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Mechanical Brake Woes?

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Well, since every search I've tried returns 500 results, I figured I'd just start a new thread......

I have a 30 coupe with, obviously, mechanical brakes. I am having problems with severe fading. The brakes were totally overhauled a couple of years ago. I don't recall having this much trouble with them. When going 30 or so they seem to stop pretty well, but still fade almost completely to the floor. When going 50 plus, I

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Just say a prayer if you are trying to go from 50 mph to a dead stop.....you cannot expect the same performance you get with your everyday driver. Actually, it just sounds like you are due to service your brakes. It also pays to check a few things to make sure the guy that rebuilt your brakes did it right.

Check and adjust the break rods so when you apply the brakes the levers are at 90 degrees from the horizontal brake rods. This will provide the maximum leverage during braking. Also, lubricate all the brake rod pins and bearings.

Check for leaky seals that may have oiled or greased your brake linings. Outside brakes can accumulate dirt, oils, wax, etc from normal use. Just squirt and ample amount of break cleaner between the drum and the lining to dissolve any oils.

Inspect the linings. Are they made of the correct friction material? They should show even wear all the way around. If not, adjust the bands until they match the contour of the drums.

Hope this helps...

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Thanks for the tips, Mark. I recently did some service to the brakes by making the adjustment at the brake drum and lubricating all of the points. It's a bit better, but not great. I'm going to try to get the guy who did my brakes a couple of years ago to check them out. He's an antique car mechanic who has a lot of experience with mechanical brakes so I have to assume he used the correct material and performed the adjustments correctly at the time. I read the major adjustment procedure in the manual and it looks a bit complicated to me. I will take a look at the linings and drums. Perhaps there is too much grease an debris there. They are internal expanding type of drum brake.

The problem is just that I run out of pedal. If the pedal didn't go all the way to the floor, I'm sure I'd be able to apply more pressure to stop more effectively.....

I guess I am maybe expecting a bit too much from mechanical brakes, but I just want to make sure they are working the best they possbly can. It seems to me they used to be better......

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