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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


    here is what I did so far
    I cleaned it the best I could
    and I took a wire wheel to the brake drum they looked fine little rusty on the contact area where it bolts on , just lite surface rust -flaking paint and I wheeled all the way across the brake pad contact area bottoming out against the face
    then I took some rough grit paper to the contact area there was a spot that looked like a slight pitting stain probably from this car sitting all cage up like a j bird forever
    these are the same brakes when we originally restored this car for me to run around in back in the early eighties but like I said probably less than 5000 miles I drove more but that was on the brakes I had when I got the car also had one of those original power steering generator set ups we stripped the whole front end steering box and all came so close back then to strait axle but the my father and his friend Emerson Roderick our mechanic thought it might not be as safe bouncing all over the roads. lol
    He used to drag race 57 chevys and held Class record at Drag City Illinois
    Back to the car :
    I also scrubbed those pads with that sand paper a bit and cleaned everything
    I did both sides now they spin forward and backwards now
    the drivers side looked fine I did it any way I was also spinning and locking up
    I really don't know if its going be fixed sure was weird they way they were acting, one minute locking and the next time you spin the wheel acted fine for a bit
    now I here just one spot dragging a bit on both drums
    hopefully the brake adjustment is close
  2. jailbird
    Joined: Jun 18, 2015
    Posts: 151


    Wilwood set up found on ebay for like 800. that other wildwood was close to 1500.
    I believe said it weigh 40lbs
    I will try to get some fuel to fire the 57 up and see how the brakes work
    thanks for your help
  3. I had a 68 firebird that starting doing it after I got it on the road, and I had adjusted the brakes out with to much drag on it.
    If it happens to be the forward shoe that is hanging up, the Self energizingdesign 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.

    The backing plates were pretty rough on the firebird and I ended up just replacing them. But with the wheel on, and jack up off the ground i could start spinning it and it would stop after about 1 turn. Adjust the brake off and it stopped doing that. Drove it again,locked up hard again. Jacked it up turned the wheel stopped again. Took me a bit to figure out the shoes were being help out by a ridge. Replaced the backing plates, lubes and adjusted. No more problem
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,177


    Just curious...see how this stud looks like the knurled part is poking out past the surface of the hub? Is it really, or am I imagining it? If it is sticking out past the hub, and the hole in the drum for the stud is not big enough to clear the stud, the drum won't sit flat.
    Old wolf, F-ONE, Terrible80 and 2 others like this.
  5. If you did the brakes in the early 80s. Those springs are almost 40 years old and have been stretched out almost 40 years. They are shot and need replaced.
  6. It does look like it might be out a tad, but I cant tell for sure.
  7. They may, I've done it more than once that's for sure.
  8. Second mention
    F-ONE likes this.
  9. jailbird
    Joined: Jun 18, 2015
    Posts: 151


    yea I broke the old stud that one works but its not sticking out
    I just removed the broken remains out of the lug today
    yea its old stuff that brake hardware it probably does need replaced ----disc im thinking
    the old 57 sat in my dads barn from according to the old license plate from 1988 to about 2000.
    cant believe it held up so well inside and out
    the engine was out of it I sold off all my old 4 speeds T10 BORG. CAST iron case aluminum tail
    we rebuilt it and I twisted the tail shaft off 2.54 first gear it went into a 62 vette
    all my muncies were only 220. ratio they sucked off the line
  10. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 19,923

    Staff Member

    If it has been since the eighties that your brakes were re done, please rebuild or replace the wheel cylinders. if one is stuck or sticking it will cause the car to pull (one wheel locking up) brake fluid by nature attracts moisture and absorbs it. this causes rust to form in the cast bores. again, properly serviced, drum brakes perform just fine.
  11. That’s a whole book of information in those two words
    ....operations, theory, methods, and tasks needing to be correctly executed.
    Moriarity likes this.
  12. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 19,923

    Staff Member

    And it is part of the deal with owning a vintage car... periodic maintenance that needs to be performed at far shorter intervals than modern cars. I actually enjoy it .
    Rich S. and 31Vicky with a hemi like this.
  13. Don't be in a hurry to spend money on disc brakes just because the drums aren't working. And you don't need to spend $800 for them either. I did a conversion on the stock spindles AND with drop spindles. Picked up some good used rotors and calipers and stuck them on.
  14. sport fury
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 593

    sport fury

    I found reading the 1963 motors manual that there are several styles of anchor bolts. some require adjustment.
  15. Isn’t there a junkyard spindle swap for the Tri five group? Iirc it’s a later impala spindle that is taller and improved geometry and discs and bigger rotors?? Maybe I got it mixed up with something else.

    calipers, pads rotors, bearings and hoses from the parts store won’t be free either. Add in the key component caliper bracket and it’s far from cheap.
  16. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,671


    Yeah i think you could do some searching and come out a LOT cheaper on Disc if thats the way you want to go.. My 56 has disc brake brackets, Chevelle rotors/calipers. I always try to use plain ole off the shelf parts.Brakes can be a beach to figure out some times Keep us posted.
  17. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,230

    from Ioway

    I was told there'd be no Math.
  18. jailbird
    Joined: Jun 18, 2015
    Posts: 151


    both front wheel cylinders were replaced before the 2nd to last melt down drags
    the ford 9" is all new also I wish they were self adjusting
    Moriarity likes this.
  19. Ha they lied to you
    Truck64 likes this.
  20. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,649

    Kan Kustom

    A lot of good info being shared here. I decided to keep stock brakes on my 57 for no other reason than the nostalgic feeling of knowing they are there. Right or wrong this thread has made me feel good about my decision
    Nailhead Jason and Moriarity like this.
  21. jailbird
    Joined: Jun 18, 2015
    Posts: 151


    That's good
    I to was having the same thought my car is all from the 60's except I went to a better 4 speed
    for strength as I have broke lots of parts shifting gears I don't drive in heavy traffic any more as I cant carry enough gas with mech. injection especially if I go back to the blower 4 port
    so I really dont have a problem as long as the drum stop me
    if the car was relly fast it would have a chute
  22. Self adjusting? Take the same hardware used for the rear self adjusting and put it on the front.

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