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Hot Rods 57 chevy front drum brake problem maybe go to disc

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jailbird, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. jailbird
    Joined: Jun 18, 2015
    Posts: 151


    Safety first:
    the brakes are all original and most likely have less than 5000 miles
    my car was hardly driven only weekend warrior when I was younger
    of course I have had them all apart lately.
    the front end was totally rebuilt I cleaned and greased repacked and re assembled the wheel bearings
    Added a duel master cylinder and installed a 1957 ford ranchero rearend
    so I also have a wildwood rear proportion valve
    the problem is the car locks up the front passenger brake
    I have cleaned everything checked everything swapped drums side to side new brake rubber hose
    I jacked the car up the wheel spins 1/4r turn and locks up going forward like hitting a brick wall
    reverse the wheel will rotate
    any ideas?
    and what is a good option for going to a disc on the front ?
    cant go with no brakes.
  2. Pull the Pass front wheel and drum hub assembly. Check the drum for heavy glazing, it may just need to be turned to clean it up for new the new shoes.

    When I Do drums, I will pull everything off the backing plate, save for the wheel cylinder if it is not getting replaced, and clean the entire backing plate with brake cleaner and small brushes to get all the brake dust and grime out. Then inspect the raised rub block on the backing plate the shoes slide on when the pedal is applied. Look for any small ridges or wear spots. even the smallest little ridge can cause the shoes to hang up on that ridge and not allow the shoe to retrack properly. If it happens to be the forward shoe that is hanging up, the Self energizing design of the Bendix type brakes can grab the front shoe when on a ridge and pull it down into the drum thereby engaging the rear shoe and possibly locking the wheel. Add a little pressure to an already hung and dragging setup, and you are gonna lock that wheel up quick. however, if you spin it backwards it wont lock up because the hung shoe is in the front not the back. Also make sure that all pivot and contact points are clean and lubed with a quality brake lube. it makes a huge difference. I actually polish the backing plate contact points on every set of backing plates I do with a small die grinder and Roloc discks then lube the plates and assemble.

    If it does have ridges, you can polish them down with the wiz wheel, if it has deep grooves on the backing plate contact points whip out the mig welder, weld up the grooves and finish back down to original heights with a wiz wheel ( air die grinder) and a rolac discs.

    Dumb question....when you put the shoes on, you did put a long and a short shoe on both sides right? it will normally pull real hard on the side that has both long shoes, but it will deffinately make it lock up.
  3. Did it do that before you tore it apart?

    I see some crazy stuff,,,
    I once found two different bore size wheel cylinders up front.
    I see shoes on backwards, missing hardware or mismatched hardware, or modified hardware.
    Bad hoses
    Rich S., Johnny Gee and VANDENPLAS like this.
  4. jailbird
    Joined: Jun 18, 2015
    Posts: 151


    yes I have the shoes on correct both sides
    ok I will go out and tear it apart today another try
    will be back on hear soon thanks

  5. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 686


    I've seen this happen with weak shoe retracting spring(s).
    RICH B, Nailhead Jason and VANDENPLAS like this.
  6. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,033

    from oregon

    If you aren't sure if you have an antique car or a hot rod...........look real close and see if you have drum brakes, I know, "properly set up, they'll be fine", blah, blah, blah.
    Sounds to me you have a perfect excuse to call Wilwood, write the check and put those archaic drum brakes in the swap meet pile.
    I hear the traditional police coming, RUN.
    Truckdoctor Andy and scotty t like this.
  7. Agree, take it apart. I always put new wheel cylinders and hoses on any old car with drum brakes. One wheel locked up, look for shoes on backwards, something on the linings, glazed up drums and weak springs. Always throw new springs on when you do a brake job. It could also be gross mis-adjustment.
  8. Check the hose and line on the side that don't lock up. If its clogged that will put excess pressure on the one working brake. Ive seen it happen when the pistons are froze in the wheel cyls also.
  9. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,124


    When you have the drum off, take a few clear pictures from a few different angles, so we can see what you're doing....

    Also you checked for obvious things like the wheel not hitting the upper control arm, etc?
  10. jailbird
    Joined: Jun 18, 2015
    Posts: 151


    Ok I just removed the wheel crager s/s
    and it rotates with the wheel removed both directions when the wheel is on it wont rotate forward

    what gives? - also I have not been inside the car to apply the brake since I last parked it over 2 weeks

    and yes I already looked into the wildwood dynalite 4 piston set up
    1500. 00 that might have to wait
    I need new slicks - new front drag specials if I want to run a few shows coming up
    if I can get the old brake to properly work for now that would help out
    I believe a friend of mine had a 428 super cobra-jet powered Fairlane drag car and only used rear drums
    I like to drive around town a bit so I need all 4 corners
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  11. jailbird
    Joined: Jun 18, 2015
    Posts: 151


    few pics 57 brakes2.jpg 57 b.jpg 20190620_164602 (3)engine.jpeg
    Kan Kustom likes this.
  12. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,124


    See if the drum sits flat on the hub. Looks like one of the studs has too long of a knurl?
  13. jailbird
    Joined: Jun 18, 2015
    Posts: 151


    ok I will look
    now this is funny both side are sticking
    spin the wheel backwards they are fine then they will spin easy forward till they hit the wall
    some times they make a full rotation you cant turn the wheels once they stop unless go backwards first
    im not pushing on the brake strange how it goes round and round then immediate stop
    I know they need a bit of drag for adjustment
    maybe they need trued
  14. jailbird
    Joined: Jun 18, 2015
    Posts: 151


    are those cheaper speedway front disc brakes kits ok they fit the stock spindles
    I thought I read where they make you tires stick out further
  15. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,124


    yes they do, notice the distance beween the end of the hub where the outer wheel bearing is, to the flat surface where the wheel mounts, is quite a bit less.

    But seriously, see how your drums fit on your hubs. If they are not sitting flat, the drum will be warped, and do weird things like you're experiencing.
  16. completely remove the brake shoes and remount the wheel & see what happens? also are you still running the original hubs with ball bearings? 61 thru 68 full size roller bearing hubs work perfect on a tri five. and you could have warped & out of round drums. However when I converted my 55 to roller bearing hubs I chiseled the rivets off that held the drums to the original hubs. and smacked the hubs with a BHF until they came apart. Bent the center part a bit. I just laid it on a anvil and smacked it until it was flat again. no problems.
  17. The disk brake rotors from a S10 will fit a tri five spindle. then all you need is to weld on a bracket to mount a caliper. Tri Five spindles are steel and can be welded no problems.
  18. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    from SW Wyoming

    It rotates fine in both directions when the wheels are removed? Are you certain they aren't hitting somewhere, maybe catching a wheel weight on a control arm?
    427 sleeper likes this.
  19. That's why I suggested removing the brake shoes and putting the wheels back on. If he does that and still had problems its not the brakes
  20. Those shoes and hardware need to come all the way off for a good cleaning and inspection. The hardware should be replaced and I would put new shoes on it too, they are cheap. The rub blocks are going to need addressed. I zoomed in on one of the pictures and I see a ridge on the plate. If it's at the top there is probly one on ever rub block for both front wheels. Here is the zoomed in pic.
    Screenshot_20190620-194540_Samsung Internet.jpg
    Look just above where the shoe lining starts on the backing plate. Those need smoothed out and properly cleaned and lubed
  21. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,331

    from Alabama

    The new shoes are getting caught on the backing plate. If you had worn out may not lock up as that's what wore the groove...worn out shoes.
    You need to restore those backing plates!
    This is not rocket surgery.;)
  22. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 19,863

    Staff Member

    Yup, I remember back in my old service station days. we would always take a file to the area the shoes ride on and then a little high temp grease (very little) those grooves you have there are causing the shoes to stick. Drum brakes properly serviced will work just fine. when was the last time you rebuilt the wheel cylinders? pull the rubber dust boots back and see if there is any fluid present. If so, rebuild em.....
    Rich S., F-ONE and Nailhead Jason like this.
  23. Clean up those backing plates and get the Rub blocks smooth again. Then reassemble with new shoes, hardware, and adjusters. Use a quality line, I use Rusty brake plate lube with copper in it, but any high quality brake lube will work. If the drums are glazed up, you can get them turned or I have used a small drum sander in a drill to sand it off if they aren't grooved up. I'll bet your problem goes away, and can promise you it will work better.
  24. If those shoes only have 5000 miles on them they look kind of thin to me. Maybe they've been dragging as a result of the rubbing block wear. Which might have also overheated the drums and warped them. Do the wheels center on the hubs or do they use a tapered seat lug nut to center things up on the studs?
  25. Sometimes they need welded up and dressed down too.
    Nailhead Jason and Moriarity like this.
  26. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,418


    New brake shoes these days don't have as much shoe as they used too. Bought a new set a couple of years ago and they barely as much as the very old shoes that were on the car.
  27. sport fury
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 593

    sport fury

    taken from a 1963 motors manual 57chevbrakes 001.jpg
    F-ONE likes this.
  28. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,124


    so....if the grooved backing plates are causing the problem, why does it lock up when he doesn't even touch the brake pedal? :)
    Atwater Mike, F-ONE and Old wolf like this.
  29. Multi factorial problems
    F-ONE and VANDENPLAS like this.
  30. jailbird
    Joined: Jun 18, 2015
    Posts: 151


    I notice that also the pads are not thick like the one one could get 20 years ago

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