RansomEli

1929 135 Brake Repair

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I'll double-check the brake lines per the advice given.

 

Neal Kissel had worked on the car for the previous owner. I'll see if the lines have been replaced and everything looks OK. 

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Posted (edited)

Jim,

 

At the risk of belaboring this point, DON"T TRUST the looks of the lines if can't be positively established that they have ALL been replaced with NEW high-strength copper/nickel lines and NEW flair nuts. This is the one place in the brake system most likely to fail suddenly and cause a complete LOSS OF BRAKING.

 

After 80+ years, the flair nuts are the weakest link in the entire system....and they ain't getting better. Cylinders may leak, but because of the design of the Wagner Lockheed systems on Franklins, it's extremely rare that they could cause complete system failure, like an old flair fitting can when it suddenly cracks.

 

BTW, the original flair nut that cracked and lead to a complete loss of brakes downhill, on a Series 145 roll-over at a Trek - just 100 miles after being inspected and tested - also looked fine.

 

Paul 

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Paul, 

 

Thanks for the advice. You've convinced me to install new brake lines, too.

 

The Franklin Club website lists a source for the 1/4" and 5/16" lines: Federal Hill Trading Company. Will purchase a good quality single flare tool in order to do the job right. Eastwood seems to have a good one.

 

Just found out that Federal Hill does not carry the long tapered flare nuts, described by the club as FCP-36: ten 1/4" and two 5/16" long tapered flare nuts. I'll contact the Franklin Club project manager to track these down.

 

Will follow recommendation on HHFC website and get 25' roll of 1/4" and 3-5' of 5/16.

 

One Q: can I put a brake fluid reservoir on my '29? If so, where does it connect to the master cylinder? The factory drawing  #43995  doesn't offer much help.

 

I appreciate everyone's advice.

 

 

Edited by RansomEli
added additional info about flare nuts (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Jim,

Yes, you can buy the copper/nickel brake tubing else where, but, not the SAE spec brass flair nuts. Those are only available through the Club.

 

Back when I was handing over running the Club's Parts Projects to Bob Harrison (smartest thing I ever did with it), I found the only US company that makes them in this country exactly to the Franklin drawing, which is still the SAE specification.  Back then there was some question about the strength of the imported brass flair nuts sold in autoparts stores.

 

You can get the lines and flair nuts right from the Club. Then your helping support the future of the Club's Parts projects.

 

Adding a reservoir to a 28/29 style box master cylinder will cause problems. The box cap might not seal because it has a check valve in it to maintain about 7 psi in the system to help keep the lips of the rubber piston cups sealed against their bores. Plus it might interfere with the compensating port unless the check valve is removed. If you negate that check valve the rubber cups may leak.   If just adding a separate reservoir and line to that box would make it better, Franklin would have.

 

All too often, trying to improve these systems just causes other problems.  

 

Yeah, it's a pain to get the toe board up to check brake fluid level. What some do is cut  a good sized hole in the floor board over the master cylinder fill cap and use a sheet metal swing-aside cover over the hole.  However, before you starting cutting, if the brake system is rebuilt properly you'll only need to check fluid level about once a year, when you check the trans fluid level and grease the knee-knocker brake linkage.

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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Great! Will get the lines and flare nuts from the Club.  thanks for the advice.

 

Will forget about the brake reservoir.

 

And will keep everyone posted.

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