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36 brake shoe problems

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hi i am in the uk and my main man is colin spong 

who most of you will know

he is on the case 

what it is i cannot obtain the correct brake linings for my 36 zephyr

had them done now twice 

second time  in a cloth  type 

been back to brake man today thats all he does

brake are very bad

all cables are new 

if anybody can help please 

let me know

thanks ady 




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I have only worked on 1938 LZs. your 1936/37 looks similar except for the twin cables.
Soft linings are best , bite  in easier, less pedal pressure needed. Linings  should be  radiused  [arc ground]  to fit curve of drum and shoes  centralized  by adjusting large nut and eccentric stud on outside of backing plate. Refer to service bulletin.  Weakest spring on leading shoe to come on first then  stronger spring on secondary shoe follows pulling shoes in direction of rotation to tighten  into drum. Red, green black shoe  springs clockwise seems to ring a bell?
  Cables may  need to pull in straighter line,  looks like that rear backing plate could be  revolved  clockwise to next set of bolt holes to give cables a straighter pull.
 Colin will know all this ,

Edited by 38ShortopConv.
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I was told by a very old brake and tranny shop that, that type of shoe is only for emergency brake applications.  I had planned on using that style on my ‘38, last year for the cables.  Went with his suggestion not to use them.

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The correct lining material can be purchased from: 

Brake Materials & Parts, Inc.
Fort Wayne, IN
(260) 426-3331


He also arc grinds the shoes, but the shipping from the UK for the shoes is expensive. He may have some replacement shoes for your car.


Measure your drums, they should not be cut more than .060" oversize. If they are larger than that, you will have to have thicker linings arc ground for your drums.

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Really time to consider upgrading those mechanical brakes to hydraulic for safety's sake.  If you drive much with the modern traffic and crazed drivers out there stopping is important at times.  Most judging allows for safety reasons so that it doesn't take away from the authenticity of the vehicle.  It was only some 3 years later that Ford did upgrade the brakes on these cars.  Luckily brake parts to do repairs or conversions is readily available many places, and you don't have to totally convert to disc brakes either.  Just my thoughts......!

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  • 1 month later...


its ady again

it turns out that hen my shoes were relined 


during the glue presses

sorted the bent issue took them back

still have poor brakes 

any more help 

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have adjusted the shoe as in the instructions

from club mag

good brake pedal

but will not stop car

i had a 35 ford with the Dead Stop Brake Energizer Kit

brakes were great

any sugestions

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Your shoes may not be making full contact with the drums or not equalized.


See if you can lock the brakes and tell if all four are grabbing at the same time. Check the skid marks to see if all 4 are grabbing, if not, go through the cable adjustment again.


If they are all grabbing at the same time, spray a thin coat of paint on the shoes and then make several stops. The paint should wear off the shoes where the shoes contact the drums. Doing just the front wheel shoes should give you an idea if that is your problem.

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