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Stock Brake Adjustment= Great Brakes

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Hey all, just did a slight adjustment to my brakes, on the minor adjustment, and the brakes are fantastic, good, high hard pedal.The pedal was pretty good before, as were my brakes, all new 4 years ago, now they are really good.

Kudos to Rob aka Dodgeb4ya, he advised me how to set brakes initially, and after a few thousand miles, more adjustments, and great brakes, wear pattern is good too.

Now I am not saying thses are better than aftermarket disc brake conversions, or that maybe on hilly roads or pulling a trailer these might be more taxed and heated up under those conditions.

But thumbs up to Rob from Washington, His years of experience, speak to his knowledge, and the great advice He freely gave to me......Fred

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wear pattern is good too.

Fred

How did you check the wear pattern? I have suggested many times that the best way to check wear pattern is to make several slashes across the brake shoes with a Sharpie. Then re-assemble and do a test drive. Disassemble and re-check. How did you do it?

shoe1.jpg

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Don, if you look at the shoe surface, you can see an even wear pattern, now if I measured it with some device, it may accurately attest to the actual wear.

The bottom line Don, is I have great brakes, I followed Directions from Dodgeb4ya, and also used a gauge, this time I merely did my annual tweaking, of just slightly adjusting the minor adjusters. Thes not being bendix type brakes, maybe I am missing the boat, but my shoes are not worn out on the heels or on just one side or spot.

Now Don, I know you are not a proponenet of stock brakes, for whatever reason, and others are in this category too.

I have messaged and discussed with many forum members who have great stock brakes, and some who never seem to be able to install adjust and get stock brakes to work correctly for whatever reasons, not sure if that is what happened in your case or not.

The bottom line is they appear to bevery good now, and hopefully they will stay this way. We do not have hills to deal with out here, and I do not drive or 55 mph most of the time. I may try the method you have mentioned to see what wear is actually taking place......Fred

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Fred;

I do believe stock brakes (when using the correct tools to adjust) can and do work great. However It is my opinion that buying stock brake parts is more costly than switching to disc brakes. The other added benefit to disc brakes is parts are easy to find should a failure happen on the road. Glad your stock brakes are doing the job for you.

But I would like you to do the sharpie test and post pictured results.

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Fred;

I do believe stock brakes (when using the correct tools to adjust) can and do work great. However It is my opinion that buying stock brake parts is more costly than switching to disc brakes. The other added benefit to disc brakes is parts are easy to find should a failure happen on the road. Glad your stock brakes are doing the job for you.

Hey Don, I understand why you and others have made the conversion, and some time in the future, when money is not so tight, I may have a notion to do the same.

I firmly believe, that modern disc brakes are great, and bendix style drum, are excellent too.

My point is that you and others could not, or were not able to get the stock brakes to function well enough for your needs, ie hills, freeway, high traffic higher speed needs. No arguement, modern disc are superior braking systems. I do know that semi tractor trucks, are still using a lot of drum brakes, albeit this is air, but the concept is the same, and nobody can argue they need to stop a lot of weight, at higher speeds.

But I would like you to do the sharpie test and post pictured results.

Well this I may undertake for my own knowledge, and would freely share my results on this forum. Well it can display whether my brake shoes are wearing uneven, or even, and much in-between.

My point of my thread is not to undermine, the benefit of upgraded braking systems, but to merely express my gratitude to Rob H, and to share with the forum, these brakes can and will perform well, although for some they can be a beach.......have a good one

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Hey Fred,

Thanks a million for the awesome compliments! Don't know if i really deserve them though! Last month I was coming home when a deer dropped down off the steep side of the road and didn't look both ways 1st-Well, I had to do some really hard braking, the factory 12" brakes did their job very well. Thank you Chrysler for the wonderful engineering or the poor ole woodie would have had a pretty totalled out front end!

If the brakes stop good and don't pull why bother looking any further. Drive it-have fun!!!!

Edited by Dodgeb4ya

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I'll have to agree. I have been very pleased with my stock brakes. I have driven many other vintage cars and none of them can hold a candle to Mopar brakes. They are not discs but they perform very well. I completely rebuilt both my '51 and Heather's '54 DeSoto. My Plymouth I did 36,000 miles ago and have only adjusted them once. My friends are very impressed with their performance.

Glad you had the assistance Dodgeb4ya. Good pointers and help goes a long way.

Have fun!

BloodyKnuckles

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I'll have to agree. I have been very pleased with my stock brakes. I have driven many other vintage cars and none of them can hold a candle to Mopar brakes. They are not discs but they perform very well. I completely rebuilt both my '51 and Heather's '54 DeSoto. My Plymouth I did 36,000 miles ago and have only adjusted them once. My friends are very impressed with their performance.

Glad you had the assistance Dodgeb4ya. Good pointers and help goes a long way.

Have fun!

BloodyKnuckles

Hey Bloody, glad they work well for you too, mine are working well, as probably can be. They are not power disc, but they are darn good brakes.

I would venture to guess they are much better brakes, than what Furd and Chiverlay had at the same time, well Furd stayed mechanical until 1939, and had a solid front axle till 48....

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All three of my cars, '38 Chrysler, '48 Dodge, and '53 Plymouth have the factory drum brakes and all stop very well. Maybe not as well as disc brakes but very well all the same. I see no point in switching over. The main point here is that they need to be adjusted well. I do not have a fancy brake adjuster but just go by the method suggestd by others on the forum and an old time Chrysler mechanic who worked on hundreds, maybe thousands, of these brakes and seldom use an AAMCO brake gizmo.

I also have a '63 Fairlane with drum brakes and they are awesome. I can lock those suckers up any time if I have to. All new cars have disc brakes and that is great but for my oldies.......drums rule!

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I have had good luck with Lockheed brakes on 4 different vehicles, I was more used to Chevy and Ford, so I had to get aquanted with the mopar's brakes on a 48 Plymouth 4 door sedan, but figured out pretty quick, and it always had good brakes, and I've had no trouble with any of the cars I have owned since then, but I always rebuild the entire brake system first thing with all new components so I know what's what, right off the bat.

I don't have a brake gauge, and use the "tuning tokyo" method, but I don't do the arrows pointing at each other, but fit as close to the drum as I can as it's going on, until it just will go on over the shoes, and I make sure and have the flat sided ends on my anchors so they can be held absolutely steady with a 10" cresent wrench while the nuts (with lock washers) are being tightened. I think those anchors turning while being finally tightened and throwing off the adjustment happens a lot. I got lucky recently and found an old Plymouth truck chassis that had the brakes on it and it had the factory flats on the anchor bolts for adjustment purposes, so I got them and used some of them on the front wheels of my 49 Dodge truck (the back wheels already have them). I know some people grind their own flats, or make the screw driver slots, but I like the old factory ones the best.

I recently rebuilt the brakes on the 58 Dodge Coronet that I got from my son, and I really like the brakes on that model. They look like they would be easily adaptable to older cars by changing everything from the backing plate out. The advantage is 11" brakes with 2 1/2 inch brake shoes, thus a lot more braking surface, and the floating brake shoes are very easy to adjust. Joel

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I believe driving style has a lot to do with longevity of any braking system. My driving style is such that I only use my brakes when I have to. If I see a red light a block away I take my foot off the gas pedal and coast. This driving style must annoy a lot of people as they seem to ride my rear bumper. I have 200,000 thousand miles on my daily driver and have replaced the front pads 3 times. I do not understand folks who drive with one foot on the brakes and one foot on the gas. Do they really think they will arrive at there destination faster?

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I believe driving style has a lot to do with longevity of any braking system. My driving style is such that I only use my brakes when I have to. If I see a red light a block away I take my foot off the gas pedal and coast. This driving style must annoy a lot of people as they seem to ride my rear bumper. I have 200,000 thousand miles on my daily driver and have replaced the front pads 3 times. I do not understand folks who drive with one foot on the brakes and one foot on the gas. Do they really think they will arrive at there destination faster?

Don, I drive much like you do, on 3rd pair of front pads on high miler daily driver. I seem to be easy on brakes and other components, when others are replacing items all the time.

I drive a gravel road 3 miles each time I leave home, I always avoid the rough areas on the road, and drive on the smooth packed higher surfaces, while others, just drive like crazy over the bumps and ripples and hit the binders hard when needed.....

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I think a lot of the brake problems with the drum brakes is the shoes are not arched to the drums, or the drums are worn almost to the replacement point and expand with the pressure of the shoes during braking. I have done brake jobs on Chevrolet vehicles and not arched the new shoes and have arched the new shoes and there is a lot of difference in stopping power from 70 mph with the arched shoes. I would recommend that any one rebuilding drum brakes find someone who can arch their brake shoes to their drum.

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When our cars were every day drivers and the garages would cut the drums and new riveted linings were put on the shoes thye mechanics would also install the same size shims under the linings according to what was removed when they cut the drums.

So if they took off some metals then they would shim the lining and then arch the shoes after the lining was riveted to the shoes. Almost every repair shop had the Ammco brakelining arcing machine.

If you know of a shop that has one of these tools then get to know the owner, but since most old shoes had asbestos these machines now have been not used in years so be very careful if you are using the old linings.

Rich Hartung

Desoto1939@aol.com

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I think a lot of the brake problems with the drum brakes is the shoes are not arched to the drums, or the drums are worn almost to the replacement point and expand with the pressure of the shoes during braking. I have done brake jobs on Chevrolet vehicles and not arched the new shoes and have arched the new shoes and there is a lot of difference in stopping power from 70 mph with the arched shoes. I would recommend that any one rebuilding drum brakes find someone who can arch their brake shoes to their drum.

James is for initial start with all new brake shoes,.

I would think that after a 1000 miles this should be worn in, and futrther adjustments can be done.

I thought Chiverlay used bendix type self centering brakes, should these not self center, and once adjusted...

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