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Old 05-12-2011, 09:33 AM   #1
'31 Patina
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Default How do you adjust the brake pedal to be in the correct position?

The Les Andrews book doesn't tell how to adjust the brake pedal to the cross shaft. After having my brake shoes relined, drums turned, shoes arched to drums, new rods and other brake parts I made the mistake of putting everything back together without starting with adjusting the brake pedal to the cross shaft. Should adjusting the brake pedal to the shaft be the very first step before I put the service brake rods on? Or can I leave the brake rods on and adjust the pedal to the shaft accordingly?

I followed the Les Andrews instructions on how to adjust the brakes and when I went to use the board with notches cut in it (the tool used to put pressure on the pedal while you adjust the brakes accordingly) I found that my brake pedal was already half way forward, towards the front of the car, but the cross shaft was in the vertical postion. So I assume I need to adjust the brake pedal to the cross shaft? How do you do this? Should I disconnect all the rods and start over?

Last edited by '31 Patina; 05-12-2011 at 09:36 AM. Reason: description
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:34 AM   #2
'31 Patina
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Default Re: How do you adjust the brake pedal to be in the correct position?

I forgot to mention this is on a 1931 coupe.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:54 AM   #3
Larry Seemann
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Default Re: How do you adjust the brake pedal to be in the correct position?

Shorten the rod that connects the brake pedal to the service brake cross shaft so that the pedal is all the way up and the arms on the service brake cross shaft are in the vertical position. To do this you should disconnect the brake rods, unless the arms are already vertical.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:11 PM   #4
RonC
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Default Re: How do you adjust the brake pedal to be in the correct position?

From the service bulletins:

"......pull the brake pedal all the way back until it is against its stop - then adjust the rod until there is about 1/16” clearance between end of rod and rear flange of center cross member (leaving a little clearance between end of rod and cross member prevents any possibility of the end of the rod rubbing against the cross member and causing a squeak).

After adjusting the brake pedal to cross rod, assemble side pull rods to brake operating and cross shaft end levers. When assembling the side pull rods, pull the brake operating levers on the front axle back and the brake operating levers on the rear axle forward (taking up all idle movement). Then with the levers in this position adjust the side pull rods so they can be assembled to brake operating and cross shaft end levers.

Next adjust brakes by turning up the adjusting wedges as described on page 202 of the January, 1928, Bulletin. After the brake rods have been correctly adjusted car owners should be notified that this adjustment must not be altered. Service brake adjustments must be made only by means of the adjusting wedge at each brake."
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: How do you adjust the brake pedal to be in the correct position?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonC View Post
From the service bulletins:

"......pull the brake pedal all the way back until it is against its stop - then adjust the rod until there is about 1/16 clearance between end of rod and rear flange of center cross member (leaving a little clearance between end of rod and cross member prevents any possibility of the end of the rod rubbing against the cross member and causing a squeak).

After adjusting the brake pedal to cross rod, assemble side pull rods to brake operating and cross shaft end levers. When assembling the side pull rods, pull the brake operating levers on the front axle back and the brake operating levers on the rear axle forward (taking up all idle movement). Then with the levers in this position adjust the side pull rods so they can be assembled to brake operating and cross shaft end levers.

Next adjust brakes by turning up the adjusting wedges as described on page 202 of the January, 1928, Bulletin. After the brake rods have been correctly adjusted car owners should be notified that this adjustment must not be altered. Service brake adjustments must be made only by means of the adjusting wedge at each brake."
Good post Ron. I don't have the patience to transcribe all the good stuff in the Bulletins!

I've pretty much stayed silent on the adjustment issue because very few folks ever get the shoes centered and sized correctly which leaves them in a position having to compensate elsewhere.

The "Adjusting Model A Brakes" video link that was posted a couple days ago reminded me of all these tricks folks devise to compensate for problems at the wheels. The truth is, when the brakes are TRULY proper at the wheels then all you need to do is adjust each adjuster for it's wheel to spin free about 80% of it's rotation, adjust the rods as you quoted, and it's a done deal except POSSIBLY turning one or two of the adjusters about one click.

If you need to use something like the brake pedal stick/gauge then you have at least moderate problems at the wheels.
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