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DADDIO65

1939 brakes

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Ok, here is one,

I took my brakes apart, rebuilt the cylinders, and the master cylinder, put everything back together, and all works fine.

Question.. On each of my drums there is a 1.25" slot. I can only assume this is for checking proper brake to drum clearence? If this is so, what would the proper clearence be? I can't find it in any of my manuals.

Thanks as usual for answering my endless questions.

Jeff

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Guest imported_V12Bill

The slot is to check the clearance between the brake shoe and the drum. The shoes must be concentric with the drum. Tighten the star adjuster and place a .010 feeler gage in the slot in the area that would be the bottom of each shoe. Check the distance with the .010 gage in the area that would be in the area of the top of the shoes. If the gage has the same resistance top and bottom the shoes are concentric. If not loosen the shoe anchor bolt nut 1/2 turn and tap the bolt/nut up or down to move the shoes. Shoes not being concentric will cause the car to pull when the brakes are applied. Did I get this right , Dee?

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Yes, you certainly did! They do this only for the secondary shoe while prying it away from the drum and holding the primary tight against the drum using a screw driver thru the adjusting slot on the backing plate and moving the anchor pin up or down until the clearance, .010" (.015") is the same at both ends of the secondary shoe. The reason they only do this on the secodary is that the primary is first to leave it's position away from the anchor, rotates slightly and centers itself on application.

The shoes of course must be the same radius as the drums to begin with.

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As usual you guys are on top of it!! I'll work on it again this Wednesday and let you know how it goes. Thanks!!

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I'm finishing up a brake job on my '41. It sounds like the '39 brakes are different as the shoes on mine float on the spring retainers and there is no anchor bolt. Or am I missing something...

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My 39 brakes have a top center post. The top of each primary and secondary shoe rest against this and are held into place by 2 long springs. The piston rods then attach to the shoes and are inserted into the brake cylinder ends. Below that are (on each brake shoe) a spring retainer to hold the shoes against the backing plate. Next is the adjuster, it is held into place by a single spring (horizontally attached). The bottom of the brake assembly "floats".When I say "floats" I mean it pivots off of the top center post. I dont know if the 41 set up is any different from mine. This description was for the front brakes only. The rear brakes are of the same design, however, both have a emergency brake cable attached and an equalizer bar that runs horizontally between the mid portion of the brake shoes. When I reassembled this I used just a little high temp grease on each of the 4 rests that the brakes sit atop. This allows for smoother retraction, and less squeeking or rattling. The application of this in no way will get to the brake shoes, thus causing stopping issues. (a little trick my dad taught me from the Model-A school of automobiles).

Hopefully this helps you Dspringer. Regards, Jeff

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David, the top bolt that the shoes rest against is the anchor. The brakes on your '41 are the same as the '39. This type Bendix brake was used on all Lincolns into the '50's.

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Thanks, Jeff and Dee. I didn't think I should be messing with that big 15/16 nut that secures the post. Now I know to heed Bill's adjustment advice. I wish more cars would use standardized parts!

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Well, got all the brakes adjusted. Now I just need to get the engine back, and the old girl will be ready for the road. I think I just about got everything wrapped up.I should have the engine back from the machine shop in about 2 weeks.....or so i was told. I'll keep you all posted.

Thanks for all of the great advice everyone!!

Jeff

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I've often wondered why Ford and Mercury used the "Lockheed" brake system with the unequal sized wheel cylinders and the adjustable anchor pins (which are a pain to adjust) from 1939 through 1948 while Lincoln went straight to the industry standard "Bendix" system in 1939.

This caused the Lincoln rear brake assembly (which bolts right onto the early Fords) to be so much in demand that they're now being reproduced as upgrades for early Ford brakes.

Go figure!!!

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Phil, the old story I heard ( as a young boy) was that Henry traded the formula for his superior paint to Chrysler for the use of their Lockheed brakes. Don't know how much "myth" there is to this? The Lincolns, both K and Zephyr, started off with mechanical Bendix. I suspect old Henry decided ( with some urging) the Ford mechanicals weren't good enough for the new Zephyrs?

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V12Bill and Dee, thanks for the info on the brakes. At first I couldn't figure out what you meant by the "anchor bolt" I again climbed under there last night and realized what you were talking about. I gave your info a whirl and did the front brakes. I got lazy and made my 11 year helper, (my son) do the backs. I think he did a better job than I did. Regardless, thanks fellas for sharing your knowledge. It makes newbies such as myself a little more confident in working on these Zephyrs!!

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