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50 Commander Brake dragging... causes and cures?

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  • Brakes: 50 Commander Brake dragging... causes and cures?

    I copied this over to the tech forum from the general, because originally this thread was just about some new wheels I purchased, but now........

    The new wheels went on fine so thanks for all the tips, but I did run into an unrelated snag... when I was installing the left front wheel, I noticed that the drum turned only about half way freely, then with much pressure, it would turn another quarter or so. I THOUGHT perhaps the anti-creep was inhibiting the wheel from turning all the way, so I didn't really worry about it. Once I got all the wheels on, I took it for a spin around the block, but it felt like I was getting some drag from the front, so headed back. I lifted the car back up, and the left front wheel, again, will turn about half way, then hits drag turning the rest of the way. The right wheel is fine.

    So, I am assuming the anti-creep is not the problem (though any insight there would be appreciated), but other than that, it seems like I have a sticking drum shoe for some reason? If so, that is odd, because I had no issue with the brakes the last time I drove it. I suppose it could be a coincidence.

    Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts or similar issues in the past, please let me know what you think could be the problem and/or why. I have never had a reason to pull a drum off, and hear it is rather difficult to do, so if that is my first step, I will need to locate a puller. Thanks again.
    sigpic

    1950 Commander Starlight Coupe
    Regal Deluxe Trim
    Automatic transmission
    46k original miles, 4th Owner

  • #2
    I would check 1) for a loose drum, ie the wheel bearings not snug enough, 2) Bad wheel bearings 3) Drum warped or out of round
    Milt

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

    Member of SDC since 1973

    Comment


    • #3
      You don't need a puller to remove the front drum. Simply back off the brake
      adjustment, remove the dust cover, cotter pin and the nut and pull the drum off.

      Comment


      • #4
        How long has it been since the wheel cylinders have been rebuilt or replaced? Is one of the brake return springs broken?
        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
          Thanks for the info. I haven't had any brake work done since I've had the car, and don't know of any work done by the previous owner. I will get my shop manual out and see if I can pull the drum and get a look inside. If there's not an obvious problem, maybe I can post a photo and see if you guys have any ideas. Thanks much.
          sigpic

          1950 Commander Starlight Coupe
          Regal Deluxe Trim
          Automatic transmission
          46k original miles, 4th Owner

          Comment


          • #6
            What are these wheels that were just installed? Are they from another make of car?
            AL SORAN RACING

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Dwain, I purchased new steel wheels from Hot Rod Hanks. I will post some pics when I get this all sorted out...
              sigpic

              1950 Commander Starlight Coupe
              Regal Deluxe Trim
              Automatic transmission
              46k original miles, 4th Owner

              Comment


              • #8
                what happens if you put one of the old wheels on the left front position? It would be best if the old LF wheel could be identified.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am with Dwain, thinking that if nothing was touched INSIDE the Drum, the "New" Wheels could be the problem.

                  Is there any chance they are hitting the upper or Lower Trunnion Caps and Zerks?
                  StudeRich
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I probably wasn't clear enough, but when I had the old wheel off, that is when I noticed the left drum would not turn freely, before I even put the new wheel on. That is why my first thought was that the anti-creep was holding it for some reason. Sorry for the confusion... Anyway, I am going to start hitting the possible causes tomorrow, easiest to hardest, and see what I find. Thanks again...
                    sigpic

                    1950 Commander Starlight Coupe
                    Regal Deluxe Trim
                    Automatic transmission
                    46k original miles, 4th Owner

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Like those before me mentioned; a loose wheel bearing will cause "out of round" like conditions, if the bearing is adjusted correctly it should turn clear all the way around...if the brakes are adjusted properly. Read your shop manual on both adjustments. Also-on this type of brake, the automatic adjusters only adjust the front shoe of each wheel, the rear shoes still need manual adjusting.
                      If you pull the drum to check the brakes, have a can of brake cleaner available to wash everything down, don't breath the brake dust (poss. asbestos).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sounds like an out of round problem. Check the drum at the hub, make sure the "swages" are present. It's possible the drum was changed onto the original hub without swaging the new drum, and the drum was located by using the 2 person--" turn the wheel, apply the brake to center it and tighten the lugs method". When you put on the new wheel, and don't re-center the drum before you tighten the lug nuts you will get your situation, acts like a warped drum. Just a wild guess.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Okay, well I pulled the drum off, and what I found is that the right brake shoe is the only one moving when I push the brake pedal. The left shoe does not move at all. So, help me out, but I THINK this means the cylinder is bad and need to be rebuilt or replaced? No springs are broken, or anything like that. Let me know what you guys think, and I will proceed accordingly. Thanks.
                          sigpic

                          1950 Commander Starlight Coupe
                          Regal Deluxe Trim
                          Automatic transmission
                          46k original miles, 4th Owner

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            yes, sounds like you have a stuck piston in the one side of the wheel cyl. and it should be replaced/rebuilt. If one is bad it normally means time to replace at least both fronts.

                            I am not sure this would cause the problem you described
                            Milt

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

                            Member of SDC since 1973

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Okay, I went back and put the drum back together, and it is still hard to turn. Could it be the shoes got out of adjustment when I test drove it the other day, with the piston stuck?

                              One other thing I just thought of, could I pull the drum off the right side, and fit it to the left, just to see if indeed the left drum is the problem? If the substituted drum still does not turn freely, then I would think that my leftside shoes are just out of adjustment. Does this sound feasible???
                              Last edited by deco_droid; 12-13-2015, 06:13 PM.
                              sigpic

                              1950 Commander Starlight Coupe
                              Regal Deluxe Trim
                              Automatic transmission
                              46k original miles, 4th Owner

                              Comment

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