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please help with my brakes

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  • please help with my brakes

    OK guys (and girls too) I am out of ideas as to what to do with my '55 coupe. There's two main problems that keep it from being a nice driver; the first being that the steering box is shot and the second is that my rear brakes lock up under somewhat hard (but nowhere near panic stop) braking. The first I know how to deal with, if I can ever find another steering box. The second I am clueless as to how to fix.

    Since buying the car, I have replaced all shoes, all wheel cylinders (I may have rebuilt one of the rears with a kit; not sure. I know I replaced at least one, maybe both. Both fronts are new.) cleaned everything, replaced all hoses, replaced master cylinder. I have had all drums off since noticing this problem and nothing really seems amiss. All shoes were from Fairborn Studebaker, so I assume they have the same lining material.

    I thought initially that this problem might be because the rear tires that came with the wheels I bought from JP might be old and hard. Well I swapped the wheels front to rear and discovered that a) you CAN fit 245/60s on the front of a C-K body if you really want to, and they look cool in an insane, over-the-top kind of way. Steering is kinda hard though. Cop car wheels with a 1/4" spacer. Just so you know. b) Yokohama AVS ES100 tires smell a hell of a lot worse than BFG T/As when you smoke 'em. Yup, the lockup remains at the rear.

    There are only a couple things that I noticed when looking at the brakes AGAIN today...

    1) the pass. side front drum is fairly tight - I have the adjuster backed all the way off and it drags just a little more than I'd really prefer. Didn't want to have the drum cut, however.

    2) I suspect that the pass. side front drum is newer than the driver's side, as it is a tighter fit on the shoes, and also the driver's side has some vague rust spots on the braking surface that the pass. side does not have. Does not feel overly worn though, although I don't have brake drum calipers.

    3) The pass. side front when I pulled the drum off was squeaky clean. The driver's side, however, had lots of brake dust inside. When I pulled the rears last, I don't remember either having an unusual amount of dust, neither more nor less than I expected.

    4) The anti-creep solenoid is still installed on my car, although the wiring is long gone. I am thinking that my next step will be to bypass this valve and see what happens, but I can't imagine that it could do anything to make the rears lock first.

    Any ideas as to what to do next would be greatly appreciated. I didn't replace any of the springs etc. as they all looked to be in good condition (possibly replaced when previous brake job was done.) I don't feel like I cut any corners on this brake job and I find it odd that this one is fighting me; usually I just disassemble, fix/replace what I see that needs fixing or replacing, and voila, the car stops like it should.

    I *really* wish I had a couple little tees with some brake pressure gauges so I could see if I had a hydraulic problem or a mechanical problem. But I don't. Such is life.

    thanks...

    nate

    PS - after driving the car around the last couple days, if it weren't for this little issue, I might just consider driving it to York, esp. after I got my backup lights and driver's door mirror installed. BTW the repro mirrors have JUST BARELY enough adjustment to be useful, at least for me... I don't know if I get one for the pass side if I will be able to use it without undercutting the pivot ball some. But anyway it kind of pisses me off that I seem to have a fully functional car and I still can't (safely) drive it...

    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    62 Daytona hardtop
    http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

  • #2
    I had a 1953 Kaiser that had a L front brake grab on panic/very rapid stop. I blead starting with the longest line to the shotest line. Problem solved.Knowing you, bleading has been done an redoen. Wish I could help more.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, N8.

      Either the rears are locking because they are too effective, or they are locking prematurely because the fronts are INeffective. One way or another there is lack of balance.

      To start with, are you sure the front and rear brakes are a matched set? A V8 car should 11" on the front and 10" on the rear. We know that car has been altered a bit, so who knows what was done to the brakes?

      Are the rear shoes installed properly, with the short lining on the front shoe and the long lining on the rear? Are the front and rear linings from the same source?

      Any sign of grease or leaked brake fluid on the rear linings? That can make them grabby.

      What about the flex hoses to the front wheels? They could be plugged internally, and not allowing pressure to reach the cylinders.

      I'd be wanting to get the car up on jack stands, then spin each wheel in turn by hand, and have a helper apply a little brake pedal, and see what happens.

      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

      Comment


      • #4
        good ideas, but so far nothing pops out at me. All linings are from Phil Harris, although the fronts are a little older than the rears. All hoses were replaced not long after I got the car.

        I guess I will see if JP will help me out and let me borrow his lift after York; I was just hoping someone would say "hey, did you check the thingamabob?" and that would be my problem

        nate

        --
        55 Commander Starlight
        62 Daytona hardtop
        http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
        --
        55 Commander Starlight
        http://members.cox.net/njnagel

        Comment


        • #5
          My guesses/stabs at this problem are;
          1) The front and/or the rear wheel cylinders are the incorrect size for the car. This can cause front to rear inbalance.
          2) The linings are different enough, front to rear, to cause a lock-up situation.
          3) The car has the wrong size brakes front and/or rear from what it should have, causing an inbalance. I doubt this one because of all the '53s that I put later brakes on the front and left the rears as originals, none had this problem, but of course that would also put more braking on the front and not the rear. Has the rear end been changed in this car - along with the brakes?

          I would first check all four wheel cylinder diameters against factory original specs.
          Gary L.
          Wappinger, NY

          SDC member since 1968
          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

          Comment


          • #6
            Have you considered installing a proportioning valve (but only if you also have a more modern dual master cylinder)? I'm kind of new at this brake stuff, but reading the instructions page at theTurnerBrake.com site, a proportioning valve is needed when someone puts discs only on the front wheels of a vehicle that came with drums all around.

            I know yours is all drums, but still, dual master cylinder and a proportioning valve may help you to balance the load. The instructions on TurnerBrake indicate that (if the master cylinder is located lower than the wheel cylinders) you will need to have two residual check valves if you put in a dual master cylinder.

            Of course, if you are going to go that far, you may want to go ahead and put the Turner front disc kit on the car, too.

            Keep in mind this is just a wild stab at a suggestion from someone who seldom knows what he's talking about when it comes to mechanical stuff. (but there may yet be some merit to this)

            [img=left]http://rocketdillo.com/studebaker/misc/images/Current_Avacar.gif[/img=left] - DilloCrafter


            1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
            The Red-Headed Amazon

            Paul Simpson
            "DilloCrafter"

            1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
            The Red-Headed Amazon
            Deep in the heart of Texas

            Comment


            • #7
              Gary might be onto something, Nate. As I recall (without looking it up)there was a change during mid-year '55. A change in wheel cylinder sizes. In fact, if I recall right, they made a change and then chaged it back - all during the course of that one model year. Maybe your cylinders are mismatched, front and back.[}]

              Miscreant at large.

              1957 Transtar 1/2ton
              1960 Larkvertible V8
              1958 Provincial wagon
              1953 Commander coupe
              1957 President 2-dr
              1955 President State
              1951 Champion Biz cpe
              1963 Daytona project FS
              No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

              Comment


              • #8
                N8, any resolution to this yet???[:I]

                Miscreant at large.

                1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                1960 Larkvertible V8
                1958 Provincial wagon
                1953 Commander coupe
                1957 President 2-dr
                1955 President State
                1951 Champion Biz cpe
                1963 Daytona project FS
                No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nope, I have this nasty job thing I have to go to every day, I probably won't have a chance to look at it until next weekend (as this weekend is York...)

                  nate

                  --
                  55 Commander Starlight
                  62 Daytona hardtop
                  http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
                  --
                  55 Commander Starlight
                  http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I had a similar problem like this went I bought my 63 Hawk. I pulled the rear drums off to discover that the shoes were on backwards. I am sure you have checked this but a little info on what could cause this problem for someone else.
                    Rick
                    50 Champion
                    60 Lark
                    63 Hawk

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      .............
                      '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
                      Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
                      http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...bracket-update
                      I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        yeah my 50 champ locks all four in the rain


                        really really bad just keeps on sliding i personnaly will not drive my car in the rain

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          might not be the problem, but you've done almost all the
                          expensive things why not probably the cheatest. the spring
                          kits don't cost much. also be sure to check the rear oil seals.
                          with the other ideas you got some work to do. good luck.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            quote:Originally posted by gotti210

                            yeah my 50 champ locks all four in the rain
                            really really bad just keeps on sliding i personnaly will not drive my car in the rain
                            Come on guys. There is something wrong with the brakes on your cars if Tom's Hawk and your Champ lock up in the rain. I have owned and driven Studebakers exclusively since 1964, most with stock drum brakes and I have never had an experience anywhere near what you describe. The drum brakes have always worked well on my cars. The modern disc brakes are better but those drum brakes from the mid-50s on up were pretty good for their day.

                            Dale

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If all four lock up sounds like they need new tires.

                              but anyway I was talking to a well known vendor here at York yesterday and he asked me if I'd bought my brake shoes from another certain vendor. I said no, but he told me that some people are still selling rear shoes with the old, asbestos-style lining and fronts with modern lining (because the old linings for the 11" drums ran out long ago) I guess I will have to talk to the vendor that I did get my shoes from and see if that is a possibility and if that's what happened I might have to ask someone with a good local brake shop to just have a full set of shoes relined for me, *all with the same material...*

                              I'm not saying that's what happened, but it makes sense... will have to look into it.

                              nate

                              --
                              55 Commander Starlight
                              62 Daytona hardtop
                              http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
                              --
                              55 Commander Starlight
                              http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                              Comment

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