Ten years ago I was able to get the new shoes on our ’55 C-300 ground at Clutch and Brake Xchange in Stockton: http://clutchbrakexchange.com/ Had to, the drums would not go on over the new shoes. I took the drums to them after a very light cleanup cut on the drums. Worked very well with occasional adjusting for wear.
The brakes on my 300G are bone stock and I plan on keeping them that way. The shoes were replaced back in the '70s when you could still get shoes arced, and the wear on the shoes at this point is maybe 25%. I do adjust them every couple of years, I don't drive it much, and I purge the brake fluid about every 5-7 years using silicone fluid. The master and wheel cylinders are all brass sleeved. The car stops straight, no pulling, and has adequate stopping ability even from freeway speeds at the off ramp. The only issues I have had are from brake fade, like when driving back from Reno, West bound through the Sierras, they can get a hot and fade. I suspect this is less of a problem with a G than it would be with an F because the G has 15" wheels and vented wheel covers.
My interest in disc brake conversion kits is not for my own car, but rather those that contact me with questions about converting their 300G or similar car to discs. They want a modern brake system in a box that shows up at their doorstep and can bolt on, I get that. Also, many want a dual master for redundancy, and that can be very challenging with a ram manifold. Another alternative I have heard of is to convert to later Bendix self adjusting, self energizing types like those used on '63 and later. I've read they work pretty well and are not as drastic a conversion process, but you need to source the parts carefully and probably used.
I guess what I'm saying is that if it ain't broke don't fix it, but if you do fix it, fix it right!
Right on Andy..this year getting into these pretty good. As much understanding the technology --and the why , as any repair effort. I am so impressed with the 300B winning like that, over and over, in Nascar on these brakes. Fact. Almost 5000 lbs on NASCAR tracks at 100 mph for hours? Yet “bad brakes”?
We should have asked Vicky about this!! Maybe we can!
But, like many of us in the past, first thing I did many years ago, was take the brake drums to the local auto machine “to turn them” and then buy “new shoes”. Most of my grief was started right there ; the shoes and drums were different sizes!. That simply will not work with these brakes. Not even close. The carefully and beautifully designed dual self energizing fronts depend on precise diameter fit 360 , for the degree of self energization they exhibit.. It can go either way from weak brakes that barely stop the car to erratic violent grabbing. But not knowing that , at the time, and thinking “they will wear in” led to thousands of miles of grief, hundreds of adjustments etc etc..and occasional lockups,-- so one was soon getting afraid of what the car might do. Who needs this, starts up. Why the 68 discs on the 57 Dodge. ( has a 480” 440)
That grief leads to metallic linings, riveted vs bonded , new drums, all that stuff. Waste of time. Each time you go new on the shoes you reset the “fun party” miles to zero. I am convinced, and it is just my opinion, that turning drums that are round , no matter the grooves etc hurts them a lot in 2016,--- if you have the matching half worn shoes reuse them. . .Mass is gone, by grinding (fade!) they are more prone to warp (weaker structurally) and they are the wrong size . And many of our drums, the 12” ones have probably been turned several times trying to fix “bad brakes” . And that positive experience I had with brakes working fine for 50k from new in 1960,---and you saying 100k off a set put in correctly on a G just affirms all this. George said the exact same thing..but often not as nicely (smile) . None of his cars had disc brake upgrades, although if he had done so he would not tell you, and probably paint them with a cover to look like rusty drums. (I miss George..that cam is stock, John---honest).
The new 300G tests in 61 reflect what they do new. When put together right.
Yes, John, I agree. One of my mechanic mentors who opened a service station in 1957 always told me the problem with these brakes was with the mechanics and not the engineers.
He always arc ground. (In fact, I have his arc grinder now.) The linings he ground for me in 1990 are still on my G after 100K+ miles.
Other things I have published in the club newsletter the newbies wouldn't have seen:
Paul Mallwitz, a Chrysler engineer who spoke at a club meet in 1982 was asked: "How did you get the brakes to work on these cars?"
Reply: "With great difficulty. Those Center Plane brakes had to be put together like a watch in order to make them work properly."
Other cars in the same issue:
Olds Super 88: 159 ft.
Olds F-85: 171 ft.
Daimler SP-250: 194 ft. (2090 lbs. with disc brakes)
In a swiftly warming Chicago
Posted by: "Rich Barber" <c300@xxxxxxx>
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