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Brake adjustment
#1
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Mark Graber
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Hi everybody,
I am trying to finish a brake job on my '47 custom super. I am at the final adjustment phase and I am having trouble centering the shoes. I've read Ross's advice and consulted the manual and Motor's.

Here's the problem. I've started with the right front wheel. I keep ending up rotating the anchor pin screw 90 degrees forward. At this point there is a lot of clearance at the top of the shoe and none at the bottom of the secondary shoe.

Am I right n thinking that the eccentric screw is at its maximum effective position to move the top of the shoe toward the drum?

I could not find anyone to arc the shoes and they are undersize, but even so, shouldn't I be able to get the clearance equalized between the top and bottom of the shoe?

Wondering if the eccentric has worn such that it no longer will push the top of the shoe far enough?

Suggestions/guidance much appreciated.
Mark

Posted on: 2019/5/31 12:38
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Re: Brake adjustment
#2
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Joe Santana
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Hi, Mark,

I can't answer your question, especially if you've done the manual step by step, but you mentioned the shoes are undersized, so I'd say being able to stop is really important, so I'd look for some correct sized shoes.

You can get new or rebuilt ones. Used ones are fine. Add lining if needed, but having the correct size on a custom would be worth it IMH non-mechanically intuitive opinion.

Joe

Posted on: 2019/6/1 22:52
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Re: Brake adjustment
#3
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DrMorbius
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Joe is so right, my motto is never skimp when it comes to brakes - and your Custom Super is one beautiful vehicle!


Steve

Posted on: 2019/6/2 14:22
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Re: Brake adjustment
#4
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Mark Graber
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Thanks for the interest guys. No skimping here - if you ever looked at my stack of parts and labor bills...the shoes are brand new, bonded not riveted, so a shim is not an option as far as I know.

Have you guys ever tried to find a place to arc your shoes? I called nearly a dozen shops, AACA club friends, etc. Seems almost nobody does that anymore, especially up here. Internet search reveals widespread difficulty finding that service. Apparently, modern drum brake users replace the drum and brake shoes as a pre-arced set or let the shoes "wear in", with frequent adjustments till they do.

I might be able to find a shop in the lower 48 and ship all 4 sets of drums and shoes down there and back. Don't ask about shipping costs.

For folks in my situation, my research found several recommendations to "wear in" the shoes, which is the approach I am going with.

The other three wheels center up nicely, with less clearance at the middle of the shoe, as I would expect. So, I'm going to try a new anchor pin for the problem wheel and see if that works.

Thanks for the interest and input fellas.

Mark

Posted on: 2019/6/2 19:14
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Re: Brake adjustment
#5
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Tim Cole
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The procedure for a major brake adjustment only works well for new parts, which in the case of drums, are not available. The only work around I found for this situation was to send the drums and shoes to Fort Wayne Brake and Clutch where they would make up matched sets of shoes for each drum.

I also used an old timer who had a cam grinding machine, but he would reject drums that were too worn. This helped in situations where I had difficulty convincing the other party of the need for better drums to mitigate a brake fade problem.

In the end it is a matter of compromise. However, the late Tom Lester did have success with turning new drums from stock on a lathe.

In the final analysis I never got a result that worked better than the brakes in a good low mileage car.

Posted on: 2019/6/3 14:37
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Re: Brake adjustment
#6
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Joe Santana
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BRAKE PARTS AND SERVICE: I don't know how I forgot this, but you should contact Moose Motors in Pengrove CA for any classic brake parts and talk to Jeff. He has a world-class supply of brake parts and the ability to modify them. When I was there his co-worker was recreating and machining brake drums that are no longer available in any condition for a vintage car.

He is a friendly, helpful guy and Packard guy through and through. (707) 792-9985

He has a healthy sense of humor, too. Calling him is the best way to reach him.

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Posted on: 2019/6/4 8:34
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Re: Brake adjustment
#7
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jfrom@kanter
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We do have NOS drums available for your vehicle if you choose to replace them. Please call and ask to speak with our Packard Department.

Thanks
James From
Kanter Auto Products

Posted on: 2019/6/5 10:41
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Re: Brake adjustment
#8
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Mark Graber
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I had to walk away from this project for a while. Meantime, I obtained four NOS drums and had the shoes arced using the Speedwell Garage method. Thanks Ross, my machinist says it worked great! I also procured a couple of NOS anchor pins to try out.

However, much to my disappointment, my adjustment problems continue. No matter which method I use, either Ross's or a feeler gauge, I cannot get the secondary shoe equalized. I get drag at the bottom of the shoe, and clearance at the top. The anchor pin reaches maximum throw without moving the top of shoe close enough to the drum. The problem is at all four brakes.

I purchased the shoes from Max and I suppose it is possible, but very unlikely that I have the wrong shoes.

Guidance and ideas from you guys would be much appreciated.

Mark

Posted on: 2019/7/9 19:54
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