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Self Adjusters - To Replace or Not

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  • Brakes: Self Adjusters - To Replace or Not

    Hello all,

    Hope everyone is doing well.

    I'm doing a complete brake job on my 1953 2R5. I have relined shoes that are ready to go in, however, holes would need to be drilled for the self adjusters. I'm guessing there will be some self adjuster parts needing replacement as well. I've not gone through the manual just yet to completely understand how they function..

    I guess the questions are:

    - How well do the self adjusters work?
    - Is it really worth replacing them? Ok to run without them?

    For reference, the truck will be a Sunday cruiser.

    Cheers,
    Kelly


  • #2
    When installed correctly they work fine. You will need to replace the tips as they are a wear item.
    It's OK to run without them. You'll just have to occasionally adjust brakes.

    Comment


    • #3
      My experience with self adjusting brakes is they are not worth the trouble. Occasionally adjusting the brakes is no big deal and if your use is slight an adjustment lasts a long time. There may have been a reason Studebaker stopped using them later on.

      Comment


      • #4
        You will find that the forward facing brake shoes cannot be adjusted without the self adjusters in place. The adjustment eccentrics are not large enough to take up the slack created by the missing self adjust parts.

        There were some specially sized washers made, probably by Dorman, back in the day that allowed you to remove the self adjuster system and still manually adjust the brakes.
        Last edited by RadioRoy; 09-27-2020, 01:44 PM.
        RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

        17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
        10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
        10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
        4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
        5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
        56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
        60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

        Comment


        • #5
          Roy beat me to it. Those little parts are important.

          Comment


          • #6
            When I opened up the brakes on my '52 it had those Dorman washers. I wanted it original, so I bought the kit of all the missing bits, sold by SI and others. Went together fine and they work great.
            3H-C5 "The Blue Goose"

            Comment


            • #7
              Most of the self adjuster parts should be available, so it shouldn't be hard to bring it back to original.
              Dan Peterson
              Montpelier, VT
              1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
              1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)

              Comment


              • #8
                As Roy said, you can not properly adjust those brakes without the parts in place. I have had a car and a truck on which a ''mechanic" had removed the parts. They work fine when installed correctly.
                Click image for larger version

Name:	51-53 Commander FRONT Brakes 001.jpg
Views:	216
Size:	118.6 KB
ID:	1858714
                "In the heart of Arkansas."
                Searcy, Arkansas
                1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                1952 2R pickup

                Comment


                • #9
                  One negative thing I found with the original adjusters is that the "pin" that goes through the shoe can cause a groove to wear on the brake drum surface.

                  Probably not from the pin itself, which is supposedly softer than the drum, but likely from the brake dust (at one time asbestos) which can collect on or around the pin.
                  Dan Peterson
                  Montpelier, VT
                  1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
                  1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think some of you that said they are not needed just take them off, MAY be familiar with Other makes or '63 to '66 Studebaker's that have a TOTALLY different design of Auto Adjusters than these Lockheed '47 to '53 Studebaker Car & '47 to 61 Truck Brakes.

                    THEY MUST have ALL the small Auto Adjuster Parts to work and stop properly, or the NLA Aftermarket Adapters.

                    Late '62 to '64 Trucks have the much improved "Car Style", Star Wheel Adjusted Brakes.
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      When I read this thread a couple of weeks ago, I didn't completely understand the Dorman washer mentioned. Possibly others have not seen this washer. Here are photos of the washer and with it installed.




                      Perry
                      \'50 Business Champion
                      \'50 Starlight Champion
                      \'60 Lark Convertible,
                      \'63 GT R1,
                      \'67 Triumph TR4A

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                      • #12
                        two of these washers have a flat spot .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The flat spot is for the forward facing shoe on the rear brake. It's probably to clear the parking brake linkage as Perry will find out finishing the brake job.

                          Perry, do you have a part number or a source for these washers?
                          Last edited by RadioRoy; 10-09-2020, 10:19 AM.
                          RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                          17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                          10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                          10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                          4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                          5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                          56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                          60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've got the same problem. I always had a very mushy pedal and not enough adjustment. I finally figured out by accident that if I left the E-brake on most of the way, I have pedal. DUH. so if anyone get's the part# for that dorman washer, let me know too....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ID and OD of the washer would be good too. Fastenal can probably get me some.

                              Comment

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