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Hot Rods Braking issue with my 61 Starliner

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jimdillon, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,210

    jimdillon
    Member

    I have a weird problem with my Starliner. I bought this car as a done car (first I ever bought done as I always do my own work) a couple of years ago. The car is a reasonably nice restoration of a solid southern car and it was a body off restoration. The seller gave me the thumb drive of the complete restoration so I know that was not a tall tale. It was not an open checkbook restoration but the restorer appears to have done a pretty fair job. I say fair as I have chased so many leaks that it has worn me out. I finally have the leaks repaired-I hope. It has less than 2000 miles since restoration.

    Last fall I went on a rod run or whatever you want to call it with the guys In my car club with the wife. Car runs pretty good and goes down the road reasonably well for a land yacht. The problem is that when you hit the brakes initially they work well but when you drive the car in the country and do not touch the brakes for let’s say 20 minutes the brakes are horrendous. The pedal does not change and does not go to the floor but they simply do not work with a damn. The pedal feels the same as when they work well as far as hardness of pedal etc. You hit the pedal and they do not work hardly at all. I had to stop a couple of times and really work the pedal and then could keep going.

    I was really careful the rest of the time but it was not encouraging. I found on the way home that I had the same issue but found that if I tapped the pedal occasionally (like in turns etc-but much more than normal for sure) they would work pretty just OK. Then as I got closer to home where I had to use my brakes regularly with red lights etc that they worked better. By the time I pulled onto my street and had used my brakes quite a bit they worked very well-like there was never a problem.

    I have had so many suggestions but I am leaning towards my power brake booster. The brake booster and master cylinder appear to be new. There appears to be good vacuum. It is a stock 390 and there are drums all the way around. Upon inspection they look correct and they are adjusted properly and as I say they work well for just a regular local trip.

    I took the car out the other day and they work fine but I am sure if I drove it without using the brakes for a long distance again I will have the same problem. Now that spring is here I want to solve the problem. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
     
  2. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 29,162

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    never that exact problem - have drums checked to make sure that they are within wear specs and are true round - both front/ both rear have same wear pattern? were brake lines completely replaced?
     
  3. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,480

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    It could be some type of friction material that needs to be hot to work effectively. The vehicle was designed to be used with asbestos linings.
     
  4. morac41
    Joined: Jul 23, 2011
    Posts: 530

    morac41
    Member

    Hi I would be pulling the drums and checking all the springs have been installed correctly.
     

  5. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414

    southcross2631
    Member

    Sounds like they may be glazed a little. Had that problem with VW bus. They look great they are adjusted, but won't stop cold. I did a light cut on the drums and sanded the shoes. It cured my problem.
    You may have high friction high performance shoes that require heat to make them grab.
     
  6. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,210

    jimdillon
    Member

    I did a visual inspection after the issue arose last fall but all seemed to be in order. Will look at it critically again. I do not remember seeing any glaze but will find out soon enough. All brake components are new including all new lines and fittings and springs etc. Drums look to be very good but will check them more critically.
     
  7. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,210

    jimdillon
    Member

    As to them not working when they are cold it would seem that when I took it out for a spin the other day when the brakes had not been used in months that they may have been poor but they worked quite well. I backed it out of my barn and they grabbed as well as can be expected for drum brakes-very well actually.
     

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