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

The pedal my '60 Custom has very little travel, but doesn't grab. I can press it further to apply the brakes harder without locking up the wheels. Since the car has been in our family since it was new, I have been familiar with the amount of travel it should have. Also, that was the first car that I rebuilt the brakes on after my 20 year hiatus, and I used it's performance as the standard for the others.

I would say that if the pedal travels half way to the floor, its time to adjust the brakes, or possibly check other work. If I remember correctly, the FSM recommends a brake adjustment every 1,500 miles. I also keep track of the amount of pedal required to light the stop lights. Since they are hydraulically activated, this can possibly be an indicator of a low fluid level or master cylinder problem.

My '62 had a great deal of pedal travel, until I replaced the front backing plate assemblies. Everything else had been done. I noticed that upon adjustment, the pedal was high and firm, but within a few stops, it would go back to its old ways. No amount of bleeding or adjustment seemed to correct this. I finally decided that the adjusters were worn and backing off, so I replaced the backing plates. That seemed to correct the trouble. I believe the backing plates can be rebuilt, but so far I have managed to replace them with good used ones.

Keep those brakes working perfectly!

Paul W.

-----Original Message-----
From: Rob van der Es <r.vdes@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: mailing-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Tue, 23 Oct 2007 1:46 am
Subject: Re: IML: 1960 Imperial brake bleeding

Thanks for sharing this Richard!,


Your father is absolutely right, you need to adjust the cam adjusters (4 in the front and 2 in the rear) frequently to get a good working braking system.

I have adjusted the way you father described it, and I must say I have a firm pedal that travel only halfway to the floor!


Maybe the other 60 owners, Paul, Tom, Kenyon and Charles can jump in on this and tell us how much pedal travel they have?


And since we are talking about 1960 Imps here, what is the correct reading for the temperature of our cars?

Since the weather is almost freezing cold here, my car doesn't reach normal operating temperature. It just passed the Cold mark on the dial and thats about it. Since it is a Californian car I thought the former owner might have installed another termostat that opens earlier, so I checked it and I was right!


The previous owner installed a 160 degrees thermostat!, I guess to prevent the car from overheating in hot Californian summers.

I now have installed a 180 degrees thermostat (OEM standard temperature) and the needle on the gauge goes higher then ever before! It now stays exactly in the middle of the dial.

Is this correct?

I have never seen the needle climbed that high before, so I am a little worried allthough common sense tells me that the middle of the dial sounds quite good...


Just curious to know the readings on other 1960 owners temperature gauges!





----- Original Message -----

From: richard burgess

To: mailing-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ; Kenyon Wills ; Larry Blomburg

Sent: Monday, October 22, 2007 2:47 PM

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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