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953 nut
1 hour ago, pullstart said:

number one rule is to only do one side at a time!

I worked in a service station prior to beginning an Electrical apprenticeship. While in the apprenticeship when they had a heavy work load the station would have me come in after hours and help out.

They called me in one day to help out with three brake jobs, all three were jacked up, all parts removed and cleaned and in a bucket along with the new shoes sitting by each car. These jokers had also put a few "Spare Parts" in each bucket as a joke. :unsure:    Figuring out which adjuster went with which wheel was the most time consuming thing. At that time I had done so many brake jobs that it wasn't a problem; today I don't think I've been inside a brake drum for about twenty years.     

Now I would have to do one at a time again too.

:confusion-confused:    Have you ever done a brake job on one of the older Chrysler products with two master cylinders and two adjusters per wheel. They are a PITA for sure.

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pullstart
10 minutes ago, 953 nut said:

Have you ever done a brake job on one of the older Chrysler products with two master cylinders and two adjusters per wheel. They are a PITA for sure.

 

 

I have not, nor seen one.  Do you have any reference pictures?

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953 nut
13 minutes ago, pullstart said:

Do you have any reference pictures?

I do, but not in an electronic format.  I will see what :text-google:  has available.

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953 nut

Here are a couple shots of the fronts. Each shoe has an individual wheel cylinder and adjustment and if they are not properly adjusted it will pull to one side or the other. The steel line inside the brake drum connecting the two wheel cylinders was such a bad design, salt water would get inside the drum and they would rust through. With a single master cylinder all the pressure would be lost and no one ever inspects that area unless they are doing a brake job. The rears were a single wheel cylinder but each shoe has an adjuster.

Related image Image result for 1949 plymouth brakes

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Sarge

I've worked on several of those over the years with the internal linked pressure line, as well as external line types in both heavy and light-duty trucks/cars. The really fun ones were used on straight chassis trucks in both single and tandem axle weight classes - that crossover line is bent so tightly it is nearly impossible to make a new one in the shop. That might explain some of the damage to my hands over the years - if we had only had the nickel-copper alloy line available much earlier!!! On many of those chassis axle designs, there is less than 3/8" of clearance between the leaf spring and brake drum backing plate. There is just no clearance to be able to work on the thing - those bends have to be compounded to even fit in the space. Picture the last few inches of the lines having a really crazy multi-angle set of bends in them.

 

My old Toyota Land Cruiser was built in 03/1977 with very heavy 4 piston front calipers and dual rear wheel cylinders. This is on a truck that weighs in around 2 tons. Versions built prior to 1975 used drum brakes all the way around - so they had 8 wheel cylinders to adjust. Properly adjusted, the system works perfectly and is very easy to modulate the pedal and control pedal height and axle/wheel balance. Get it wrong - you can't even drive the vehicle safely. It is not uncommon at all to see these trucks with well over 100,000 miles on a set of brakes - they work very efficiently and seem to last forever if they are done correctly.

 

You have to balance the number of turns from the bottom to properly adjust those drums - if you click one, you must click the other or the shoes will bind with each other inside the drum's circle. If you ever encounter one - either start with new factory adjusters or clean and anti-seize the old usable parts and bottom them completely out so they start from the same exact point. Also, it really helps to mark the back side of the backing plate with the direction of rotation on each adjuster - if you run across one I've rebuilt it will have an arrow next to each adjuster hole with a plus sign in whichever direction increases the shoe's adjustment. 

 

Here is an example of why you don't want aftermarket parts on a Toyota and many other brands - the threading on the adjusters is indexed to the shoe notch exactly the same on all the adjusters. Aftermarket adjusters can vary where that notch is indexed to the threads - which leads to the rear brakes wanting to either bind or not create equal stopping power. When they are adjusted correctly with the factory quality parts - the system is a thing of beauty. Those trucks have so much stopping power it is insane in comparison with even today's fancy brake systems. While not having ABS at times is a bad thing, properly adjusted dual wheel cylinder systems are very easy to modulate with the pedal and with the right tires/traction can stop the vehicle in a much shorter distance since there is nothing to cut brake pressure to each axle. As long as those adjustments are correct - the pedal height should not be a problem. I went through the Cruiser when I got it and rebuilt both axles completely - the few people that ever drove it besides me were blown away at how easily that thing stopped with so little pedal travel - that is how they are designed to work. It is common to see Land Cruisers with 35"-37"+ tires on them with stock factory brakes - the vehicle is just that overbuilt. Increasing the tire size that far on most stock axles will result in some white-knuckle driving and requires some serious braking upgrades - not the case with these trucks. Honestly, the way Toyota builds the Land Cruiser they are much closer in design and parts quality/weight to an Industrial heavy truck - versus just a common SUV. They really are built like a commercial truck, ride like it, handle like one and get the same dreaded fuel mileage but if kept from rusting will easily last 50 years.

 

There are quite a few single cylinder brake systems such as that Chrysler from decades ago - and some later systems can still have one reservoir and one master cylinder piston but have a balancing or proportional valve to separate the front and rear axles. Most have 2 circuits built into the master cylinder on the firewall or wherever it is mounted - but not all of them. Some actually use a single cylinder master cylinder but use those other valves to divide the front and rear axles. If one axle loses hydraulic pressure - the proportional valve will slam shut to one side and remain there to close off the fluid from that circuit to keep enough in the system to still stop the vehicle, although not very well. For the time period, it is what they had and people knew how to live with it - most folks today wouldn't have a clue how to even drive a vehicle from that age, lol.

 

Sarge

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pullstart
14 minutes ago, Sarge said:

I've worked on several of those over the years with the internal linked pressure line, as well as external line types in both heavy and light-duty trucks/cars. The really fun ones were used on straight chassis trucks in both single and tandem axle weight classes - that crossover line is bent so tightly it is nearly impossible to make a new one in the shop. That might explain some of the damage to my hands over the years - if we had only had the nickel-copper alloy line available much earlier!!! On many of those chassis axle designs, there is less than 3/8" of clearance between the leaf spring and brake drum backing plate. There is just no clearance to be able to work on the thing - those bends have to be compounded to even fit in the space. Picture the last few inches of the lines having a really crazy multi-angle set of bends in them.

 

My old Toyota Land Cruiser was built in 03/1977 with very heavy 4 piston front calipers and dual rear wheel cylinders. This is on a truck that weighs in around 2 tons. Versions built prior to 1975 used drum brakes all the way around - so they had 8 wheel cylinders to adjust. Properly adjusted, the system works perfectly and is very easy to modulate the pedal and control pedal height and axle/wheel balance. Get it wrong - you can't even drive the vehicle safely. It is not uncommon at all to see these trucks with well over 100,000 miles on a set of brakes - they work very efficiently and seem to last forever if they are done correctly.

 

You have to balance the number of turns from the bottom to properly adjust those drums - if you click one, you must click the other or the shoes will bind with each other inside the drum's circle. If you ever encounter one - either start with new factory adjusters or clean and anti-seize the old usable parts and bottom them completely out so they start from the same exact point. Also, it really helps to mark the back side of the backing plate with the direction of rotation on each adjuster - if you run across one I've rebuilt it will have an arrow next to each adjuster hole with a plus sign in whichever direction increases the shoe's adjustment. 

 

Here is an example of why you don't want aftermarket parts on a Toyota and many other brands - the threading on the adjusters is indexed to the shoe notch exactly the same on all the adjusters. Aftermarket adjusters can vary where that notch is indexed to the threads - which leads to the rear brakes wanting to either bind or not create equal stopping power. When they are adjusted correctly with the factory quality parts - the system is a thing of beauty. Those trucks have so much stopping power it is insane in comparison with even today's fancy brake systems. While not having ABS at times is a bad thing, properly adjusted dual wheel cylinder systems are very easy to modulate with the pedal and with the right tires/traction can stop the vehicle in a much shorter distance since there is nothing to cut brake pressure to each axle. As long as those adjustments are correct - the pedal height should not be a problem. I went through the Cruiser when I got it and rebuilt both axles completely - the few people that ever drove it besides me were blown away at how easily that thing stopped with so little pedal travel - that is how they are designed to work. It is common to see Land Cruisers with 35"-37"+ tires on them with stock factory brakes - the vehicle is just that overbuilt. Increasing the tire size that far on most stock axles will result in some white-knuckle driving and requires some serious braking upgrades - not the case with these trucks. Honestly, the way Toyota builds the Land Cruiser they are much closer in design and parts quality/weight to an Industrial heavy truck - versus just a common SUV. They really are built like a commercial truck, ride like it, handle like one and get the same dreaded fuel mileage but if kept from rusting will easily last 50 years.

 

There are quite a few single cylinder brake systems such as that Chrysler from decades ago - and some later systems can still have one reservoir and one master cylinder piston but have a balancing or proportional valve to separate the front and rear axles. Most have 2 circuits built into the master cylinder on the firewall or wherever it is mounted - but not all of them. Some actually use a single cylinder master cylinder but use those other valves to divide the front and rear axles. If one axle loses hydraulic pressure - the proportional valve will slam shut to one side and remain there to close off the fluid from that circuit to keep enough in the system to still stop the vehicle, although not very well. For the time period, it is what they had and people knew how to live with it - most folks today wouldn't have a clue how to even drive a vehicle from that age, lol.

 

Sarge

 

You sure have a way of explaining things, Sarge!  Sometimes I have to read your posts twice to soak it all up.... but at least know that I’m reading what you have to say!

 

I just wonder one thing... why isn’t it mandatory to make auto manifacturers use stainless steel brake lines? Is nickel-copper alloy a similar idea, not rusting out like they do?

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Sarge

Stainless steel, while being a great material is not all that great for brake systems. Over time any vibration will work harden that line material and cause it to crack - which is not a good thing. The nickel-copper alloy available now will for the most part never rust, although over a very long time period and the right combination of road grime can cause some deterioration and eventually make those fail as well. There is no perfect material out there, but the Ni-Cop is about as good as it gets for now. One very nice plus - buy a roll and find out how easily you can form and work with it - the stuff is a savior to mechanics. 

 

Sarge

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pullstart

I just read this article, it has very good points!  My ‘69 Chevy should be next on the list of brake systems to upgrade.... I noticed the P.O. used compression fittings in quite a few places.  Albeit a non-power assisted 4 wheel drum brake system, I realize that compression fittings on brakes should be classified in the loose a finger category!

 

https://oppositelock.kinja.com/the-truth-about-copper-brake-lines-1818499200

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Sarge

That article is a great example of the most overlooked thing in vehicle maintenance - flushing the brake system and changing the fluid. It is not that hard but so overlooked it can cost the owner a lot of money down the road. If you buy a secondhand vehicle - put that at the top of the list more than anything else, even above changing the engine's oil or the transmission fluid. The power steering system is another one - ignore that old fluid in that hydraulic pressure system long enough and you'll cost yourself a pump and maybe even a gearbox or steering rack - both of which are not exactly cheap nor easy to repair/replace. The brake system fluid change is an absolute must - especially on newer vehicles with the more complicated ABS systems. My 4 Runner uses a secondary pressure accumulator pump, hydraulic valving manifold, pressure tank and a whole lot of electronic controls to work with it's ABS, TRAC (traction), and VSC (vehicle stability control). Those parts in that one cluster are a single part number but can be somewhat broken down into separate components - but, at a total cost of around $4,800. Never change the brake fluid in a vehicle known to easily hit 500,000 miles? Wrong - you will regret that deeply. Some of the newer pickups and SUV's are worse - brake systems, if allowed to corrode from old brake fluid, can cost an owner around $8,000 to repair.

 

Check the service manual on almost any vehicle - the brake system flush is in there - take it seriously. If not listed, my policy is every 5yrs or so - there are also test kits out there to show contamination of the fluid as well. Most shops and dealers are getting better about adamantly telling customers to regularly service these systems - many times it requires accessing the vehicle's chassis computers to properly flush these modern systems to prevent damage or the ingress of air bubbles. For what it costs - this is really, really cheap insurance. Don't ignore the power steering system, either. I've had to flush out the 4 Runner's pump now twice because it was ignored. There is nothing wrong with the pump itself, it is sludge in the system. Without proper flushing, the steering effort will become very stiff and eventually, the rack, as well as the pump, will fail.

 

Public Service Announcement - done, lol.

 

Sarge 

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oliver2-44

I have 2 large turkey baster syringes one for brakes, one for power steering. When I change the engine oil I suck the brake and power steering reservoir down slightly below the low level and refill. I realize it’s not a flush, but it’s an easy way to constantly replace some oil in these systems. When I replace brake shoes and push the brake cylinder pistons all the way in to make room for the new shoes I suck the brake reservoir down 2/3, but not so low that air would get in system. I pull off the bottom of the reservoir  

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Sarge

The real problem with current and past braking systems is the ingress of moisture through the vent in the master cylinder - brake fluid absorbs moisture easily and the water will work its way down into all of the components pretty easily. Unless a vehicle has a full ABS system, it is just a matter of opening the bleeders one at a time at each corner and cycling new fluid into the system through normal procedures to bleed each wheel corner until new fluid is seen to run clear. The problem that most folks have with doing this is getting those bleeder screws loose - those things love to corrode and snap right off flush. Some of them won't leak if the bleeder screw didn't come off of its seat - but some will crack just slightly loose before breaking off and now you have a leaking system. I have only ever broken a few bleeders off in my entire life - but my method is to use a very tightly fitting wrench and give it a solid metal on metal rap to crack them loose. If the thing doesn't come loose in the first try - the oxy-acetylene torch with a brazing tip comes out. I don't screw around with these things, instead - I heat up the metal very quickly, crack the bleeder screw loose while the surrounding metal is expanded and then rapidly cool it off with a wet rag to prevent damaging any piston seals. This has never failed once and I'm always prepared ahead of time with new screws to replace the always badly corroded ones as well as any that still look good. New screws, anti-seize and a little time and the job is done. 

 

My point - if you want an easy way to do your fluid change to prevent the hassle of brake systems failing and costing you a ton of money - go see a welding shop. Don't count on those guys having the proper tools to break those things loose - bring them with you and just ask if they can heat the bleeders up and crack them loose, then lightly tighten them back up enough to seal them off. Any welder worth his salt knows better than anyone how to get a stuck fastener, screw or otherwise out of a hole - it is part of what these shops do for a living. The older the shop or the welder, the better - experience comes with age and those older guys have learned from years of dealing with seemingly impossible jobs. They are driven by a challenge to win the battle with metal parts a lot better than most auto or heavy truck mechanics. Some of the auto/truck shops will keep a small torch rig around for doing this work - but these days most shops are just changing out the parts rather than dealing with a potential problem - that can get expensive in a hurry with replacing calipers and wheel cylinders. Welders, by their trade, are tasked with saving parts that cannot be easily replaced, so they get a lot of practice at this stuff on a daily basis. 

 

Sarge

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pullstart

If a tight fitting wrench is impossible...  Along with a metal on metal rap of the hammer, I was taught to find a drill bit the size of the bleeder passage, finger drill the junk out, then use the chuck end of the drill in the hole to clamp some vice grips onto the bleeder.  It helps prevent crushing the screw too much causing shearing instead of loosening via grip.

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pullstart

Today’s shop time will be spent with a little customization in mind.  This customer’s truck has nothing wrong with it... Well.... Sorry I have to... Ford the most part :ROTF:  

 

I’m installing his 2.5” front leveling kit, then off to the alignment rack, then his new tires and wheels will show up later this week.

7E4383C9-FFF1-4B16-9B11-75CEE0229D90.jpeg

ABEE61A8-0034-42FE-A9D2-16A2382A6965.jpeg

2D02B7B6-F74A-4F4C-8A4C-DD83CA0A06B5.jpeg

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pullstart

Phase one is complete.  It’s off to the alignment shop, then tires and wheels will arrive soon.

 

 

34B6C3A9-85EA-4D68-B95E-4740B90865BA.jpeg

72742C48-9624-463E-8956-652A4B1C1461.jpeg

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pullstart

Tires and wheels showed up today!

 

It’s a 2016 F-150 with the 5.0 v8 and 4x4.

Mammoth 2.5” leveling kit (spacers)

33x12.50r18 Nitto Ridge Grappler tires

18x9 5” backspace Fuel Hostage wheels

 

it looks good, the lift supposedly clears 35” tires, but I’m glad we agreed on 33’s.

 

 

92606FAA-63E2-41BA-AE35-D89010078473.jpeg

55B462BF-5B8A-41EB-B178-7DA45F7016EC.jpeg

234F2A0A-2AA8-4026-B911-2FE1656E1865.jpeg

BBC0EE5D-5218-4FDA-9CE2-3FA4C20B4A2A.jpeg

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ebinmaine

Looks good Kevin. I prefer older boxy style trucks myself but that is definitely a big improvement on that one.

I have no first-hand experience with using lift kits or spacers but I've known people over the years that have. I'm kind of wondering if when they say you can clear a certain size tire that it is while the truck is not moving over any bumps???

:ychain:

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pullstart
2 minutes ago, ebinmaine said:

Looks good Kevin. I prefer older boxy style trucks myself but that is definitely a big improvement on that one.

I have no first-hand experience with using lift kits or spacers but I've known people over the years that have. I'm kind of wondering if when they say you can clear a certain size tire that it is while the truck is not moving over any bumps???

:ychain:

 

I prefer older to newer in most situations as well.  Most companies don’t disclose the width of tire, wheel or backspacing when advertising their maximums and backspacing combined with turning radius are huge when figuring clearance.

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