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Exciting Brakes

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  • Exciting Brakes

    I got my 51 Commander off the rack and on the road today for the first time in months. Despite turning the brake drums to eliminate glazing, they are still too exiting for my taste--read-not very spirited in stopping the car. All my local stude buddies say that these drum brakes should be adequate for the task,and I believe them.

    The master cylinder was replaced with a dual, and I'm wondering if the brake pedal is set up to travel enough to fully actuate the brakes. The pedal seems to 'bottom out' about an inch above the floorboard. The brakes do work, just not with much gusto.

    Any ideas or suggetions??

  • #2
    did you replace the shoes? if not pull the drums again and sand the shoes lightly with some 80-grit to break any glaze on them and then wash them clean with Brakleen.

    The low pedal doesn't inspire much confidence either. Make sure all the shoes are adjusted for a light drag. If you adjusted them on initial assembly but did not hit the pedal a few times to "center" the shoes they probably need to be adjusted again.

    Did you thoroughly bleed all the components of the braking system including the booster if you have one?

    If the above doesn't help, I've exhausted all the "easy" answers. :/

    good luck,


    55 Commander Starlight
    62 Daytona hardtop
    55 Commander Starlight


    • #3
      Are these the ORIGINAL '51 brakes or later (after '53) V8 brakes? I gotta tell ya, those 51 brakes are trouble waiting to happen on a Commander. I'm not saying they're prone to fail - just that they're not great when they're at their best.[xx(]

      Miscreant at large.
      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.