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Projects New Production 45 Fin Buick Style Aluminum Brake Drums

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by CoolHand, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    We're kicking off our funding drive to start production on new 45 fin Buick Style Aluminum Brake Drums. I'm not asking for charity here, just looking for forty (40) people to pledge to buy a pair out of the first batch.

    Retail price is set at $500 per pair.

    They will work with 37-48 Bendix style backing plates, mounted on 37-48 Ford car spindles, using 37-48 Ford car hubs, without any machine work or modifications to the drums. Open the box, install the drum over the hub, done. No spacers, no shims, no machine work.

    Standard bolt circle will be 5 on 5 1/2" to match the 37-48 hubs, but any bolt circle can be custom drilled during mfg at no extra charge.

    Here's a screen cap of the new design:

    [​IMG]

    They are essentially identical in exterior appearance to the stock 45 fin Buick drums.

    To become one of the forty that help us bring these drums back,
    Click Here to fund the project via RocketHub.

    They will handle the logistics of the money collection and hold it in escrow until the goal is met.

    Once the goal has been met, the foundry will pour the castings, and we'll be off and rolling.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this post.

    And remember, even if you yourself don't have any need for these drums, you can help us immensely by spreading the word to people you know that DO need them.

    Spreading the word is very nearly as good as buying a pair of drums (not quite, but almost ;) ).

    Thanks again.
     
  2. dirt t
    Joined: Mar 20, 2007
    Posts: 4,571

    dirt t
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Kingman,AZ
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    Will they have inserts for brake shoe's? or is it an aluminum cover for a ford drum?
     
  3. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    No no, these will be an alum drum with an iron liner for the shoes to ride against, just like the originals.

    A cover for an existing drum would have been a lot easier, but iron drums that were the right size/shape/etc proved impossible to find.
     
  4. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,547

    Andy
    Member

    I don't think they look like they fit 37-39 hubs. They will either fit 40-41 hubs or 46-48 hubs but not both. I would make them to fit the availible shoes which are 2" wide max. The extra drum width is just heavy and expensive. I would make them so wires could be used.
     
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  5. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    You're right, the 1940-41 Ford car hub is what you want.

    Speedway sells a hub that will fit any spindle from 37-48, so that's what I had in mind. Those hubs are patterned after the 1940 car hub though, so it's six of one, half dozen the other.

    SoCal makes a hub that they say will work for 40-48 cars with the drum over the hub configuration, so they can't be that different.

    I will probably standardize around the Speedway stuff, because they move the most volume and have the best prices on most things.
     
  6. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,547

    Andy
    Member

    The difference in the hubs is the position of the flange. If you design to fit the 40 hub you will be on the right track. You will have to increase the mounting surface diameter on the drum to accomadate the 40 hubs. The stock diameter is too small to mount a 5.5x5 wheel. The wheel outer support is outside the mounting area.
     
  7. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    Yup, already knew that and have taken it into account on the models.

    The hub mount face inside and the wheel mount face outside will both be enlarged from stock to properly support the 5 on 5 1/2" wheel center.
     
  8. filthy frank
    Joined: Jan 25, 2008
    Posts: 541

    filthy frank
    Member

    what if you want to use the buick baking plates ?
     
  9. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    Then you'll probably have to modify something. :D

    I'd just about guarantee that you'll have to modify the backing plates just to mount them on those older spindles.

    It all depends on how the offsets stack when you mount the backing plate. Might work fine, might not work at all, I don't know.

    I can only guarantee fitment with the parts I designed them to work with. Anything else and you will have to rely on your own ingenuity.
     
  10. Kevin Lee
    Joined: Nov 12, 2001
    Posts: 7,406

    Kevin Lee
    Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    No need really, because that would be ugly. :)

    Good luck with the project, Coolhand.
     
  11. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,547

    Andy
    Member

    I 100% agree. If the drums were changed so they fit in the wheel instead of sticking out, it would not be bad. I was trying to broaden his usage and customers. If the center profile was based on a 40 drum, they would be all inside the wheel.
     
  12. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    Yeah, if I reprofile them to look like a 40 drum they'd fit, but that would be a pretty radical departure from the look of the Buicks, which kinda defeats the purpose.

    If this project goes well, maybe we can revisit doing some in a different shape.

    Right now, I gotta concentrate on getting this one off the ground (and that means I gotta have some guys step up and commit to purchase them).
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
  13. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    Thank you, sir.
     
  14. Guys CoolHand has designed these for a specific fit and usage, he's not looking for ideas. Either commit to buying a set or not, that is what this thread is about!!!!!!!!!
     
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,515

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    When you figure in the cost of buying a decent set of used ones at a swap meet or on Ebay and then getting them machined to fit your hubs and backing plates and add in shipping if you get them off Ebay you are getting up in the neighbor hood of the 250 each custom fitted for your application.

    Add to that, in this area at least I'd be hard pressed to go out to a wrecking yard and find four usable drums in a hundred mile radius of my house at any price.

    I'm not sure that they will be within my budget but I think that there is a real market for them. and they don't have four fins ground off from being drug 60 ft on the ground with no wheels onto the back of a roll back wrecker.
     
  16. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    I'd like to thank a fellow HAMB'er for being the first to step up and fund this project.

    You know who you are, and can speak up if you like (or not, your call, either way).

    We're off the goose egg now, don't be shy fellas. :D
     
  17. I'm not the first guy at the plate but I am happy to go in on a pair for the front of my '32 roadster with matching Wilson Welding finned backing plates.

    Charlie
     
  18. 48stude
    Joined: Jul 31, 2004
    Posts: 1,067

    48stude
    Member

    Will they work with MT Car Products Lincoln style backing plates? Bill
     
  19. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    I expect so, as those are reproductions of the Lincoln plates, just like the version Speedway sells.

    They appear to be pretty much exactly the same parts (at damned near the same prices too).
     
  20. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    Thank you, sir. You've been a great help from day one.

    I appreciate everyone who is willing to help get this project off the ground.
     
  21. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Most of the Buick drums that were fitted to Ford spindles used the 46-48 style hub that went on the outside of the drum. So you are saying yours will work with the more available hub that goes behind the drum ? Does that move it out further or not ?

    Glad to see someone thinking of making these, I may have to look at my piggy bank. :)

    Don
     
  22. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    It'll move the wheel mounting face outboard the thickness of the drum flange (which is ~3/8"), but the drum friction surfaces will be situated during manufacturing to work properly with the Bendix style backing plates.

    What I'm saying is that whatever the originals did doesn't matter, strictly speaking, because these drums will not be direct reproductions, but rather a new part that looks like the Buick drums, but designed to work with a specific kit of parts as an "unbox, bolt together" solution.

    Running these drums may widen the front track width a bit, depending on how thick your original drums were and where they mounted to the hubs, but it shouldn't be enough to matter (3/8" per side max), especially on a fenderless car. If your drums mount over the hub now, the difference in track width should be negligible (less than 1/4" total).
     
  23. SinisterCustom
    Joined: Feb 18, 2004
    Posts: 8,265

    SinisterCustom
    Member

    Original Buick drums....fitted to '48 hubs fit very nicely into '40 Ford wheels....
    If yer gonna make a repop drum...make it EXACTLY like a Buick drum....then Buick guys may buy em too....otherwise yer limiting yourself. Besides...I'd hope a trad hotrodder wouldn't be afraid of a little machine work.....afterall....thats kinda what they did bitd...:D
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  24. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    The whole point of this exercise is to get away from the customer having to do a bunch of machine work though.

    I will do everything I can to make sure that they will still fit a Buick, but I can't make any guarantees. Besides, if I make an identical reproduction, I'm gonna have to license it from GM, and the restoration crowd is not gonna want them if they aren't 1) Perfectly Identical In Every Way, and 2) Licensed and Blessed by GM as "Genuine".

    There are plenty of hotrodders out there to serve already. If I take too big a bite, I'll either end up making something that nobody wants, or worse, with more work than I can realistically handle.

    Everyone always says having more work than you can do is a good thing, but it really isn't, because having to wait a long time for their parts pisses people off.

    I know my company's limitations, so I'm not looking to sell a quarter million of these things a year. I'd be tickled shitless to sell a few hundred a year, maybe a thousand, and have every customer be happy with their purchase. Decent volume, no drama. :D
     
  25. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Once you have the money in hand, what do you estimate the time it will take until shipments start going out ?

    Don
     
  26. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    I'm shooting for having parts ready to ship by May 2014 or sooner if possible, but it's hard to say for sure until the foundry gets me in the queue.

    Once I've got a solid date from the foundry I can put a finer point on it. Until then, I'm afraid things will have to remain a bit vague.

    Everyone who buys in will know the schedule as soon as I know it for sure, and will be updated as things change over time.

    The machine work on these is not terribly complex, so the foundry is the controlling factor here.
     
  27. 55willys
    Joined: Dec 7, 2012
    Posts: 1,601

    55willys
    Member

    Nice to see that you got it in the works. I am looking to use wide 5 so is the outer part of the drum the same as Buick with the center moved out? Jim (55willys)
     
  28. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    The center is bigger than the Buick to support the 5 on 5 1/2" bolt circle, but it is nowhere near big enough to go over a Wide 5 bolt circle (which is 5 on 10 1/2" IIRC).

    Plus, Wide 5 drums have the hub built into them (the drum and hub are one piece, mount directly to the spindle snout), while these drums are made to go over the top of the separate hub.

    To run these drums on a Wide 5 car, you'd have to change the hubs (thus making it Wide 5 no more).

    Sorry man, can't have everything.

    Now, I've seen these kind of drums adapted to the 3/4 ton Ford Wide 5 hubs that stock car racers used back in the day (and still use today), but there'd be some machine work involved. No such thing as a "bolt-on" solution there.

    Not sure that the 3/4 ton W5 is the same bolt circle/size as the car W5 though. I know that racing hubs will have 5/8" studs (at least new ones will).
     
  29. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,477

    dirty old man
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ryan, would it be possible to get a set that would be only minmally machined, enough to get faces square with the friction surface and a center hole that is concentric with the drum friction surfacew, in both instances removing only enough metal to establish those parameters, and no lug holes?
    I have Buick drums on the front already, with Wilson finned aluminum backing plates that will be installed later, now has repro Lincoln. I want to put Buick drums on the rear if I can figger out a backing plate setup for the early small housing end 9 inch Ford rear axle. Wilson has the finned aluminum ones, but only for the large end housings.
    I am a retired machinist with over 40 years in the trade, have a Bridgeport with Digital readout capable of laying out any bolt circle I need, and a Monarch 16CW lathe that swings about 19", so I can handle the required finish machining easily. Have in the past fitted Buick brakes on oval track cars, but decent drums are hard to find now.
    BTW, 3/4 ton full floater hubs and wide 5 pass. use the same bolt pattern. The OEM 3/4 ton lug bolts were 1/2", and aftermarket introduced the 5/8".
     
  30. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    Sure, if you want a "blank" set of drums, I've got no problem selling them to you.

    That's the nice part about boutique manufacturing, since the process isn't automated much (if at all), it's easy to pull one or two out before all the machine work is done, or to do custom stuff like special bolt patterns or different center hole ID's, etc.

    If you've got the use for them, please jump on board.

    'Cause if we don't make it to 40 souls, I can't get this project off the ground.
     

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