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brake grabbing
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briandoug
Posted 2017-07-16 4:03 PM (#544235)
Subject: brake grabbing


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Posts: 11

Hi fellow Forward Lookers. Has anybody else out there have this problem with their full contact brakes? On my '59 Plymouth Belvedere which I have had since 1999 and restored everything on it,started with all mechanical items,including one of the first thing,the brakes. Started driving it after a year @half after getting to that point. I put in all new brake parts and adjusted them when needed. They are 100% on the money except when the car sits, the longer it is the worse it is. The first time you apply the brakes, just rolling forward, they will lock up on right front like I have power brakes-I have manual! Reverse will not do this at all, and I usually have to back up just to unlock the pad to shoe contact. Once you've got it back a few times, hard, it helps, butt not until you get on pavement and drive it shortly does it go away, and then it works perfectly! That is until the next sitting. The brake pads have a little film on them, not as bad as you'd think, and the drums are real clean. I sand and blow off the brake pad surface after I sand it slightly but still doesn't make any long term difference! I even drilled a small hole strategically at the bottom of the backing plated and squirt a little water in there will bypass the problem so I can make the street! I owned a '62 Dodge 880 before this one, and that one was notorious for locking the full contact brakes up at any time! Hopefully some body knows what exactly is happening! Forever grateful, Brian.




Edited by briandoug 2017-07-16 4:05 PM
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57plybel
Posted 2017-07-16 10:05 PM (#544248 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: RE: brake grabbing



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Clean shoes, NEW return springs (model specific) would be my first check.... there are many similar threads in this forum under its own section... post back how you go and good luck!

 

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wizard
Posted 2017-07-17 2:00 AM (#544255 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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I second the above - check if there's a brake fluid leak that has contaminated the brake shoes.
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60 Imp
Posted 2017-07-17 5:51 AM (#544257 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: RE: brake grabbing


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Location: North Australia
briandoug - 2017-07-17 6:03 AM

Hi fellow Forward Lookers. Has anybody else out there have this problem with their full contact brakes? On my '59 Plymouth Belvedere which I have had since 1999 and restored everything on it,started with all mechanical items,including one of the first thing,the brakes. Started driving it after a year @half after getting to that point. I put in all new brake parts and adjusted them when needed. They are 100% on the money except when the car sits, the longer it is the worse it is. The first time you apply the brakes, just rolling forward, they will lock up on right front like I have power brakes-I have manual! Reverse will not do this at all, and I usually have to back up just to unlock the pad to shoe contact. Once you've got it back a few times, hard, it helps, butt not until you get on pavement and drive it shortly does it go away, and then it works perfectly! That is until the next sitting. The brake pads have a little film on them, not as bad as you'd think, and the drums are real clean. I sand and blow off the brake pad surface after I sand it slightly but still doesn't make any long term difference! I even drilled a small hole strategically at the bottom of the backing plated and squirt a little water in there will bypass the problem so I can make the street! I owned a '62 Dodge 880 before this one, and that one was notorious for locking the full contact brakes up at any time! Hopefully some body knows what exactly is happening! Forever grateful, Brian.



Hey Brian, you spray water in there?
Thats a new one!!

I find it perplexing so many people have this problem, and collectively we have not solved it.
My car exibits the same symptoms, except it is the left front. I manage it by using the E-brake until I get on the road, then run up to around 20 MPH then apply the brakes, car runs true and no problem for the rest of the day. I am going back into mine soon as I have new springs. I am also focusing on wheel bearing pre-load.

Steve.

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Ev's62Chrysler
Posted 2017-07-17 7:03 AM (#544258 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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Based on recent posts on this subject my theory is the part of the shoe that rides on the eccentric either gets damaged/bent over time, thus causing excessive friction preventing if from sliding back into the shoe support plates after releasing the brake pedal. Someone recently posted a photo where the tang on a shoe was severely bent. Friction of the drum on the shoes when rotating in reverse helps push the shoe back into the support plates. Service manual mentions lubricating "on the raised platforms of the dust shield and on the shoe at the reaction area end at the cam finger". Assuming my theory is correct, I suspect this situation occurs more often on shoes with the return spring attached in the loop on the edge of the shoe rather than in the hole in the center support rib. If this is not the case, a likely cause could be sticking wheel cylinders.

This has never been an issue with my car for me to resolve.

Robert
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Phatton
Posted 2017-07-17 8:51 AM (#544264 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing


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I fought with mine for about 6 months then converted to front disc brakes which solved my problem.
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Shep
Posted 2017-07-17 11:28 AM (#544269 - in reply to #544264)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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Did all the usual fix attempts, had White Post reline the shoes, fixed! This was on a 59 Coronet, not the 55.

Edited by Shep 2017-07-17 11:29 AM
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briandoug
Posted 2017-07-17 6:46 PM (#544290 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: RE: brake grabbing


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Posts: 11

Thanks for all the feedback! I replaced all brake parts new at one time and has always grabbed. I really think I have a shot at this with the info on the shoe eccentric and shoe support plate area where the inside of shoe slides. Very interesting! Do you think also chamfering the leading and trailing edge of the shoes material would make any difference,or waste of time? Have a good one!
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Shep
Posted 2017-07-17 7:55 PM (#544296 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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From what I was able to determine in the 59, it appeared to be an issue of lining material, dampness seems to cause the lining to grab the drums, the White Post linings must have been less succeptible to to this. Just an educated guess, I do know the problem was way worse in damp weather. The linings were chamfered.

Edited by Shep 2017-07-17 7:56 PM
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60 Imp
Posted 2017-07-18 6:57 AM (#544317 - in reply to #544296)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing


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Location: North Australia
Shep - 2017-07-18 9:55 AM

From what I was able to determine in the 59, it appeared to be an issue of lining material, dampness seems to cause the lining to grab the drums, the White Post linings must have been less succeptible to to this. Just an educated guess, I do know the problem was way worse in damp weather. The linings were chamfered.


Dave, pretty good theory, but how humid does it get 'Near Lake George'??

I have thought about the humidity, and I believe I have read a post from you previously in this regard. I live in tropical Australia and the humidity here is extremely high half the year. I know my car seems worse after idle periods in our "wet"season".

You might be onto something though. How was your car over the seasons, Ok in the winter?

Steve.

ps, I have stayed in Lake George, a beautiful place, as is the Adirondacks. Have you been to the boat museum in Clayton?!

Edited by 60 Imp 2017-07-18 7:00 AM
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Shep
Posted 2017-07-18 7:16 AM (#544319 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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Location: Chestertown, NY ( near Lake George)
Never been to Clayton. The car was stored during our winter months, Nov-Apr. They are still a little grabby, but do not lock up during first applications. It is always a little damp in the mornings here.
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philcojohn
Posted 2017-07-18 5:09 PM (#544354 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing


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Posts: 17

two / three things---- if you put "all new parts " the shoes are for sure the wrong size for those nice turned drums, it will grab sporadically for thousands of miles.--- they used to arc grind the shoes to fit, exactly even gap all around is absolutely required. .Cannot find that machine now.
= take away, do not grind drums, even if scratches, use old shoes and drums that are worn in to each other, all else on hydraulic side new, unless really shot. New will take 3-5k miles to straighten out, rapid pedal drop in that period too,as small part hitting drum wears off . Self energizing does not work right, brakes do not feel right.
2) the grabbing after storage is rust on inner drum surface..it causes the two self energizing front shoes to self energize like crazy, against the drum,. locking it. Cure is to arrange to back up first , and step hard, getys rid of most rust. --this is aggravated by wrong fit of shoes to the drum . The better the restoration and more new parts,the more problems. 3) assembled wrong; you would not believe how many times I have found the flat spring looking thing, (not a spring) in the backing plate gap,on the same side of the cam as the shoe..guranteed to lock up , and generally give a lot of grief. it goes on opposite side so spring works right, and cam adjustment then does not change the spring pull. It is very unclear in the pictures in service manual. Cannot see it. Big , common assembly error.(right here mechanic talks very fast) yes brake fluid also kills it and real axle seal leaks . Stripped hex can be fixed by pressing a nut over the hex in a hydraulic press and tack welding , wow a nice big new hex. Put ground clamp of welder on nut , not on plate or you will wreck the pieces in there. Do not throw out backing plates....! especially 12" , or old shoes/drums.

They work great when put together right,which is rare. the "lock after store" is because they are stored so long....No self adjusters and 1500 mile oil changes meant someone tweaked the adjusters every 1500...really. it is in the book.
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Viper Guy
Posted 2017-07-18 10:33 PM (#544371 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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Hey guys,

My front brakes are "grabby" most all the time if the car sits for any length of time and it's due to moisture. My '60 Chrysler Windsor did it and now my '59 DeSoto does the same thing (both with self energizing drum brakes). I've had the brakes apart numerous times trying everything mentioned above by all you guys and guess what? They still grab when moisture sets in over a period of time the car is not driven. The only thing that works is to take it up to speed and apply the brakes with ease and bingo! All is well agian.

How do I know it's due to moisture? Two years ago I took my DeSoto to a MoPar car show 150 miles away. I drove it there morning of the the show and it was dry weather. At the show it poured down rain and lo and behold, the front wheels locked up worse than I had ever previously experienced. Once they were locked, I had to put the car in neutral or reverse to loosen the brakes and then used only the parking brake going forward till I was able to build up enough speed to let the shoes hit the spinning drums and "dry" out with the friction. Once done, all was just fine.

Now I make it a point that when I back out of the garage, I ride the brakes all the way down the driveway and into the street. Many times this is enough to at least keep the wheels from completely locking up and will allow me to build up enough speed to do the "normal" forward motion procedure and dry the brakes a bit. Now if I drive the car once a week or so, no problem at all. All I do now is just put up with it and move on.

The question in my mind is why did we not experience this phenomenon when these cars were new? I can't answer that but only surmiize that the linings back then were a different material (asbestos) than these replacement shoes and were not affected by moisture like the ones we have today. I'm not saying there isn't a cure but I sure haven't discovered one.


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Paul Hettick
Posted 2017-07-19 10:56 AM (#544394 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing


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Give your wheel cylinders a quick once over with a brake hone. It worked for me.
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philcojohn
Posted 2017-07-19 2:39 PM (#544409 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing


Member

Posts: 17

Cannot speak to wet shoes, but the connection to moisture is probably the rust that it or humidity causes after few days. Happens to new cars too , on disc rotors--- you can hear and feel it, but little impact on braking. . After a week or two. When new these were probably driven frequently , and very important , the shoes were fitted right to drum arc .Your shoes may still be all the wrong size , takes 5 k miles + in one case I know of. with "turned drums", new shoes.

I had a brand new 60 Phoenix, 318 stick. Manual brakes. Zero brake issues for 60 k miles from new, great brakes, had many arguments with buddy with 57 Pontiac power brakes. ..they were on-off feeling, mopar nice and progressive. then one rear started locking.It was an axle seal failure, common on these cars new , I think axle moves in and out that .013 clearance on timkens wears seals in a weird way. ??set that up to tight end of allowed? other side did same thing within 5k miles.
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JT Vincent
Posted 2018-04-13 11:40 PM (#561583 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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I'm going through this thread now because I have the exact same problem-- left front wheel. 57 DeSoto Firesweep. I used to to the forward-reverse thing to unlock the wheel, get going on a side street, gently apply the brakes at about 20 mph, and that solved the problem for the day. But then one day, I performed this technique, and at 20 MPH the left front locked so hard that the left torsion bar snapped. I thought someone was shooting at me. The 57s were "all new," and they didn't have rubber seals on the torsion bars, so mine was a little corroded at the anchor. I changed the torsion bar and put in all new brake parts. The problem persists. I think I'll just go with disks. Probably should've done that before. I'm going to switch front drums from one side to the other to see if the makes the other wheel lock up, if so--then I'll get the drums turned if I don't do the disk thing.
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-04-14 1:38 AM (#561586 - in reply to #544371)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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I hadn't seen this thread before and it makes some sense to me. I put new brakes on my 56 Dodge last year and everything was fine. In the fall, e.g. late October, I started to install new carpet in the car and, in doing so, I removed the front (and rear) seat. As a result, I only drove the car around the block while sitting on a plastic milk crate, if at all. The when winter came so did lots of rain and humidity. When I did get the car out the brakes were very grabby and in fact the left front locked up - scaring the living hell out of me - just getting the car out of the garage and onto the street. I could unlock it by putting the car in reverse but only just. Putting the car back into the garage after being on the street, the left front locked up so much I spun the rear tire(s) until I did the reverse trick (again). Once I had the car in the garage, I didn't dare move it out again.

Thinking the issue was a leaky wheel cylinder, I took the wheel and the drum off to witness the leak. Nope no leak. Hmm... so I removed the center plane brake shoes and lubricated the sliding points with white lithium grease. Then I put everything back and readjusted the brakes. When I did take the car out, again, there were no issues. "Success" - probably was the lack of lubrication. (OR so I thought)

Now having read this thread, I fully expect that because the car has been sitting (again) for a few weeks and it has been raining, I am going to have the locking issue again. At least I know what the problem is and the cure. Drive the freaking car more.

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BigBlockMopar
Posted 2018-04-14 5:12 AM (#561591 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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My '62 NY wagon had this issue. Braking in general was good at slower speeds, but high speed (panic) stops had brake-fading come in very fast and was downright dangerous.
My '60 NY never had this issue and its brakes were very decent (for being drums).

I do know that the drums on the '62 were worn and machined, and thus had a larger diameter opposed to the brake shoes.
On the '60 NY the drums and shoes diameter still matched nicely.

So I think this locking brake issue is bound to happen quicker (with moisturous situations) when the drums don't match the arc of the brake shoes anymore.
Most likely the shoes, when applied for the first time, get coc ked slighty and then fully lock the drum.
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Shep
Posted 2018-04-14 2:12 PM (#561612 - in reply to #561591)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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My 59 Coronet suffered from the brake lock issue, especially when damp. White Post restorations relined the the shoes, issue gone.
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Phil_the_frenchie
Posted 2018-04-14 3:56 PM (#561615 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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Just see this topic ! Since 1 year I've the same problem on the left front wheel. After some days (4 / 6 / 8 ?) the first brakings lock the wheel (only in D, fine in R) ... So i have to drive the car with brakes applied during 100 meters. After all is fine !!!
The shoes are new (but not NOS or NORS, they came from Kanter => China). springs are new and stronger than olds.
Maybe a problem of humidity. It's very curious, i drive the car since 2001 and i never have this problem until 2016-17.

Edited by Phil_the_frenchie 2018-04-14 3:58 PM
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wizard
Posted 2018-04-14 4:25 PM (#561616 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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Phil, check for brake shoe residue on the rim or on the brake shield - some new lining wear off so much brake lining so that the pulver might lock the drum.
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Phil_the_frenchie
Posted 2018-04-14 4:53 PM (#561617 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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I've already remove 5 or 10 times the drums ... I've found some pulver the first times but not after. I think i'll send the shoes to be relined, i think the material (which contains asbetos as said on the box !!!) is a piece of crap coming from China.
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Rob
Posted 2018-06-18 8:50 PM (#565307 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing


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I also have the same problem, I have three cars of the era, only one has the problem, the others never ever had this problem.

(Two '58 Belvederes and a '61 Fury)

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dlyle
Posted 2018-06-19 2:45 PM (#565328 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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When I got my 57 Fireflite last year it had the grabbing problem. I took everything apart and replaced the wheel cylinders, rubber and steel lines, NOS springs and clips, and relined and radiused the shoes to the drums and chamfered the edges. I even watched all the old Chrysler Master Tech videos and followed all the tips. Did everything and then took it for a drive and low an behold they still grab.

After watching the videos it seems that these brakes were a problem from the beginning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGTvLgarhd8&t=186s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YoYXbCGOTk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbLIIdgQhjc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVCb0TE0lMI

Edited by dlyle 2018-06-19 2:57 PM
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-06-19 3:22 PM (#565330 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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That was my experience too. They worked very well most of the time if you have them set up properly, but sometimes they just grab for no apparent reason. I had better luck with the '56 Plymouth front brakes than the '57-'58 versions. I got tired of messing with them so I just swap to discs. The front drum brakes on my '60 seem to work much better so far. No grabbing from them yet.

Edited by Powerflite 2018-06-19 3:23 PM
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matte
Posted 2018-06-20 4:45 PM (#565373 - in reply to #565330)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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I have the same problem on my right front. It happens only after the car has sat for more than 2 weeks. I have a long long driveway and even reversing all the way with the brakes on doesn't help.. I now go up and down the drive and apply the brake each time I'm going forward. The whole car violently grabs to the right and stops hard and brake locks on. Either reverse or a little more throttle in forward will free it. For the first few times the brakes are applied, there is an almighty metal on metal sound from the front right and then everything goes back to normal. Everything is new as well.

I thought it might be lubrication because sometimes I can hear the brake releasing after a pause. But that wouldn't explain the brake squeal sound at the start...



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1960fury
Posted 2018-06-20 5:48 PM (#565377 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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I drove around with OE brakes many years daily, without any problems, just like millions of people back in the day. My car even still had the OE wheel cylinders with aluminum pistons. I guess the problem is the new brake lining material and people touching the linings with greasy fingers. They are VERY sensitiv to this.
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dlyle
Posted 2018-06-20 7:00 PM (#565380 - in reply to #565373)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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matte - 2018-06-20 1:45 PM

there is an almighty metal on metal sound from the front right and then everything goes back to normal. Everything is new as well.




First time it happened to me that metal sound made me thing something fell off in the road. I got the car home and drove back in my truck expecting to find parts in middle the road.

Happened another time when a mechanic friend was there and the metal sound made him think that the brake shoes had come loose and that I better take it all apart.
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2018-06-20 8:35 PM (#565383 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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The passenger side front brake on my De Soto had a similar problem. I just kind of dealt with it until one day, the lining broke off the shoe! Nasty snapping sound and metal on metal sound when the brake was applied. I took everything apart and had the shoe relined, drum turned, and had chamfered leading and trailing edges. Problem is gone now. My guess is that it is the brake lining.
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Rob
Posted 2018-06-20 8:43 PM (#565384 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing


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I've replaced the shoes, turned the drums, adjusted the barkes, rebuilt the wheel cylinders, the problem goes away for a while, then always returns.

I also get the squealing sound.

My problem is with the left front brake. One time I rebuilt the left brake only, then the right front brake grabbed on the test drive.

I did notice something odd: Drove the car around, 50 miles or so, then got out and felt all four wheels; The rear hubs were hotter than the front hubs, I would have expected the opposite.
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-06-20 9:36 PM (#565386 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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Most likely that means that your rear brakes are dragging a little bit. If your front brakes weren't working, you would notice it in terms of drastic change in performance.
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-06-20 9:42 PM (#565387 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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One thing I noticed when I took the front brakes apart on a 300D, was that they had added a newer style spring retainer to the bottom of the shoe on both shoes to try to keep the shoe in plane better. That does seem like the right approach to make them work better. I didn't actually try to drive it that way though, but it could be a good thing for people to try and see how it changes things.
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mikes2nd
Posted 2018-06-20 11:01 PM (#565389 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing


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disc brakes
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dlyle
Posted 2018-06-21 12:27 PM (#565412 - in reply to #565389)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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mikes2nd - 2018-06-20 8:01 PM

disc brakes :)


What is involved in to going to discs on a 57 Fireflite?
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-06-21 1:56 PM (#565414 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: Re: brake grabbing



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Pretty easy to do the actual disc change with a kit from Scarebird or AAJ. The Scarebird offers larger brakes, but requires 15" wheels. The AAJ has 2 options, one of which uses smaller discs that fit within 14" wheels. The other option is similar to the Scarebird kit in size.

The hardest part of the conversion is that it requires you to redo the plumbing. All new lines in the front because the calipers are on the backside of the wheel. Add to that a new master that has 2 ports for both front and back. Oddly enough though, I have run these discs with the stock master and the front brakes don't drag like you might expect them to. So the stock master is an option too, though you would need to test it to make sure it is OK on your car. But I currently have 3 vehicles that are using discs with the stock master, and they all work very well that way.
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60 Imp
Posted 2018-07-10 7:21 AM (#566397 - in reply to #544235)
Subject: RE: brake grabbing


20001000
Location: North Australia
I got my 1960 Imperial brakes going properly again tonight. All I can say is it was my fault, I made some bad adjustments.

First problem i had was brake grabbing bad on the drivers front. Lock up to skidding the Tire. I compensated by driving out to the road using the park brake then first application with the service brakes made at 20 mph or so, then no problem (other than longish pedal travel and a bit spongy). I put this down to a bad adjustment on the right front forward shoe (too loose). This could have been accentuated because I also found a small amount of air in that wheel cylinder and probably also caused the sponginess. It is likely my bad adjustment was due to the air, but I dont know. Car has been like this for a while.

Second problem was loss of pedal almost entirely after very little use for 6 months and then me adjusting the shoes without enough drag. I am talking about less than 1/16th of a turn on all front shoes. Loss of pedal was due to not enough capacity to move all 4 front slave cylinders enough.

I also found almost no slack in the master cylinder to pedal pushrod, it might have been even slightly loaded. I dont think this caused me a problem.

My stock standard Brakes working excellent now! (other than silicone fluid).

NOTE TO SELF- READ THE MANUAL.

Hopefully I have got it all correct now. Though I might make a power bleeder like the book says.


Steve.




Edited by 60 Imp 2018-07-10 7:24 AM
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