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Unread 08-13-2013, 10:56 PM   #1
TriodeLuvr
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Default Brake Advice

My new (used) bucket has finally arrived, and I'm slowly working out the bugs. One issue I'd like to take care of is brake pull. The car has discs up front and drums in rear. I haven't taken anything apart yet, but there are no visible leaks or seepage. The pedal is firm, the brakes are quiet, and steering is straight until I brake. I realize there's no way to be sure without seeing the car, but generally speaking, what's the most likely culprit/solution for this problem? I'm thinking I should inspect and adjust the drums first, but maybe there's something else I'm not thinking about.
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Unread 08-14-2013, 08:56 AM   #2
old round fart
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If you apply brakes with hands off the wheel, do the front wheels turn? That may be something loose in front suspension, like king pins or radius rods. Adjust rear brakes and if that doesn't help rebuild or replace front calipers. Let us know what you find. John
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Unread 08-14-2013, 02:09 PM   #3
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Like John suggests. Also if one of the rear drums is not adjusted very close to the other rear, it may tend to pull one way or the other on a light car. If it pulls to the right, the left rear may need adjusted up some, or visa versa. A gravel or chat parking lot will help a bunch for brake issues.

Lee
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Unread 08-14-2013, 04:50 PM   #4
INDIAN OUTLAW
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I agree with Lee and John but before I replaced or rebuilt the calipers their is a few simple things to check. make sure that the frount brakes are returning when you release the brakes.you may have one that is not if thats the case just remove and lube the slide or pin depending on what type of calipers you have.if one caliper dont slide in and out freely then you will have one that grabs.if that dont work and they still dont return replace or rebuild.also i have seen moister or air in the system cause some weird stuff.you can try to bleed them i dont think thats your problem but I would bleed them to make sure.
frank
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Unread 08-16-2013, 02:10 AM   #5
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The front wheels do turn when I apply the brakes. I also think I noticed the other day that braking hard causes the right front wheel to skid first. I probably need to confirm that if I can find a gravel drive somewhere. Thanks for the good ideas!
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Unread 08-16-2013, 01:55 PM   #6
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Double check the left front for air. Try bleeding it again, maybe a couple of times after a couple of test runs. Have you found a proportion valve anywhere on the brake system? It should be on the back brake line someplace. Another thing you might try..find a place with a fairly long straight run. Do not use the brakes any more than needed to get there. Let the brakes cool down completely. Then drive as far as you can, then coast to a stop. Check the rotors for heat, and heat differences between the two rotors. If one is noticibly hotter than the other, that could and should mean its the one dragging. In your case, the right one may be the villian. May just need a good cleaning and lubing the sliders
If it has a proportion valve, it needs to be set so that the rear tires do not lock up before the front. That is where gravel or chat comes in handy. Even a wet asphalt parking lot would work.
Keep us posted, Lee
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Unread 08-18-2013, 10:58 PM   #7
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I thought it was my imagination, but there's one more symptom. The car doesn't do this when the brakes are cold. By the time I hit the second or third stop sign, it starts to pull, and it will pull during the rest of the trip. I don't know if this is really due to heat, or if maybe air is moving in the lines after the car sits overnight. I'll flush the system and bleed everything before going further. Even if that fixes it, I'm going to inspect the drums and discs, just to be sure there's nothing amiss. This car spent most of its life during the last eight years just sitting in a warehouse. It's also been somewhat neglected, and I'm learning the hard way that I can't take anything for granted. I changed the oil today for the first time since it came off the truck a week ago. When I pulled the filter, I discovered that the last guy had marked the date. It was 2004.
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Unread 08-19-2013, 02:17 PM   #8
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Check to see if maybe the right brake flex line is not collapsed and only letting fluid go to the brake and not letting it flow back. That stuff will drive you crazy. Did you notice yet if the right side is heating up faster that the left? This should only take a short distance to tell. My thought is that it is not releasing as much as the other. The piston rubbers sometimes do get corrosion built up under them and will not let the piston release easily. Happens on motorcycle calipers a lot.
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Unread 08-19-2013, 05:15 PM   #9
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If the bucket set up that long you might be better off over hauling the whole brake system.
you could have moister in the system and as Lee said you could have a collapsed line it could be a hundred different things.I would pull down the whole system and inspect the rubber hoses blow out the lines,inspect calipers wheel cylinders for corrosion,check seals,ect.and replace brake fluid.I dont like taking chances with the brakes when they set up that long.
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Unread 08-19-2013, 07:04 PM   #10
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I agree, everything needs to be checked. I had to brake hard on a stretch of shiny asphalt today, and both front wheels locked up. The weight transfer to the front is probably to be expected, but I don't think the rears are working correctly either. So, I'll just start from scratch. Thanks again for everyone's good advice!
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Unread 08-19-2013, 08:15 PM   #11
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Sounds like it needs some adjustment of the proportioning valve also, if it has one. Optimum would be for all four to work together. I know, first things first.
When you take off the front brake lines, use air pressure to blow air backwards through the line. That will tell you if you have a fake vavle restricting return.
For sure, let us know what you find. I really suspect a hanging piston in the caliper.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 06:18 PM   #12
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OK, I'm making progress. I pulled the rear drums first so I could inspect/adjust the shoes and check for any leaks. There was no noticeable wear on the drums or shoes, so I suspect the rears had never actually been set up. In the process of wiping everything down with paint thinner, quite a bit of black grease/oil came off the shoes. I think this was due to carelessness when the brakes were first installed. There was an excess of moly grease in several areas where it wasn't really needed. I didn't see any signs of anything leaking from either the axle or brake cylinders. Quite a few turns of the adjusters were needed to bring the shoes against the drums, but I didn't see anything else wrong.

Next, I flushed all the fluid out of the system. I have a handheld vacuum bleeder, so it isn't necessary to have fluid in the master when flushing. Rather than mix new fluid with the old, I used a turkey baster to empty both reservoirs. Then I connected the bleeder and pulled all the fluid out of the bleeder valves, starting with the left rear. After the system was empty, I refilled the master cylinder and bled the system as usual.

The result of all this is that the brakes are much, much better now. I'm not sure the front end pull is completely gone, or that the system isn't still "biased" toward the front. However, the rears are definitely working now, and the car stops much faster.

I still need to pull the front calipers, and I could use confirmation on how they should be removed. There are two photos of the front spindles below. In the second shot, I've circled the two fasteners I think have to be removed in order to remove the caliper. The one in the upper left is a large socket head (allen) cap screw. The lower fastener is a short bolt with a Nyloc on the inside. I've run out of steam for this today, so it's a good time to quit. If someone can confirm that I'm on the right track with those two bolts, I'll inspect the front pads tomorrow.

Thanks for everyone's help!

Jack




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Unread 08-24-2013, 08:59 PM   #13
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Looks like your on the right track ok. Not sure what brake system that is. Wondering how it moves with brake wear. When you set up the rear drums, adjust them so that you can hear a slight drag on the pad to the drums. If you can not feel or hear anything, they are to loose.
On another note. I don't, or can't see any large washers on the nut side of your steering rod ends. Make sure you add them. That way if the rod fails, it will not come completely off. They are not necessary on the bolt head side.
Lee
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Unread 08-24-2013, 09:13 PM   #14
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Those bolts will remove the caliper. From the way it looks there may be a small pocket of air you can't get out with the caliper mounted. If you can remove the caliper and hold it so the bleed port is at it's highest, you may get all the air out. that will give you a much firmer pedal. The little dark circles on the rotor look very strange to me. Are they smooth? They look like the pattern of the rivets that hold the friction material to the backing plate, but there are to many of them. Some times it a car sits for a long time you get those but not as many. You may need to replace the shoes if the moly grease has soaked into them.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 10:51 PM   #15
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Lee, according to the documentation that came with the car, these are '74-'80 Mustang II brakes mounted on '49-'54 Chevy spindles. The car was built in the early 2000s using a Speedway kit (#916-31905) for the front brakes. I think there's a safety washer under the heims at each end of the tie rod. I'll double-check that tomorrow. It's difficult to adjust the rears for a drag, although I managed it on one of them. The thing is, there aren't any slots in the drums for an adjustment tool. The drums have to be slid over the shoes after the adjuster is tightened, so it's tricky to get them just right.

Old Round Fart, thanks regarding the bolts. Yes, I think you're probably right about the air pocket. I've run into that on my Triumph motorcycle. In that case, I not only had to tilt the caliper, the piston had to be pushed all the way in and held in that position while bleeding. The dark circles are absolutely smooth. I think they're just stains from the brake pads because the car sat so long. It probably also saw more than one episode of solitary confinement, thus the multiple patterns. I think the shoes will be OK now that they're cleaned. Paint thinner (mineral spirits) has an advantage over brake cleaner because it A) doesn't eat your paint and B) takes several minutes to evaporate and dry. That gives it time to penetrate and dissolve grease and oil. When I was done, the shoes looked brand new, and nothing more could be coaxed out onto the cleaning cloth.

So, tomorrow I'll probably pull the front calipers, inspect the pads and bleed again. On the other hand, a pair of shiny chrome windshield posts just arrived, and they really need a new home. Then there's the new Speedway tube shocks that came in the mail yesterday. Ahhh, so much chrome, so little time...

Thanks guys!

Jack
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Unread 08-25-2013, 07:24 AM   #16
INDIAN OUTLAW
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Jack
Thats correct you have 74-80 mustang ll front brakes. When you take the calipers off make sure you lub the slides top and bottom.(I use a dry lub for these type of slides) Also with respect to the back brakes look at the very bottom of the backing plate there should be elongated hole sometimes there is a rubber plug in them. When they get painted over they can be missed real eazy.
You are correct about the stains on the rotors. They are nothing to worry about!
I will be glad when I get my bucket to the debug stage!!
have fun
frank

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Unread 08-25-2013, 07:54 AM   #17
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Its good to see OLD ROUND FART has graced us with his presence!! LOL
How you doing John?
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Unread 08-25-2013, 11:17 AM   #18
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I'm still around. I bought a '50 Ford to play with. The T is kind of on the back burner right now. I will build it to sell I guess. Carolina Man wants to look at it, so I will build it for him I guess.
Here is a picture of my latest time waster! I fit in it already!
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Unread 08-25-2013, 11:37 AM   #19
INDIAN OUTLAW
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john
what you plan on doing to it?
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Unread 08-25-2013, 05:48 PM   #20
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This isn't the place for this, but Bob needs the traffic, so here it goes.

The lettering on the back says "not yours". Don't know what that's about. Bought it from a biker so I guess it means something! It was running (sorta) so when I got it home on the hook I pulled the plugs and they were fuel fowled. It's a flat head so I thought this is not going to be pretty! Compression was 95-105 so I bought tune up stuff. Power valve was stuck open so the rebuild on the carb solved that. I installed a Pertronics module to replace points and the motor is pretty good now. The floor shifter is junk so I'm looking for replacement or stock arms to put it back on the column. Anybody got a spare shoe box in the back yard for parts? Once I get that done I will be working on the door hinges, then windows. I registered for KKOA event in Tx. for mid Sept. so I guess I miss the bash. Eventually I hope to make a mild custom driver out of it. It has lowering blocks and dropped spindles with power disk brakes so some flat black paint until I decide on a color. Old school custom for sure.

Lee, see what you did to me when you bought that chopped coupe!
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Unread 08-25-2013, 07:50 PM   #21
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I have a thread on another site. I'll PM you the link. I didn't think about hijacking the brake thread! Sorry! John
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Unread 08-25-2013, 10:24 PM   #22
TriodeLuvr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INDIAN OUTLAW View Post
Also with respect to the back brakes look at the very bottom of the backing plate there should be elongated hole sometimes there is a rubber plug in them. When they get painted over they can be missed real eazy.
Darn, I remember that now! I think the last time I worked on drum brakes was 1981. No wonder all my brake tools are so rusty.
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Unread 08-26-2013, 03:56 PM   #23
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Jack
keep us posted
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