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Old 03-24-2021, 11:54 AM   #1
freak
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Default Are brake floaters worth it?

Since I'm re-doing my brakes I noticed the floater kits. Pretty expensive. Kits range from $200-260. Are these worth the cost?
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Old 03-24-2021, 12:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

After three tries at the Flathead brand, I gave up. The instructions say that all parts need to be in tip-top shape before proceeding. That was probably my issue to begin with. I was kind of seduced by the notion that putting the kit on that my Model A brakes would magically be like a modern car brakes. My brakes actually work very well with stock and standard parts and while my brakes are all standard parts, they are pretty new with Randy Gross shoes and cast iron drums. I am pretty happy with what I have and my Flathead kit now sits on the shelf. My advice is to see what you can do with good standard parts before going that route.
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Old 03-24-2021, 01:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

Absolutely, worth every nickle..like anything else, when installing them you have to be conscious of how they work and do the extras,making sure things slide and fit as they should.
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Old 03-24-2021, 01:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

I have a completely rebuilt stock braking system on our 29, we even still have steel drums.

Wheels lock up. What more can you ask for. Once locked! That’s it.

If rebuilt correctly, original braking system should work fine. Just make sure you look at every part. Don’t cut corners. Every part.......
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Old 03-24-2021, 02:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

You don’t need the brake floaters . Restore the original system properly, use cast iron drums, arc shoes to drum. Pay attention to detail, And set up and adjust system properly. I have done hundreds of a brake jobs and am NOT an advocate for the aftermarket gimmicks .
My brake jobs lock them up .
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Old 03-24-2021, 02:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

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X2 on Post #5.
If you have to install floaters to make them work you haven't done something correctly.
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Old 03-24-2021, 02:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

Is "can you lock up your brakes, yes or no" really the sole criterion for whether the floater kits have value? I thought the point was that the floaters reduced the amount of pedal pressure required to apply a given amount of braking force, making the brakes more responsive.
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Old 03-24-2021, 03:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

Some folks swear by them while some swear at them.

Energizing brakes are a good thing, but, I've not felt the need.

Mine will lock up at 40 mph with steel drums. I think the limiting factor is the skinny tires.

Last edited by Patrick L.; 03-24-2021 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 03-24-2021, 03:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

I had them installed many years ago, and they never did work properly, even after having several other knowledgeable Model A folks look at them. I removed them and went back to stock, and am aware some have great luck with them.....
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Old 03-24-2021, 04:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

They are worth the cost to me. My brakes were in good shape before I installed the floaters. The pedal pressure is reduced to about one-third. You remove the large springs which some people have said that is why the pedal pressure is reduced, but the spring pressure is a small fraction of the total brake pedal pressure.

One important advantage is even wear of the shoes. With the standard setup, one shoe is self energized while the other is not.

With the self energizing feature they are almost like having power brakes.


They are a little difficult to install correctly but not for anyone with mechanical experience. You have to read all the available information and view the videos. Your brakes must be in as-new condition before installing the floaters.
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Old 03-24-2021, 04:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

Use the 2006/2007 MAT articles linked on Ted's site.
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Old 03-24-2021, 04:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

I put them along with steel drums on my last restoration, but have no intentions to put them on my current restoration. I haven't been able to deduce any real difference with floaters than with the standard brake set-ups on my other cars. I am inclined to agree with those above who have suggested that a properly reworked original brake set up is probably the way to go ... and certainly much less expensive! Good luck whichever route you choose.
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Old 03-24-2021, 04:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

I just went thru the brakes my Town Sedan (new cast drum, shoes, anything out of spec) and I felt my brakes were really good.

Then I won a FHT Brake Kit in the opportunity drawing at the OCMAC Pancake Breakfast a few years ago and I figured I would try them (cost me ~$5). I feel they are a definite improvement over the stock. They have been on my car for ~3 years now.

Read the various articles by Tom Endy and the Model A Times before you decide. Flat Head Ted video, not so much.
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Old 03-24-2021, 05:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

I recently went through the front brakes on a car that had Ted's kit installed by the previous owner but he hadn't done a good job of it. After taking it all out and reading the instructions (which it was clear the PO didn't do), we reassembled with care. That car now has brakes as good as any and better than most with a nice progressive feel on the pedal.
I suspect those cars where floaters and other kits have been installed with results less than expected are either poorly installed or the owner was expecting too much. Just sayin.
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Old 03-25-2021, 07:03 AM   #15
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

For Colin and others who feel the FHT floaters make the brake pedal pressure softer/easier, can you tell me exactly the component in his kit that allows this to happen?
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Old 03-25-2021, 07:41 AM   #16
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
For Colin and others who feel the FHT floaters make the brake pedal pressure softer/easier, can you tell me exactly the component in his kit that allows this to happen?
I'm no engineer, but I think it's supposed to be the floating wedge and anchor. The rotational force exerted on one shoe by the rotating drum is transferred as braking force to the other shoe via the floaters, rather than being transferred to stationary components on the backing plate. In this manner, some of the braking force is "recycled" from the wheel itself, decreasing the force exerted by the operator to achieve a given braking force.
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Old 03-25-2021, 07:49 AM   #17
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

The brake shoe 'self energizes', it cams into the drum by centrifugal force, this gives the feel of reduced effort. A centered style system does not use the drums kinetic energy to assist in application.

I run 16" wheels and modern radials,its almost impossible to 'lock up'...basically lose control while braking. The floaters made a noticeable difference in stopping power.
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Old 03-25-2021, 07:55 AM   #18
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

The design was created by Bendix,and the concept is the standard of drum braking today..as usual, Ford resisted anything Bendix till the market forced them to it.

Does anyone know why Ford didnt like Bendix?
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Old 03-25-2021, 08:08 AM   #19
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

Flathead Ted's brake floaters improve a fully restored stock brake system by a large amount! I proved this to myself on my Victoria that had a 100% brake restoration to an OEM configuration. Then I put Flathead Ted's brake floaters on the car and WOW!!!!! What a fantastic difference!


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Old 03-25-2021, 08:15 AM   #20
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Default Re: Are brake floaters worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexiskai View Post
I'm no engineer, but I think it's supposed to be the floating wedge and anchor. The rotational force exerted on one shoe by the rotating drum is transferred as braking force to the other shoe via the floaters, rather than being transferred to stationary components on the backing plate. In this manner, some of the braking force is "recycled" from the wheel itself, decreasing the force exerted by the operator to achieve a given braking force.
Could it be that you removed part of the brake springs?
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