Re: [FWDLK] Total contact brakes
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Re: [FWDLK] Total contact brakes



Proper adjustment is essential. One adjuster for each shoe. The leading shoe adjuster must be turned using t he same direction of rotation as the wheel when it is going forward. The adjusters for the rear shoes must be turned the opposite direction, the same as the wheel when backing up. Thus the right rear leading shoe adjuster will be turned using a left or counter-clockwise rotation and the rear shoe using a clock-wise rotation. Doing the left rear wheel will require just the opposite. If the adjusters are turned the wrong way the shoes will be moved away from the stops at the bottoms and the shoes will have anything but “total contact”. BTW, for front brakes both shoes adjusters are turned the same direction as the wheel when moving forward.

 

Dave is correct that the shoes must be adjusted to the point of having a slight drag. Once the proper adjustment is done, a test drive that makes several stops must be done. Long stops from higher speeds is best (i.e. stops from 20 mph after the first couple to be sure the brakes do in fact work, are not all that useful). After this you must re-adjust the brakes and then readjust again after s few days driving. When the pedal gets low, re-adjust. These ain’t not self-adjusting by any stretch.

 

Also, it is best to place the shoes in the drums before installing them. Check for how well the arc of the lining matches the drum surface. There should be just a very little clearance between the top and bottom ends of the lining and the drum surface. If there is any gap at all between the lining and the drum surface in the center portion of the linings they must be re-arced. Don’t ask me where you will equipment to do that nowadays. Another way to do it is install and adjust he shoes then go out and this time, drive at lower speeds (maybe 30 or lower) and use the brakes a lot, even to lightly drag them for a couple of blocks then readjust. Do this 2 – 3 times and you should be good.

 

My first brake job on these brakes (or any car for that matter) was on my 57 Belvedere 2 dr hdt and I had never heard of arcing brake shoes. Talk about a soft pedal! But after getting advice from a mechanic at Edwards Motors in Milwaukee I did the drive and adjust method and had decent brakes by the next day albeit I still had to re-adjust about a week later.

 

When I was doing brake, suspension and alignment work professionally a few years later I was one of two at my shop that had no problems with doing brakes on those old Mopars. Proper done they were as good as anything out there.

 

Can’t recall when production started or ended but I’m think 61 or 62 may have been the final year. I  am quite sure my 63 440 didn’t have them.

 

John Hagen

 

From: Forward Look Mopar Discussion List [mailto:L-FORWARDLOOK@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Dave Homstad
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 5:26 PM
To: L-FORWARDLOOK@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [FWDLK] Total contact brakes

 

Sounds like the shoes make partial contact with the drum and wear down quickly. You need to perform a "Major Brake Adjustment". Consult pg 89 in your shop manual. I was lucky the last time I relined the brakes. They fit well without a "Major".

 

When doing a "Minor Brake Adjustment", the anchor cams at the bottom of the shoe should be adjusted until a slight drag is felt. This means the bottom of the shoe is touching the drum and a slight amount of lining will wear off quickly so the drum is free running. Then the wheel cylinder will push out the top of the shoe and total contact will result.

 

Sepatate note: modern linings are typically much harder than OEM linings. This is because almost all cars in the last few decades have power brakes with higher line pressures and linings need to be harder to last longer. The result in an older car with non-power brakes is less stopping power and higher pedal pressures. I installed OEM power brakes and problem solved. A lot of disk brakes conversions get installed for this reason.

 

Dave Homstad

56 Dodge D500



 

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