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56 Roadmaster front backing plates interchange


Beemon
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Thanks! There's a few on Ebay right now and one Roadmaster shell at the local yard. Getting ready to get the car back on the road this afternoon and going to be going over the brake system very soon, the Roadmaster plates will help with the wider drum and shoe.

 

Whats the part #?

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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I think we are mis communicating. Roadmaster plates will only fit a Roadmaster of those years. Everything else has a different part #. I have no idea if they will bolt up to 40-50-60. Sorry if I mis understood.

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I've heard the bolt pattern for backing plates are identical, the Roadmaster plates are just a quarter inch deeper. Bhigdog, can you post the plate part number please? I'm not buying anything for a while but would like to have it so I can confirm with ebay. I would also like to be informed or corrected on whether or not these backing plates will fit a century. 

 

I would order the drums from kanter,  they have a warranty on their drums. When I purchased the rear drums, they were round and I've bought through them plenty of times. I have to order wheel bearings, too, and they're the only ones that supply them affordably.

 

I was looking at CARS and they have Roadmaster front springs listed differently from Century front springs. I wouldn't think there's a difference, but would like to be enlightened on that as well.

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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1953-1956 model 70 frnt  left  & right backing plate # 5454166 $7.55.

1955 -56 spring front 40-60 dynaflo no AC 1165048  $11.50

1955-56 spring  front  50-70   no AC          1165049   $11.50

Here's the deal I've found on springs. The OEM springs are NOT ground flat on the bottom so as to fit the bottom plate.  They ARE ground flat on the top to sit flat against the top plate. I have not found any repro's that are ground flat. So what happens is the weight of the car bows the spring sideways and it rubs on the inside of the spring pocket. I put a pair of repro's in my 1955 and could hear a rubbing sound

when the car bounced. I could see the sideways bow. I finally put the originals back in with a 3/8" spacer on top to make up for slight height loss and all was well.

If you want the repro's you can have them for the cost of shipping

1956 steering knuckles are all the same so the backing plates should fit.............Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Bhigdog said:

1953-1956 model 70 frnt  left  & right backing plate # 5454166

Thanks, this is one of the plates I was looking at on Ebay, they're part #5454167 so that's good to know they're not the real plates.

 

I should clarify on what I meant by springs - I was talking about shoe springs, not coil springs... my mistake!

 

Thanks again for the information, a great help!

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Don't know what to say re the part #. Both my 1960 and 1963 parts books show the 5454166 # as correct. Checked the # substitution lists also and can't find 5454167 anywhere. That said I've seen lots of OEM parts with #'s I could not find in da book..............Bob

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Thanks for the tip, that will broaden my search. There's a yard 5 hours from me that has a 52 roadmaster but I didn't inquire, just 53-56 which they didn't have. There's also another yard equal distance from me that I'm waiting to hear back from. 

 

Edit: No go on the 58 plates, just found a picture of them and the hub bolt pattern is square, mine is rectangular. Same for 57. Though I have heard 52 may interchange, 52 and below have the rectangular plates but I'm not sure if they would interchange or not, so I'm sticking with the parts book. If the yard wasn't 5 hours away, I'd drive over with my Century backing plates and check specs.

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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A little bit off topic, but I found a set of 45 fin aluminum drums reported to be off of a 1965 Riviera locally on Craigslist. They are the 2.25" width shoe and $200 for the pair.

 

In everyone's opinion, would the 2.5" cast iron Roadmaster drums be better than the 2.25" aluminum 45 fin drum? I was thinking with the aluminum drums, I could use my original backing plates and put the Riviera drums on with the roller bearings, but then I lose a quarter inch of braking surface. Thoughts are always welcome!

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1 hour ago, old-tank said:

I have a feeling that the Riviera drums and bearings will not work on your original spindles....

I compared inside diameters of both the inner and outer bearings and they are the same. 

 

From what I read, it does need a shim of some kind. 

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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What I did for my '54 Super:  I adapted aluminum drums and '54 Roadmaster brakes.

 

Use Roadmaster backing plates and shoes, and adapt the aluminum drums to your original bearing hubs.  The dia. of your hub should match the dia. of the aluminum drum. 

 

Use hi-quality button-head bolts and flange nuts to replace the factory rivets.  I have made up new guide pins with a longer threaded shaft, and have sets available if interested.  

 

You will need to widen the lug bolt holes on the drum just a little, and find later front wheel bolts, which are longer to accommodate the thicker face of the aluminum drum.  The shorter and more common earlier ones don't grab with enough thread to be safe.  (Which is why from '58 and later, they were ID'ed with F for front, and R for rear.)  What you want is 1 and 1/8 inch long, 9/16 with 16 thread count.

 

Recently, I have had to massage the brakes a bit, though, to get better shoe engagement into the drum.  I recently discovered that the shoes were hanging off the drum surface just a bit, not sitting full-depth into the drum.  As they get a little wear on them, that becomes a real problem.  So I shaved down the outer edge of the brake plate and shimmed the plate forward with thick washers where it bolts to the spindle.  Machining blue tells me I got it fixed, but I will consider the case closed after a few more miles.

 

Test your set-up by painting machining blue on a portion of the drum surface.  Install the drum, tighten your shoes and rotate the drum a bunch in doth directions.  There should be blue residue on your shows across the entire width of the shoe.  If not you have to do some massaging, as per above.

 

Overall, I love the set-up.  Much better braking and almost no fade.  BTW, with all the options, my Evelyn weighs in at 4660 pounds by herself, and she has to manage SoCal freeway traffic.  I drive her at 60 in the slower lanes, but even being careful, you still need to brake hard now and then.  With the aluminum drums in 1958, Buick went from among the worse to about the best in terms of drum technology, and they were used for a good number of years.  But they are getting expensive and hard to find.  Grab them when you can!

 

If anyone wants a set of the guide pins, PM me.  I will also bring them to Allentown.  If anyone wants to chat, give me a number...

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I was actually a little bit curious because I have the Scarebird disc brake conversion that uses roller bearings from a 1977 Riviera. Turns out it's the same bearings all the way back to 1963. I am more than positive this will work! As soon as I get a hold of the seller, I will do an update to the thread.

 

Found the parts list for the Riviera rotor in the kit:

1946-56: BR51

1957: BR5 (1963-77 Riviera)

 

The BR51 has the same dimensions as the BR5 wheel bearing, except the ID is 1.5" on the BR51 and 1.375" on the BR5. These bearings are confirmed to work on my stock spindles with the disc brake conversion.

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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You know it just really bothers me that these restoration websites will bend you over for a quick buck.

 

Classic Buicks, CARS, Fusick all want upwards of $20 for a spring kit and don't even get me started on the self adjusters. It's a good thing Fusick messed up and posted and picture of their kit, because I wouldn't have been able to match up a NAPA kit with the exact same colors. There's also two other kits offered through NAPA that are similar, and for their prices I'll just order all three and compare springs in store before buying. If they aren't the same, I'll rescind my statements, but come on...

 

BHK2.jpg

Fusick kit

 

NAPA kit

NAPA other 1

NAPA other 2 (looks like the Fusick Roadmaster kit)

 

And here's the adjusting screw - $6.75, NOT $21.50... I just can't believe it.

If you want them individually:

Adjustment spring

Hold down spring

Hold down cup

Hold down pin

Return spring

 

The only thing I can't find are the rubber plugs. Some of these were also sourced from a 1962 Electra, but the adjuster spring was the same to 1958 and 1952-1960 apparently share springs. Brake shoes and drum sizes are all the same. Wheel cylinders are the same from 1956 to 1962, and all the springs are the same for front and rears so I don't see why they would change springs? Anyways take all this with a grain of salt. It's extremely frustrating to me that people operate businesses like this. I guess they did their research and bank on others not doing their own.

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Use the suppliers for convenience (that's what they are counting on) and for the parts that are available nowhere else.  Also remember that paying more for some of their parts keeps them in business when you need them and keeps obscure parts available at a decent price.  And thank NAPA for keeping the availability of these parts at decent prices...other parts stores are selling the same stuff (if they have it) under the "Rare Parts" brand at close to Buick supplier prices.

Willie 

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Don't get me wrong, CARS is my favorite distributor with Bob's and Kanter behind it, and I always go to them for the hard to find stuff. It's just when I find stuff still being made today and their prices aren't even competetive, especially with the $20 shipping they tack on to every order, I get a bit frustrated. 

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I vote to for Bob's.  I love dialing a number and getting someone I know who answers the phone.

 

BTW, pay attention to the length of the retainer pins.  They need to be a smidge longer for the Roadmasters due to the wider shoes.  Otherwise, everything else seems to be the same.

 

 

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