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RO

1956 Lincoln Premiere brake problem

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'56 Premiere brakes failed backing up. Was backing up and characteristicly pumped the brakes a few times since the car had not been driven in a few weeks. Brakes seemed ok on level ground for a couple of applications. Master Cylinder fluid full. No signs of vacuum hose leak to power Treadlevac. When the car got onto a slope, it rook of down the hill and no amount of brake pedalling could stop the car and the emergency brake did not work either. Was able to drive the car back up the hill with the brakes seemingly working. Don't understand why, even if a problem with the rear brakes, why the front wouldn't hold the car. This is not my car, so I'm just trying to get some ideas for someone else nearby. Apparently this case of no brakes in reverse happened at least one other time but the car was subsequently driven a number of miles afterward although never put into reverse.

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Treadlevac boosters are nothing short of a nightmare. If they are not rebuilt with the proper kit for the particular application they will fail, and may fail even with the proper kit. Worked fine back in their day (at least for a while) but for safety reasons it is best to consider a new modern master cylinder/ booster replacement in my opinion. I've basically given up on the Treadlevac in my '58 Mercury.

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This Treadlevac was indeed rebuilt over ten years ago. But at least on the '56 Premiere there is accessibility for changeout unlike on my '55 and '56 Packards where they are a real pain accessed through the floorboard. We'll look into that after we address the rear bumper and right front fender damage after the car rolled unexpectedly on a hill into a tree. Not my car, so I don't know yet why the emergency brake did not work. I know of a number of Packard guys who have abandoned the T/V for something else.

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Do the '56 Premiere rear brakes require a hub puller?

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This Treadlevac was indeed rebuilt over ten years ago. But at least on the '56 Premiere there is accessibility for changeout unlike on my '55 and '56 Packards where they are a real pain accessed through the floorboard. We'll look into that after we address the rear bumper and right front fender damage after the car rolled unexpectedly on a hill into a tree. Not my car, so I don't know yet why the emergency brake did not work. I know of a number of Packard guys who have abandoned the T/V for something else.

One thing is for absolute certainty, the car shouldn't be driven anywhere. Stopping the car when in reverse isn't even the issue. Did anyone try the parking brake to see if that engages the rear shoes? If the parking brake is functional then there is probably nothing wrong with the rear brakes.

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Well, I was 40 miles away where the car is today and only checked the Parking gear while checking the incident damage; will have to take some chocks over there because you back up about 10' and you immediately hit the hill. But, yes, we need to check that out. The car indeed will not be driven because the RF fender now rubs the RF tire any turning at all and there's just no taking chances again down the driveway hill.

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I have the same problem and want to upgrade my master cylinder and or booster. Any suggestions? Preferably one that has separate front and rear cylinders for safety?

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Jim your '58 Mercury, what did you use? I would be interested as well in a dual master cylinder set up for this Premier and since everything is good access in front of the firewall, wouldn't think the task would be too difficult. I see the latest catalog from Kanter shows COMPLETE kits for the '58-'62 Lincolns (but $1099) but only disc brake conversion kits for the wheels for '52-'57 and '63-'66. C/O www.kanter.com catalog page 1.

Edited by RO (see edit history)

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Jim your '58 Mercury, what did you use? I would be interested as well in a dual master cylinder set up for this Premier and since everything is good access in front of the firewall, wouldn't think the task would be too difficult. I see the latest catalog from Kanter shows COMPLETE kits for the '58-'62 Lincolns (but $1099) but only disc brake conversion kits for the wheels for '52-'57 and '63-'66. C/O www.kanter.com catalog page 1.

I have yet to do anything about replacing the Treadlevac in my '58 Mercury. As a result of it's failure (again) I put it up on blocks until I can make up my mind as to whether try another rebuild or to chunk the whole thing in favor of one of the more or less universal replacement options. My preference would be to keep the car 100% original. One of the things one has to be very careful about when entertaining a booster upgrade with many late 50's Ford produced cars with a "big block" engine such as the Lincoln 368 and 430 engines as clearance with the exhaust manifolds, as well as firewall mounting can be an issue. In my case an issue I simply haven't taken the time to adequately study. My '58 Mercury has the then optional 430 engine in it, so I have to be cautious about the path I take.

I would not recommend getting into a disc brake conversion unless you do a very thorough study of all the issues, most particularly whether you will run into problems with wheels having sufficient clearance with the calipers. Spindles can also be an issue. Personally, though knowing disc brakes are superior to drum brakes, we did drive cars for many years that had drum brakes without significant incident. Given most of us don't drive our vintage cars all that many miles in a year, I'm just not sure they are worth the expense or hassle one gets into installing them.

I don't know for certain but with the year limitations you mentioned from Kanter I suspect they are selling kits from MDM. As for the gap in years it has to do with 14" wheels and/or the engine size issue I mentioned above.

Edited by Jim_Edwards (see edit history)

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Hey I have a 1957 premiere  I want to rebuild  the master  cylinder but I can't get the little  metal bar out the brake pedal how do you remove  is there a pin? Or how can you remove  it anyone????

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