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jhrisko
08-12-2013, 03:51 PM
Hello,

I'm not very knowledgeable on brakes so I have the '55 E5 truck I just bought at a shop here in the Seattle area getting a quote to fix the brake system and I have two problems:

1) The shop owner said he cannot locate any brake drums (needs all 4 replaced) - if not able to locate drums he said it would need a disc brake conversion for $5,500 (which I'm not willing to spend). Anyone know where I can find some drums?

2) If able to locate new drums the shop is quoting me $2,000 to fix the brakes (new drums & brake shoes, new master cylinder, 3 wheel cylinders and replace one of the brake lines. That seemed high to me so wondering if anyone knows of a shop or mechanic in the Seattle area that might be able to do quality work at a more reasonable price.

Any help/advice would be much appreciated. I really love the truck but can't spend $5k on it to make it road worthy (even $2k is pushing it). My plan was to get it road worthy and be able to drive and enjoy it while I do the rest of the work myself over time.

Thanks!

62champ
08-12-2013, 04:56 PM
I will try to take a stab at this because it should not cost that much to get an older vehicle's brakes back in working order.

For 1/2 ton trucks, Studebaker basically had the same brake system from 1949 to 1962. That being said - there were a LOT of brake system made through those years. Hubs, brake shoes, backing plates, master cylinders all will fit through those years. In 1963 & '64 (8E), Studebaker 1/2 tons adopted the car style brake and really helped with the ability to stop the vehicles.

If you want to stay with the original brakes, shoes are available and you might have someone in your area who can refurbish your old drums. They weld in new metal and then turn the drums back down to their original specs. I would replace all four wheel cylinders while you have it apart and make sure whoever does the work understands how a tapered axle system works when they remove and install the rear hubs to the axles.

What you might try to do, since you need so much anyway, is to see if you can find someone who has an 8E with everything you would need to convert to those style brakes. You need everything from the backing plates out. The master cylinder will not matter and they are fairly easy to find and should be pretty affordable. While you have everything apart it would probably be a good idea to replace your rubber lines as well - they usually get bad on the inside before the outside.

There is also a disc brake conversion but I have not had any experience with them - others have.

Other will add information, but that might be a start.

Good luck.

PackardV8
08-12-2013, 05:41 PM
With that quote, the shop owner is telling you he really doesn't want to mess with old junk.

The Turner front disc brake conversion is very affordable. There are rear brake drum conversions which I believe utilize commonly available Chevy drums. The lines, master & wheel cylinders and the rest are commonly available NAPA parts and are dirt cheap.

You've just got to do your homework, do some searches here and over on the truck forum, get the parts together, talk to a few local Stude owners, one of them will be able to recommend a Puget Sound shop which likes to work on old junk.

It will all come together easier than it seems today.

jack vines

JunkYardDog
08-12-2013, 06:05 PM
Studebaker Parts.com
2410 W. Freeway Ln.
Phoenix AZ 85021
PHONE 602-995-5311
Chuck Collins

"STUDEBAKER INTERNATIONAL" Call (317) 462-3124
or email Jim
jim@studebaker-intl.com

Cathcart's Studebaker
43 Douglas Drive
Plainfield CT 06374-1903
(860) 564-5852
E-Mail: sales@cathcartsstudebaker.com
Bill Cathcart


AND A FULL LIST OF VENDORS GO HERE...
http://www.studebaker-info.org/rjvendors.html

unclemiltie
08-12-2013, 06:09 PM
Please make sure you also replace the brake hoses.

The wheel cylinders and master cylinder will probably run from $200 to $400.

As said above, good used drums are out there for $50-$100 each

PackardV8
08-12-2013, 06:52 PM
Haven't priced wheel cylinders lately, but the last master cylinder I got from NAPA was about $50. If wheel cylinders are $25 each, that's $150 for everything. They're a dirt-common stock cylinder used on many vehicles other than Stude.

jack vines

StudeRich
08-12-2013, 07:04 PM
I hope your Truck is not beyond driving out of there because you definitely NEED to!

Can they still put it back together?

r1lark
08-12-2013, 07:24 PM
"They weld in new metal and then turn the drums back down to their original specs."
Maybe I don't get out enough these days :) but I've never heard of drums being welded up and remachined. Any names of companies that perform this?

StudeRich
08-12-2013, 07:27 PM
Several decades ago we heard of a few people doing this and it was found unsafe because of "Adhesion Problems" and shut down as far as I know, by the Powers that be.

jhrisko
08-12-2013, 07:38 PM
Thanks for all the info so far. I think I'll probably try for the Turner front disc brake conversion kit and I'm still working on finding NOS brake drums for the rears. However, it's becoming more clear by the day that I need to get it out of the shop it's currently in as they are severely overcharging. Does anyone know where I could take it to have the brake work done in the Seattle/Greater Puget Sound area?

62champ
08-12-2013, 08:06 PM
Maybe I don't get out enough these days :) but I've never heard of drums being welded up and remachined. Any names of companies that perform this?

I remember someone talking about this at a show quite a while ago. Then again, it might have been for some exotic Duesenberg or Packard or something they were talking about. If one had the money I am sure there are companies out they that would make a set of drums...

52 Ragtop
08-12-2013, 09:05 PM
There IS (or was) a place in Westfield Indiana that did "metal spraying" where the heated the drums and sprayed metal to them to build them up, then they could turn them to the proper size. I never used them, and don't know if they still do it. If I remember right, they said mostly they did big trucks?

That's been a few years ago.

Jim

jhrisko
08-12-2013, 10:00 PM
I hope your Truck is not beyond driving out of there because you definitely NEED to!

Can they still put it back together?

Unfortunately I think the brakes are in bad enough shape it probably wouldn't be good to drive it to another shop.

jclary
08-12-2013, 11:48 PM
Well...I don't have an engineering degree, but my years in industrial sales exposed me to a lot of processes. I think what you folks are referring to is a form of "Plasma or Thermal spraying." Except for some special performance such as brake heat gain resistance or other desirable characteristic, that I am unaware of...I doubt that using the process to repair a worn or broken drum would make economic sense. Besides wearing thin, brake drums are subjected to enormous heat and cooling cycles over an extended period of use. Severe braking on wet roads, not only subject them to fast heat ramp up, but in some circumstances, traumatic quenching by splashing cold water. These forces can create metal fatigue and compromise the structure of the metal's safety margin.

There is more to the chemistry of a brake drum than the thickness of the metal. I had a customer who manufactured disc brake pads. He had a fleet of vehicles he kept on the road testing his product. I sold him a small manual powder coating unit for his research department. But, it was not a thermal spray outfit. I did not offer them, but he had one that he used to test various compounds with. Disc brake compounds are very complex and it is a very dirty process when all the various components are in their powdered form. I learned, early on, to carry a box of disposable coveralls when calling on and demonstrating equipment in that plant.

jhrisko...if you have to, pay a tow truck to move your truck to another shop you have confidence in. I don't know your age, mechanical competence, or budget limitations, but, this is the reason you should get the manuals for the truck and learn all you can. Even if you don't plan to do the work yourself, the knowledge will keep you from being taken advantage of. These vehicles are simply made and were state of the art for their era. However, unlike today's vehicles, they will require much more tinkering, frequent tuning, adjusting, and maintenance cycles than today's vehicles.

I'm 68 years old, and I recall when cars (regardless of brand) were routinely serviced every 1000 miles, tune-up every eight to twelve thousand miles, trade-in material by 30,000 miles, and ready for overhaul by 60 to 80,000 miles. The more of this you learn to do yourself, the better. Few people, you pay, will care for the vehicle as much as you do. I think we have some very knowledgeable Studebaker folks in your part of the country (admittedly, it's a large state), and hopefully you can find someone to assist in locating competent help.:)

Dwain G.
08-13-2013, 12:00 AM
Studebaker truck drums are extra thick. The factory specified they could be turned a maximum of .100". Many shops today use the figure .060" as the maximum. So did these guys tell you how far out yours are?

jackb
08-13-2013, 09:07 AM
...get the truck back to your home (assuming you have space ?). there will be realistic resistance for many shops to tackle a brake job for possible liability reasons...very fair assumption. I think we can glean from your posts that the truck requires more work than just brakes ? The NW had loads of trucks up there during the 60's. I'll bet there are dozens of full OEM brake systems out there on pasture trucks waiting for someone to get the help they need. For ease of operation and swapping in a new system....I'd concur you find a 63' or 64' Stude pickup and swap all the 4 corners into your truck.......

StudeRich
08-13-2013, 07:46 PM
Jason (jhrisco) please see your PM's found at the top of the page under: "Private Messages". I may be able to help.

jhrisko
08-13-2013, 09:10 PM
Thanks everyone for the help/advice. I found another shop in my area that works on the old stuff so hopefully they will be able to help. They seem to have received good reviews from other classic car owners in my area. Also, I've been talking with StudeRich (a fellow Washingtonian) who has offered to work with me and this new shop as a knowledge resource to hopefully get the brakes sorted out for a reasonable price. I'll let you guys know how it goes with this new shop.

jhrisko
11-01-2013, 04:10 PM
Hi Everyone,

It's been a couple of months but I finally got the truck back from the shop with a front disk conversion and upgrade to a dual master cylinder for a much more reasonable price than the first shop. Thanks for all the help!

I just got the truck back a week ago and unfortunately have another problem. When I was turning the steering wheel while the truck wasn't moving (in order to back out of our driveway) somehow I bent the tie rod. I didn't even know that was possible. It seems that the tie rod is relatively easy to replace and could probably do it myself. Does anyone know where I could locate a replacement?

Thanks.

- Jason

Commander Eddie
11-01-2013, 04:46 PM
Jason,
Check EBay. There are several on there right now. Also, try some of the Studebaker Vendors mentioned by Junk Yard Dog earlier. They have these in stock.

Pentax645
11-01-2013, 04:49 PM
Studebaker International hopes to get front brake drums in around February. They will not come with hubs so the existing hubs must be transferred to the new drums. When doing brake jobs on these cam adjusted brake linings it is necessary to keep the adjusters wet with a penetrating lubricant to free them up. Over the years they get rusted in place and no longer work.

Skip Lackie
11-01-2013, 05:05 PM
Tie rod or reach rod (drag link)? The drag link is supposed to have a bend in it to clear the oil pan.

jclary
11-01-2013, 05:18 PM
Tie rod or reach rod (drag link)? The drag link is supposed to have a bend in it to clear the oil pan.

Yeah, good point Skip. I'm a little curious about how you could bend the linkage by turning the wheel. I'm too tired to go out and look under mine right now. However, I think they are built pretty darned beefy. I would think you are about as likely to pull one of the tie-rod ball swivel joints out of its socket before you could bend the rod. However, I have seen other things I didn't think could happen.

The drag links are not straight. On any manual steering vehicle, it is always desired to induce, at least, a little roll while turning. That greatly reduces the leverage required to turn. Pictures would be good to show us what you are concerned about.

jhrisko
11-01-2013, 05:33 PM
Here are a couple of photos (sorry, took them on my phone and they are upside down). I assume it's pretty easy to replace the rod but I know what can happen when I assume. :)

29112

29113

62champ
11-01-2013, 05:56 PM
Do you have photos from under the truck from before all the work was done? Wonder if they adjusted the toe by bending the bar instead of working the threads on each end...

jclary
11-01-2013, 06:13 PM
Well...sure looks bent to me. I suppose that is what can happen when one tire turns and the other one don't. Except for the big size of those tires, I don't understand how this could happen unless one tire was up against a curb. I believe you can find another. That one could probably be straightened in the hand of a skilled craftsman. I'm not sure I'd trust it once it has been bent. Good luck with it. I hope these setbacks don't discourage you or kill your enthusiasm. I've had my truck for nearly forty years. Except for normal maintenance, most other little problems have been owner induced.

(S)
11-01-2013, 07:14 PM
I have spare parts for that truck and also have some new and used drums on the shelf. I work on them, but I have quite a wait time right now.

It sure looks like a tow truck, tie down, or pull strap killed your steering. I have that part too.

Warren Webb
11-02-2013, 12:10 AM
Both my Champs have a "bend" in the tie rod, but not nearly the bend seen in your pictures! This is the rod going from the steering gearbox pitman arm across the truck to the right side spindle. The other "tie rod" goes from the right spindle to the left. That one has no bend in it. It follows the straight axle. both do not have the clearance issue that the first one has. This is the rod used to set the toe in for alignment.

jhrisko
11-03-2013, 01:04 PM
I have spare parts for that truck and also have some new and used drums on the shelf. I work on them, but I have quite a wait time right now.

It sure looks like a tow truck, tie down, or pull strap killed your steering. I have that part too.


Do you happen to have the tie rod, tie rod ends and bushings? If you do that would be great. Figured just replace them all since I'm going to be taking it apart.

Mrs K Corbin
11-05-2013, 08:29 AM
$5,500?!?!?! DUUUDE I'm in the wrong business!

They rippin you off... even at $2,200...

That's why I don't trust "perfessional" ( I know I spelled it wrong) mechanix.....

Join your local SDC chapter and prepare to buy a lot of beer....


Hello,

I'm not very knowledgeable on brakes so I have the '55 E5 truck I just bought at a shop here in the Seattle area getting a quote to fix the brake system and I have two problems:

1) The shop owner said he cannot locate any brake drums (needs all 4 replaced) - if not able to locate drums he said it would need a disc brake conversion for $5,500 (which I'm not willing to spend). Anyone know where I can find some drums?

2) If able to locate new drums the shop is quoting me $2,000 to fix the brakes (new drums & brake shoes, new master cylinder, 3 wheel cylinders and replace one of the brake lines. That seemed high to me so wondering if anyone knows of a shop or mechanic in the Seattle area that might be able to do quality work at a more reasonable price.

Any help/advice would be much appreciated. I really love the truck but can't spend $5k on it to make it road worthy (even $2k is pushing it). My plan was to get it road worthy and be able to drive and enjoy it while I do the rest of the work myself over time.

Thanks!

Mrs K Corbin
11-05-2013, 08:33 AM
Your drag link problem looks like a Rookie Tow-truck driver's mistake...

jclary
11-05-2013, 08:46 AM
Your drag link problem looks like a Rookie Tow-truck driver's mistake...

Yeah...come to think about it...how much cranking would you have to do on a steering wheel to bend that rod?!!!:eek:

I know there is a gear ratio and the diameter of the steering wheel is designed for leverage, but good grief!:ohmy: Seems to me that the Bakelite in most of our steering wheels already have cracks from normal use. Mine would probably crack completely apart before bending my tie-rod!:(

Daytona
11-12-2013, 07:23 AM
Try Tom Karkiewicz South Bend, Ind. Ph. 574-287-5834. He has barns full of parts.