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Front left wheel locking up

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by luisp55, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. luisp55
    Joined: Jul 28, 2011
    Posts: 10

    luisp55
    Member

    I know this question has been asked before, I'm hoping someone might have a new solution. I have a 1959 Plymouth Belvedere with stock drum brakes. Driving slow when you step on the brakes, the front left wheel locks up to a screeching halt, then it will slowly release. If I back up a little it will release instantly. I've replaced the master cylinder twice, I've replaced all four front wheel cylinders, flushed the lines, and put new brake fluid, replaced the front hoses, backed off the adjusting cams. Brakes shoes, and drums look fine, but next is replacing the shoes, and have the drums resurfaced. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. SuRfAcE_RuSt
    Joined: Sep 22, 2010
    Posts: 608

    SuRfAcE_RuSt
    Member

    Have you checked the shoes after it started locking up? Sometimes the wheel will lock up if the shoe pads are coming off
     
  3. I swear it sounds like the flexible hose is collapsing but you said you replaced them,right? HRP
     
  4. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,480

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Is the shoe with the shortest lining toward the front of the vehicle?
     

  5. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,115

    bobwop
    Member
    from Arley, AL

    also sounded to me that the hose was collapsing. But you already replaced it. how long ago? was it a new hose? for what they cost, it may be worth doing it again.
     
  6. luisp55
    Joined: Jul 28, 2011
    Posts: 10

    luisp55
    Member

    Both front hoses I replaced last week, the shoes are equal in left, so no chance of being mixed, and they have plenty of meat, and show no signs of cracks, or chips, or glazing.
     
  7. One more thing to check is the wheel bearings. If the right wheel bearing is real loose then the brakes on that wheel won't work properly and the left one will do all the braking, including locking up. I had that happen on an F100 years back.
     
  8. luisp55
    Joined: Jul 28, 2011
    Posts: 10

    luisp55
    Member

    That's why I was thinking of replacing the shoes, in case they're a little warped. The bearings I repacked, and adjusted. With the car jacked up, both front wheels spin freely, I don't feel anything binding. With the drum off you can see the shoes move in and out without sticking.
     
  9. luisp55
    Joined: Jul 28, 2011
    Posts: 10

    luisp55
    Member

    The top left wheel cylinder was leaking, everywhere I've read it says brake fluid does not permanently affect a brake shoes, I cleaned everything with brake cleaning fluid, but somehow I think the shoes are the culprit.
     
  10. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,480

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Isn't there a taper ground into the leading edge of the lining?
     
  11. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,480

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Shoes that have been soaked with brake fluid can get grabby but usually a good drenching with brake cleaner and a light sanding will help. If it doesn't lock up at higher speeds, try dragging the brakes a little to heat it up. I have used a propane torch to burn it off brake linings on our end loaders. They would throw you through the windshield, tear the lining off the shoe or break the adjuster loose from the backing plate when they got fluid on them.
     
  12. luisp55
    Joined: Jul 28, 2011
    Posts: 10

    luisp55
    Member

    That's exactly what it's doing, I got on the freeway and it was fine, but the minute you slow down, and brake it wants to rip the steering wheel off your hands.
     
  13. had this happen a few times. Almost broke a thumb from the steering wheel. Once was brake linings separating the others were bad flex lines. Have you tried swapping parts to the other side to see if the problem changes sides?
     
  14. I would think you are right....Replace the brake shoes. HRP
     
  15. 1964countrysedan
    Joined: Apr 14, 2011
    Posts: 1,131

    1964countrysedan
    Member
    from Texas

    I don't know if it applies here, but when I have a vehicle that brakes hard to one side, I inspect the opposite side first.
    9 out of 10 times the opposite side is not braking enough or at all, making the one that is, seem extreme.

    Might not apply, but check it out.
     
  16. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 8,753

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    I know it sounds too simple, but have you double checked the adjustment on the front brakes? I had a car that would quickly self adjust the right front wheel and do the same thing. I'd back it off and in a few miles of driving it would adjust itself back up again. I finally removed the self adjusters and it never gave me any more trouble.
     
  17. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,546

    stimpy

    brake fluid swells the friction material . replace the shoes .
     
  18. SBCWelder
    Joined: Jun 24, 2013
    Posts: 51

    SBCWelder
    Member

    I've got the same issue on my '59 Imperial. Probably the same brake system, dual wheel cylinders.

    Mine only seems to happen on the first stop of the day, or after it's sat with moisture around. Everything is new or rebuilt on mine as well, except for the shoes. That's where I'm going next once I get a decent break in the weather.

    Edit: forgot to add that there is some old paperwork in the glove box that documents a brake fluid leak on the side with issues. Shoes were cleaned 20+ years ago but not changed.
     
  19. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,480

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    One other thing I did to avoid taking the wheel off again was to put dry powder into the brakes. We had a plastic bottle of the chalk used on a chalk line that was easy to squirt into the adjuster holes in the backing plate and it worked. I have also used a dry chemical fire extinguisher.
     
  20. luisp55
    Joined: Jul 28, 2011
    Posts: 10

    luisp55
    Member

    On a friends suggestion, I replaced the front bearings and it solved the problem. I want to thank everyone for their input.
     
  21. The first time I have ever heard of this. HRP
     
  22. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 6,825

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    :confused: I get the feeling your not telling us the whole story. :D
     

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