Jump to content

Aluminum front brake drums on 1950 46S?


Recommended Posts

My 46S has aluminum front brake drums/hub assemblies on it. I'm assuming from a 1958 model. They are the 45 fin drums. Questions is are they a viable swap or something somebody slapped on to make it roll? Also the drums/hubs appear to widen the hub to hub width. Does anybody know what the stock front end measures WMS to WMS? They are huge by large, that's for sure. Thanks for your help all!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it is a viable swap, I did this on a '54 Super, and I'm happy with it.  I did it with original suspension, spindles and hubs, but added Roadmaster brake plates and shoes for the wider 2.5 inch brake surface.  WMS to WMN - and I guess that means "wheel-mount surface" -  less a half inch difference from stock. 

 

Only caution you might check, you will need longer front lug bolts from 1958 and later to accommodate the thicker aluminum drum face.  They are marked "F" for "front."

 

I imagine they did something similar on your car.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Fr. Buick said:

Yes, it is a viable swap, I did this on a '54 Super, and I'm happy with it.  I did it with original suspension, spindles and hubs, but added Roadmaster brake plates and shoes for the wider 2.5 inch brake surface.  WMS to WMN - and I guess that means "wheel-mount surface" -  less a half inch difference from stock. 

 

Only caution you might check, you will need longer front lug bolts from 1958 and later to accommodate the thicker aluminum drum face.  They are marked "F" for "front."

 

I imagine they did something similar on your car.

Nice upgrade! Were you able to use the original bearing set or did you switch to tapered bearings from ball? If so, do you have bearing #s to use if not stock? I would like to do this on my 55Cent. Thanx in advance for response!

Link to post
Share on other sites

New Departure originals is what I use, you can still find them on Ebay.  Inner 909062.  Outer 909065.  I have squireled away a few new and used over the years.  Drums may be useless, but good used bearings can be tapped out carefully.  Buick ran those numbers from about 1942 to 1956.

If not, take drum and bearings to a good bearing shop, and they can match up modern rollers with no issues.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Fr. Buick said:

If not, take drum and bearings to a good bearing shop, and they can match up modern rollers with no issues.

Not what I have found.  Roller replacements were available when the cars were contemporary, but are rare now.   Inner 909062R, Outer 909065R.... those are the numbers to look for (note the "R" suffix)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanx for the added info! I will hafta try my "Crager Starwires", Buick look-a-likes on first as I had to use 1" thick aluminum spacers attached with Buick bolts to achieve having studs to accomadate the shouldered unilugs on the wire wheels. Adding another 1/2" each side might make too wide a track at an additional 1-1/2" wider than stock overall. Now for some dang consistant warm weather. 73 yesterdays high, 39 today! Keep ur scorecard handy folks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes aluminum drums require a longer bolt than from non aluminum drums.  Below GM factory for 57/58 Roadmaster. Made available on the model 75 in 1957 and on all 58 models

 

989393372_NOSAluminumDrumBolts4.jpg.8d25b183ae88c5e8d827b5cc1bc9b6fd.jpg    91917576_NOSAluminumDrumLugBolts1.jpg.508de84482291be8b36843a805d46bfa.jpg   

 

1903480008_NOSAluminumDrumLugBolts2.jpg.e462899989df39c36bc6f0ff8f9a7748.jpg   1825936999_AluminumBuickBrakeDrumTests-3.thumb.jpg.fb37d91bad2397bb535ccb06f6989044.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/29/2021 at 3:45 PM, Fr. Buick said:

Yes, it is a viable swap, I did this on a '54 Super, and I'm happy with it.  I did it with original suspension, spindles and hubs, but added Roadmaster brake plates and shoes for the wider 2.5 inch brake surface.  

I did look at swapping the 1958-60 drums onto my 56 but after looking at the cross-sectional diagrams from respective shop manuals, it appeared the spindles were different to suit the different hub assemblies.  Am I wrong about that then?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, 56 Buick said:

I did look at swapping the 1958-60 drums onto my 56 but after looking at the cross-sectional diagrams from respective shop manuals, it appeared the spindles were different to suit the different hub assemblies.  Am I wrong about that then?

Apologies, I just reread the post again and I see you got around this issue by using the older hubs into the 58-60 drum.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, old-tank said:

Not what I have found.  Roller replacements were available when the cars were contemporary, but are rare now.   Inner 909062R, Outer 909065R.... those are the numbers to look for (note the "R" suffix)

Could well be.  I have not tried buying roller bearings since about 1997. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

@Rusty Heaps

These are great drums, but when they get out of spec you have to get them relined, which is quite expensive.  If only a little out of spec you may be able to find oversized shoes.

 

If you wind up not using them, I have interest in them as cores.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Thanks for all the input. I just picked up the car 2 weeks ago and am still "investigating" what I have. And have not, lol. I am unsure what bearings it has in it, but it came with some bearings new in the boxes. i'll chedk them out and see what is there. I'll mic them when i get that far as well. Hoping they are within spec's. Are they supposed to have bolts holding the wheels on or studs and nuts? Mine have studs and nuts. Left hand thread on the left and right on right.

 

As a side note. The previous owner said the drums were original equipment. He said the last 3 1950's he had owned had them on. I told him that I thought that Buick didn't offer aluminum drums till 1958. So apparently it is/was a popular upgrade to the earlier cars.

 

Again guys, thanks! I am a little too young to have good knowledge of the 50's cars and appreciate you sharing what you know.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sir Lance where are you going to get your aluminum drums relined ?  I know of a guy who uses some crazy space age glue to secure new replacement liners because as the original factory ferrous liners where cast into the mold of original outer aluminum casing.  Not sure if the glue is holding up long term or not or if there is shearing occurring after repeated heat sink cycles.

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, buick man said:

Sir Lance where are you going to get your aluminum drums relined ?  I know of a guy who uses some crazy space age glue to secure new replacement liners because as the original factory ferrous liners where cast into the mold of original outer aluminum casing.  Not sure if the glue is holding up long term or not or if there is shearing occurring after repeated heat sink cycles.

There is a place in IL that does them J&G relining.  I'm not sure what their process is but they've been doing it a long time.

Link to post
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
×
×
  • Create New...