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Suspension Questions Chassis, Brakes, Springs, Shocks, Swaybars, Tire, Rims Etc Suspension Questions Chassis, Brakes, Springs, Shocks, Swaybars, Tire, Rims Etc

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Old 06-19-2017, 11:14 AM   #11
CAC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Churchkey View Post
My thoughts on drum brakes your mileage my vary.

If the wheels will not lock up @ 40 mph the brake system needs service.

Brake hoses: Rubber products deteriorate over time = install new hoses.
Braided stainless steel brake hoses are worth the $$

Wheel cylinders: Rebuild them, if any pitting in the bores that will not clean
up by honing replace them.

Backing plates: Brake shoes slide on the backing plates & will wear grooves
in them. If the plates have grooves remove the plates,
lay them on a flat surface to insure they are not bent.
If ok weld the worn areas & grind the welds smooth.

Brake drums: They wear out. They need to be machined (cut) to insure
that they run true. They wear out out round and/or
bell shaped + they get hard spots in them.
If more than .060 oversize replace the drum.

Brake shoes: 40K + mileage brake shoes are hard & lack good initial
bite. Cheap shoes have a softer compound & have good
initial bite. If you live in the mountains, tow a trailer etc
consider metallic shoes.

Shoe to drum
fitment: This is important!!! The shoes must fit the drum radius.
Lay the shoes in the drums If they rock end to end they
need to be arched to the drums. It takes many thousands of
miles for shoes to “wear in” to fit the drums in the
meantime stopping distance is compromised.

Brake springs: They get weak over time = old springs need to be replaced.

Brake fluid: Standard brake fluid collects moisture. You stock Tri-5
master cylinder has a vent hole in the cap = the system
is open to the atmosphere. Suggest synthetic brake fluid
such as Valvoline 3-4. Suggest avoiding silicone brake fluid.
Sticky worthy maybe?
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:17 PM   #12
Dragsix

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I agree with all of the above. I am using new drums so the arch matching is not an issue for me but years ago, until they outlawed it, a true professional brake job included machining the brake drums and re-arching the brake shoes to match the drums. You would have to do that at home now and carefully, by grindingdown the ends of the shoes unless you can find someone that still has a Aarmco machine (outlawed in the 80s I think).

As for using the "trick spring kit," I told Don I had all new springs and small parts and he told me that I could skip the trick springs, so I am using the stock springs. I am also using the stock wheel cylinders. I understand, but do not have anything to back it up with, that later wheel cylinders, like for a 63 chevy for example, used wheel cylinders that look like a trifive cylinder but had a larger chamber in the cylinder and displaced more fluid to make them work properly. I did not want to use the higher capacity wheel cylinders (although maybe I am by using the available wheel cylinders that are currently on the market). I believe that same issue is why a drum drum dual master is 1 inch bore diameter where the drum disc masters are larger at 1.25, less volume needed to effect the braking action of the system. Also, keep in mind that the stock system had a residual pressure valve built into the master that kept some pressure on the shoes when the brake was disengaged. This was to keep a little pressure in the lines and the wheel cylinder which in turn kept the brake shoes closer to the drum, as in not fully retracted which reduced the amount of pedal movement needed to get the shoes to contact the drum. So I am sticking to the regular springs.
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:20 PM   #13
irishsteve
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Back in the late 60"s I recall the trick was using 59 Chevy front brakes.The fronts are 11x2.75 wide.I believe the 55 is 11x2.Its been to long to recall just how much was used.Might be just backing plates/drums ,and hubs,or it might be spindles out were swapped.The up side you get roller bearings too.Brakes out to 63-64 might be swappable too.Anyone even older than me ever do this swap?If you could get the parts cheap,or are on really good terms with a wreaking yard you could try reinventing the swap.
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Old 06-20-2017, 10:01 AM   #14
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Default Looks like my best option is to repair for now.

Thanks for the good info and good options, guys. The performance shoes from Muscle car brakes are a little pricey for brake shoes, but look to be of the best quality.

After giving things serious thought over the past two days, I decided to order new front drums and Raybestos shoes from one of our sponsors, RockAuto, for about $100 total after our Trifive discount.

Next move is to save up for a full new set of 5 disc brake wheels like these ones from Danchuck:

https://www.danchuk.com/ItemForm.aspx?Item=12148

My wheels are originals, and two of them have some funny "flattening" at the edge of the rim, almost like they were run flat for a couple hundred yards at some point. Also, even with my new Diamond Back tires, one of the wheels that does NOT have any flattening in the bead area, needs lots of balance weights to get the tire to balance. Same general amount of weight in the same place as my previous tires, so it is probably the rim. These things combined make it a good idea for me to start out with some new rims, especially ones that allow me to keep my full wheel hub caps.

After that, I will have several good options for zero offset power front discs, which I should definitely have with the amount that we drive this car. All of this together will probably be north of $1,200.00 so it will have to wait until next year. Thanks again for giving me enough info to come up with a good path forward.

Driver.
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