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Technical Stretch Dropped A Axle, mechanical brakes, 32 perches and A spindles?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Hitchhiker, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. Carter
    Joined: Mar 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,403

    Carter
    Member

    I agree about the larger cars. I'd probably run juice brakes on anything much bigger than an A.

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  2. fmascioli2@gmail.com
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 54

    fmascioli2@gmail.com
    Member
    from CT

    Another way is to use '35 brakes. I got this idea from BCChopit on Ford Barn. You need the juice brake spacer and it's a simple bolt on. The '35 drums are 12" and have 1.75" shoes. My understanding is that '35s on the rear are more problematic and I haven't gotten there yet but '32-'34 rears can work if flipped and reversed d/s to p/s. Even with only the fronts installed, my car actually stops now. Huge improvement and makes the car fun to drive. Agree with others about steel Model A drums fading fast but these big Model 48 brakes are outstanding. Totally night and day.
    We had previously welded on extensions to aftermarket perches to raise the actuator to compensate for dropped axle. This is all on Model A spindles but I will be switching to '32-'34 spindles and change tie rod and drag link to tapered tie rod ends and ditch the original ball socket type.
     

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  3. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,289

    flatford39
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    What about using 32 spring perches to raise the eyelet for the mechanical brake function. I swear I saw that on here somewhere. Chris's 31 Coupe comes to mind.
     
  4. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,718

    adam401
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    this is what I used with my 32 heavy beam to locate the model a actuators but that stiil leaves you 1-1/2 inches short with a 4 inch beam. I may be remembering the measurement wrong
     
  5. modelAsteve
    Joined: Jan 9, 2009
    Posts: 341

    modelAsteve
    Member

    REMEMBER- the steel drums and cast drums should use different linings. Some A suppliers sell both or contact your local brake shop.
     
  6. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,289

    flatford39
    Member

    Do you know if those perches will work in an A axle or do they have to be machined down???

    I swear I saw it here somewhere.
     
  7. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,287

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    They were great ! That's why the car manufacturers went to hydraulics. If you think they are worth dying for, go for it. I`m an old guy that had enough experiences with them to be TERRIFIED of them. The only reason anyone or at least most,tell you they suck is because they/I care enough about you to warn you. I don't think anyone tells you they suck to shatter your dreams or hurt your feelings.Its not fun taking the time to type this. It just feels important to a warn people to at least take it off our own shoulders.Take it for what its worth.
     
  8. Carter
    Joined: Mar 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,403

    Carter
    Member

    By that logic we should all have ABS, disc brakes, air bags and traction control on our cars.

    This thread was never even about whether mechanical brakes were OK to use. It was about if there was a safe way to use them with a drop axle.

    As usual it turned in to a mess because everyone had to answer a question that hadn't been asked.

    I wonder how anyone survived driving Ford cars before 1939 when hydraulic brakes were introduced?



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  9. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,718

    adam401
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    im with you Carter there's alot of good information on this thread. All concerns for safety and opinions have been noted and appreciated so lets just stick to the spirit of the original post. Pretty sure Hitchhiker is a grown man who wil mske his own decisions when hd builds his car.
     






  10. You guys hit the nail on the head..


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  11. Facts of Life;;;; No matter how happy you are with what you have someone will tell ya it's a P.O.S. and when You think what you have is Junk someone will tell ya it's Gold. And life goes on.
    The Wizzard
     
  12. Lowbuckboz
    Joined: Apr 2, 2008
    Posts: 499

    Lowbuckboz
    Member

    I run the hell out of my coupe with zero brake problems.
     
  13. J scow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 489

    J scow
    Member
    from Seattle

    Fact is brake fade has nothing to do with how they are applied.
     
  14. Spooky Two
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 122

    Spooky Two
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I run the hell out of my RPU's 11 inch steel drum mechanical brakes, also with zero brake problems.
    It has A LOT to do with how they're applied!

    Anyhow... Hitchhiker, you do what you're doin'. I like it:D
    Keep us posted with what you decide builds/works best for ya.

    And thanks fmascioli2@gmail.com for the '35 12" brake heads up. Liking that a bunch;)

    Ahh, YES... the Mechanical vs. Hydraulic... ENDURES:eek:
     
  15. I'm confused, what drums are those pictured with the big holes in them? 1935? Are all 1935 like that, and can they be converted for use with hydraulic?
     
  16. Carter
    Joined: Mar 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,403

    Carter
    Member


    32- 35 fronts are 'windowed'. Early 36 also, I think, but those are wide five pattern. Shoe surface is different between 32-4 and 35, but easiest way for me to tell is looking at inner bearing race bore. If it's bored for a drive in grease seal, it is 35, if not it is 32-4.

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  17. Lowbuckboz
    Joined: Apr 2, 2008
    Posts: 499

    Lowbuckboz
    Member

    I run 35 front brakes and stock rear brakes. Huge improvement. I also used 32-34 spindles. They already had some sweep in the arms due to the factory drop of the 32-34 axles and I thought they look better. I never considered the A spindles. I'm sure they could be made to work. Although that is just my opinion.


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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  18. fmascioli2@gmail.com
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 54

    fmascioli2@gmail.com
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    from CT

    They are '35 drums and I believe all '35s are the same. I'm not sure if they're compatible with juice brake backing plates but I thought I read something here or on Ford Barn that they will not.
     

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  19. fmascioli2@gmail.com
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 54

    fmascioli2@gmail.com
    Member
    from CT

    I have them on Model A spindles now and it's the same set up with a juice brake spacer, but as previously said I am converting to '32-34. I agree they look better especially the steering arm and 32-34s allow use of tapered tie rod ends. These are pics of the '35 drum on a '32 spindle with spacer.
     

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  20. Lowbuckboz
    Joined: Apr 2, 2008
    Posts: 499

    Lowbuckboz
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    You'll have no problem with that set up. That's what I have used for a few years now.


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  21. fmascioli2@gmail.com
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 54

    fmascioli2@gmail.com
    Member
    from CT

    Carter, also the '35 drums have additional ridges around the circumference and are wider to take the 1.75" shoes vs 1.5" on the '32-'34 type. I think the extra shoe width and the additional amount of cast iron to dissipate heat are the big plus for the '35s. They even have slightly longer shoes than later '40-'48 hydraulics. Both leading and trailing shoe is the same length on '35 mechs. They don't look it in the photos, but they are much more massive than stock Model A drums.
     

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  22. Carter
    Joined: Mar 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,403

    Carter
    Member

    Yes, I run 32-4 front brakes on my A roadster. I have the 35 stuff also, probably going to use it on my next A. Forgot about the circumferential ribs.

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  23. Lowbuckboz
    Joined: Apr 2, 2008
    Posts: 499

    Lowbuckboz
    Member

    It's interesting to see how mechanical brakes are gaining popularity. I think the 35/36 brakes are the best bang for the buck. The brakes on my coupe are usually the topic of conversation at any event I'm at. Properly adjusted and restored, they work well. Although I get plenty of non believers. Sorry for off topic here, just glad to see what you're doing.


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  24. fmascioli2@gmail.com
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 54

    fmascioli2@gmail.com
    Member
    from CT

    Not off topic really. The o.p. was searching for a way to do a dropped axle with mech brakes and for those of us that have, the next step was going for the best braking set up. But I agree with what you're saying about 35-36 brakes. It was by far the easiest work I've done on my coupe.....biggest improvement for almost no work.
    Just want to add something for guys thinking about doing it, the '36 are wide five so the solid drum seals the bp. The '35s really should be run with '35 spokes since the hub is designed to close off the windows on the drum and keep water, etc. out.
     
  25. The tips on the '35 drums are good stuff. Thanks for sharing that. I learn something every day on here.

    As stated, the '35 shoes are wider, are the backing plates the same as 32-34?

    I have the 32-34 setup for my 31 pickup, now the search will begin for the upgrade.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  26. fmascioli2@gmail.com
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 54

    fmascioli2@gmail.com
    Member
    from CT

    They look similar but I really don't know if they marry up. Check in with BCCHOPIT on H.A.M.B. or Ford Barn. He's the guy I learned about this from and knows everything about it.
    Bill, can you chime in or are you too busy getting ready for the next R.O.G.?
     
  27. Better than hearing sissies say to ditch the drums and put ugly ass discs on there!
     
  28. BCCHOPIT
    Joined: Aug 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,586

    BCCHOPIT
    Member

    I am here....
    Feel free to email bill@bcchopit.com
    Or my cell is on my web site
    I am no pro but will help any way I can.



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  29. nailheadroadster
    Joined: Jun 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,523

    nailheadroadster
    Member

    Lots of good info here. Thanks for sharing guys. Now I gotta start looking for some 35 front brakes. ;) Anyone... anyone?
     
  30. ago
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,197

    ago
    Member
    from pgh. pa.

    The '35s really should be run with '35 spokes since the hub is designed to close off the windows on the drum and keep water, etc. out.

    I wondered how the water was kept out.


    Ago
     

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