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Brakes pull to right - 1961 Lark VIII wagon

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  • Brakes: Brakes pull to right - 1961 Lark VIII wagon

    I just drove up from San Diego to Santa Barbara. I noticed two things about 3/4 of the way up. I have to press hard and almost to the floor to get the car to start slowing down and it’s pulling slightly but irregularly to the right at speeds above 40mph. I had the brakes adjusted a month ago and haven’t driven too much since then. The mechanic noted the rather excessive number of rotations it took to get the brakes into adjustment. I am also suspecting the brake fluid is low and am adding some dot-3 today. Is there anything else I should keep in mind? I’m about 5000 miles, 5 years since the brakes were rebuilt. Also, can anyone recommend a good mechanic in Santa Barbara/Goleta who can inspect the brakes if it comes to that?

  • #2
    In this case, I would suspect brake hoses first, assuming your car does not have power brakes or that the hydrovac is functioning properly. Before adding brake fluid, I would use a large syringe to take the old fluid out of the master cylinder and check for any residues.
    Sorry, I am not aware of any mechanics in the Santa Barbara area but Studerich will hopefully chime in with a good suggestion.
    Good night to all.


    • #3
      An Independent "Garage" in the area would be my guess, as there are not a Lot of "Studebaker Mechanics" closer than Studebakers West (650 366 8787 in Redwood City near Frisco.

      THE Most common cause of Pull to the Right is Wet Linings on the LEFT caused by leakage from the Wheel Cylinder or overheated Wheel Bearing Grease (not as likely).

      Keep in mind that adjusting Brake Shoes farther OUT can cause the Wheel Cylinder PISTONS to move OUT on rough or Rusted formerly unused Metal, causing a Leak!

      The major difference in adjustment between wheels could mean several things:
      (1) A Much Larger (Turned) Drum on one side.

      (2) Improperly assembled Brake Shoes and Hardware.

      (3) Excessive WEAR on the Shoes on one side.

      I always Turn/Tighten the Starwheel adjuster until a Hand pull on the tread of the Tire will NOT turn the wheel, and then loosen it 8 to 10 "Clicks" on all 4 Wheels evenly.
      Last edited by StudeRich; 03-06-2020, 01:21 PM.
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner


      • #4
        I take braking very seriously, and it sounds like your Studebaker is currently dangerous. Pulling right/left is multi-factorial; could be any of several things, or a combo: low fluid level in the MC; shoes out of adjustment; rubber hoses swelling inward and restricting fluid flow, causing left/right flow imbalance; inferior brake shoe liner (Chinese repro); A arm bushings severely worn/disintegrated; wet shoes; leaking and/or sticking wheel cylinders. With or without pulling right/left, the brakes should come on when you hit the pedal. If yours does not even begin to slow down till well after the pedal is nearly to the floor, that is scary. Please get it looked at, or tackle it yourself, before hitting the California freeways again. Odds are, it's nothing that cannot be dealt with easily, just gotta find someone competent, or learn to fix it yourself.


        • #5
          I’ve located three local mechanics and I’ll see what can be done. I wasn’t too low on brake fluid, topped it off, but similar performance along with a sound from both front drums at braking. I’m parking it until I take it in.


          • #6
            bring the shop manual to the shop of choice....if you don't have one, I've got the complete set fro $30. + shipping



            • #7
              I just went through this problem with my 57 commander,I cleaned the linings,replaced the hoses,adjusted them several times to no avail.I replaced the wheel cylinders which solved the problem,no they were not leaking.