Sign in to follow this  
laddy

1939 Brakes

Recommended Posts

I have a 1939 Dodge D11. I bled the brakes and have Great pedal but it takes 20 feet to stop. How is the eaiest way to adjust the brakes? I am old and no help. Can anyone give me a step by step? Many thanks Fred

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a brake mechanic, this is what I do....

Always adjust prior to bleeding. I always adjust with the tire on as it makes it easier to turn the drum. USE JACK STANDS! Adjust the shoes out while rotating the tire until it stops rotating. Adjust back in enough to hear a very slight drag of the shoes on the drum. Do this to all of the shoes. Always bleed from the farthest wheel cylinder from the master cylinder and work your way to the next closest and the next...until done. MAKE CERTAIN TO KEEP THE MASTER CYLINDER FILLED WHILE BLEEDING! You may have to repeat the bleeding procedure in order to expel all of the air from the lines. You may have to re-adjust after a short drive. NEVER lift up on the brake pedal until the wheel cylinder bleeder screw is closed. You may want to get a shop manual for your car. They can be had on Ebay.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to Motor's manual, 1939 Dodges have Lockheed brakes with two fixed anchors at the bottom and a double ended cylinder at the top. Keiser31 has told us how to adjust the brake shoe cam but not the anchor bolts. Each anchor includes a cam arrangement to centralize the shoe. Hopefully the brake shoe cam is all you need to adjust if you haven't had the thing apart or it is not too badly worn.

The manuals all say to use either the fancy tool (brake drum removed) or a feeler gauge between the drum and shoe. This is possible if your drum has a wee window in it. If not, you will need a bit more patience. I do mine (1939 Studebaker) by trial end error and seem to get it fairly good. The 1930 Dodge DC has a wee window in the drum - you remove a screw to remove the cover.

This is what Motor's manual says for the anchors:

"Loosen the anchor bolt nuts and if the bolts are marked with arrows, turn the bolts until the arrows are pointed directly at each other. Now turn the right hand anchor bolt counter-clockwise and the left hand anchor bolt clockwise. Doing this will move the heel of each brake shoe downward and outward towards the drum. Continue to turn the anchor bolts until the heel of each brake shoe comes into contact with the heel adjusting finger on the gauge or the feeler gauge. This will give the correct clearance at the drum."

The feeler gauge thickness for 1939 Dodge is 0.012" for toe and 0.006" for heel.

Assuming a system that has been in use for a while.... when bleeding, only press the pedal down as far as it would go for an emergency stop. There is often a load of crud in the far end of the master cylinder that might get picked up and spread around all cylinders, possibly causing scoring, wear, or leakage wear in the cylinder, if you go past the normal use part of the cylinder.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. I have a manual for the old Dodge and it refers to the anchor bolts as well. Since I have been messing with cars I never needed to mess with them and in the early "50s "remember just spinning the wheel and adjusting the cam....but that was many years ago. That is why I wrote in. I thought maybe my memory was worse than I thought and this wouldn't work the old "simple" way. Thanks. This weekend I am going to try it. Too rainy, cold and sore to do it today. My best regards Fred

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this