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Old 11-22-2020, 10:47 AM   #21
Pilotdave
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

Interesting point, Will. I'll investigate.....I'm looking at the photo in the Andrews book which shows the clevis offset from the centerline of the arm and nearer to the backing plate than to the center of the car. This is what I meant when I said they're "angled out toward the backing plate" so perhaps we are speaking about two different things!

Last edited by Pilotdave; 11-22-2020 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 11-22-2020, 04:17 PM   #22
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

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Interesting point, Will. I'll investigate.....I'm looking at the photo in the Andrews book which shows the clevis offset from the centerline of the arm and nearer to the backing plate than to the center of the car. This is what I meant when I said they're "angled out toward the backing plate" so perhaps we are speaking about two different things!
While you have the front drum off, pay close attention to the brake wedge to see if it is binding on the stud as the brake is depressed. Especially if it has the floater with the pin inside.
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:42 PM   #23
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

Brent - thanks for your suggestion; the wedge moves smoothly - no binding.

I also checked the cross shaft for any binding or looseness at the bushings - there's no binding - the shaft turns smoothly and freely throughout its range of motion. No play in the bushings.

This afternoon I found that I cannot lock up the drum by turning the adjuster in - am investigating that. Doubt this has anything to do with the hard pedal, but I want to correct it.
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:51 PM   #24
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

Dave,

Now we are getting somewhere closer to the problem. If your brake shoe adjuster on the backing plate won't lock the drum, you can't possibly adjust the brakes correctly or set the brake rods.

'Been there, done that.' I respectfully suggest maybe it's time to put down the wrenches for the next week and grab a drum stick with the family. Your brake issues will be there next week, but with a rested mind, they may become more apparent. I hope we can help more then, Best.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:57 AM   #25
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

jb-ob....I agree with you about adjusting the brakes, but how would a worn adjusting wedge affect setting the brake rods? I plan to pull the wedge out for an inspection this morning....if it looks ok, another possibility is that the adjusting shafts are worn or not the same length - will check that as well. Then I'll order some parts and get ready to enjoy pie and turkey!
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:06 AM   #26
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

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Dave,

With many ways to adjust Model A brakes, my preference is to be able to lock all four drums with the adjuster screwed in completely. THEN set the brake rods.

More after you enjoy the Holiday.
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:19 AM   #27
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

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Interesting point, Will. I'll investigate.....I'm looking at the photo in the Andrews book which shows the clevis offset from the centerline of the arm and nearer to the backing plate than to the center of the car. This is what I meant when I said they're "angled out toward the backing plate" so perhaps we are speaking about two different things!



Yes, we're talking about different things. The clevis is offset toward the center, but it is also rotated slightly so that it isn't at a right angle. If you were to stick a pencil through the clevis holes, it would point slightly toward the rear of the car rather than squarely at the center line.


As for the front adjusting wedge issue, I think it's likely one of two things: the thread on the adjuster is gunked up or damaged, and it's binding in the backing plate before it screws all the way in. Or, the adjusting shafts on the shoes are binding in their sockets.

Last edited by Will N; 11-23-2020 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:43 PM   #28
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

I agree with JB OB. "Now we are getting somewhere." If you turn out the adjusters all the way then the shoes will not contact the drums and the wedge will bottom out causing the "hard brake pedal." If the adjusters cannot be turned in to the point where you can lock up the drums then you may have the same situation where the wedge is bottoming out.

Make sure the levers are 15 degrees forward of vertical on the front brakes when the rods are connected and the brakes are adjusted. In my car I back off the adjuster one click from locked and then check for equal temperature of the drums after a test drive. But there are many ways to adjust the brakes on a Model A.

Is it time for new shoes for the old lady? Of is there something else wrong?
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Old 11-24-2020, 09:17 AM   #29
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

Yesterday I replaced the adjuster wedges and adjuster shafts on both front brakes. The adjuster wedges were both badly worn. I can adjust the brakes from free-wheeling to significant friction - but not locked up. THAT makes me wonder if the drums were turned too much when they were trued up. I inspected them when I had them off the car - no noticeable wear.

I've adjusted the brakes as I have been taught....the hard pedal condition is gone. This morning I drove the car. It stops well but doesn't lock up. Pedal feels normal - hardness gone. I suspect that the drums may be past their prime even though only trued up once in Feb 2017. That and the touch of a master at adjusting brakes might do the trick.

I will update this post as I learn more.

Thank you to all of you who have posted questions, suggestions and ideas. I really appreciate the community of FordBarn! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-24-2020, 05:50 PM   #30
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

Dave,

Thanks so much for following up and reporting your results. I am glad you got it fixed. So may times the resolution of problems is never known.

Neil
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:45 AM   #31
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

You're welcome, Neil. I believe that explaining outcomes and fixes is an important part of a forum like this one.

That said, I have been strongly advised that the inability to lock up the drums by turning the adjuster wedge and not being able to lock up the wheels with hard braking indicates that something is still quite wrong. I'm going to continue to dig at this and will report any new discoveries.

Dave
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:58 AM   #32
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

I would adjust the slack out of the brake rods after adjusting the adjustment wedges .
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:41 PM   #33
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

Sounds like it’s time for new forged steel drums
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:24 AM   #34
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal

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The purpose of the forum In my opinion is to help everyone rather than one person. Please post answer rather than private message.
You can't disagree with PMs
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:37 AM   #35
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal

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You can't disagree with PMs
I guess we have to agree to disagree then. In my opinion It defeats the purpose of a forum. Purpose of a forum is to inform everyone unless it’s confidential or private.

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Old 11-26-2020, 12:44 PM   #36
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

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Sounds like it’s time for new forged steel drums
Where would you find these?? Most (all?) new ones are cast iron.
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Old 11-26-2020, 04:36 PM   #37
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Where would you find these?? Most (all?) new ones are cast iron.
Brattons sells them
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:28 PM   #38
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!

My investigation continues. I replaced one shoe on the RF brake with one I happened to have in stock. This a new shoe with an untouched woven lining with wire running through it and is the standard thickness. The shoe/lining fits the shape of the drum nicely.

With just the one new lining I can lock up the drum by tightening the adjuster wedge. I'm going to try changing the other linings to see if that cures the "non-locking" problem. Will post new information as it emerges.
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:55 PM   #39
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

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Brattons sells them

The drums Bratton's sells are nodular iron.
Definition of nodular iron
: cast iron in which the graphite is present as tiny nodules of characteristic structure.
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Old 11-27-2020, 08:25 PM   #40
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Default Re: Hard Brake Pedal - Update on Post #9

Dave,

Re Post 38. Installing one new brake shoe, the drum is not 'locked' but rather it is jammed. If you continued to replace one new shoe on each corner and test drove, I suspect strongly your stopping would be MUCH worse.

Starting with post #1, you stated you had cast iron drums cut & shoes arched to match. I'm going to guess this work was done correctly by a professional machinist.....someone who would have advised you if your cast iron brake drums where unsafely over size.
You should not be changing this drum / brake shoe relationship, it's not the problem.

Where the brake shoe roller tracks either replaced or rebuilt to factory 'specs' ?? You didn't say.

If the roller tracks are correct, the shoes assembled correctly & installed on the backing plates correctly, the brake adjusting wedge will expand the shoes until the shoes lock the drum, hard. If not, something inside is wrong.

After all four corners are locked hard, any free play with the brakes on the backing plates has been removed. NOW go ahead and set the brake rods.

Finish by backing out the adjusters until the wheels spin evenly. Road test making only minor adjustments at the adjuster.
If you need to re-open a brake drum to correct a problem, the brake rod should be reset.

The Model A brake system is very simple but it requires all moving parts to be correct.

Keep checking.
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