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Old 05-13-2017, 11:29 AM   #1
California Charlie
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Default Woven vs molded brake linings

I'm about ready to replace my brake linings on my restoration project and wanted to know what everyone's thoughts are regarding which linings may be best. Woven linings or molded linings. I also will be using Flathead Ted's Brake Floating System. Is it absolutely necessary to have the brake linings fitted to the drums, and would a local shop be able to so that with the vintage drums?

Off the subject. Does anyone have for sale the hardware which allows you to mount 2 spare tires back to back on the back of the car?

Thanks very much for your input in this matter.
"CC" California Charlie
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:38 AM   #2
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

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Originally Posted by California Charlie View Post
I'm about ready to replace my brake linings on my restoration project and wanted to know what everyone's thoughts are regarding which linings may be best. Woven linings or molded linings. I also will be using Flathead Ted's Brake Floating System. Is it absolutely necessary to have the brake linings fitted to the drums, and would a local shop be able to so that with the vintage drums?

Off the subject. Does anyone have for sale the hardware which allows you to mount 2 spare tires back to back on the back of the car?

Thanks very much for your input in this matter.
"CC" California Charlie

You did not mention if you were using steel drums or cast iron drums. Most local shops do not have the equipment to arc brake shoes. Most do not even have the equipment to machine rear Model-A drums. Is it necessary to arc the linings? Not necessary, but it definitely makes a much better braking system.
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

I do a lot of "A" brake work and have had some issue lately with some of the woven linings with the cast iron drums. I have had some that have squeaked after time which there are some issues that can cause that... i.e. shoes not chamfered enough/ poor shoe/hole/pin fit, etc and contact. I always arc shoes to fit the drums.

I have used molded linings on occasion for many years on them as I found them, and like many of you were more favorable to the woven lining. Although with the change in some of the lining material I have now used lately and am searching out more for the molded linings. All of them I have done have had zero issues.

Take it for what it's worth... Use your choice. Just make sure your brake job encompess's more than just linings and turning drums and you tend to a full mechanical rebuild for top notch brakes, and the new cast iron drums of your choice are a huge upgrade and preferred over the original steel drums.

I took a fellow for a ride this morning in my '30 tudor and told him to hang on... I'd show him what good brakes do. I had to tell him a 2nd time and he finally did... and couldn't believe how well the car stopped. Of course his unrestored worn out brakes and car are a far cry from a properly rebuilt and restored system and he now realizes how well they CAN STOP!

Hope that helped.
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Old 05-13-2017, 04:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

Had several older guys tell me: "Woven linings for steel drums, molded linings for cast iron drums".
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Old 05-13-2017, 04:37 PM   #5
California Charlie
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

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Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
You did not mention if you were using steel drums or cast iron drums. Most local shops do not have the equipment to arc brake shoes. Most do not even have the equipment to machine rear Model-A drums. Is it necessary to arc the linings? Not necessary, but it definitely makes a much better braking system.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. This may be a stupid question, but is there a way I can tell the difference between steel and cast iron drums.
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Old 05-13-2017, 05:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

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That's really not a stupid question. The other day I was working on my brakes and asked my self, mmmmm, I wonder what kind of drums do I really have.

I am just too dumb to ask anyone the question.
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Old 05-13-2017, 05:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

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Originally Posted by Anteek29 View Post
Had several older guys tell me: "Woven linings for steel drums, molded linings for cast iron drums".
Is that just a saying or is there some science behind it?
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Old 05-13-2017, 06:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

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Originally Posted by California Charlie View Post
Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. This may be a stupid question, but is there a way I can tell the difference between steel and cast iron drums.
The easiest way (for me), especially if the drum is still on the car, is to look at the outer edge. The steel has a folded over lip, the cast is solid.

First picture steel, second cast. (Sorry, best pictures I could find). Also the cast is heavier.

Hope this helps.
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File Type: jpg Steel.jpg (50.5 KB, 184 views)
File Type: jpg Cast.jpg (14.8 KB, 147 views)
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

I asked about this a while ago and the thread went feral ad Randy closed it. Here it is:
https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showth...ings&showall=1
I started another soon after and eventually spoke to Mel Gross by telephone. He was very gracious and helpful. It seems that it comes down to which type of drum you have as mentioned above (steel or cast iron) and even then, which type of cast iron. You'll need to know who made the drums to find out what grade of CI they are. Woven linings are OK on one but not the other, it seems. Also seems that with the wrong CI, the brass woven through the woven linings scuffs (wears) the CI.
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

I had molded linings on my coupe with steel drums. Wouldn't stop at all. Put woven linings with the steel drums, now it stops.
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

I've always used riveted woven linings and good original steel drums. Cast iron drums are much better, but my good steel drums will likely outlive me.

I bought a complete 1930 running gear about 12 years ago, and it has riveted molded linings with the original steel drums. The drums and linings look perfect, so I'll use it as is. Not sure yet what I'll make out of the running gear, but maybe a Runabout.

I've gotten by without arcing the linings, and with careful braking, they will soon wear in to full contact. For at least the first 1000 miles it's a good idea to do easy braking to let the shoes wear in. Motor's has recommended this for years to avoid grooves in the drums.
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

Most of the molded linings we can get today is much harder than what was available in years past.

The harder lining has less coefficient of friction than the older softer molded linings.

This results in having to apply the brakes harder to get the same stopping force.

I like to use woven linings because they are soft and have a high coefficient of friction.

I also will buy the old stock molded linings when I can find them which is also soft.

I have been using woven linings on the new cast iron drums with very good results. The only problem I have encountered is that in the morning when they are cold, the brakes may growl a little. This goes away after a few stops.

Ford used woven linings clear up into the late 30's. Ford used cast iron drums from late 1930 on.

I arc all the linings I install. It is easy for me as I have a shoe arcing machine.

As previously stated, the whole system must be in good condition before you wil really have good brakes.

My experience.

Chris W.

Last edited by CWPASADENA; 05-13-2017 at 11:25 PM. Reason: TYPO
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Old 09-28-2021, 11:02 AM   #13
Bob Greenhaus
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

I'd like to upgrade to cast iron drums on my Cabriolet. Can I just upgraded the fronts or will it be necessary to switch-out all four drums?
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Old 09-28-2021, 01:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

The rear brakes on the Model A do a large share of the braking…..I think most would agree you should do both while you are at it. Randy Gross here can help with that….he is our own expert brake parts supplier!
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Old 09-28-2021, 03:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

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I'd like to upgrade to cast iron drums on my Cabriolet. Can I just upgraded the fronts or will it be necessary to switch-out all four drums?
I replaced only the front drums about 10 years ago and I installed the floating pin in the wedge upgrade at the same time. I figured that since the rear brakes do way too much of the braking, this would help get the fore/aft balance nearer to what is these days, considered correct.
The rears still locked before the fronts but at a club workshop on brakes, we had a braking test. My car stopped in a shorter distance than any of the others (with smoke coming off the rear tyres still). I have since added more braking to the front but haven't put them to the test again yet. I feel like they are better now than then but without a proper test, I don't know by how much.
My latest effort to get more braking to the front was to put a pair of the longer rear actuation levers on the front. That is a game changer.
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Old 09-28-2021, 09:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

FYI
You can get molded brake lining in soft molded, and hard molded. In my experience the soft molded has worked great with mechanical brakes and cast iron drums. I did have a set of brake shoes that were incorrectly lined with hard molded lining arched to cast iron drums and the result was poor braking and glazed drums. My opinion is soft molded with mechanical brakes and hard molded for hydraulic brakes.
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Old 09-28-2021, 11:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

If you have the original steel drums they are probably too thin as are not supposed to be turned. You can send your hubs to Randy and he will fit new drums and supply new shoes with the correct linings ready to go.

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=302980
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Old 09-29-2021, 08:59 AM   #18
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

I restored my Victoria using molded linings. BIG MISTAKE! Black brake dust is difficult to get off of Tacoma Cream wheels. Wear rate is poor relative to my experiences with woven linings. Woven linings stop the car better. Drums are OEM pressed steel.
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Old 09-29-2021, 10:51 PM   #19
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

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I restored my Victoria using molded linings. BIG MISTAKE! Black brake dust is difficult to get off of Tacoma Cream wheels. Wear rate is poor relative to my experiences with woven linings. Woven linings stop the car better. Drums are OEM pressed steel.
Soft bonded, or hard bonded?
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Old 09-30-2021, 08:44 AM   #20
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Default Re: Woven vs molded brake linings

Riveted, not bonded and hard material.
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