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Help! 50 Champion- rear brake lock-up (after dry MC?)

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  • Brakes: Help! 50 Champion- rear brake lock-up (after dry MC?)

    Hi, my wife just inherited her dad's 50 Champion, all original but he did maintenance to it over the past 20 years until the last 5 when dementia and such started taking him from us.

    His health evaporated, and the farm sold unexpectedly quickly this month and all of a sudden I need to scramble and get it started and moved (been sitting at least 3 years or so, without much driving before that either).

    Today, along with no fuel delivery, noticed the brake pedal went to the floor. Master Cylinder COMPLETELY dry. I filled it up, pumped the pedal several times and it actually got quite firm. I know it needs bleeding, but I only need to get it 8 miles to MY dad's farm for now.

    PROBLEM: when jacking it up to put on dollies, I had my dad push the brake pedal while I was turning the rear wheel. It stopped immediately, yay! BUT, when dad took his foot OFF the brake, the wheel is still locked up! The other rear wheel is NOT, only that left rear.

    What could make the brake lock up like that with one pump of the pedal? There is some air in the brake from the empty MC (and probably a leaky wheel cylinder somewhere), but what would lock just that one wheel?

    Last thing father-in-law was GOING to do a couple of years ago, involved brakes; he asked me to bring my rear-drum puller up. And then never did anything, and later when I asked why he had wanted the drum puller, couldn't remember. I was guessing maybe to look for where brake fluid was going, but maybe that wheel was locking up on him also....

    Appreciate any ideas. No, did NOT pull wheel and look yet, I'm still desperately trying to get it started (2nd post involves no fuel delivery); only discovered this issue as I was preparing to wrap up and come back to the Twin Cities 3 hours away. Wondering what I might expect to find, and what tools I need to brign up NEXT trip.
    I think it has "Hill Holder". car was in Neutral, but any chance something with that mystery option (to me) that could have kicked in on one wheel?

  • #2
    It means that the Wheel Cylinder is Frozen! This is applying the rear brake shoes on that wheel.
    Being in a hurry, one temporary possibility is, pulling the drum and removing the Brake Shoes.

    After replacing the drum it WILL roll, but the Brake Pedal can NEVER again be touched, with a Note on the steering wheel to that effect.

    Another option might be putting wheel dollies under both rear wheels and rolling/winching it onto a Rollback Truck.

    You will unfortunately, have to Flat Bed it down the Road, as it will not be drive-able.
    Hopefully the Land where it is going is quite level and pushing it around will not be a problem.

    Properly FIXING this problem will take quite a bit of time Plus Inner and Outer Grease Seals, Brake Shoes, New Wheel Cylinders, maybe new Wheel Bearings (at least a Grease Packing) Drums turned etc. all too time consuming if you have little time.

    The Fuel issue is likely the Fuel Pump, if it runs when Bottle Feed Fuel in the Carb. that is USUALLY it.
    If not, move on to checking the Lines and Tank or running it on a Bottle or 1 gal. Can with a Hose to the Fuel Pump to test the Lines Tank and Pump.

    There is a Very slim chance that the Hill Holder is Locked on, but for that to be the case, the Other Rear Wheel Brake would have to be Non-operational.

    You can easily disconnect the small Rod from the Hill Holder to the Clutch Lever and pull the Lever on the H/H all the way to OFF, whichever way is OPPOSITE to the way the Clutch would activate it when depressed. Maybe Wire it there.
    Last edited by StudeRich; 07-09-2022, 07:13 PM.
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner
    SDC Member Since 1967


    • #3
      Thanks Rich & all; unfortuantely, a Flat-bed move of the Champion is not an option (or, at least, a last resort?!). The big problem working on it at my dad's, it would be sitting either outside or in a machine shed with sandy/dirt floor, where-as at least NOW it is in a concrete-floor garage.
      Click image for larger version  Name:	50 Champ.jpg Views:	0 Size:	39.1 KB ID:	1950905
      Some more context. Father-in-law's farm IS sold, but apparently I probably have a few weeks to 'get it out' (neighbor who bought it will want to rent out the buildings but no firm deadline). Until yesterday, thought if 'can't get it running', I'd hoped to have bro-in-law help with his trailer next two weekends, to bring to my dad's. Figured I could work on engine anywhere.. But that doesn't work with the brake problem
      OTHER big problem; I'll be 3 hours from home, and tools are "whatever I know to bring with me". Me and an empty garage and obstinate "ran fine when parked" Champion.

      So if I have to work UNDER the car and deal with any brake issues, a flat-bed dumping it on dirt at my dad's farm is definitely NOT a place to be jacking up and crawling under to work on the rear wheels! I'm much better off trying to get it driveable where it is sitting.

      This is also not a car I plan to be able to restore, would be well into future even if my son decided he wanted it.

      So, my goal is to make it drivable over the next couple weekends. Then drive it 8 miles to Dad's; then at some point after father-in-law dies, probably sell it, or possibly drive it to storage somewhere else.

      1) re: rear the locked rear wheel. Assuming it is the brake cylinder, if that is frozen closed, am I even going to be able to pull off the rear drum? ( I DO have a drum puller fortunately. Any tips besides keep keep cranking on the drum-puller and tapping on drum w/ hammer??

      2) for purposes of driving to relocate, "just" putting on a new wheel-cylinder should take care of it, right?

      3) Novice question, but it's been several years since I did my GHawk brakes; any special tools? beyond socket set/wrenches/screwdrivers... Remember I have to bring everything with me I MIGHT need! I recall a lot of prying with screwdrivers and needlenose pliers to get the shoes and springs in place. I have brake spring compressor but recall it wasn't much better than screwdrivers for some reason...

      3) Re: fuel-pump: I clamped it in the vise and tried to test it. I get suction/blow on the BOTTOM nipples (for wiper ), but NOTHING on the top end for gas. just some bubbles in my gas "supply" (whip cream bowl). So, (fortunately?), seems it is the pump and not the fuel lines. However, I don't know for sure what to buy?

      I know you suggested the single-action pump "for now" Rich; but if I have time to get the rebuild kit and do my pump, seems better for the next owner's benefit if nothing else. But my casting numbers don't seem to match (at least what Stephen Allen shows); Can you confirm this IS the correct "dual-action" pump, so SI's dual-action rebuild kit would work?

      -any more difficult (or special tools) to rebuild this pump vs the R1 pump I rebuilt for my Hawk? That wasn't too bad.
      Click image for larger version  Name:	fuel pump 50 champ2.jpg Views:	0 Size:	52.6 KB ID:	1950909 Click image for larger version  Name:	fuel pump 50 champ.jpg Views:	0 Size:	50.2 KB ID:	1950910
      Stephen Allen's site lists the dual action pump for a swap, but his numbers don't match what I can find on my casting.

      523947R Rebuilt Fuel Pump Dual action: 1948-50 Champions
      527875R Rebuilt Fuel Pump “Type B”, dual action: 1950 Champion with air dome & valve seat cast in the cover
      (Does mine have the "air dome and valve seat" cast in the cover, guessing that is the high dome on my casting?)

      Where-as my numbers 98393Y (or maybe 93393Y?), or ?544 on other flange (see photos). Regardless, not anywhere near the same. Can't figure that out unless more variations than S.Allen rebuilds, nor can I find an AC cross-reference index on line.

      So my plan: buy a fuel pump rebuild kit tomorrow plus a rear wheel cylinder. And then hope I can get the wheel drum off, and swap the cylinder out with the tools I bring!
      (my bench test below; if bottom nipples for wiper suck but top (gas) doesn't, seems to confirm "it's the pump"?)
      Click image for larger version  Name:	fuel pump test.jpg Views:	0 Size:	47.0 KB ID:	1950907
      Click image for larger version  Name:	casting numbers.jpg Views:	0 Size:	34.4 KB ID:	1950911 Click image for larger version  Name:	casting numbers2.jpg Views:	0 Size:	42.9 KB ID:	1950912
      Attached Files
      Last edited by bsrosell; 07-10-2022, 06:33 PM.


      • #4
        Just noticed Napa & Autozone have rear wheel cylinders, AND single-action fuel pumps. If SI or Stephen Allen can't get them here in time, any reason these won't work? Not used to getting my Studebaker parts at NAPA.....


        • #5
          In addition to the Parts I already posted in Post 2, Paragraph 5, that you would need IF you correctly repaired it, you will be needing your Bleeder Bottle & Hose or Pressure Bleeder and tiny Box Wrenches 3/16", 1/4" ? and Brake Fluid.
          Lubriplate for the adjusters and Backing Plate and Wheel Bearing Grease.

          Your Fuel pump Numbers are AC numbers, so do not match Studebaker Part Numbers, if SA lists Kits or Pumps that fit a '50 Champion, they DO. More than One Dual Action Pump MAY have been used in '50, but all will fit.
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner
          SDC Member Since 1967


          • #6
            Shout out for our Stude vendors: not sure I can name them here, but called and talked with Matt today, as they listed my Type2 dual-action pump 'with core'. Matt said they do NOT keep rebuilt units around, instead rebuild "fresh" after receiving yours. But after I explained my situation, "Confirmed that I do have a core fuel pump . Will get it rebuilt today and out the door tomorrow.". to have by this weekend. (along w/ new wheel cylinders). Now THAT is service in time of need!! (and he's doing it after hours tonight on his own time, he's swamped...). Car guys are the best.


            • studebakernewbie
              studebakernewbie commented
              Editing a comment
              Yep, SA's great to work with.