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scott12180

1912 Maxwell question

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Hi --- I'm not new to brass cars but I am to Maxwells.

I'm looking at a 1912 Maxwell Special which is very appealing. I notice in the photos received that it seems this is one of those makes without a brake pedal.

Am I correct that the clutch and brake are combined into one pedal on the LEFT (???). How does that system work?

Frankly, I'd be scared to death of that. In a panic stop there's going to be nothing under your right foot that 40 years of driving has conditioned me to use.

I'd appreciate somebody's comment on this. Has anyone done a conversion to add a real brake pedal?

Thanks --- Scott

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Scott,

The 1912 Maxwell Special is a fairly conventional large car with internal expanding and external contracting shoes on the rear brake drums. It also has a 3 speed conventional sliding gear transmission with multi plate clutch so it must have conventional brake and clutch pedals.

The Special should perform well with a 4.25" x 5.25" 4 cyl engine.

You might reach more Maxwell owners Forum on the Maxwell Briscoe Yahoo site : https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/maxwellbriscoeowners/info

David ( 1912 Maxwell AC)

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Scott,

Am not familiar with the Maxwell but I believe the same system of one pedal was used on some Chalmers cars too. Probably others as well.

Pedal released and the clutch is engaged with brakes released. Press down the pedal and the clutch will disengage then the brakes will activate before the pedal hits the floor.

YES a scarry system for most of us today and considered unsafe as you cannot use the service brake when going down a hill on compression.

It is common for another pedal to be added to such cars to separate the clutch and brake.

Just consider it one of those safety issue concessions to modern standards like safety glass and a fire extinguisher.

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Scott,

On further reading of my Maxwell literature it seems Layden B may well be correct . The handbook for the 1911 Maxwell models states that the EA & GA models have a "pedal controlling both clutch & brake." I could not find the same detail for the Special however if it has only 2 pedals then it seems that is how it works. You learn something new everyday! What a diabolical feature.

David

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Hi --- I'm not new to brass cars but I am to Maxwells.

I'm looking at a 1912 Maxwell Special which is very appealing. I notice in the photos received that it seems this is one of those makes without a brake pedal.

Am I correct that the clutch and brake are combined into one pedal on the LEFT (???). How does that system work?

Frankly, I'd be scared to death of that. In a panic stop there's going to be nothing under your right foot that 40 years of driving has conditioned me to use.

I'd appreciate somebody's comment on this. Has anyone done a conversion to add a real brake pedal?

Thanks --- Scott

Hi Scott, it may not be as big a deal as you think, if the brake and clutch are on the same pedal. In a panic stop, your left foot goes straight to the floor anyhow. Maybe your right foot can help it out. ;)

Our 1912 REO has a similar setup. Although it has three pedals, the middle one is just a parking brake and driving is done with the brake that is on the clutch pedal. The hardest part is remembering not to put your foot to the floor when shifting gears! It's a pretty good system for starting up on a hill.

Of course, going down steep hills is a worry. You have to disengage the clutch to apply the brakes. In 1997, prior to driving the REO across Canada, my father made a slight modification which allows him to insert a lever through a hole in the floorboards and apply the brakes with the lever, while the clutch remains engaged (The REO doesn't have a hand brake.)

Many brass era cars have their unique features. It's surprising how you can adjust to them, even when switching between cars regularly.

Peter

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I had a 1917 Reo touring that had this feature, one pedal for both clutch and brake. As mentioned, it takes a little getting used to for shifting, when one is conditioned to "floor" a clutch pedal. Overall, though, it wasn't that hard to get used to. I surely wouldn't not buy a car that I liked because of the feature, and yes, it was a double negative!

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Scott,

As the car has both internal expanding and external contracting brakes, presumably one set of shoes will be operated by the combined pedal and the other by a handbrake. If so the handbrake could be used when engine braking is needed. It would not stop me buying the car and I am sure you would get used to it quickly.

My 1912 Maxwell AC has a planetary transmission like a T Ford except that gears are changed with a lever. There is no clutch. It was a bit strange at first but did not take long to become second nature.

Let us know if you go ahead with the Maxwell Special and what you think of it.

David

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Scott,

As the car has both internal expanding and external contracting brakes, presumably one set of shoes will be operated by the combined pedal and the other by a handbrake. If so the handbrake could be used when engine braking is needed. It would not stop me buying the car and I am sure you would get used to it quickly.

Exactly that... and also, when you get to the stop sign at the bottom of the mountain, you have been using compression and your internal expanding break all the way down and have a not overheated external band (or vice versa) to bring you to a complete stop.... watch you 6 for the more conventional (by modern standards) brass car behind you! I've driven a couple cars with this setup, Maxwell and Chevrolet. It really isn't that different during normal touring. Two pedals actually makes a lot of sense, matches the number of legs you are equipped with! It is less of a change than going from a standard trans to a planetary on a T or a backwards shift pattern on a Dodge or Buick.

I cannot help you with the 40 years of conditioning issue though, my father was getting into brass as I started driving so I was exposed to a lot of variation before I could vote.

Funny note on said conditioning, I used to be in the habit of putting cars in neutral at stoplights. I had been running around with friends in a 1920 Dodge Brothers all day when my father (who has a Maxwell, is on the forums, and will certainly read this) asked me to take his Model A somewhere. I was at a light, chatting with the cute girl from school I didn't stand a chance with in the lane next to me, the light changed, I threw the shifter into what had been a forward gear all day and got on it... coming very close to flying backward right through the police car behind me! No contact made, just a brief scolding, but a break at the bottom of that clutch pedal would have been GREAT!

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Hi --- I'm not new to brass cars but I am to Maxwells.

I'm looking at a 1912 Maxwell Special which is very appealing. I notice in the photos received that it seems this is one of those makes without a brake pedal.

Am I correct that the clutch and brake are combined into one pedal on the LEFT (???). How does that system work?

Frankly, I'd be scared to death of that. In a panic stop there's going to be nothing under your right foot that 40 years of driving has conditioned me to use.

I'd appreciate somebody's comment on this. Has anyone done a conversion to add a real brake pedal?

Thanks --- Scott

This one is all stock just drive it around the block once in a while the brakes work but don't drive very fast also there is a hand brake .

post-87524-143143028164_thumb.jpg

Edited by tracktor312 (see edit history)

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Interesting, I have never "floored the clutch pedal". I was taught to depress the clutch pedal until the clutch was disengaged. This is usually 1" or so above the toeboard.

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A new member here. I have a 1912 Maxwell Mascotte. Don't let the single clutch/brake pedal scare you. They aren't hard to get used to. The poor brakes are more of a concern to me. As described by others there is also a hand brake that when pulled disengages the clutch. I'm also a member of the Maxwell Briscoe Yahoo Forum.

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