View Full Version : brake problems

08-22-2006, 01:38 AM
ok guys now that i got u in here i wanna apologize for suckering you in

this is not a studebaker problem but seeing how i own a studebaker owner and work on other classic cars for people who arent cool enuff to own a stude and also considering im at my witts end with this problem

i was hoping i could turn to some of you for some general guidence

ive been working on a full restoration of a 56 plymouth plaza for a guy for about a year now and im almost road worthy except one drawback
ive installed all new wheel cylinders in the front brakes
got new shoes had them arched to fit the drums
new bearings
adjusted all adjustments to neg side
and the darn brake drums will not slide back on over the shoes

im a lil on the ol skool side so my first thought was they came off this car they outta go back on so i did some tinkering made some adjustments and they still wouldnt go back on so i moved on to something else somewhere else on the car

6mos goes by new rearend install new tranny installed new brakes in rear new brake lines all around and guess what still needs to be done

oh yeah brake drums need to be put on in front
so i dissaaaembled the whole front set up and reassembled to make sure nothing was outta place or charlie wongo
and darn it they still dont fit
so back to ol skool "make em fit"
get out the grinder and start cuttin the neg side of the adjustments down to make em fit

well this worked out ok on the drivers side but when i went to bleed them i couldnt get fluid into the wheel cylinders cause they r compressed to much

hey guys ive been messing with this in my mind everyday for the past 6 mos and cant figure it out

every new part i put on looked just like the old ones well except new

i just cant put my finger on it any words of advice besides throw it away and get a studebaker

08-22-2006, 02:04 AM
So are you absolutly SURE that the brake shoe web matches the old ones exactly in the area that enters the wheel cyl.? If a Plymouth uses push rods on the Wh. Cyl. are they the same length ? That's amazing to have the Wh. cyl. cups all the way to the center of the cyl.!!:( Brake drums too small?

Studebakers Northwest
Ferndale, WA

Blue 15G
08-22-2006, 07:16 AM
I have owned 1955 Plymouths and DeSotos in the past. I know the brakes were enlarged in '56, but the design is still similar. These front brakes have two wheel cylinders per side, and turning the eccentric cams adjust the position of the shoes. If you're absolutely sure that everything is backed off as much as possible, I'd be looking at the shoes themselves. Are they the right ones? You shouldn't have to be grinding anything just to put the drums back on.

Studebaker brakes are much easier to work on, but the old Chrysler setup was good. The wheel cylinders tended to develop leaks frequently for some reason, though.

08-23-2006, 09:09 PM
The adjustments are not that simple. Make sure the adjustments are totally backed off. Cut the ridge off the drum if you haven't already done that. If the drums still do not go on, I think that someone put linings that are too thick on those shoes.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY
1954 Commander Starliner (restomod)
1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)

08-24-2006, 09:19 AM
Not knowing a thing about a Plymouth, if I faced this problem, the first thing would be to measure the I.D. of the drum and compare to the O.D. of the shoes. Look for any difference at the backing plate as opposed to the outside, to check if the shoes are canted on the backing plate. Are these the same shoes that came with the car?
If the adjustments are in as much as possble, and the shoes fit the backing plate correctly, then I'd look into grinding a bit more off the linings. Aftermarket linings are known to be thicker to accomodate considerable re-arching and still wind up with a serviceable shoe.
Would it be possible to file down the notch in the the receiver end of the shoe, where the cylinder rod fits into it. This would gain something. Just my $.02

08-24-2006, 11:02 AM
Two things they have a tool for adjusting brakes that measures the inside of drum then turn it around and measure-adjust brakes. Second back in the day they made oversize shoes thhat were ground down and arched to fit drums. Back then I had a AAMCO brake machine that had this attachment to do this.:)


08-24-2006, 11:07 AM
BTW, Back in the late 50's and early 60's Mopar brakes could be a real pain. sometimes there would be two or three different sets of brake sets listed for one model year.:)