Re: IML: 1960 Imperial brake bleeding
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Re: IML: 1960 Imperial brake bleeding

Thank you for sharing this.

I ran into a similar problem when bleeding the brakes on my '56 through '62 models a few years back. The FSM is very specific about the brake shoes being adjusted before attempting the bleed. With the shoe adjustment backed off, there isn't enough pressure to push the fluid and air through the system properly to get a good bleed. The tip on raising the jar is excellent, and we discovered that ourselves also.

Your father is a very smart man, and should be commended for his efforts and statements regarding this process. With the brakes bled and adjusted properly, correctly made lines, and parts in top shape, the brakes on these cars should feel completely adequate, and inspire confidence in stopping ability. If they don't, something is wrong.

Mine do, but when I read about folks that feel the opposite, I immediately suspect an incorrect procedure or defective parts. 1956 was the first year for this style of brakes, and the only year where the drums needed to be bigger, adding more stopping power and heat dissipation. The other models should be fine unless they have been over-heated from repeat panic stops, riding them down a hill, or improperly maintained.

Paul W.

-----Original Message-----
From: richard burgess <lecrown60@xxxxxxxxx>
To: mailing-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; Kenyon Wills <imperialist1960@xxxxxxxxx>; Larry Blomburg <lazblom@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Mon, 22 Oct 2007 4:47 am
Subject: IML: 1960 Imperial brake bleeding

Hi Folks,


After spending countless hours working on the brakes on my '60 Crown they are finally working properly.  I think we bled them entirely three times before getting everything repaired properly.  The shop that "restored" my chasis did not double flare the brake lines correctly and had overtightened the flares at the bronze blocks creating distortion and leaks.  We ended up replacing all of the lines again and the blocks as well, at the front frame and on top of the axle.  The IML web site was helpful but did not really address the issue of pedal going to the floor.  See below.  Another tip, we elevated our brake bleeding bottle on a small step ladder, that really helped keeep the air from returning to the cylinders during the bleeding process.  After all of this my father had this to say:


For Imperial Club under "Repair" , "Brakes", "Brake Bleeding".


The 1960 Imperial and like years brake systems can be perfectly bled and the pedal still go to the floor if the brake shoes are not adjusted to require minimal movement to brake the drum.  The bottom line is that with six cylinders to provide fluid too, the master cylinder will be at the end of its stroke (to the floor) before the wheel cylinders have enough fluid (pressure) to push the shoes tight against the drums.  Chrysler knew this, as in the Maintenance Manual under "Pedal goes to Floor" you (a) check fluid in master cylinder and (b) adjust for worn linings.  The obvious implication is that it does not take much slack at the brake shoes to allow the pedal to go to the floor.  With the shoes properly adjusted tight against the drum and just loosened enough to allow the wheel to turn freely you still will not have a firm pedal until you almost reach the floor.  That's just the way it is.  If you want to see this then tighten all the shoes against the drums and then see how much pedal you have.  You cannot see this by pumping the pedal as the strong shoe return springs will push the fluid back out of the wheel cylinders faster than you can stroke the master cylinder.  Adjust the shoes properly and frequently and you can get good braking.   


Richard Burgess

'60 Crown


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