DRUM Brake Overhaul - Now, for something totally different...

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
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Instead of yet another "disc conversion" story like so many out there (and against my better judgement, probably) I've decided to finally get some decent brakes going on Fred - my 1968 Plymouth GTX.
The car has the typical for the day 11x3 front drums, 11x2.5 rear drum brakes - no power nothing, no discs to be found (or converted to).

My premise of doing this was two-fold:
1. I wanted the brakes to not only work properly again, but to feel like they did when the car was new.
2. I wanted to see if it was possible to do so, replacing ALL hardware, hoses, cylinders, linings - and replacing all of them with USA-Made stuff.

Quite the daunting task, that - everything pretty much is reproduced in China these days.
This would logically mean I'd be buying new old stock - if any was still out there to be had...
Here goes nothing!
 

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
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After MUCH researching and scouring, I've managed to line up some goodies and order them from various
sources.
First to arrive - today, in fact - were rear wheel cylinders from Central Jersey Motor Parts (I was delighted to
find out that Jack is still in business up there - I can remember doing business with him in Jack's Auto Parts
days in the early 80's).
They ship FAST and it's packed WELL. Simply couldn't ask for better - and so, here's the rear wheel cylinders,
complete with required USA stampings:
rear wheel cylinders.jpg
Wagner-Lockheed, eh?
 

Thrashingcows

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Good for you, I look forward to following along. :thumbsup:

Friend has 4 wheel manual drum on his 70 Roadrunner and that thing stops as well as a car with disc brakes. Obviously the performance would drop off going down hills as the drums heat up, but with a manual transmission not really a concern if you drive smart. ;)
 

Nevada dan

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here's another thought for you, dot3 or dot5 , dot3 pulls in moisture and corrodes and rusts everything ,dot5 is silicone like before dot3
 

Thrashingcows

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here's another thought for you, dot3 or dot5 , dot3 pulls in moisture and corrodes and rusts everything ,dot5 is silicone like before dot3

I flush my dot3 brake fluid every couple years in all my vehicles, have had little to no component failures since I started doing this 15 years ago.
 

Nevada dan

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I still run dot3 in mine too , but I think its funny the new high end performance vehicles are going back to silicone
 

turbine68rt

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I still run dot3 in mine too , but I think its funny the new high end performance vehicles are going back to silicone
Aside from the higher boiling point, and not absorbing moisture, keeping the paint nice even after a spill is a plus on a high dollar ride with dot5.
 

Cranky

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Used to run a 10.60 @ 126 car with 11" drums and it stopped fine even on a track with a short shut off. Even tried taking the first turn off once just to see if it would do it and no problem! The second turn off wasn't all that much further either but usually, I went to the very end just to be easy on the thing. The car was a 68 road runner in at 3300 lbs. I'm one that will let off the gas at the first thing I see a yellow light instead of driving up to it then slamming on the brakes. My 95 Dakota is only on it's 2nd set of brakes. Can't say the same for the X's car though but I did order it with the heavy duty tow package and well, was surprised that it held up to her way of driving so well. Too bad she burned it up recently due to lack of respect :D
 

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
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here's another thought for you, dot3 or dot5 , dot3 pulls in moisture and corrodes and rusts everything ,dot5 is silicone like before dot3
That's a good question actually - the system now has the older stuff in it and since the master cylinder
and metal lines are staying on the car (both were replaced during Fred's resurrection in the last several
years), am I "stuck" with the older fluid - or should I flush and "convert" to Dot5 now?
 

Ironbuilt

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Hmmmmmm, a normal brake job turned into a thread. With American parts.
Quick, make it a sticky!!!
 

blue69runner

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Good to here of getting USA made part's. So rare now day's. Let us know how it turn's out. Just getting to my brakes every thing is on the car and going with Dot 5. My friend had problems with stainless steel lines seating at the connection to the cylinders and the master cylinder. But after some time of tightening them two or three times the leak's stopped.
 

1 Wild R/T

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Really old Dot 2, Dot 3 & Dot 4 are all glycol ether based.... Dot 5 is Silicone based which "doesn't absorb moisture" But what they don't tell you is moisture still exists it just doesn't mix.... So what happens is rust.... In those areas where moisture accumulates... Wheel cylinders, calipers, low spots in the brake lines.... It's nice that it doesn't damage paint but it's not as wonderful as it's hyped to be....
 

moparedtn

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I guess before I get too far along here, I should state what the point of this whole exercise is...

There are MANY threads on here from some SERIOUSLY talented members of FBBO, in which they
have perfectly restored the factory drum brakes on these cars.
Truly - some AMAZING work, documented right here in these pages - beautifully done brakes, no
budget spared
, using NOS or perfectly restored original parts so as to be "CORRECT".
We don't need another thread like that, obviously - and surely not by the likes of me.
I'm not pretending to be doing that with this thread.
That's not the point - at ALL.

What I AM doing here is taking what budget I have (next to nothing, honestly) and applying it to Fred,
who is anything BUT original or "pedigreed".

I wanted to know what would happen if I tried to re-create the typical fella's efforts on a given weekend
with his daily driver Mopar b-body way back then (say 35-40 years ago) when it was time to replace the
brakes on his high-mile family sedan - or worn hot rod.

Is it still possible to redo the factory brakes on these cars using the usual, familiar aftermarket brands of
parts we would have found at the local auto parts store, back before the invasion of Chinesium everything?
To me doing this, any of the name brands of the day were acceptable - Bendix, Wagner, Raybestos, Eis (a
personal favorite), those sorts of American aftermarket replacement parts manufacturers.

THAT is what the point of doing this thread is all about - can it still be done and done economically, using
the same decision-making criteria a lot of us would have used back then - and of course, winding up with
good, functional, safe brakes when done?
Further, can anyone still do so, with a limited budget, without resigning ones' self to having
to accept the Chinese crap that's in the parts stores now?
If that sort of thing interests you, great - please feel free to help me along through this process!!

If not, that's ok too - I perfectly understand how boring this all sounds to many of you who do such
painstakingly wonderful work on the "next level" from this sort of thing.
All I ask is that there be no sniping from the tree line, no passing off of snobbery or judgement because
of the way things are going to go with this.
On the other hand, if I'm doing something mechanically wrong, if I'm jeopardizing safety, if something
tangibly dangerous is being presented - hell YES, I want to be told that ASAP!!

With all that said, here we go...it's Saturday morning 1980 all over again and Ed's been down to the
local parts store, fetching parts for his clapped out old Mopar! :thumbsup:
 

451Mopar

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You can make the 11 drums self-adjusting using a spring/cable/adjuster kit for a 1970 RT model.
Adjuster kit - Raybestos H2534 (Left side), and H2535 (Right Side). Around $7 each from Rock Auto.
 

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
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You can make the 11 drums self-adjusting using a spring/cable/adjuster kit for a 1970 RT model.
Adjuster kit - Raybestos H2534 (Left side), and H2535 (Right Side). Around $7 each from Rock Auto.
Thanks, but all parts have already been procured - and Mopar actually redesigned the self-adjusters for the 1969
model year so yes, Fred (a '68 model) will be getting the "improved" self-adjuster get ups. :thumbsup:
 

moparedtn

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Oh, almost forgot...
I feel it only fair to disclose that as I often do when I seek advice on all things Mopar,
I contacted "Professor" Rick Ehrenberg (credentials not needed there!).

When he found out I actually wanted to keep the drums, he became genuinely motivated
to help and advise (keep in mind, this is the father of the original "Disc-O-Tech" technical
article that began that whole disc brake conversion using factory parts movement back
around 1990 or so).
He strongly urged me to "upgrade" to the 1969 hardware, which has the better self-adjusters
and so forth - and he also told me to forget using "just" original asbestos linings and go with
what I remember also from long ago - get some semi-metallics on there!
He's a genuine, legendary original character for sure, but you know what?
He's never failed to write me back and answer any questions - often showing great patience
in doing so.

And yes....some of the items I've purchased for this come from him. The least I could do -
and his pricing on the USA items he has was quite reasonable, especially given a discount.
The dude is a credit to our hobby, hands down.
Sure, he's opinionated as hell - but he's packing the credentials to be so.
 

vintage chromoly

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Converting to disc brakes is one of the biggest “monkey see, monkey do” mods in the Mopar world.

I like your style, Ed!

:thumbsup:
 

Cranky

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Oh, almost forgot...
I feel it only fair to disclose that as I often do when I seek advice on all things Mopar,
I contacted "Professor" Rick Ehrenberg (credentials not needed there!).

When he found out I actually wanted to keep the drums, he became genuinely motivated
to help and advise (keep in mind, this is the father of the original "Disc-O-Tech" technical
article that began that whole disc brake conversion using factory parts movement back
around 1990 or so).
He strongly urged me to "upgrade" to the 1969 hardware, which has the better self-adjusters
and so forth - and he also told me to forget using "just" original asbestos linings and go with
what I remember also from long ago - get some semi-metallics on there!
He's a genuine, legendary original character for sure, but you know what?
He's never failed to write me back and answer any questions - often showing great patience
in doing so.

And yes....some of the items I've purchased for this come from him. The least I could do -
and his pricing on the USA items he has was quite reasonable, especially given a discount.
The dude is a credit to our hobby, hands down.
Sure, he's opinionated as hell - but he's packing the credentials to be so.

Semi metallic! It's something that I quit bringing up in the public forums because I ALWAYS got push back from the "that's too abrasive" crowd! Well, if they want to run oem/nos parts without wearing them out but still want good breaks.....they can put those drums on the keeper shelf for the show poodles and use the aftermarket or the oem stuff and semi metallic binders! Also, since most of my junk isn't numbers matching or for the show judges, I like to also install a manual proportioning valve that way you can easily adjust the front to rear bias. Yeah, I'm one that likes to play with my cars like grounding the neutral safety switch so I can go from dead quiet to instant burn out (having a line lock is helpful here :D) and doing hook slides by adjusting more rear brake.....lol. I'm one of the nut cases and well, it's fun. Even found a good place to jump a car using my sisters 65 6 banger Mudstain plus doing 70 mph 360's on the beach in Galveston and my first car, a 66 Belvedere saw plenty of air too. Sure glad cars can't talk!!
 

threewood

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Do you already have oem hoses for your overhaul? I am curious as to how the rubber has aged in a box and whether they will will be as good as when they were made. Rubber oem has always made me nervous. But I like the project. I'm still rolling around town in a 62 4 door that has 4 wheel drums and a single chamber master cylinder. Oh the horror!!:eek:
 

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