Jump to content

One thing I would like to know about historical car brakes


No Bias FTW
 Share

Recommended Posts

From my current understanding of the automobile, vehicular brakes developed in this fashion:  archaic wooden brakes>>>>mechanical drum brakes>>>>hydraulic drum brakes>>>>hydraulic disc brakes>and then abs.

 

I'm just curious: was there ever an phase where MECHANICAL disc brakes were used?

I asked because, in the bicycle world at least, we seem to have an almost identical brake history (main exception being the computerized abs). As in the automobile world, we noticed that disc brakes offer better performances in a lot of situations. The difference is that cyclists have a choice between disc brakes that are actuated mechanically (by physical cables) and ones that are actuated hydraulically (by fluids). 

Did car drivers used to have that choice?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe there was a Lanchester car around 1901 with a disc brake, that would have been mechanical. But other than that, disc brakes first appeared in 1949 (Chrysler and Crosley) and on English cars in 1957. They became a popular option on American cars in the mid sixties starting with Studebaker in 1962. In other words, long after hydraulic brakes became standard.

 

You forgot band brakes, they were popular in the teens and twenties. A flexible steel band lined with woven asbestos lining, either wrapped around a drum (external contracting) or inside a drum (internal expanding). Chrysler used a band type handbrake on the back of the transmission until the early sixties.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

 

You forgot band brakes, they were popular in the teens and twenties. A flexible steel band lined with woven asbestos lining, either wrapped around a drum (external contracting) or inside a drum (internal expanding). Chrysler used a band type handbrake on the back of the transmission until the early sixties.

 

Interesting. I'd never heard about those. Thanks for the education, Rusty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I happen to have a 1938 Mopar transmission on my bench today. The band type brake is seen here on the output end of the transmission. It is applied by pulling a lever in the cab. A cable travels to fulcrum type cam linkage to apply mechanical advantage, and apply the brake. It is a drive line brake that locks up the drive shaft. Stopping the crown & pinion, diff, axles and finally wheels from turning. Pull it hard and quick enough and I suppose you might be able to snap a u-joint or drive shaft? Seen here:

 

 

 

 

35327AA9-19B6-4423-B901-B6570283EB07.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe on some cars with four wheel disc brakes the rear discs also have a cable to activate them as a parking brake.  Am I remembering right???

 

You could say there are only band or disc brakes.  The band can be internal (shoe/shoes or brake blocks) expanding or external contracting.

Any of these friction systems can be operated mechanically, hydraulically or by air.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For several years Rolls Royce and Bentleys utilized hydraulic brakes on the front and mechanical brakes working off a servo for the rear. It seems that they weren’t quite convinced that the new fangled hydraulic brakes were to be trusted. I know that they used this arrangement until at least 1954. Don’t forget that Jaguar used disc brakes mounted on the axle. Zeke

Edited by zeke01 (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, No Bias FTW said:

From my current understanding of the automobile, vehicular brakes developed in this fashion:  archaic wooden brakes>>>>mechanical drum brakes>>>>hydraulic drum brakes>>>>hydraulic disc brakes>and then abs.

 

I'm just curious: was there ever an phase where MECHANICAL disc brakes were used?

I asked because, in the bicycle world at least, we seem to have an almost identical brake history (main exception being the computerized abs). As in the automobile world, we noticed that disc brakes offer better performances in a lot of situations. The difference is that cyclists have a choice between disc brakes that are actuated mechanically (by physical cables) and ones that are actuated hydraulically (by fluids). 

Did car drivers used to have that choice?

 

 

First horse driven carriages to external and internal combustion engines first used a wooden block, then wooden block with leather.

 Applications to the car just after ABS are electric generator braking/axles used on electric trains and electric cars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Tinindian said:

I believe on some cars with four wheel disc brakes the rear discs also have a cable to activate them as a parking brake.  Am I remembering right???

 

 

 

 Yes, all Datsun-Nissan Infiniti have used a cable on the rear disc assy for a parking brake. They also used a small "E" brake rear drum inside of the disc for a while.

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, edinmass said:

A coaster brake was a big deal when they came out........in 1900/1901. New Departure was the first one, if I am not mistaken.

 

Yes,  a coaster brake used on a Bicycle was big news for bikes. It is a form of drum type brake. What I thought was interesting was Sturmey Archer added a coaster brake to their TCW 3 speed hub planetary gear box for bicycles about 1960. I had one on a Raleigh touring bike.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

 

 

You forgot band brakes, they were popular in the teens and twenties. A flexible steel band lined with woven asbestos lining, either wrapped around a drum (external contracting) or inside a drum (internal expanding). Chrysler used a band type handbrake on the back of the transmission until the early sixties.

 

Because I never worked on cars until the late 50's the only Chrysler parking brake drum on the back of the transmission I've seen was the standard internal type like the image below;

 Image result for chrysler parking brake for drive shaft image

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, keithb7 said:

@Pfeil that one you show is a later Mopar type. Yours has an internal set of brake shoes. The earlier type had the external band. As shown in the pic of my ‘38 tranny above. 

 

 Yes, I see. I thought I would show a picture of the Mopar ones I was familiar with from the 50's.

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

a) disk brakes were first used on aircraft

b) Jag E-type and Mk X had inboard disks (IRS). XK-150 had disks out by the wheels as did the 67-69 Camaro 4 wheel disks.

c) 65-67 GM disks were 4 piston and a royal pain to set up.

d) many cars still had a drum brake in the rear for an E-brake. 88 Reatta had a manual actuator for the rear disk e-brake (4 wheel disks with mechanical)

e)  Was the '50 Imperial the first US Passenger car disk brake? Also have a synapse firing about the Crosley Hot Shot.

f) don't forget the Bendix servo action brakes.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All Crosleys had 4 wheel disc brakes from May 1949 to June 1950. They were based on the Goodyear-Hawley disc brakes similar to those used on light aircraft. They were built like modern disc brake systems with rotors and calipers. They were a failure because Crosley didn't take into account road salt and the alloy that was used not being a good idea. They switched to standard drums to replace them. Crosley went from the most out of date, mechanical drum to the most advanced disc, they just didn't do enough testing.

 

Chryslers disc brake system was limited use and doesn't resemble current brake systems.

 

Here is the Crosley system.

 

DiscBrakes.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To overcome rainwater lubrication of your band brakes, you cut a series of grooves cut across the lining on about45 o4 60 degree angle, so that water and debris were expelled to under the car so wheels did not get dirty.   I have worn original cast iron brake shoes with similar angled grooving.  These ran in steel drums of a 4 cylinder Napier that I  have.   Some of the big multi-axle heavy haulage military trucks of the early 1940s, maybe Diamond-T, Mack, Federal, had heavy duty disc  brakes on the back of the transmission.  I recollect seeing similar on something much smaller, like an amphibious Jeep.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, keithb7 said:

I happen to have a 1938 Mopar transmission on my bench today. The band type brake is seen here on the output end of the transmission. It is applied by pulling a lever in the cab. A cable travels to fulcrum type cam linkage to apply mechanical advantage, and apply the brake. It is a drive line brake that locks up the drive shaft. Stopping the crown & pinion, diff, axles and finally wheels from turning. Pull it hard and quick enough and I suppose you might be able to snap a u-joint or drive shaft? Seen here:

 

 

 

 

35327AA9-19B6-4423-B901-B6570283EB07.jpeg

 

Had that happen to a 1910 Touring during a week long tour. Panic stop in town traffic broke the drive shaft and the car rear-ended a truck. Lucky, no one hurt and not much damage. That same driveshaft foot brake design was used up until 1928 when replaced by four wheel hydraulic brakes.

 

Paul 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Tinindian said:

I believe on some cars with four wheel disc brakes the rear discs also have a cable to activate them as a parking brake.  Am I remembering right???

 

You could say there are only band or disc brakes.  The band can be internal (shoe/shoes or brake blocks) expanding or external contracting.

Any of these friction systems can be operated mechanically, hydraulically or by air.

 Yes. My 2008 Ford Taurus has  cables to actuate the rear discs as parking brakes.

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Series 6-29 and 6-29A Pontiacs (late '28, '29 and early '30) had midland steeldraulic brakes with the emergency brake drum on the rear of the transmission.  Series 6-30B and 401 (late '30 and '31) had the midland steeldraulic brakes where the emergency brake would lock all four wheels even if the foot brakes would not slow the car down at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/25/2020 at 4:20 PM, Tinindian said:

I believe on some cars with four wheel disc brakes the rear discs also have a cable to activate them as a parking brake

 

My '81 Eldorado and Seville have 4 wheel disc brakes and the emergency/parking brake is cable actuated to the rear calipers. The cable engages the disc pads, NO SHOES.😉

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/25/2020 at 1:10 PM, Rusty_OToole said:

band brakes, they were popular in the teens and twenties. A flexible steel band lined with woven asbestos lining, either wrapped around a drum (external contracting) or inside a drum (internal expanding).

 

The band brakes I have experience with (1899-1902) were leather lined. Asbestos came in around the 20's, as I understand it. Of course, they are re-lined with general purpose brake lining.

 

The first band brakes were a single wrap, single pull brake that would only work going forward, then the cantilever band brake was introduced around 1900 which worked going forward and somewhat in reverse.

 

Example 1, is the 1899 Locomobile that Thomas Edison purchased and converted to electric, it has the single pull brake.

 

Example 2, is the rear axle of my 1901 with the cantilever brake which compounds the brake action.

 

Example 3, some heavier vehicles had two bands.

 

-Ron

06.jpg

IMG_0335.JPG

1903locomobilerear.jpg

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't the '24 Chrysler have outside band brakes and inside drum brakes on the rear wheels?

I'd have to take another look at my cousin's '24 Chrysler roadster when he gets it back from the shop.

Link to comment
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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...