Jump to content

Early Automobile brakes 1918 to 1942

Recommended Posts

52 minutes ago, JACK M said:

When I was quite young I lived in Tacoma. The downtown is on a steep hill.  He said it had hill holders. They worked well.

That was the Wagner 'No-Rol' which was introduced in 1936, which was essentially a check valve attached to the clutch linkage that kept the brakes engaged until one released it.  Studebaker made extensive use of it, and labeled it "Hill Holder".  Other manufacturers, such as Pontiac also offered it as an option, but I don't believe they trademarked a special name for it like Studebaker did.



Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of items/concepts which are not mentioned above need to be mentioned.

1)  Steel is not an ideal material for brake drums.   Fairly early in production of the V 16 Cadillacs, the steel drum brakes were not ideally matched to the car's performance. The company invested heavily it a system for casting and machining quality cast iron drums.  Braking performance improved considerably.

2)  Over many years I have used Metco wire-feed metal spray to rebuild worn brake drums to original size or better .  With the internal/external band type, I always tried to leave a finished drum with as great a thickness of material as the geometry would allow.  A thicker drum will not expand as much for the same heat input due to friction,  and will remain more rigid.  The material is called  " Spraysteel  LS".  LS stands for Low Shrink.  It is a work-hardening carbon steel with useful molybdenum content.  I always machined this coating with the slowest spindle speed on the big old English Lang lathe I have,  ( 6 revs/minute).    The braking effectiveness is much better than for steel,  and little different to SG cast iron.   I always used oxy/acetylene wire feed spray equipment.  Today it is much more economical to use electric arc spraying system, which uses double feed of much smaller gauge wire .

3)  Everyone is safer without water- lubricated brakes with external bands.   The cure is to cut a series of grooves diagonally across the lining, at a suitable angle,  probably about 2 inches apart.   The movement of the drum across the lining pumps the water out along the grooves.   You probably should angle the grooves to exit any fine debris either to underneath the car, or onto you wheels, according to your preference.

4)  There is fairly early precedent for such angle-cut grooves across the brake lining material.  I have some cast iron brake shoes from my 1911 4 cylinder Napier which have such diagonal grooves across the wear face.     A number of early cars of that era had cast iron shoes or linings  running in steel drums.   Several decades ago  a friend, Barry Vinen, brought me the rear hubs of an around 1912 English  two cylinder Perry  car,  which had integral brake drums for two sets of brakes, side by side.  I could see daylight through some of the drums' circumference.   I asked Barry why  they were so badly worn.  He said it was the cast iron linings that did it.   I was not keen to extend the boundaries of what I did;  but there was no alternatives.  I probably said there were no guarantees either.      I sprayed and machined for extra thickness.  It went together, and after they had been using the car for many years, I chanced to meet Barry at Bendigo Swap.  He said they had the back axle of the Perry apart for some reason, and the brake drums were perfect.  He also said that it was the only car in the Veteran Car Club  with cast iron brake linings that worked properly.  I said  "Barry, you said you would use modern linings.   He said  "I did:  modern cast iron!"

5) The original 4"x 6" Duesenberg Instruction Book  ( for the A model) has six pages  on the brakes.   

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...