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Technical manual brakes made into juice brakes

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flatheadgary, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 845

    flatheadgary
    Member
    from boron,ca

    has anyone done it or can it be done? can you cut and weld and modify the backing plate to accept the wheel cylinder and the pins and what knot? i got plenty of time but not much money and the juice brakes are very spendy now.
     
  2. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,893

    BJR
    Member

    Give us a hint..... What make car or truck and what year. You really didn't expect us to guess did you?
     
  3. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 6,814

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    If it's a Ford, a few were converted to wet brakes using '36-'50 Chev cylinders. No "how-to" articles were printed that I'm aware of.
     
  4. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 1,010

    Pete Eastwood
    Member
    from california

    way back when, there were kits to convert model A brakes to hydraulic .
     
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  5. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 845

    flatheadgary
    Member
    from boron,ca

    well, i figured you wouldn't need to know what car it is. a manual brake is pretty much the same. wouldn't the manual brakes for an A or '32 or '33 be the same work to modify? be that as it may, the rear end is an A and a '33. i don't have the front axles yet.
     
  6. Marcosmadness
    Joined: Dec 19, 2010
    Posts: 366

    Marcosmadness
    Member
    from California

    I just got through converting a race car brakes from the original backing plate to a completely different backing plate and completely different wheel cylinders. While this is not exactly what you asked it involves some of the same steps. It is important that you achieve a good level of concentric assembly as you modify the backing plate so the brake drum rotates correctly around the backing plate and shoes. I cut the center out of the donor backing plate and welded in a completely new plate for mounting the backing plate to the axle. You might be able to do the same thing to achieve what you are trying to do. Cut the entire center of a donor backing plate including the wheel cylinder mount, pivot points, retainer pins etc and weld it, as a complete unit into the original backing plate which has been previously cut to fit the new assembly. Obviously, the hydraulic assembly would have to be slightly smaller in size than the mechanical brake assembly for this to work. A metal lathe is helpful in making centering blocks to hold the items concentric while welding. The first backing plate took me the better part of a day to figure out all the steps and make sure I had it correct. The second side only took an hour or so. I have raced at two different events since the modification and the brakes work great. Whether it makes sense for you to try this modification is up to you. Do you have the welding equipment, cutting equipment, measuring equipment, and personal skill to do this? It can be done, BUT, this involves your brakes and you better be sure that you got it right since your life may depend on the final result.
     
  7. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,640

    thirtytwo
    Member

    The drums are the issue I would think... I wouldn’t trust a mech drum under hydraulic pressure the 36-38 drums do however look comparable to a 39 up drum but I have never measured
     
  8. It has been done a few times and there have been posts describing what was done. I always walked away feeling there was too much work to do it right compared to going the more conventional route. Also I hate to try out something "new" on something as critical as brakes.

    Charlie Stephens
     
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  9. Dirty Dug
    Joined: Jan 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,678

    Dirty Dug
    Member

    I see '40 Ford backing plates and drums all time for not much money and all the other elements are available from Mac's, C&G Ford and other aftermarket outlets. You might need an adapter to fit your spindles and adapt your brake pedal for a master cylinder and push rod.
     
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  10. cometman98006
    Joined: Sep 4, 2011
    Posts: 223

    cometman98006
    Member

    It's no big deal with '40 ford backing plates and drums. I didn't really knowing much back in the late '50's but did it on my '34 ford. I placed the master cylinder under the floor and used the '34 pedal. Worked great.
     
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  11. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,436

    manyolcars

    I came here to say what Charlie says. Search for posts on how to do it
     
  12. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,411

    lake_harley
    Member

    I modified Model A brakes with the Chevy "Huck" style wheel cylinders. Lots of work. Then I changed the direction of my Model A build and put everything aside for a future build; perhaps a T roadster with the Model A drivetrain and axles. Brake drums are mentioned above. Stock A drums are stamped steel, but cast iron drums are available from several suppliers for as little as $65+/-.

    Basically, I flipped the front backing plates upside-down and made a recessed plate where the mechanical actuator used to be (now at the top) to mount the wheel cylinder. For the rear on the Model A, the backing plate was rotated 90 degrees, and the wheel cylinder was mounted on the bottom of the backing plate, again where the mechanical actuator was. The wheel cylinder was mounted so the bleeder was still at the top to bleed properly.

    Just as food for thought, here are a couple photos of my conversion effort. Sorry, I didn't take a lot of photos, but I do have some photos somewhere from another HAMB member who had the Ansen conversion brakes. Will mine work? I don't know, for now at least, since I shelved it all.

    I wasn't aware that such a thing as the Ansen brake conversion existed until someone posted a photo of brakes asking what the were. Here's a link to the thread that started it all for me. https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/i-d-juice-brakes-on-rhd-34-ford.984379/ Beyond that thread I searched quite a bit for info on the Ansen conversion but really didn't find very much detail.

    Lynn

    2000-12-31 002 001.JPG 2000-12-31 002 002.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
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  13. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,097

    bct
    Member

  14. I have heard of people modifying early backing plates to be juice brakes. If I recall the early wide 5 Fords are easily modified. At least I have heard that is true.
     
  15. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,839

    goldmountain

    Rodder's Journal #27 features the Tom Orren roadster that had Model A brakes converted over to hydraulic, so it can be done, but why would you bother?
     
  16. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 845

    flatheadgary
    Member
    from boron,ca

    well, that's a lot of replies. first, i am quite capable of doing this. i have a 2 car garage, that you can't get a car in, for all of the tools i have. i am 69 years old and doing complete fabrication of cars since i was 15. i just wanted to see if anybody has done this. as far as all the juice brakes people find so easily, send me a price and a address and i'll buy them. don't waste mine and your time if they are hundreds of dollars though. i can find them where i live for big dollars already. as i said in my post. a question, why tell me about searches about this and not post thread? i did search but didn't find any. that would be garbage in garbage out computer crap. in other words, if you don't put the right wording in, you get nothing. Lynn,Marco and BCT, your posts were most enlightening. thanks.
     
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  17. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,411

    lake_harley
    Member

    Here's a couple more photos. The first is the wheel cylinder I got from NAPA. I think they can be bought from other places for less $$ though. They are from a late 40-'s and into the 50's Chevy passenger car. The PN is hard to read but I believe it to be 62-3406.

    The next are a couple photos another HAMBer sent. I'd give him credit, but for the life of me I can't recall who it was. A friend of his was going through a car that had the Ansen conversion. They were in CA. His back brakes put the wheel cylinder behind the axle, but I couldn't see that bleeding air very well, so when I did mine I put the cylinder at the bottom with the "Y" shaped adjuster at the top. The Ansen modified backing plates are much nicer than mine for mounting the wheel cylinder. They're actually "shaped" where I basically built a box of sorts.

    Lynn

    Also.....The brake shoes have to be cut off to make room for the wheel cylinder. I think each shoe had to be shortened about 3/4" in the web area, and about 1/4" or so of the actual friction area was lost. On the shoes I modified, they got cut off just short of the 2 end rivets, but they were still intact to retain the lining.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
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  18. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,460

    classiccarjack
    Member

  19. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 845

    flatheadgary
    Member
    from boron,ca

    those pics are great Lynn!! i think i have a handle on this now. i am going to get on this asap. i just have about 3 other projects to get to. maybe i can sneak it in. Lynn, why did you make the box when the ansen one is just cut out where the cylinder goes? did they weld in a plate or flatten the area and cut out the round hole for the cylinder? i haven't had the time to tear into the bangos i have to see it all. also, it's funny how people post on a thread and don't really have anything important to say about the topic, so you only get a few post that relate. i guess that's just computers.
     
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  20. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,097

    bct
    Member

    yep that's just computers. I wouldn't bitch about it too much as to seem ungrateful for the bumps to the top and keeping your thread from page 7983.
     
  21. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,411

    lake_harley
    Member

    I've not seen any Ansen conversion parts in person, but it appears they somehow reshaped the backing plate to make room for the wheel cylinder. When you have time to look at your backing plates you'll see that you'll need additional "depth" for the wheel cylinder compared to the mechanical parts. Making the "box" that I did seemed the only practical way for me. I figured trying to reshape the backing plate would have been a disaster for me to attempt.

    Lynn
     
  22. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,843

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've found complete sets of 40 Ford brakes for under $100 before at swap meets, but it doesn't happen every day. And granted the initial by-in was cheap, the new wheel cylinders and shoes are way more expensive than some common late-model's drum brakes. So, I can't help much on juice brakes on the cheap there.

    But, I will give you a bit of advice that will be important no matter which direction you take (Model A, 32 Ford, 40 Ford, F-1, etc): Find a good set of drums before you sink a lot of money into a particular type of brake. Good usable drums are the really expensive part nowadays, and they are becoming harder and harder to find. Anything with meat on it still able to be turned is a hot commodity and will probably cost you $$. Backing plates are all over the place, and cylinders and shoes can be bought new for semi-reasonable costs. But new drums are SPENDY!
     
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  23. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 845

    flatheadgary
    Member
    from boron,ca

    thanks again for the replies. those really hit the spot don't they.i shouldn't complain as life is a hell of a lot more expensive than just 10 years ago ain't it?
     
  24. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 2,509

    rusty valley
    Member

    a few decades ago i cut the backing plates around the wheel cylinder of an old army jeep and welded it into a model a backing plate, and used the model a shoes too. crude, but worked fine. it seems problems were easier to solve years ago when most work was done with a torch or a hammer!
     

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