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  • Brakes: Brakes dragging

    Hi All-
    I have recently purchased a '62 Hawk, which I intend to be a driver whilst I repair all the neglect.
    The previous owner (not a dyed in the wool fair dinkum Studebaker person BTW ) told me the brakes didn't work and they would just need bleeding (he admitted to "nicking a brake line and "just brazed it up" .
    Believe me, I will be replacing all of the lines in short order- they are too old for my liking. Apparently, the car has not moved for a year.

    But in the interests of just getting the car to be moveable / parkable, I went about line bleeding- only to discover the remote power brake booster was defective, so went about repairing that first (here in Australia we often have a 'home grown' unit on cars such as Studes called a PBR VH44, and that's what I've just finished reconditioning).

    I am now obtaining pedal pressure but he problem I now see is that the drum I'm working on shows signs that the brake shoes are not retracting.
    OK, so now I decide to back off the master cylinder operating rod about 3/16" to ensure there is enough Pedal free play.
    OK, done that but I can still feel the brake drum dragging. I am backing off the shoes with an adjuster tool each time, BTW.
    From this am I to assume that
    a. I have awfully weak retract springs or
    b. jammed-up internals in the brake wheel cylinders or
    c. something else wrong.
    Any ideas?
    Regards, Steve
    Last edited by Steve Winzar; 07-02-2017, 08:44 PM.

  • #2
    Most likely the wheel cylinders are stuck. I would rebuild them first.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon


    • #3
      Don't forget the flexible (rubber) brake hoses (2 in front, 1 in back). These can collapse internally, and will let the brake fluid through to the wheel cylinders (because it's under pressure), but won't let the fluid return toward the M.C.


      • #4
        So far both of the front wheels have been noted as having a piston binding a little, as RadioRoy suggested, but I have managed to free this up without disassembly. On moving to the rears I found no fluid coming from the rhs brake bleeder nipple but was intent on replacing three of the steel lines and Flexible hoses so these were removed anyway. Dwight's advise about the flexible rubber hoses collapsing appeared to be the issue at the rear- the hose is clogged and also thin in one spot. At this stage parts replacement is the big issue.


        • #5
          Steve, if none of that works, look for the Drum being close to new (measures very close to 10 Inches for Rears) and possibly it has the thicker (.060) oversize Linings used for well worn drums.
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner
          SDC Member Since 1967


          • #6
            Hi Steve, Both Roy and Dwight are right on the money. If it's been sitting definetly remove dismantle and clean all the wheel cylinders, and master cylinder, and replace the hoses at the very least.

            I bought three Studebakers none of them would roll or had working brakes; I know that two of them had been driven at some point in the last three years too. I tried , like you, to get the brakes on the first to work with as little work as possible but ended up rebuilding or replacing all the cylinders. On the other two I just started with rebuilding cylinders, and they all needed it badly. Six of the twelve wheel cylinders were too far gone to rebuild and needed to be replaced.
            Now that they worked I had three out of six front brakes locking up, I replaced the hoses and all was good (replaced all six) after cutting one of the old ones in half, I found , as mentioned it had collapsed inside but looked fine outside.


            • #7
              Ditto above. I have purchased cylinders (master and wheel) from Reasonable and they work. The flex lines I would order from Chuck Collins at Studebaker The retracting springs may need to be replaced; they become weak after 60 yrs. Good Luck!


              • #8
                Hi all, thanks for the input.
                Presently I am replacing three brake lines with new ones plus the flexible lines. I tend to agree that cleaning out the wheel cyls is a possible outcome but I'll see how things pan out. This thing has positively no brakes worth a dammn and I have to get it off the road out front ASAP 'cos it's unregistered.- (my drive is downhill sloping and I absolutely need stoppers even if they drag! )
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                • #9
                  Looking at what I think is your driveway spend the money and get a flat bed with a winch and have him insert the car into your garage safely.
                  ed ellis


                  the "SUPER COUPE"


                  • #10
                    Thanks Ed, The problem isn't so much that I have to get it off the road because I still need to work on it. I must do this on flat ground. Basically it comes down to hurry up and get it done.