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Sticking Brakes

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  • Brakes: Sticking Brakes

    I am assisting my friend to cure his problem with his '49 Starlight Coupe. His brakes stick after the pedal is released, especially on the right front wheel. The lines, master cylinder, brake cylinders, linings, etc are new. The longer shoe, with the self adjusting mechanism, is mounted on the forward side of each wheel. That is what the 1940-1953 Chilton's repair manual shows.
    I think it is wrong, and the shoes should be reversed in location, with the short lining towards the front, the longer lining towards the rear of the car. Does anyone agree? Please comment.
    Thank you.

  • #2
    My 51 the long goes to front.

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    • #3
      Wayne, thanks for your reply. Does anyone have advice? The car skids a tire whenever the brakes are applied. It is not driveable.

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      • #4
        Since the anchor block is at the bottom, then the front shoe becomes the secondary shoe with the longer lining.

        Does the brake pedal come all the way back so the master cylinder piston is fully retracted, and the brake fluid can return to the reservoir?

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        • #5
          I don't have any personal experience on the early self adjusting brakes, but looking at Studebaker International's printed catalogue there are any number of parts, pins, small springs "adjuster tips" wire pivot clips etc. that could be missing, installed wrong or misaligned. I noted in your post that you are working from a Chilton Repair Manual--which are useful in many ways but not as detailed as needed sometimes. Might I suggest getting a 47-49 Shop Manual and a Chassis Part Manual from SI so you can get a detailed description of what should be there and the proper installation of the parts. I know they also sell a complete ( I think) brake hardware kit for these brakes and probably have any missing, or bent, worn or damaged item that you may find. Then, you would be able to identify all the parts by number instead of description, and those on here, that know these cars, can better help you. If it's grabbing or dragging, or not releasing, something in the installation is wrong, if it were "pulling" to one side or another, that would be much easier to make suggestions on.
          In the meantime maybe this will be of help in checking the installation is correct:
          https://www.studebakerparts.com/stud...s/selfadj.html
          After studying the photos on the above link and rereading your post, are the self adjuster levers showing or behind the shoe towards the backing plates with the button tube showing (which I think is correct), and is the wire spring hooked to the shoe right and under tension in the right direction forcing the lever against the button as shown? That's all I can add, as this adjusting style is alien to me.
          Last edited by karterfred88; 09-23-2015, 08:49 PM.

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          • #6
            The self adjusting plug which goes in the shoe needs to be to the front . Did you replace the hoses?? A bad hose would do that as would a master cylinder that is not retracting correctly. There is adjustment on the push rod that pushes in the piston on the master cyl
            Last edited by unclemiltie; 09-24-2015, 07:39 PM.
            Milt

            1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
            1961 Hawk 4-speed
            1967 Avanti
            1961 Lark 2 door
            1988 Avanti Convertible

            Member of SDC since 1973

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            • #7
              Another cause of this problem is not enough loose play in the rod and piston in the master cylinder. These under floor units need some free play to allow the piston to release pressure. Don't snug it up tight, leave at least a half inch of travel. Good luck.
              Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

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              • #8
                In this brake design, the long lining with the adjuster plug goes to the front, and the shoes are referred to as 'forward' and 'reverse'. The Wagner design that Studebaker adopted in 1954 does have the short lining in front and the shoes are referred to as 'primary' and 'secondary'.
                There is a photo in the Studebaker Shop Manual (page 19, figure 44) that seems to show the right front brake assembly with the long lining and adjuster plug facing the rear. That photo is actually the LEFT front brake of a Commander model with the forward-facing steering arm and tie rods in front of the axle.
                Be sure to check hoses and push rod adjustment as others have mentioned.

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                • #9
                  As stated above a bad hose can cause an individual wheel to lock up. I just replaced the hoses on a '49 Commander and the rear hose inside diameter was almost zero. The outside looked ok, but it was old. Brake fluid on a shoe will cause severe grabbing, but will release normally.

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                  • #10
                    also take a look at those forgotten springs. A weak one or busted one won't allow return travel.

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                    • #11
                      Yes, the brake pedal does return.

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                      • #12
                        Thank you for the info. I will check on the installation.

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                        • #13
                          The hoses were replaced. If they were clogged, the brake bleeding process would have been difficult. It wasn't.
                          The push rod at the master cylinder allows the piston in this cylinder to fully retract.
                          Thank you

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                          • #14
                            I will check on the free play at the master cylinder push rod. I know it has some play, but probably not a half inch.
                            Thank you

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                            • #15
                              I will double-check the springs. It wouldn't hurt to just replace all of them.
                              Thanks

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