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'54 Brake Brum Turn-Out?

Fr. Buick

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I am looking over a '54 to buy, and the owner's mechanic informs me that the brake drums measure as follow:

Front 12.153

Rear 12.163

Is that not a little high? Without my FSM in front of me, I seem to recall 12.120 as a max for turning the drums - or am I confusing iron drums with the later aluminum ones?

The car is supposed to be a 30-40K original mile wonder. Drums don't lie, so what should the numbers tell me?

Additional info: Compression on the engine is 85-90 psi.

As well, the front bearings are after-market "Timken" brand and not the factor "New Departure."

Comments appreciated,

Doug Cook

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My parts books say the drums on a 54 and 55 are the same. 55's are nominally sized 12.000" with a max allowable re-turned size of .060" oversize. The compression sounds a bit on the low side but if the car has been setting unused for awhile the rings/valves just may be stickey.

Or the milage may be understated, or the car may have been ridden hard and put away wet too many times.

You may want to look a little harder before you take the plunge.....Bob

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It took me 365,000 miles and many brake shoe changes to get that kind of wear on a 55 Special. The bearings should last longer than that too. And the compression is low for even the low compression 54 Special.....seems you are already suspecting....


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