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Brakes auto adjust

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  • Brakes: Brakes auto adjust

    55 Commander brakes, staying with drum brakes but upgrading to auto adjust. What parts do I need? Can I use existing backing plates? Any kit/instructions available? What year did the Commander get self adjusting brakes?
    thanks
    Merwin Harstad

  • #2
    1963 I believe, but why you would want to switch over is a mystery to me. What do you expect to achieve? With as little as most of our cars are driven, one could actually go for years without having to make an adjustment. I have cars with both, and worked on both types, and it seems like a waste of time to me.
    Bill

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    • #3
      I'm totally restoring them anyway, probably will require new drums, wheel cylinders for sure, rest of the parts are pretty rusted. So if totally going through them anyway, thought auto adjust would be a nice upgrade.

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      • #4
        Am not aware of any kits to retrofit self adjusters. The 59-64 chassis parts book lists and shows all the parts that are unique to the 63-later self-adjusting brakes.
        Skip Lackie

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        • #5
          Self adjusting brakes are prone to malfunction. I don't think calling them a "nice upgrade" is fair. Agree with Hallabutt. KISS

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jeffry Cassel View Post
            Self adjusting brakes are prone to malfunction. I don't think calling them a "nice upgrade" is fair. Agree with Hallabutt. KISS
            I would personally say that the ‘63 and later self adjusting drum brakes are NOT prone to malfunction. Very easy to understand and work on. I have had many ‘63 and later cars and they worked just fine. You do have to change the backing plate since the upper link hooks to a extended pin. Although I would agree that given the limited driving we do with our Studebakers that it is not worth the effort. Also, the self adjusting system was designed to provide a medium pedal height, and I always like to adjust my drums to a fairly high pedal.

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            • #7
              Well, I appreciate your input. Good points. I am rethinking the plan now. Will be refurbishing for sure but seems manual adjustment works fine.
              A related subject, it has been suggested to me that I might install a dual chamber master cylinder. What are your thoughts?
              thanks
              Merwin

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              • #8
                A dual master cylinder will prevent the total lost of braking if one of your brake lines fails. But you would need to make up a couple of relatively short brake lines running from the new m/c to the now-separated front and rear brake lines. Not difficult, but there may not be a readily available kit with made-up lines for your car. Suggest contact Jim Turner and see what he recommends.
                Skip Lackie

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                • #9
                  The majority of dual master cylinder refits I have seen are a fools paradise. Not being properly engineered, they do not have sufficient stroke to provide the promised safety. Open any one bleeder screw and they go the floor. You will achieve far greater safety by replacing every inch of your brake tubing and of course the hoses. Old tubing may look good from the outside but it can pit on the inside just as the wheel cylinders do.

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