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Old 05-21-2011, 10:57 PM   #1
CA Victoria
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Default Model A Brake upgrade?

Lots of talk about upgrading to hydraulic brakes on Model As.
Would it be feasable to upgrade to 35 ford mechanicals?
If so are there any blogs on this conversion?
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

Check the Monthly Banger Meet thread over on the HAMB, chances are there are guys that have done it over there.
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

like this

in the pic is a model A push rod. you need to use the 35 push rod it has a cup on the end

I rebuild every thing with Flathead teds stuff
I also put 32 brake out back

you will have to flip side to get the brake rods to work (driver side to pass side)
and do a little grinding on the bones
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

One more thing I had to make a 3/8 spacer to put behind the spindle bearing to space out the drum.
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

There are about four of us here who have 35 front brakes on our Model A's. Problems are bearing spacing--Speedway and Snyder's sell spacer; and parts supply, especially the operating wedge. I don't know anyone who has tried to install 35 rear brakes.
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

It has been discussed here not that long ago. I think the feeling was if you feel that you just have to go to juice you should get a modern kit from the vendors as the cylinders in the 75 year old parts might not be up to snuff. Questions about single and dual master cylinders also came up.

Here is one of the many threads on the installation,
http://fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32970
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

The best upgrade you can do is properly rebuild the brakes with all new parts, new drums, arched shoes an centered.

You have to do the same amount of work to put on ANY brake system on the A. If you are changing the system you have to think a lot more to proper engineer the system and not introduce more issues.

That being said, consider...

Going to later brakes is not that great unless you change your wheels too. The Model A brakes are really limited by the tires. Keeping the same wheels means you introduce two problems. More brake then the tire can handle and an unsupported wheel hub of the A wheel. The Model A wheel requires the drum to support the hub of the wheel. This will allow the wheel to flex with questionable results in the long term.

It still comes down to proper restoration. If you do not properly repair the whole brake system you will not have good brakes. Switching brakes systems is not a true answer. Yes, you will end up with better brakes and that is because you fixed some or all of the problems with the worn out stuff you took out. Then you have to ask what new problems have you introduced?

If you plan on going down the road to later brakes....

I suggest that you first look at the evolution of the brakes through to 1938. Late 36 Ford introduced a floating adjusting wedge so going to 35 is not the full answer if you were to go that way. Also look up the parts in the Green Book.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

I had the 35s for the rear. It was going to be a lot more work.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

Why not just restore the original brakes to factory specifications? worked for my 4 Model A's

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Old 05-22-2011, 11:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

'35 brakes have the same width and diameter as hydraulics. One problem with them is they don't have seperate e-brake shoes, so you have to use the e-brake handle to actuate all 4 brakes, and then the stop light are on. I have them on the rear only, and they overpower the front (stock) brakes, will go to all 4 soon. If you put them only on the front you won't have the stop light problem, and seem to be a good choice.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Brierley View Post
'35 brakes have the same width and diameter as hydraulics. One problem with them is they don't have seperate e-brake shoes, so you have to use the e-brake handle to actuate all 4 brakes, and then the stop light are on. I have them on the rear only, and they overpower the front (stock) brakes, will go to all 4 soon. If you put them only on the front you won't have the stop light problem, and seem to be a good choice.
Jim, you could install a switch activated by the e-brake handle to open the brake light wire.

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Old 05-22-2011, 04:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Why not just restore the original brakes to factory specifications? worked for my 4 Model A's

mike

When your model A can do over 70 and you pass cars on your way to work on little 2 lane roads you need to up grade your brakes
If you drive 45 on Sundays the stock brakes are more then enough.
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

Thank you all for your comments. The last post sound like the best barometer. There have been hundreds before me to think/do the same thing on these cars. I like to explore all of the options......I'm thankful for a website such as ford barn with so many great guys willing to share their opinions and experiences.........I can't imagine doing 70 in my 31 Victoria. My 35 PU with an 8BA a 65 shakes like a dog passing a peach pit!!!
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

[QUOTE=CA Victoria; My 35 PU with an 8BA a 65 shakes like a dog passing a peach pit!!![/QUOTE]

I have a Great Dane she only shakes when she passes one of my socks

Put some Coker Classics on your ride and it will drive like a new car.
I am running 16" wires and the cokers 550s up front and 750s in the rear.
If I would just put some real shocks on the car it would be like a sports car.
I get some wheel hope on the bumps in the corners
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:47 PM   #15
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

I did put coker classicss (6.50's) on and it was night and day difference. My shock are crummy....i'm going to put tubes up front and then 65 on our roads won't be so bad.
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:45 PM   #16
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Default Re: Model A Brake upgrade?

I took the A for a ride this week end and WOW the new brake set up worked out real nice.
Now I have to work on my brakes on my 94 chevy truck those brakes suck
I took my buddy for a ride and hit the brakes and his ass came off the seat.
I thought his head was going to hit the windshield. I tolled him brake check but he didn't hold on. He will next time
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