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Discussion Starter #1
I just re-did front and rear drums, new shoes all around, new rear cylinders. Cleaned everything and put it all back together and bled the brakes.

Went for a drive and it took up to 5 brake pumps (each time) to have enough braking power to stop.

Looking at each of the wheels/drums I see no leaks or anything that stands out.

What am I missing?
 

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"What am I missing?"

A lot....

Did you Bench Bleed the Master cylinder before you bled all four wheels?!???

Did you bring the car on side street or a Parking lot and Put the car in Reverse while hitting the brakes 20 or so times so you could bring out all of the Automatic Self-Adjusters in all four wheels???!??

The Self Adjusters only come out when the car is driven in Reverse...and not in Forward Drive..

If no to either question, then you now know why you have a problem....

:eek:)

Tony K.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"What am I missing?"

A lot....

Did you Bench Bleed the Master cylinder before you bled all four wheels?!???

Did you bring the car on side street or a Parking lot and Put the car in Reverse while hitting the brakes 20 or so times so you could bring out all of the Automatic Self-Adjusters in all four wheels???!??

The Self Adjusters only come out when the car is driven in Reverse...and not in Forward Drive..

If no to either question, then you now know why you have a problem....

:eek:)

Tony K.
OK, details:
I didn't bench bleed the master cylinder. Hadn't heard about doing that.

I tried the backing up thing to auto adjust and it didn't seem to make a difference. Should I try this again for a longer distance?
 

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Don’t rely on the auto adjusters - just manually adjust the brakes from the back of the brake drum.
 

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"Don’t rely on the auto adjusters " - Why the heck not?!??? That's how you know that they are working correctly. If the Self Adjusters don't come out on their own, You WILL have other Brake issues down the road..
 

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"I tried the backing up thing to auto adjust and it didn't seem to make a difference. Should I try this again for a longer distance? "

Absolutely Yes. At some point all four wheels will bite...and you can feel them. It may take 10-15 minutes of braking in Reverse...No lie...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
"I tried the backing up thing to auto adjust and it didn't seem to make a difference. Should I try this again for a longer distance? "

Absolutely Yes. At some point all four wheels will bite...and you can feel them. It may take 10-15 minutes of braking in Reverse...No lie...
OK, the more you know!
I'll give it a shot!

So put the car in reverse and backup and keep the brakes on, correct?
 

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"Don’t rely on the auto adjusters " - Why the heck not?!??? That's how you know that they are working correctly. If the Self Adjusters don't come out on their own, You WILL have other Brake issues down the road..
Because it takes just a few moments under the car (car on jack stands) to adjust the brakes with a brake adjuster or screwdriver, and if the adjusters are frozen one will want to pull the drums and clean and lubricate the adjusters anyway. It is easy to adjust the brakes when doing a new brake job. From then on, it should never be necessary to backup excessively to adjust the brakes IMO (and based on 10 year experience as a mechanic).
 

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I don`t see where he said anything about changing the master ?
 

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Yeah, and I'm an Ex-Professional Mechanic too.. and a '64-'66 Mustang is not a '55 Chevy either...where all the Adjusters are manual. The Automatic Self Adjusters are there for a reason, not make believe.... Yes, You can intially set them up Manually, but in the end, All the Automatic Self Adjusters have to come out or you WILL have uneven Brake lining wear. Even in the 1960's, There were advancements, so That's the reason that they are there in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wanted to update the thread on where I'm at.

I rebled the system - I have speed bleeders on all four corners so it makes it super easy.
I did a LOT of backing up and stepping on the breaks.

Overall it will stop now in 1 peddle push although almost all the stopping power is in the last ~15% of the peddle.

Final question - under "panic" braking I get it pulling to the left on the wheel. I understand that's an out of balance thing with the front drums but what's the simplest way to adjust for that.

Thank you all again for the great advice in input - it's MUCH appreciated!
 

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When adjusting drum brakes after service, crank the adjuster "star" wheel until you firmly lock up the wheel, then back off the adjustment until the wheel turns with some drag that you can feel and hear. You'll need a small screwdriver or other "tool" to push the self adjuster lever outward to be able to turn the "star" wheel back. This will ensure that all the shoes have properly seated.

If you brake pedal travel decreases with each successive "pump" that is an indication that there is air trapped in the system that needs to be removed.
 

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Your uneven braking (pulling to one side) is a result of uneven adjustment. I set the adjusters manual by turning them until I can no longer turn the drum, and then backing off a few clicks. Then I take it out to my driveway, which is long, and I go in reverse and hit the brakes HARD. Do this and in just a few tries you'll feel the brakes even out.
 
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