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1931 Chrysler CD8 Roadster Project Brakes finished


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Finished up with the rebuilding of brake system today on the '31 Chrysler CD8. While I haven't done this before, with a little help from friends and advisors, everything is now back together. Sand blasted and painted backing plates, cooked the shoes/linings, rebuilt wheel cylinders, purchased new flex hoses, made all new steel lines (with double flares) and refurbished a NOS master cylinder. Have not filled and bled yet, have a few more things to do with front drums before I fit them on and adjust shoes. I plan to install wiring harness next and make new gas line from tank to pump. Still looking for a solution to the gas gauge float mechanism for top of tank. Anyone using a modern float mechanism modified onto the original coverplate and suitable for a 6V original gauge? Thoughts?

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Gas tank sending unit:The old ones (90 years) might well work as long as they are treated fair, reproductions can be had to an acceptable price (forgot which vendor can check out), it is usually the gas gauge that plays up. I have a NOS gauge in my Series 65 that refuses to work. It is possibly due to the reproduction sending unit having an incorrect ohm range.

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Gunsmoke,

If the old sending unit is still there, then check it with an ohm meter to see if it is working. If it works and the cork float is unserviceable, then look for a small brass carb float that will fit thru the opening of your tank, and solder it onto the wire lever. I have done this to my cars, because the modern alcohol fuel has eaten the floats.

 

Narve N,

It is unlikely to be due to wrong ohm range. Check your NOS gauge by earthing the side that goes to the sending unit, at the guage. If the gauge still does not work then it is faulty inside and needs to be opened and checked for a stuck needle or worse. If the gauge works by earthing it, then you have either a broken wire to the sending unit or a faulty tank sending unit. The sending units work on resistance and even if the resistance in your new unit is wrong, it should still give you a reading.

 I had a 54 Chev with 6v electrics that I converted to 12v. I used the 6v tank sender and 6v gauge with no alterations and it worked fine in the 6 years I had the car.

  

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The white metal gears on the sending unit are "fused together" (a crown and pinion) from sitting so long in an empty tank, and pinion teeth appear to have roded away. As a result, I cannot even check to see if rod to sending unit will turn. I may try soaking them in various solvents to see if anything will free them up. May also try to disassemble the sending unit, don't think they were intended to be serviced. Not sure what Chrysler was thinking for the white metal gears? Ideally I'd like to find any workable float system that could mount to this cover. Thanks for your thoughts.

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My sending unit gears were brass.  Even after I cleaned them up, the arm would not move.  I finally gave up and sent mine to Bob’s Speedometer.  Got it working and with a new float.  I may have been able to figure it out, but I was afraid I’d ruin it.

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I really like using nickel-copper tubing for brake lines.  It looks like the original copper, flairs and bends easily and is very strong and corrosion resistant.  I had some unusually complicated bends on my 32 Dodge Brothers and it really did the trick.

 

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Your brake pipes look great Taylormade, but I have never seen brake pipes running along the outside of the frame like this. They are normally on the inside, primarily to protect them from damage from rocks and stones thrown up from the road. Are you sure the pipes should run outside the frame??

 Viv.

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I know it goes against common practice, but the way I have them installed is correct.  Here are two shots of the frame before restoration.  As you can see, the lines run exactly as I have replaced them.  Sorry, they are a bit hard to see through all the rust and grime. They run along the outside of the frame and then are routed inside the frame at the front and rear.  I think this was done due to the X-frame layout of the frame.  In the last picture you can see the car partially assembled.  The metal pieces (the running board shields) above the running boards completely cover the lines and offer good protection.  When I took the car apart, I was as surprised as you were to see where they were located.

 

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Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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Thanks for suggestions Taylormade re tubing, maybe next time!. All of my brake lines are inside frame, but the gas line steps outside on passenger side behind the running board apron, and then returns inside frame near front fender.. Note also the line at rear end is armored with a full length steel spring? Your car is looking great, haven't followed your thread lately, will have to go peek.

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks Gun smoke. A fellow AACA member on another thread was hoping to use my concentric brake adjuster tool on his '31 Chrysler.  It uses a ¾-16 nut. Folks have used my tool on many old Mopar cars. I was unsure if the thread was the same back in '31. It appears so. It would seem that the ¾-16 threads were used very early, as your 31 confirms up into at the 54 cars. Even later on the old trucks. Thank you.

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Main issue might be that the drum diameter on the older cars greatly exceeds that of a later car. Ammco 1750 adjustment gauge has 11" drums as maximum size, while the old drums are typical 14" diameter. This wooden adjuster which I bought from Rick Schmidt several years ago will do the brakes on my Series 65s (notice outside brake lines and no X-frame).

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

What do you mean with...cooked the shoes/linings ..

The brake linings were in excellent condition (good thickness, even wear, all rivets good etc), but were contaminated to varying degrees with oil of some type, possibly either rear differential oil, or brake fluid from leaking wheel cylinders. Initial plan was to replace them, but several on this site suggested soaking them a few hours in lacquer thinner, and after wiping and drying, "cooking" them in an oven at 400-600 degrees for about 1 hour to burn off any remaining oil/petroleum residue. Seemed to work.  

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On 8/22/2020 at 1:33 AM, Narve N said:

Main issue might be that the drum diameter on the older cars greatly exceeds that of a later car. Ammco 1750 adjustment gauge has 11" drums as maximum size, while the old drums are typical 14" diameter. This wooden adjuster which I bought from Rick Schmidt several years ago will do the brakes on my Series 65s (notice outside brake lines and no X-frame).

 

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The Ammco 1750 max diameter is 12"

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