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52 ply newer brakes


55fast
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I have a 52 ply coupe and I was wondering if later style drum brakes would fit this car. I want to get away from the lockheed brks and use something more user friendly. I don't want the expense of a disc brk conversion, I just can't afford it. Thanks for any help.

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I'm helping out a friend of mine that own's the car. He has tried repeatedly to get the brakes adjusted properly and has had no luck. I have sent him the info on how to adjust them and it seems it confuses him about 1/2 way thru, I would go and help him but he is 400 miles away in southern calif. I even sent write ups of how to make a tool to do this but he just doesn't get it which surprises me as he is a very capable mechanic, did maint. work for a large airplane builder so he's no dummy.    He was asking about the newer drum brakes as he doesn't have the money to spend on a disc update which is around a $1000 or so and a couple days of work on his back, he's in his mid 80's. I am sending him some more write up's on adjusting the brakes tomorrow and hopefully that will help. He has replaced all he brake components, shoe's, w/c's , m/c, ect. Has the arrows pointing in the right direction.

Edited by 55fast (see edit history)
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Not a Plymouth expert but likely the system in a non-servo design. (the shoes do not slide on the backing plates)

If so. then YES, adjustments are not intuitive. The biggest thing is to abandon want you know about servo brakes and start from scratch and READ THE BOOK (shop manual) following each step. 

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Have him go to a good brake shop and have them go over the compleat brake system. That is not beyond a shops ability. It would be much cheaper than trying to change over to a different system. On these cars you almost need to have proper tools or be able to understand the way the system works and how it is adjusted. I have a '48 Plymout and did the job without the special tool but did know what the tool was for and how to do the job without it. It can be done.

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Suggest your friend let an old time mechanic set up the brakes. To get them right you need to contour the shoes to fit the drums then do a major adjustment so they fit perfect. After that, an occasional minor adjustment to take up wear which is simple to do. It may cost a little money to get the brakes done but far less than replacing them completely.

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14 minutes ago, 55fast said:

yes that is true, but this one has been set up with a small block chevy and auto trans, it's just a Saturday night cruiser.

It never ceases to amaze me how many vehicles wind up getting repowered by a small block Chevy.  Those guys at Chevy back in 1955 sure hit a homer in with that engine design.

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2 hours ago, TerryB said:

It never ceases to amaze me how many vehicles wind up getting repowered by a small block Chevy.  Those guys at Chevy back in 1955 sure hit a homer in with that engine design.

Since the answer has been given and with the mods already disclosed, I'll go off topic also. When I was a kid I bought a 57 Chevrolet 2 dr . it had a  '59 corvette 283 with stock rated HP @ 305 .With mods it was dynoed  @ 335 HP. It was blueprinted, clearanced, & had modified breathing somewhat + 3 speed trans. That car was a fun street racer especially when the beat driver found his 396 was beat by a 283 3speed car

Edited by JFranklin
comma (see edit history)
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Yea, I remember those days, the Mighty Mouse does it again. So back to the brakes, can’t think of anything that would work? I’ll just tell him to just keep on playing with it and sooner or later he will get it done .

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3 minutes ago, 55fast said:

Yea, I remember those days, the Mighty Mouse does it again. So back to the brakes, can’t think of anything that would work? I’ll just tell him to just keep on playing with it and sooner or later he will get it done .

Be aware some of the new issue wheel cylinders for that car have been found to have brake shoe activating pins that are longer than original and they can make shoe adjustments and brake bleeding difficult.

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How would you know what length they should be. I don’t know if he still has the original parts he took off, but I will ask. It’s hard to communicate with him as he does not have email or mobile phone, can’t send or receive pictures ☹️

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Take it to a shop, they are the experts with all the factory data. They will maKe the brakes work properly. The parts are mostly available. Second choice would be to go with disc conversion. Just use the Visa card either way. now it is done.

Edited by JFranklin (see edit history)
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The only time my cars will go to a shop is when I am dead!

 

 If you don't know how to do it, use google and look up manuals or U tube.

Then use common sense.

 

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7 hours ago, Roger Walling said:

The only time my cars will go to a shop is when I am dead!

 

 If you don't know how to do it, use google and look up manuals or U tube.

Then use common sense.

 

Excellent for you,  but did you read where the owner is 80 years old and . . . 

 

20 hours ago, 55fast said:

It’s hard to communicate with him as he does not have email or mobile phone, can’t send or receive pictures ☹️

 

A real old school communication situation 😞

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22 hours ago, 55fast said:

 It’s hard to communicate with him as he does not have email or mobile phone, can’t send or receive pictures ☹️

So saving all that money forgoing technology, he should go the disc brake route if he can't get the original brakes to work.

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that's what he is thinking, but time will tell. I have printed out a lot of info on adjusting the brakes and on how to make a "ammaco 1750" tool. Hope this will help him as I don't see myself going in that direction (southern calif) any time soon. I'll post a fix if there is one in the near future.

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I have thought of drilling a small hole in the drum and using a wire type feeler gauge like a spark plug gauge to set the clearance. Some cars came stock with holes in the brake drum to inspect for wear or for adjustment, VW for example.

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Well at the risk of being universally condemned I will say since I Have no access to the magic Ammco tool for Mopar brakes I was forced to set the shoes to the drums the old fashioned way on my 1952 Plymouth.  I rough set them using an Ammco tool used to measure the inside of the drum on one edge and the other edge is used to set the shoes.  I then many times did the minor adjustments spinning the drum and making a change and repeat until I was satisfied.  Is it perfect. No, but it works well, doesn’t pull  either way, and stops acceptability.  And yes, I look far ahead and try to plan everything to be safe.  As they are wearing in some I have made minor adjustments as needed.

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24 minutes ago, plymouthcranbrook said:

Well at the risk of being universally condemned I will say since I Have no access to the magic Ammco tool for Mopar brakes I was forced to set the shoes to the drums the old fashioned way on my 1952 Plymouth.  I rough set them using an Ammco tool used to measure the inside of the drum on one edge and the other edge is used to set the shoes.  I then many times did the minor adjustments

It sounds like you did have the magic tool and did as the book instructs. It can be done (if careful) without any special tools. One manual I have walks you through the whole procedure to adjust if the tool is not available, which I used, and now have excellent brakes for good stopping. I think my cylinders came from Kanter.

Version 2.jpg

Edited by JFranklin (see edit history)
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I guess the magic tool I had was patience as I spent good part of two days on it.  A fellow member of the local POC(who had a tool)told me they would never be right. That was seven years ago. So as you say, it can be done if done carefully.

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18 hours ago, plymouthcranbrook said:

  I rough set them using an Ammco tool used to measure the inside of the drum on one edge and the other edge is used to set the shoes. 

I had thought you said you used the Armmco tool made to set the lining to trim clearance.

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We never had "the tool" back in the 60's and 70's.

We just put new shoes on...adjusted them out against the drum

Drove the car a couple weeks every day....back then it was your every day driver....then did another wind the shoes outward against the drum adjustment. 

Did that two to three times. The pedal came up high and rock hard.

No magic brake tool used.

Just wear in of the shoe lining to the drum. Always leave the anchor arrows at the factory pointing position.

These Lockheed brake system cars stop excellent ...at least back in the days using the good asbestos shoe linings.

Today's modern all you can get drum linings do not perform predictably and safely IMO.

I now only use old stock asbestos linings. Safe proper feel of stopping power.

 

 

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