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'40 Continental Rear Brake Rebuild


Ron K.
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I have acquired all new parts and am trying to assemble the rear brakes but I cannot get the shoes to seat properly on the top post and think that the emergency brake cable may be the problem. I tried to partially applying the emergency brake and it helped a little bit but still would not allow the shoes to seat properly in place. I studied all of the depictions that I can find in case I was not reassembling it properly and have done an unsuccessful search on this forum and my "Way of the Zephyr" magazines. I would appreciate any tips you experienced guys may have. Ron

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Ron, here are two photos of each side, left and right rear. The emergency brake cable should be loosened enough to allow the brakes to fit up properly to the posts. If you loosen the cable and it doesnt seem to move, you may have to disconnect the cable, start putting penetrating oil on the cable, then start pulling from the brake side and working it back and forth till it frees up. Partially applying the emergency brake will only make it more difficult to seat the top of the shoes.

Check your assembly against these photos to make sure all is well.

Make sure the adjuster with the star wheel is taken all of the way in. You can adjust that later.

I usually place the shoes flat on the floor and add the adjuster and bottom spring. Then I lift the assembly to the backing plate, attatch the emergency brake cable, and install the pins and springs to hold it in place. Then install the spreader bar making sure it is in the slots, then place the funny shaped washer over the pin and add the springs. Sometimes bumping the shoes back and forth once installed on the backing plate will help center everything and seat the top of the shoes on the post.

The only other thing that comes to mind would be after you have installed the top two springs, loosen the bleeder screw on the wheel cylinder, then push the top of the shoes together at the same time. Once they are in and seated on the post, tighten the bleeder screw. Sometimes if you dont do this, when you push one shoe into the post, the other will push away. Hope this helps.

Tom

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Edited by Tom Overfield
revised instructions (see edit history)
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I disassembled the the rear brake assembly again and carefully reassembled it the way that I think is correct. I still cannot get the the top of the shoes to seat properly on the upper pin and the drum will not go on because the shoes are too high, as if the springs are pulling it up to the top of the backing plate. As Tom recommended, I did adjust the emergency brake cable but it did not seem to help As you can see the bottom adjustment screw is completely closed. Any ideas?

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The Parking Brake Arm (Lever) belongs in BEHIND THE BRAKE SHOE ! your Photo shows it Resting OUTSIDE of the Brake Shoe !! So it's not fully Released ..Put it BEHIND the shoe and it should return its self to the rear and let the shoes rest against the anchor post..

Edited by notnow (see edit history)
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I am sure that you are correct but with it bolted to the rear shoe, I think that I would have to bend the lever to get it sit between the shoe and the backing plate. I will go back out and try again. Thanks. Ron

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Thank you Notnow and Tom. I should have realized when I dismantled it that the emergency lever bolt that had a cotter key hole in it but no cotter key was there for a reason. The rears are still very difficult to get on over the shoes but I will get it done. Re-learned about Primary and Secondary shoes, amazing what one forgets over the years. Thanks again guys. Ron

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