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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently got my car back on the road after a little over a year. I've always been very happy with the way it stopped with the drums all around with single bowl master cylinder with bootster. Since it's been back from the shop it just doesn't feel the same. Reading threads on here has given me a lot of ideas. I know I need to, at a minimum, go to a duel master cylinder. I'm now also considering a front disk conversion when I can afford it. Either way, I plan to ditch the booster. Also, the E-Brake has never worked so I would like to get that fixed as well.

Short term I want to just get everything working. I have no brake experience but with the right tools (I'm currently stalking CL HARD for a good floor jack) and a YouTube video or two I think I can get it down. I started by pulling the wheels off to see what I have. This is the right rear. Do these pads look like they have some life left in them? What about the drums? I didn't see any cracks or anything that jumped out at me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Now the Concerns

I get to the front. Here's what I see. I haven't seen front brakes that look like this before. It looks more like a rear drum to me. What gives? I apologize for you having to tile your head to 9 o'clock to see the pics. I can't figure that out.
 

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Your rear brake looks like it might good condition with plenty of lining on the shoes. Your front brake looks like it has a leaking wheel cylinder. The front brakes will need new shoes along with new wheel cylinder(s). Once brake linings are contaminated with brake fluid they must be replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Your rear brake looks like it might good condition with plenty of lining on the shoes. Your front brake looks like it has a leaking wheel cylinder. The front brakes will need new shoes along with new wheel cylinder(s). Once brake linings are contaminated with brake fluid they must be replaced.
I agree that the shoes look like they should be good. I had sprayed everything with brake cleaner before taking the pics so that may be giving the impression of a leak.

My real concern and question is that the front brakes look like rear brakes. They have a spring running between the shoes (under the cylinder) and the cable & bracket that I thought was part of the E-Brake.
 

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Your front brakes look normal. I think the cable on the front you see is for the self adjuster. In the rear, I don't see a good photo of it but there is a lever that attaches to both the back side of the shoe and the e brake cable.

Edit: the e brake lever is attached to the shoe with the horseshoe clip in pic 2
 

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Drum brakes are very similar front or rear. You need a good diagram before re-assembling. It best to do one side at a time. That way you can look at the other side and picture a mirror image in your brain. Your front brake shoes look glazed and cracked. Pull back the rubber boot of the wheel cylinder- it should be dry. The dark greasy grimy hardware looks so typical of a leaking wheel cylinder as well as the brake lining condition.

You can see the horse-shoe shaped parking brake cable retaining clip near the yellow spring in your picture. And the bar that goes between the shoes is part of what makes the parking brake function. This is where the rear is different from the front. It looks OK in your picture. You need to check the entire cable system under the car and the parking brake pedal and adjustments.

 

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A little tip from personal experience. Small block V8's used a 2.25" wide shoe. Big blocks used a 2.50" wide shoe. Those finned drums are used in both applications. Knowing that I installed big block 2.50" wide shoes and spring hold down kit on my 66 years ago. Made for a very effective brake set up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your replies. I decided to start by trying to bleed the brakes. Finally caught my daughter at home so I had someone to work the pedal for me. I feel like it improved a little but not very much. While bleeding I did see quite a few bubbles especially in the two rears. A couple of more questions also came up.


1. The fluid is pretty nasty looking. I'm thinking of replacing it. Will it make a difference in brake performance? Approximately how much fluid would I need?
2. I though it was funny that the bleeder valves were not the same size. One in the rear was 10mm the other I can't recall, but I think it was 7/16. The two up front were both 1/4. Is this cause for concern at all?


Thanks again,


-Steven
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A little tip from personal experience. Small block V8's used a 2.25" wide shoe. Big blocks used a 2.50" wide shoe. Those finned drums are used in both applications. Knowing that I installed big block 2.50" wide shoes and spring hold down kit on my 66 years ago. Made for a very effective brake set up!

Thanks for the tip. I will definitely do that if I replace the shoes. This only applies to the front since the rear drums are smaller correct?
 

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1) yes ! New fluid helps with brake fade (heat) and getting ALL the air out helps dramatically because air compresses but fluid does not.
2) 10mm is about the same size as 3/8" but either way, not an issue. The rear shoes for V8 are 10" drum x 2" shoe area

Bonus : new brake hoses will help because they flex and even leak when they deteriorate. I recommend stainless braided hoses and you can shoot a little flat black paint on them if you want the stock look.
 

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Thanks for the tip. I will definitely do that if I replace the shoes. This only applies to the front since the rear drums are smaller correct?
Pretty much. Ford did use the 2.5" in the rear but they were used basically on station wagons and Rancheros. However theses wide finned front drums will fit on the rear. You won't be able to run the wide shoes as the backing plate is different. It's the location of the wheel cylinder to accommodate the wider shoe. Anyway with the front drum on the rear even with the stock rear shoes, what you are gaining is more mass and fins for better cooling as I see it.

Another improvement you can do on the front is to radially drill the drums for better cooling. This was done in all types of racing before disc brakes. I was going to post this link the last time



Drilled Brake Drums

Another link


https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/drilling-brake-drums.165001/
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had a chance to take apart the left rear this weekend. It gave me a hard time getting the drum off. I ended up pounding on it quite a bit with a hammer and loosening up the pads via the adjuster to get it free. It was pretty bad as the cylinder was leaking and what it was leaking looked pretty nasty (rusty). I noticed that the adjuster cable was not routed around the cable guide. It may have slipped off when I loosened it but I'm not sure. Funny thing is when I put it back on and was adjusting for drag it got stuck right back on. I decided to fight that fight another day.
This has convinced me to go ahead and replace all of my cylinders and shoes. I'm working on ordering the parts now. I was looking at Rock Auto to find a good price.


Question: Is Raybestos a good company to buy cylinder and shoes from? I always thought so but I'm seeing that their prices are lower than others. They're daily driver quality parts and the shoes are riveted. I like to save a buck but I also like to save my own *** in a emergency braking situation. Can anyone offer feedback on them?


-Steve
 

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I had a chance to take apart the left rear this weekend. It gave me a hard time getting the drum off. I ended up pounding on it quite a bit with a hammer and loosening up the pads via the adjuster to get it free. It was pretty bad as the cylinder was leaking and what it was leaking looked pretty nasty (rusty). I noticed that the adjuster cable was not routed around the cable guide. It may have slipped off when I loosened it but I'm not sure. Funny thing is when I put it back on and was adjusting for drag it got stuck right back on. I decided to fight that fight another day.
This has convinced me to go ahead and replace all of my cylinders and shoes. I'm working on ordering the parts now. I was looking at Rock Auto to find a good price.


Question: Is Raybestos a good company to buy cylinder and shoes from? I always thought so but I'm seeing that their prices are lower than others. They're daily driver quality parts and the shoes are riveted. I like to save a buck but I also like to save my own *** in a emergency braking situation. Can anyone offer feedback on them?


-Steve

Never ran them on a Mustang but I have run tons of Raybestos stuff on many other vehicles. I always found them to be a reasonably good quality company.
 

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I upgraded to the dual pot master cylinder a few years ago. I replaced the metal brake lines and the rubber ones as well. New wheel cylinders and other parts. Mine has about 140k miles and I still like the drum brakes. My Dad bought it new in '66 and used it as a daily driver until about '77, when I started driving it daily until about '90.


Anyway, I say rebuild everything and keep rocking the drum brakes.
 

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Question: Is Raybestos a good company to buy cylinder and shoes from? I always thought so but I'm seeing that their prices are lower than others. They're daily driver quality parts and the shoes are riveted. I like to save a buck but I also like to save my own *** in a emergency braking situation. Can anyone offer feedback on them?

Raybestos has been around forever and is a good company. Unfortunately they must source their parts from china like everybody else to stay competitive. I'd like to think that they demand a little better quality from the chinese companies than their competitors do.


FWIW: My buddy and I got "Pit Passes" from Raybestos to get into the garage area at the Indy 500 back in 1973. They were filming a commercial at the track and they needed somebody to work the clapperboard so we volunteered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I ordered the parts from Rock Auto last Thursday. Shoes, cylinders and spring kits all around. Expected delivery time was this Wednesday. The parts arrived on Friday afternoon! Cudos to Rock Auto and the guys who post discount codes on here. If it weren't for my wife's weekend plans they'd already be installed.
Anyhow, I had some time yesterday so I started with the rears. I figured it would be pretty straight forward since I'd taken them apart and put them back together the week before. Mostly it was. I caught hell getting the brake line re-attached to the left rear cylinder. It just didn't want to start. Ended up taking it off and straightening out the line and starting it similar to the way you do the fronts. Then I bent the line back as I placed the cylinder in place. I'm glad it's done. I'll get them bled tonight and go for a drive to see if I can tell any difference. Like the CIA, I'm hoping for no leaks:)


I did notice some things that I am concerned about:


1. I expected brake fluid to leak out of the brake lines when I removed them from the cylinders. Not a drop. Hopefully this isn't a problem.
2. I noticed that the pins that hold the pads on were longer in the kit that I bought. I decided to go with the old ones since the shoes were the same.
3. All of the springs were waaay tighter than the ones I removed. It makes sense since I have no idea how old the old ones were. I do wonder though, especially with the shoe hold down springs, will they cause the pads to rub the backing plates? Should I have used the longer pins?
4. After adjusting the shoes to contact the drums I know you're supposed to back up to get them to self adjust. When doing this should it be a nice smooth stop or more of a quick stop? I've read that you have to do this a lot but what does a lot mean?


Finger crossed this thing will stop better once I'm done.


-Steve
 

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I ordered the parts from Rock Auto last Thursday. Shoes, cylinders and spring kits all around. Expected delivery time was this Wednesday. The parts arrived on Friday afternoon! Cudos to Rock Auto and the guys who post discount codes on here. If it weren't for my wife's weekend plans they'd already be installed.
Anyhow, I had some time yesterday so I started with the rears. I figured it would be pretty straight forward since I'd taken them apart and put them back together the week before. Mostly it was. I caught hell getting the brake line re-attached to the left rear cylinder. It just didn't want to start. Ended up taking it off and straightening out the line and starting it similar to the way you do the fronts. Then I bent the line back as I placed the cylinder in place. I'm glad it's done. I'll get them bled tonight and go for a drive to see if I can tell any difference. Like the CIA, I'm hoping for no leaks:)


I did notice some things that I am concerned about:


1. I expected brake fluid to leak out of the brake lines when I removed them from the cylinders. Not a drop. Hopefully this isn't a problem.


Probably have a leak somewhere. Will find out when you start pushing fluid.


2. I noticed that the pins that hold the pads on were longer in the kit that I bought. I decided to go with the old ones since the shoes were the same.


Longer pins should work fine with the new springs.



3. All of the springs were waaay tighter than the ones I removed. It makes sense since I have no idea how old the old ones were. I do wonder though, especially with the shoe hold down springs, will they cause the pads to rub the backing plates? Should I have used the longer pins?


Definitely use new springs. You'd be surprised how bad a 50 year old spring can be.


4. After adjusting the shoes to contact the drums I know you're supposed to back up to get them to self adjust. When doing this should it be a nice smooth stop or more of a quick stop? I've read that you have to do this a lot but what does a lot mean?


I do a firm stop at about 30mph. Not enough to lock. Also you can adjust them on car with the drum on by spinning the star from the back of the backing plate.



Finger crossed this thing will stop better once I'm done.


-Steve



Replies above. You're getting there....you will have good brakes when you are done. Just a question of when Done is????

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A hint: Drum brakes have shoes. Disc brakes have pads. If you go to a parts store and ask for pads the counterman will think you have disc brakes. For clarity it is best to call them by their proper names.
 

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I like to manually adjust the brake shoes until they are tight against the drum and then back them off a little with a slight drag. The automatic adjusters never really worked as well as the theory in most cases. You may need to adjust your E-Brake cable afterwards too.
 
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