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Hi everyone ,

My '38 zephyr has cable brakes , the cables are toast (so are quite a few other things !) the drums and shoes look good , My question is , is it best to convert to '39 hydraulic stuff ,what is the availability of shoes,wheel cylinders,back plates etc , i take it the drums are the same for 38/39 ? the master cylinder isn't a problem (i build cars for a living ) I want to keep the wide 5 wheels so i don't want to convert to disc , OR are cable brakes good and should i get new cables (if they are available)

Thanks for any help

Wayne :)

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I think the choice between cable mechanical brakes or hydraulic depends on how and where you use the car. When these cars were new the mechanical brakes were buttery smooth and nearly on par with hydraulics. To be effective you have to use the proper lining, completely free cables and well oiled/greased pivots. The adjustments need to be carefully done in order to get them equalized and if the car is used often (like daily) you will need to adjust the brakes on a regular basis to maintain anything near straight line stops. I believe there is someone who rebuilds or supplies new cables and someone here might know who? The front cables for the '38's are longer than the '36-'37's but I think the rears are the same.

As a teenager I drove one of these for years but did not have to contend with modern traffic or freeway driving.

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Before owning my '48 Continental I drove a '38 Ford Deluxe with cable brakes as my antique car. You had to plan your stops, it wasn't good on panic stops. I borrowed a cable lubricator that is used on motorcycles that work well for lubricating the cables. I found out the hard way how not to adjust the brakes. No damage but one hell of a sharp turn.

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Thanks for the replies , I understand the cable brakes take more looking after and guessed they may be sort of self energising by the look of them , My Zephyr will get used a fair bit and our roads are pretty busy so i will probably go with the hydraulic conversion for safetys sake, anyone know if '38 and '39 drums are the same size ?

Thankyou

Wayne

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