PDA

View Full Version : please help with my brakes



N8N
02-26-2006, 06:02 PM
OK guys (and girls too) I am out of ideas as to what to do with my '55 coupe. There's two main problems that keep it from being a nice driver; the first being that the steering box is shot and the second is that my rear brakes lock up under somewhat hard (but nowhere near panic stop) braking. The first I know how to deal with, if I can ever find another steering box. The second I am clueless as to how to fix.

Since buying the car, I have replaced all shoes, all wheel cylinders (I may have rebuilt one of the rears with a kit; not sure. I know I replaced at least one, maybe both. Both fronts are new.) cleaned everything, replaced all hoses, replaced master cylinder. I have had all drums off since noticing this problem and nothing really seems amiss. All shoes were from Fairborn Studebaker, so I assume they have the same lining material.

I thought initially that this problem might be because the rear tires that came with the wheels I bought from JP might be old and hard. Well I swapped the wheels front to rear and discovered that a) you CAN fit 245/60s on the front of a C-K body if you really want to, and they look cool in an insane, over-the-top kind of way. Steering is kinda hard though. Cop car wheels with a 1/4" spacer. Just so you know. b) Yokohama AVS ES100 tires smell a hell of a lot worse than BFG T/As when you smoke 'em. Yup, the lockup remains at the rear.

There are only a couple things that I noticed when looking at the brakes AGAIN today...

1) the pass. side front drum is fairly tight - I have the adjuster backed all the way off and it drags just a little more than I'd really prefer. Didn't want to have the drum cut, however.

2) I suspect that the pass. side front drum is newer than the driver's side, as it is a tighter fit on the shoes, and also the driver's side has some vague rust spots on the braking surface that the pass. side does not have. Does not feel overly worn though, although I don't have brake drum calipers.

3) The pass. side front when I pulled the drum off was squeaky clean. The driver's side, however, had lots of brake dust inside. When I pulled the rears last, I don't remember either having an unusual amount of dust, neither more nor less than I expected.

4) The anti-creep solenoid is still installed on my car, although the wiring is long gone. I am thinking that my next step will be to bypass this valve and see what happens, but I can't imagine that it could do anything to make the rears lock first.

Any ideas as to what to do next would be greatly appreciated. I didn't replace any of the springs etc. as they all looked to be in good condition (possibly replaced when previous brake job was done.) I don't feel like I cut any corners on this brake job and I find it odd that this one is fighting me; usually I just disassemble, fix/replace what I see that needs fixing or replacing, and voila, the car stops like it should.

I *really* wish I had a couple little tees with some brake pressure gauges so I could see if I had a hydraulic problem or a mechanical problem. But I don't. Such is life.

thanks...

nate

PS - after driving the car around the last couple days, if it weren't for this little issue, I might just consider driving it to York, esp. after I got my backup lights and driver's door mirror installed. BTW the repro mirrors have JUST BARELY enough adjustment to be useful, at least for me... I don't know if I get one for the pass side if I will be able to use it without undercutting the pivot ball some. But anyway it kind of pisses me off that I seem to have a fully functional car and I still can't (safely) drive it...

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

curt
02-26-2006, 06:38 PM
I had a 1953 Kaiser that had a L front brake grab on panic/very rapid stop. I blead starting with the longest line to the shotest line. Problem solved.Knowing you, bleading has been done an redoen. Wish I could help more.

gordr
02-26-2006, 06:44 PM
Well, N8.

Either the rears are locking because they are too effective, or they are locking prematurely because the fronts are INeffective. One way or another there is lack of balance.

To start with, are you sure the front and rear brakes are a matched set? A V8 car should 11" on the front and 10" on the rear. We know that car has been altered a bit, so who knows what was done to the brakes?

Are the rear shoes installed properly, with the short lining on the front shoe and the long lining on the rear? Are the front and rear linings from the same source?

Any sign of grease or leaked brake fluid on the rear linings? That can make them grabby.

What about the flex hoses to the front wheels? They could be plugged internally, and not allowing pressure to reach the cylinders.

I'd be wanting to get the car up on jack stands, then spin each wheel in turn by hand, and have a helper apply a little brake pedal, and see what happens.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

N8N
02-26-2006, 07:15 PM
good ideas, but so far nothing pops out at me. All linings are from Phil Harris, although the fronts are a little older than the rears. All hoses were replaced not long after I got the car.

I guess I will see if JP will help me out and let me borrow his lift after York; I was just hoping someone would say "hey, did you check the thingamabob?" and that would be my problem :)

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

studegary
02-27-2006, 05:25 PM
My guesses/stabs at this problem are;
1) The front and/or the rear wheel cylinders are the incorrect size for the car. This can cause front to rear inbalance.
2) The linings are different enough, front to rear, to cause a lock-up situation.
3) The car has the wrong size brakes front and/or rear from what it should have, causing an inbalance. I doubt this one because of all the '53s that I put later brakes on the front and left the rears as originals, none had this problem, but of course that would also put more braking on the front and not the rear. Has the rear end been changed in this car - along with the brakes?

I would first check all four wheel cylinder diameters against factory original specs.

DilloCrafter
02-27-2006, 08:06 PM
Have you considered installing a proportioning valve (but only if you also have a more modern dual master cylinder)? I'm kind of new at this brake stuff, but reading the instructions page at theTurnerBrake.com (http://www.turnerbrake.com/instructions.html) site, a proportioning valve is needed when someone puts discs only on the front wheels of a vehicle that came with drums all around.

I know yours is all drums, but still, dual master cylinder and a proportioning valve may help you to balance the load. The instructions on TurnerBrake indicate that (if the master cylinder is located lower than the wheel cylinders) you will need to have two residual check valves if you put in a dual master cylinder.

Of course, if you are going to go that far, you may want to go ahead and put the Turner front disc kit on the car, too.

Keep in mind this is just a wild stab at a suggestion from someone who seldom knows what he's talking about when it comes to mechanical stuff. (but there may yet be some merit to this)

http://rocketdillo.com/studebaker/misc/images/Current_Avacar.gif[/img=left] - DilloCrafter


1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
[i]The Red-Headed Amazon

Roscomacaw
02-28-2006, 12:36 AM
Gary might be onto something, Nate. As I recall (without looking it up)there was a change during mid-year '55. A change in wheel cylinder sizes. In fact, if I recall right, they made a change and then chaged it back - all during the course of that one model year. Maybe your cylinders are mismatched, front and back.[}:)]

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

Roscomacaw
03-01-2006, 09:25 AM
N8, any resolution to this yet???[:I]

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

N8N
03-01-2006, 11:32 AM
Nope, I have this nasty job thing I have to go to every day, I probably won't have a chance to look at it until next weekend (as this weekend is York...)

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

Hawk5619
03-03-2006, 09:09 PM
I had a similar problem like this went I bought my 63 Hawk. I pulled the rear drums off to discover that the shoes were on backwards. I am sure you have checked this but a little info on what could cause this problem for someone else.
Rick
50 Champion
60 Lark
63 Hawk

sbca96
03-03-2006, 09:33 PM
.............

gotti210
03-05-2006, 12:29 AM
yeah my 50 champ locks all four in the rain


really really bad just keeps on sliding i personnaly will not drive my car in the rain

billy howe
03-05-2006, 01:27 AM
might not be the problem, but you've done almost all the
expensive things why not probably the cheatest. the spring
kits don't cost much. also be sure to check the rear oil seals.
with the other ideas you got some work to do. good luck.

blackhawk
03-05-2006, 05:55 AM
quote:Originally posted by gotti210

yeah my 50 champ locks all four in the rain
really really bad just keeps on sliding i personnaly will not drive my car in the rain
Come on guys. There is something wrong with the brakes on your cars if Tom's Hawk and your Champ lock up in the rain. I have owned and driven Studebakers exclusively since 1964, most with stock drum brakes and I have never had an experience anywhere near what you describe. The drum brakes have always worked well on my cars. The modern disc brakes are better but those drum brakes from the mid-50s on up were pretty good for their day.

Dale

N8N
03-05-2006, 07:54 AM
If all four lock up sounds like they need new tires.

but anyway I was talking to a well known vendor here at York yesterday and he asked me if I'd bought my brake shoes from another certain vendor. I said no, but he told me that some people are still selling rear shoes with the old, asbestos-style lining and fronts with modern lining (because the old linings for the 11" drums ran out long ago) I guess I will have to talk to the vendor that I did get my shoes from and see if that is a possibility and if that's what happened I might have to ask someone with a good local brake shop to just have a full set of shoes relined for me, *all with the same material...*

I'm not saying that's what happened, but it makes sense... will have to look into it.

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

gordr
03-05-2006, 09:22 AM
quote:Originally posted by N8N

If all four lock up sounds like they need new tires.

but anyway I was talking to a well known vendor here at York yesterday and he asked me if I'd bought my brake shoes from another certain vendor. I said no, but he told me that some people are still selling rear shoes with the old, asbestos-style lining and fronts with modern lining (because the old linings for the 11" drums ran out long ago) I guess I will have to talk to the vendor that I did get my shoes from and see if that is a possibility and if that's what happened I might have to ask someone with a good local brake shop to just have a full set of shoes relined for me, *all with the same material...*

I'm not saying that's what happened, but it makes sense... will have to look into it.

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel


Well, N8, if that turns out to be the case, you can either change out the rear shoes, or install an adjustable proportioning valve. If you do change out the rear shoes, don't toss the old asbestos ones. Somebody will want them.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

gotti210
03-06-2006, 12:13 AM
for anyones wanting to know information sake as well as for the smartass's infomation sake

my champ has better tires on it than most peoples streetrods have and i know the solution for my brake problems so thanks for your uneduacated guess

i was just simply leaving my two sense worth for the sake of the post but thanks anyways

N8N
03-06-2006, 05:13 AM
Look, I'm not being a smartass. If all four wheels on your car are locking up, you have a tire problem not a brake problem, period.

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

sbca96
03-06-2006, 06:07 AM
quote:Originally posted by N8N

Look, I'm not being a smartass. If all four wheels on your car are locking up, you have a tire problem not a brake problem, period.


Yes and no. Drum brakes tend to get "grabby" in the rain, at least
when they are damp. This "grabbiness"? can cause them to lock fairly
easily. Tires can also cause this problem, at the time I had the
stock pizza cutter tires on the Hawk. 15 inch wheel 4.5 wide. The
tires were NEW Tigerpaw plus tires. I think a 195/75. Needless to
say that I dont use skinny tires like that anymore. The Impala has
275/40 R17's. [8D]:D;)

Tom

gotti210
03-07-2006, 12:26 AM
ive got i guess u say pizza cutters in the front
14x6 with 185/60/14 fronts
----- all being brand new
15x8.5 with 275 60/15 rears

and i know its not the tires its the dampness and also contributing to the problem is the pesky master cylinder

ive had nothing but problems since i started driving the stude
my master cylinder was full of pits and i overly honed it trying to remove them so now my master cylinder leaks and im constantly getting air in the lines

1/2 of the problem solved just recieved new master cylinder from stephen allen today now all i have to do is find the time to replace it and the other 1/2 will be solved

sbca96
03-07-2006, 12:06 PM
quote:Originally posted by gotti210

my master cylinder leaks and im constantly getting air in the lines

Oh yes .. a bad master cylinder will cause a host of problems!!

Tom

jackb
03-09-2006, 05:06 PM
....A couple of points: Drum brakes "will" grab if there has been enough moisture in the air to create a rust glaze on the linings. My 55' always stopped "better" if I let it sit for a few days in humid or wet weather. But that was only for a few brake applications. On different wheel cylinders....be careful which parts' book you refer to when determining size of diameter. If you go to a FLAPS, they will likely provide you with the application that college kid transcribed from the hard copied books back in the late 80's while on summer vacation....NAPA will provide you with the same "incorrect/incomplete" applications also....You really need to look into a late year Raysbestos/Bendix/original-period brake provider. I know Dave Thibeault has many of these original hard copy brake books at his home. He once found that the 62' Champ production models were factory equipped with 7/8th dia. rear cylinders in the fall and 1" dia. in the spring...or vise versa. The bottom line: they never used a proportioning valve or had any other brake change to compensate for this running assembly line change. SASCO should have the correct info too.....

Roscomacaw
03-10-2006, 11:49 AM
jackb writes: "You really need to look into a late year Raysbestos/Bendix/original-period brake provider. I know Dave Thibeault has many of these original hard copy brake books at his home. He once found that the 62' Champ production models were factory equipped with 7/8th dia. rear cylinders in the fall and 1" dia. in the spring...or vise versa. The bottom line: they never used a proportioning valve or had any other brake change to compensate for this running assembly line change. SASCO should have the correct info too....."

Actually, if you've got the pertinent parts book, it's right there. No clandestine secret. And they went from 7/8ths to 1&1/16ths inch.;)

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

N8N
03-11-2006, 09:52 PM
well here's an update... I went ahead and adjusted all the brakes again. The one that was tight before has loosened up some, probably from the high spots on the shoes wearing off as I've driven it around some. All wheels spin about evenly by hand, with a little hint of drag. I also dialed in a little more free play on the master cylinder pushrod even though I thought I'd given it enough already. I also put on the mag wheels and new tires that were on my red car just on the off chance that I still had a tire problem that was faking me out. It initially seemed a little better but I still have a serious premature rear lockup problem.

I guess tomorrow I will pull the drums AGAIN and verify wheel cylinder sizes, also see if I can get any hints as to the composition of the linings from the shoes, and maybe remove and bypass the anti-creep valve.

After that, I'll be out of ideas - I am thinking about looking into the possibility of having another set of shoes relined all with the same linings.

If *THAT* doesn't work, I will either be setting the car on fire or offering it for sale, depending on how pissed off I am at the time.

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

N8N
03-11-2006, 09:54 PM
BTW the fronts are applying; when I'm spinning the wheels by hand and someone applies the brakes, the fronts stop and I can't spin them by hand anymore. So it's not that they aren't working at all, just that the rears are apparently working better.

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

sbca96
03-12-2006, 04:19 AM
quote:Originally posted by N8N

BTW the fronts are applying;

Ok .. just a thought, didnt the disc brake cars have a residual valve
for the rear brakes or something? Did you replace the master? I just
dont buy that the material of the lines could cause a lockup issue.
Sounds weird to me. I have differing material pads on my disc brakes
and never had a problem. Are the rubber brake lines in good shape on
the front? If the rear is new, and the fronts are old, maybe they
are expanding like balloons, making you lose pressure.

Tom

N8N
03-12-2006, 06:36 AM
I have replaced the MC, but with a stock replacement ('55 coupe, under-floor MC, still using the stock single circuit deal - as I said before I would like to get the stock stuff working well before I start modding so I don't end up chasing my tail)

All of the hoses were replaced about a year ago when I started working on the car...

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

N8N
03-12-2006, 07:58 AM
Now that I think about it, I don't remember this issue occurring before I replaced the rear shoes for the second time; the first shoes I put on the car were a set of relined shoes that I bought from JP (they actually came off of the front of a 6-cylinder car that he decided to "hot rod") but I only put a couple miles on those shoes due to their untimely demise due to a missing e-brake return spring. After I inspected the brakes and saw that the linings were cracked, I replaced the shoes again with ones from Fairborn Stude.

I'm leaning more and more towards shoes being the problem but I can't be 100% certain of that unless I actually try some different shoes. The reason is that I only put a couple miles on the car, and not very hard ones, before the issue occured with the parking brake; I may or may not have braked hard enough with those shoes on to test them, but I do remember at least once doing a fairly hard stop from about 70 MPH just to help bed in the shoes. Got a little whiff of hot friction material but the car basically stopped straight and true.

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

CHAMP
03-12-2006, 08:59 AM
WHEN YOU PULL THE REAR DRUMS OFF INSPECT THEM VERY CLOSELY FOR HEAT BLISTERS! CHAMP

ROADRACELARK
03-12-2006, 09:20 AM
Tom,
If i'm not mistaken, most if not all drum brake master cylinders have the resisdual check valve. The disc brake cannot have one. They have to release instantly or they'l drag and over heat.
Dan Miller
ROADRACELARK

Roscomacaw
03-12-2006, 01:06 PM
Road Race Lark writes: "If i'm not mistaken, most if not all drum brake master cylinders have the resisdual check valve. The disc brake cannot have one. They have to release instantly or they'l drag and over heat.
Dan Miller"

Welcome aboard, Danny! Glad to see you here.

I think what Tom was referring to was/is the factory disc brake system that Studebaker used. There was no residual valve in the DB setup from Studebaker. The system employed a unique feature that had a return spring/self adjuster guide (stalk?) device incorporated into the calipers. It's that funny little floppy rod that's anchored to the back of the caliper's cylinders. The puck's receptacle for that rod has a gripper to keep the puck from retracting TOO far and yet there's a bit of spring-loadedness to it that pulls the pucks back just enough to release their grip on the rotor.:) Consequently, as the pads wear, the stalks keep them close to the rotor without keeping them tight when the brakes aren't applied.
And the rear brakes for this system (being drum brakes) are different from the drum brakes on other Studes. In fact, they're a throwback to the drum brakes that they'd abandoned after 1953. There's no "self-adjusting" feature to them and they're not "Self-Energizing" as 54 & later Stude drum brakes were. They rely on regular manual adjustment via the eccentric adjusters provided to keep the pedal up without incorporating a residual pressure valve.:D



Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

ROADRACELARK
03-12-2006, 01:36 PM
StudeBob,
Well I'll just be dad gum!! How the heck are you. I didn't realize that was you on the other end. I must have missed somethin'. I thought he was refering to the drum brake set up on his 55 coupe. If it's something different then disregard everything I said. Thanks for the
back-up. Good to hear from you!
Dan
RRL

sbca96
03-12-2006, 05:16 PM
quote:Originally posted by ROADRACELARK
I thought he was refering to the drum brake set up on his 55 coupe.

Well even if it was his Lark, the problem would be the same, I was
just throwing out the possibility that he got the wrong master.

Tom

DEEPNHOCK
06-06-2006, 08:22 AM
Almost all firewall mounted master cylinders have the residual check valve(s) built in to the outlet port of the master cylinder. They usually can be removed (for the right reasons).
Most of the street rod aftermarket guys that use a master cylinder that was originally up on a firewall, but now have it mounted 'below' the calipers (replacement calipers, not Stude OE) have to run a 2psi residual check valve for the front (and rear if 4 wheel disc brakes), and a 10psi residual check valve on the rear (if drum brakes and the master does not have one built in that is the right pressure setting). The reason for the 2psi residual check valve is to prevent the siphoning of brake fluid downhill out of the caliper to the now lower master cylinder.
Some good info is at:
http://www.ecihotrodbrakes.com/brake_facts.html
(and for you guys down under!)
http://www.hot-rod.com.au/builder/brakes.html
(You may have to register here, but this is a good brake company)
http://www.mpbrakes.com/index.cfm
Hope the info helps.
Jeff[8D]



quote:Originally posted by ROADRACELARK


If i'm not mistaken, most if not all drum brake master cylinders have the resisdual check valve. The disc brake cannot have one. They have to release instantly or they'l drag and over heat.
Dan Miller