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What does "manual brakes" mean to you?


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No power assist of any kind?

 

Hm. You could theoretically claim that foot pressure on a hydraulic brake circuit is "power assisted"; likewise yanking a lever to apply a brake block to a spinning object is "power assisted".

 

OK Matt. Our curiosity is piqued.

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To me it means “Oh Shucks, I’m going to fast!  That’s the cleaned up version. 
 

I also believe that means there is no fluid or vacuum/power assist. It is all lever driven to apply the brake. 
 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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OK, we all seem to be on the same page. I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something and being unintentionally obtuse.

 

I had this exchange this morning, via E-mail, regarding this car (https://www.harwoodmotors.com/vehicles/inventory_details.php?id=1282)

 

007.jpg

 

This email was sent to you from XXXXXXXXXX, regarding your ad on Hemmings.com
1937 Ford V8 Sedan -- Stock No. 117104

Name: XXXXXXXXXX
City: Philadelphia
State: PHILADELPHIA, United States
Phone: XXXXXXXX
Email From: XXXXXXXXXX
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
MESSAGE:

Very nice car, however one element of the ad copy is incorrect. The listing says the brakes are manual drum. The images show that the brake system is hydraulic.

 

Hello XXXXXXXXX,
 
Thanks for the message. What I think you mean is that it does not have MECHANICAL brakes, which is true. It does have MANUAL hydraulic brakes, which means they are not power-assisted. Mechanical brakes are actuated by levers and cables, which is what I believe you meant.
 
Hope this clears things up!
--
Matt Harwood
 
 
Mr. Harwood -
 
You play with words, here. As it stands, I believe most gear head readers would think you are saying the car has mechanical brakes - I certainly did, or I wouldn't have written. But you're paying for the ad. That means you get to write wherever you want.
 
Just trying to help.
 
-XXXXXXXX
 
(still a damn nice car, put together by someone who knows what he's doing)
 
 
What do you call the braking system on a car with non-power hydraulic brakes?
 
And just as a side note, simply punching "manual brakes" into Google brings up the website of almost every brake manufacturer who all refer to unassisted hydraulic brakes as "manual brakes." It's pretty common vernacular.
 
It's perfectly OK to make a mistake and learn something new. It happens around here all the time. The key is always to receive the new information gracefully.
--
Matt Harwood
 
 
Okay, your car - your ad.
 
If a car has hydraulic brakes, I say it has hydraulic brakes. That's the beginning and end of it.
 
You're wise to stick to your guns when you have documented proof on your side, no question. But it doesn't make you right. And any motor head, reading the copy, will say you're saying it has mechanical brakes - go ahead and ask one.
 
 
Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Matt, once again you've encountered a nitpicker, hairsplitter, argue-for-argument's-sake type. 

 

Unless this individual is wound up about 37's having mechanically actuated brakes vs Ford's first use of hydraulically actuated brakes in 1939, I don't know.

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Sounds like someone jacking you around to waste your time. I had someone, or a few different people who were going into my old shop and messing with what was being worked on. No joke, I can tell you about one of the Hudson trucks that sat over night in my trailer. Even called down the guy in the Old Navy shirt from up the road to see what was laying there. Someone forgot a wrench, or did they? Not sure what fun stuff goes on with the dealer side. On the car building/restoration side in Idaho, it is bad. 

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24 minutes ago, rocketraider said:

Matt, once again you've encountered a nitpicker, hairsplitter, argue-for-argument's-sake type. 

 

Unless this individual is wound up about 37's having mechanically actuated brakes vs Ford's first use of hydraulically actuated brakes in 1939, I don't know.

 

It appears that's the case. His final E-mail:

 

Bounced it off a couple of guys. "Mechanical brakes, natch," said one. "Ford didn't go to juice until '39." The other, and older collector, said, "Nothing wrong with mechanical brakes, if they're adjusted right."

 
But so long as you're happy with what you think, carry on. What do I care? I'm not the idiot trying to sell an expensive car.
 
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I assume you are not talking about Bendix "servo-assist" brakes but rather "manual" as opposed to "power assist" either vacuum or electro-hydraulic.

 

My Judge has manual disk brakes.

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Perhaps , because the vehicle was originally mechanical brakes, he was looking for something like “upgraded to manual hydraulic(juice) brakes” or something like that. Your ad is awesome and descriptive- this is an example of someone with no intention of buying, just sent you a message to impress upon you how much smarter he is than you or any of the rest of us. 

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Just looked up and Bendix called them "self-energizing" brakes.

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Mechanical brakes have no booster to amplify the brake pedal pressure.  They can be operated by hydraulic pressure or by direct mechanical connections like rods or cables to each brake drum in the system.

 

Manual brakes-no power assist of any kind

Mechanical brakes- no hydraulic assist.

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1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

To me, "manual" brakes means no power assist. Is that the general consensus?

That's what manual brakes means to me. "Mechanical brakes" would mean the brake band(s), shoes, etc. would be actuated by rods or cables when a pedal is mashed or a lever is pulled.

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I have heard mechanical brakes referred to as manual.  But to me, "manual" means non-assisted hydraulic, "power"  means assisted hydraulic, and "mechanical" means, well...mechanical.  Manual mechanical is redundant because, AFAIK, there's no such thing as assisted mechanical.  (Now watch somebody post his 1934 Whatsitmobile that has them.  🤣)

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Pardon my French, but the guy is a douche-canoe.

 

That being said, I can see the point of somehow specifying that the car was originally equipped with mechanical brakes, and has been upgraded to hydraulic brakes. A lot of the hot-rod guys (at least based on my reading on HAMB) really get hung up on mechanical vs hydraulic brakes.

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1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

To me, "manual" brakes means no power assist. Is that the general consensus?

 

I have never heard it any other way until today. This guy is one of one. "Manual" vs "Power" has always been about having some sort of servo assist. As I am sure you are aware, Buick (and some others, Studebaker? Pierce?) had power assisted mechanical brakes in the days when most mechanical brakes were still manual.

 

Ford, as I am sure you are also aware, stuck with mechanical brakes way longer than the competition, until 1939 I believe. Back in the day I probably would have said that the 1937 Ford had "juice brakes" if it had indeed been converted to hydraulic brakes from the original mechanical.

 

Power vs Manual is a whole separate discussion, and I suspect it was a pretty uncommon discussion until power brakes went mainstream in the late 50s.

 

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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6 minutes ago, CHuDWah said:

have heard mechanical brakes referred to as manual.  But to me, "manual" means non-assisted hydraulic, "power"  means assisted hydraulic, and "mechanical" means, well...mechanical.  Manual mechanical is redundant because, AFAIK, there's no such thing as assisted mechanical.  (Now watch somebody post his 1934 Whatsitmobile that has them. 

Not only ALL (not just 1934) Whatsitmobiles, but Series 36 Pierce-Arrows (mid-1926-1928) and all 1936-38 Pierces have vacuum-assisted mechanical brakes, and 1933-35 Pierces have S-W inertial-assisted mechanical brakes (as did R-R for a secondary system until the 1950s).  The latter is probably was @padgettwas referring to. They are all "assisted mechanical."

 

A fun fact about the 1933-35 brakes (and probably why they were abandoned in favor of vacuum-assist) is that the pedal does not drop as the linings wear and there are no self-adjusting mechanisms.  Accordingly, my wheel brakes get adjusted every 3,000 miles.

 

Matt's questioner is a nitpicker who will never be satisfied.

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6 minutes ago, Grimy said:

Not only ALL (not just 1934) Whatsitmobiles, but Series 36 Pierce-Arrows (mid-1926-1928) and all 1936-38 Pierces have vacuum-assisted mechanical brakes, and 1933-35 Pierces have S-W inertial-assisted mechanical brakes (as did R-R for a secondary system until the 1950s).  The latter is probably was @padgettwas referring to. They are all "assisted mechanical."

Gentlemen, we stand rebuked!😄

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12 minutes ago, Grimy said:

Not only ALL (not just 1934) Whatsitmobiles, but Series 36 Pierce-Arrows (mid-1926-1928) and all 1936-38 Pierces have vacuum-assisted mechanical brakes, and 1933-35 Pierces have S-W inertial-assisted mechanical brakes (as did R-R for a secondary system until the 1950s).  The latter is probably was @padgettwas referring to. They are all "assisted mechanical."

 

A fun fact about the 1933-35 brakes (and probably why they were abandoned in favor of vacuum-assist) is that the pedal does not drop as the linings wear and there are no self-adjusting mechanisms.  Accordingly, my wheel brakes get adjusted every 3,000 miles.

 

Matt's questioner is a nitpicker who will never be satisfied.

 

26 minutes ago, CHuDWah said:

Manual mechanical is redundant because, AFAIK, there's no such thing as assisted mechanical.  (Now watch somebody post his 1934 Whatsitmobile that has them.  🤣)

Told ya so!  😁  In my defense, I did say AFAIK - I stand corrected...and educated.

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42 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

Didn't Mark Twain say something like, "What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so."

 

I thought it was Mark Twain with that or a very similar quote.

 

But I decided to look it up to see the exact wording. Apparently some attribute it to Will Rogers. “It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so.”

 

On the other hand, Will Rogers might have just been paraphrasing Mark Twain. “What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so.”

 

Whoever originated it really knew what they were talking about.

 

For what it is worth, I concur that “manual brakes” traditionally implied no power assist. But given that many new cars have pre-collision automatic braking and/or dynamic cruise control that can do braking if the following distance rapidly decreases, we may want to revisit the use of “manual” with respect to brakes to simply mean they are only applied if the driver applies them.

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You gentlemen are forgetting the double manual brakes..................what are they? They are the traditional manual mechanical brakes, being operated by my driver Manuel! 🤣

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Matt, you are right.  I understand manual brakes to mean unassisted in the same way I understand manual steering to mean unassisted, ie not power steering.  Mechanical brakes would mean non hydraulic brakes.  

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Had double front drum brakes on my '72 Suzuki GT750 "water buffalo". First bike I had that would just burn the rear tire instead of reaching for the sky.

 

Now that I look, the evolution of drum brakes is interesting. Bendix received a patent in 1925 for a "servo brake" that significantly reduced pedal pressure significantly. In the 30's both Lockheed and GM received their own patents for something similar.

 

Words include " invention is to secure a maximum use of the momentum of the car as a source of power in applying the brake..." so was a "power brake". Yes ?

 

Brake evolution is really interesting and really became quite sophisticated by the sixties. '63 Corvette shown.

 

vettebrakefans.jpg

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Here are the brakes on my 1917 White........we call these bicycle brakes...........the bicycle in front of you can out stop you. 

IMG_1558.jpeg

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