across the machine and presto chango brakes that fit the drum.
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:55 AM   #16
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveymc29 View Post
Don't know the truth of the matter, but a local shop told me it is illegal to re-arch the shoes (by grinding) in California. Anyone know for sure?
Isn’t breathing illegal in California?

I do re-arching on all my brake jobs. Some say it isn’t necessary but I’ll err in the side it’s part of the details to making my brake jobs too notch and they can screech to a stop .
There are different machines like Barrett and brake doctors out there . Search the net. Welding roller tracks, using shoe anchors (a-2042) that are to spec etc are key to making the shoe action centered and good for fill contact braking .
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:58 AM   #17
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

I couldn't find anyone to re-arch my shoes when I did my car. I used double back tape to hold 80 grit paper to my drums and sanded them by hand. It worked well and I now have good brakes but it is rough on your hands. Grinding on a proper machine would be better.
SGT in Ont, do you want to start a business?
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

FWIW

Several years ago I had a situation where there was not time to redo a brake job that had been completed years before in a restoration project. The brake work had been done by the owner with little knowledge about proper arcing and brake shoe centering.

With just a short time before the vehicle needed to be road worthy I used 120 grit sticky back sand paper and put three pieces about 3 inches long on the inside of the brake drum and installed the brake drum. I then proceeded to use the sand papered brake drum to contour the shoes to fit the drum.

On the front I made a cranking handle using a length of aluminum angle with a handle on one end and holes drilled to fit over two bolts on the front drums. I then turned the drum by hand using the handle and as I turned the drum I moved the brake adjusting wedge to engage the brakes.

The rears were easier as I locked up one side by adjusting the brake wedge to fully engage the brakes, we started the engine and put the vehicle in gear and on the opposite side moved the brake adjusting wedge to engage the brakes. When we were done on one side we repeated the procedure on the other side.

I used white chalk on the brake shoes to determine shoe contact and removed the drum to clean out the brake shoe dust and re chalk and repeat the process until I obtained good brake shoe contact to each brake drum.

On the front I used an old wheel bearing and was careful not to get dust on the bearings and the races. When complete I repacked new bearing and cleaned up the races and did final assembly.

On the rear I used an old bearing and was careful not to get dust on the bearings and the races. When we had good brake shoe contact I packed the new bearings cleaned up the race on the rear drum and then installed the bearing and seal for final assembly.
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Last edited by 160B; 07-13-2019 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:41 PM   #19
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

160b Thanks for posting that method.

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Old 07-13-2019, 05:55 PM   #20
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Default Re: Rearching brake shoes.

Striking or pressing the shoes out of shape, you have a very slim chance of not putting a twist in the shoe. Then they will never perform as designed. Although I have machine arched hundreds of shoes, The sand paper method would work fine.
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