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Old 01-04-2014, 08:34 PM   #1
Mad Mac
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Default Front brake adjustment

G'Day,
If I crank the front brake adjustment up enough to get good braking action, it causes the drums to over-heat when driving without braking. I have tried many different settings but still cannot get good braking action without overheating the drums. All I can think of is that the footbrake return spring (at the stop light) is currently disconnected, but surely that wouldn't be causing it?
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:45 PM   #2
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

Sounds like the shoes were not centered, --or the tracks/pins are worn. Personally I tend to think they are not centered.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:51 PM   #3
glenn in camino
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

The rears should grab first. Fronts should be a little looser. Adjust with all 4 wheels off the ground.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:13 PM   #4
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

Is the rear drums getting the hottest???
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

Thanks Guys,

Purdy: The rear brakes are fine. They grab first, have good stopping power and don't heat up. Its just the front brakes I am having trouble with.

Brent: If the shoes are not centered how can I (i) confirm that is the problem and (ii) fix it?
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

Here is a tool for that. http://www.mikes-afordable.com/product/T2021T.html . I might have to get one too. My brakes will grab on one side only as i try to adjust them. Or it may just have high spots on one shoe. Guess i have to get the hub puller to find out. Ive gotten both the how to stop on a dime and the diablo a dvd on brakes neither mention doing this or show it.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:20 PM   #7
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

Snyders has a good brake centering tool on page A-96 part number A-2020 price $39.95. It works great, I've got one. It is best to first adjust the rear brakes with the tires on the floor. and the brake rods disconnected . The reason being that the rear shoes are placed different than the front shoes. On the rear, you've got a shoe on the top and a shoe on the bottom, instead of a shoe facing forward and a shoe facing backward like on the front. On the rear the brake cams float in the brake camshafts. The floating rear brake cams on the rear were designed to allow for wear on the rear axle housing bearing races. When the rear wheels are on the ground, all of the clearance between the rear hub roller bearings and axle housing race is taken up. If the rear brakes are adjusted with the rear wheels off the ground, When the wheels touch the ground, the clearance between the bearing rollers and bearing race will be taken up and can and usually do cause a drag on the bottom shoe. This will cause the rear drums to get very hot. The rear axle housing bearing races carry the weight and do wear. The bottom of the axle housing races need to be checked for wear when the rear hubs are off. The housing races can be turned down and a sleeve pressed on to repair worn axle housings. If the housing races aren't worn too badly you can still have rear brakes if they are adjusted with the wheels on the ground so that any drag can be felt as the adjustments are made.

It is good or almost necessary to grind a taper on the leading and trailing ends of the brake lining. When the lining is riveted to the shoes, the leading and trailing ends of the brake lining tends to kick outward causing a drag against the drums on the ends. If a taper isn't used on the lining, it may be difficult or impossible to get the drums to pass over the brake shoes, even with the adjustment wedges backed off all the way. Here is a picture of how I taper the ends of the brake lining.

Last edited by Purdy Swoft; 01-05-2014 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

Jack up the front end, unhook the front brake rod Clevis, are they still dragging? I would jack up both axles, back off the Shoes at each wheel, and adjust the Rods according to Les Andrews Red Book, and then Adjust the Shoes.

I just put New Front Drums and Shoes on mine, Had to start all over. Had to Back Off Front rods almost 3/4 of an inch.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

Just a quick question that I haven't seen mentioned here. How are you adjusting the brakes, fronts in particular ? Are you using the wedges along with the rod clevis ? In other words, have you set the wedges correctly just so the front brakes have an ever so light slight drag ? The levers should be forward of vertical by about 15. Then adjust the length of the rod to just be able to insert the clevis with the slack removed. Don't have the axle hanging when doing this, have the stands under the axle or the wheels on the floor. If thats all been done with bad results, then its time to dive inside. Sorry, just wanted to be sure to cover the basics first.
OH, as Purdy mentioned, the chamfer is necessary.
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Old 01-05-2014, 03:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

I am only discussing the front brakes as the rear brakes are good. All brake linings were chamfered when installed and the linings are not unduly worn. The front brake levers are set about 15 degrees forward. I adjusted the front brakes only with a wrench using the adjuster on the backing plate, until there was a slight drag when turning the wheel by hand. Then there is no braking action until I rotate the adjuster further. Then I get good front brake action but very hot drums, even when driving along without using the brakes. Sounds illogical I know, but that's what is happening.
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Old 01-05-2014, 03:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Mac View Post
I am only discussing the front brakes as the rear brakes are good. All brake linings were chamfered when installed and the linings are not unduly worn. The front brake levers are set about 15 degrees forward. I adjusted the front brakes only with a wrench using the adjuster on the backing plate, until there was a slight drag when turning the wheel by hand. Then there is no braking action until I rotate the adjuster further. Then I get good front brake action but very hot drums, even when driving along without using the brakes. Sounds illogical I know, but that's what is happening.
How did you set the levers at 15 degrees? If you did so with pills (push rod shims) then your shoes are FAR from centered. If you just leaned the levers forward by lengthening the rods then you have essentially deactivated the front brakes. There should be NO backlash at the levers. That means you push each lever rearward SOFTLY until it stops. Then set the length of the rod so the pin slips through with it in that position.
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:02 PM   #12
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

With the brake rods disconnected, I adjust the front brakes untill they lock, then back off untill they just turn free. Pull the lever back by hand untill free movement at the lever is removed. Adjust the clevis on the brake rod untill the clevis pin will just enter the hole on the brake lever. This will have the brake shoes ready to expand when you push the pedal. If you are trying to adjust the brake rods to an exact length like a certain mechanics hand book says, that is your problem. All slack has to be removed at the brake rod connection or the brakes will be poor or NO brakes at all.
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

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Originally Posted by Marco Tahtaras View Post
How did you set the levers at 15 degrees? If you did so with pills (push rod shims) then your shoes are FAR from centered. If you just leaned the levers forward by lengthening the rods then you have essentially deactivated the front brakes. There should be NO backlash at the levers. That means you push each lever rearward SOFTLY until it stops. Then set the length of the rod so the pin slips through with it in that position.
I've heard you guys talking about pills and never understood their origin. Surely they are not an original part. What part is the pill taking up wear upon and doesn't that then raise a query that we are using worn parts on the most important safety mechanism of the car, meaning the braking system of course.
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Mac View Post
I am only discussing the front brakes as the rear brakes are good. All brake linings were chamfered when installed and the linings are not unduly worn. The front brake levers are set about 15 degrees forward. I adjusted the front brakes only with a wrench using the adjuster on the backing plate, until there was a slight drag when turning the wheel by hand. Then there is no braking action until I rotate the adjuster further. Then I get good front brake action but very hot drums, even when driving along without using the brakes. Sounds illogical I know, but that's what is happening.
It appears we're having a problem with terminology. The info that your getting from us is all good.
You mention adjusting with the wrench, which means you're turning the square headed do-hickey, thats the adjusting wedge. Keep adjusting that until the drum barely turns freely from the tight locked position. Work the actuating lever a few a times and readjust the wedge again until the drum barely contacts the brake shoes. You want the drum/wheel to turn freely. Then, leave it alone.
Next look at the actuating lever, pull/push lightly toward the back of the vehicle to remove any slack. It should still be forward of vertical. Then pull on the brake rod and adjust the brake rod clevis until the clevis pin just fits into the clevis. Thats it.
Take for a ride and see how it acts. If one wheel needs a little correcting, then I readjust the rod length, but, most give a wedge a click [ tight wheel a click looser]. Overheated drums come from too much contact with the shoes.
I haven't said anything much different from the others, just trying to explain it in maybe a different way.
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:19 PM   #15
Mad Mac
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

Thanks guys, that gives me something to work on when I get time next week.

Marco: I have not changed the angle of the levers - they have always been at about 15 degrees. I have never used the "pills "you refer to (although I know what you mean) or changed the length of the brake rods, which are stock standard length.

Purdy: Thanks for that. I will try your suggestions.

Patrick: Thanks for clarifying. I will try your suggestions which are similar to Purdy's.

Cheers,
Mac

Last edited by Mad Mac; 01-05-2014 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:55 PM   #16
Marco Tahtaras
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

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Originally Posted by Mad Mac View Post
Thanks guys, that gives me something to work on when I get time next week.

Marco: I have not changed the angle of the levers - they have always been at about 15 degrees. I have never used the "pills "you refer to (although I know what you mean) or changed the length of the brake rods, which are stock standard length.

Purdy: Thanks for that. I will try your suggestions.

Patrick: Thanks for clarifying. I will try your suggestions which are similar to Purdy's.

Cheers,
Mac
There is no "standard length" on late '28 through '31 models (after the equalizer system). If you have not adjusted the rods to remove the play at the levers then you have not even begun to adjust your brakes! Please reread my previous post.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:54 PM   #17
Mad Mac
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

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Originally Posted by Marco Tahtaras View Post
How did you set the levers at 15 degrees? If you did so with pills (push rod shims) then your shoes are FAR from centered. If you just leaned the levers forward by lengthening the rods then you have essentially deactivated the front brakes. There should be NO backlash at the levers. That means you push each lever rearward SOFTLY until it stops. Then set the length of the rod so the pin slips through with it in that position.
Thanks Marco,
Will do as you suggest
Mac
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:00 PM   #18
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

How to adjust the brakes is detailed in the Ford Service Bulletins published by Ford.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

AND, forget the "board trick"---That's just unecessary, confusing, "MUMBO-JUMBO" (B.S!) Bill W.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:34 AM   #20
Marco Tahtaras
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Default Re: Front brake adjustment

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AND, forget the "board trick"---That's just unecessary, confusing, "MUMBO-JUMBO" (B.S!) Bill W.
What? You going to destroy the dreams of multiple wanna be authors that repeat what they read elsewhere? There has to be a patent out there just waiting for the "better board"! Sorry, but I just can't sit here and condone the shattering of such lofty dreams.
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