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New 55 Clipper Owner- HELP


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There is a residual check valve at the base of the TV that is supposed to maintain a bit of pressure (think I remember about 5psi) in system but allow the excess pressure generated (by standing heat) to return to MC. If bleeding and pedal alignment doesn't help, that valve might be damaged or wasn't cleaned and assembled properly. Another good possibility for a car sitting awhile is the switch itself getting ready to go and the residual pressure is enough to activate--especially if there has been any silicone fluid involved-although with silicone, the switch usually doesn't work at all.

If it is the switch, originals are very pricy and a little scarce from vendors so there are a couple of alternatives. One PI region sells a relay kit to enable use of a common 2 prong switch. Another is to replace with a mechanical arrangement. If interested in the mechanical, it is fairly easy to do, and uses a VW switch. If any interest, can give more details. At one time I think there was a vendor selling a mechanical complete kit but don't remember who.

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That's a really good answer and covers some points I hadn't mentioned.

I thought the VW switch was hydraulic and its advantage was that it was also a three-prong switch. I think I remember Max M selling them or you could buy it at any auto parts.

I have tried two-prong switches and silicon brake fluid burns them up. I installed a mechanical switch actuated by the brake pedal itself. I should take a picture of that and post it on Kev's website. I installed a relay that is normally closed to power the T/L system. When the brake switch is actuated it powers the relay which cuts off power to the T/L.

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Rereading your original "if I use biceps power and pull back" makes me wonder if your compensator valve is in fact closed when pedal is relaxed. If this is the case, the expanded fluid will have nowhere to go and will cause your symptom. With pedal relaxed, take the fill plug out and look at the compensator port. If the stem is close to straight and not at a pretty good angle pointing forward then that is the problem. Whether it is due to misalignment or rebuild it is important it be corrected. Disconnect the pedal totally and get it out of way then check the valve - if in same condition make sure rod is able to move freely against carpet etc-if so, then problem is with rebuild, otherwise loosen bolts on TV and align properly to pedal. If compensator is OK, then back to posts above.

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The compensator valve is pointing foward at apretty good angle. It didn't move much when the management stepped on the brake pedal for me so I could watch it. But it didn't travel all the way to the released position(T/L system didn't work 'till I pulled up on the pedal with my hands). I think that the valve may be sticking. But it could be that there is air in the lines as well. I'll bleed the system and see if that fixes the problem. If not, looks as if there is a trip to National City to Bush Brakes.

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Wish I could be more help but without being able to see what you're calling a "pretty good angle and didn't move much" am only guessing but sounds as if thats where the problem is. Were you able to see the valve actually move some when pedal pulled or when it is acting up maybe you can have mgt watch brake lgts while you gently move valve stem fwd toward where it should be released and see if things OK. Use a small screwdriver and be careful not to bend or dislodge spring. That might be worth a shot before a trip and $$. How long since rebuild?

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I'd say the angle was about 45-50 degrees. I'm guessing it should have traveled to a more of a 90 degree angle when the pedal is depressed? I had the mgt press the pedal several times to be sure I actually saw it move.

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If its at 45-50 degrees when relaxed, then it should be open. It will go straight up when pedal pressed. The way it works is the shaft extends down into cylinder almost touching piston and when piston is almost fully back a lip on end catches the shaft and tips it back uncovering port. Assuming the valve rubber hasn't gotten contaminated and swelled, it shouldn't take too much to uncover port. When pedal pressed, spring pulls it straight and pressure inside cylinder forces the seal tight. If thats the way it is, then it sounds like it might be working properly so on to other possibilities. Still haven't ruled out the switch and really, that is a strong possibility. Have you driven the car when it is acting up and do brakes feel any different-- like become very sensitive. If not, then I'd lean to switch. Residual valve won't cause too much problem as long as it allows fluid to pass and enough to get back so it doesn't keep brakes applied.

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I took her up and put $20 in gas in the tank(at 3.39/gal $20 dosen't go far) and the brakes acted normally from what I could tell, with one exception. When turning a corner from a dead stop there was a loud howling coming from the rear wheels. It would go away after a few feet but it sounded like two metal surfaces rubbing at thier resonating frequency. During the visual inspection of the stem, I could not tell if it was moving with any certanty. It definately didn't travel too anywhere near a 90 degree angle. I think that valve is stuck. Darn it all to tarnation, I dislike removing that whole assembly. Removal ain't the hard part, reinstallation seems to give me a hard time. Actually, I have driven the car when it this problem occours. Instead of getting sensitive, it seems I have to apply a lot of ft. lbs. to stop.

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It won't be 90 degrees but you absolutely should see some movement--probably 30 or so. As to the noise, hard to guess on that one but at this point, it would better be safe than sorry because in normal driving, you shouldn't need any more force on stop #5 than you did on #1 unless something is amiss. Not sure how you do the mechanics but by disconnecting the line and vacuum, then taking the mounting plate all the way off with TV attached from inside the car, it isn't too bad--or going back on either. Getting to the line is the tough part.

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Randy,

I bled the brakes again, and the problem still persists. Although the symptoms have been less in severity, the problem is still there. I still think I have air in the system. I'm still going to have the system gone over with a fine toothed comb.

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A thurough brake bleeding has not solved my problems with the brake issues. So, only two possible sources remain as the culprit, the switch and the master cylinder. I'd hate to pay for a another rebuild of the master cylinder, but if that is what it takes then so be it. If it is the switch, then a mechanical relay is the way I'm going to go. Is there a test for the switch I can perform?

It just occoured to me that when I rebuilt the brake system, I had a broken spring for the self adjusting bar. Could this be a contributing factor to my brake issue?

Justin

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Self-adjusting bar?? There is none. You are mistaking some part, on the rear wheel?? for a self adjuster. Look at pix of brake (plate no. 15) and identify what is broken or missing. On ebay, there are all the springs for the brakes, but I don't know if they have the oval one that goes on the front of the shoe strut.

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No way to test with your problem short of replacing. Easiest, fastest and probably cheapest would be to get the VW hydraulic switch listed as a Wells RB402 in the 55-56 xref thread. All you'd have to do is change the wire terminals and plug in. I have no experience with that setup so can't comment as to reliability. Mr Berger and I both use mechanical switches at the brake pedal. He uses a 2 pole switch with relay and I have a 4 pole which functions like the original and does not need a relay. Either will work but you have to provide a mounting bracket and then the wiring down to original area so obviously will take time and more $. Am attaching a pictue of my setup.

Added: Just remembered 56 brake pedals are a bit different so my bracket setup probably won't work on 55's.

post-43944-143137916494_thumb.jpg

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HH56, I like your setup better than mine. I used a muffler clamp on the steering column and attached an L-shaped bracket to that so the switch assumed proper position. There is no reason that it wouldn't work on a 55 brake pedal.

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Howard,

That is a nice clean setup, and would work good for almost any car. That may make a good article for the website. This would work out good for people that are having problems with the break light switches after changing to DOT 5.

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Kev, if you want to copy and put on site, feel free. I don't have ready info on any other years as to how bracket would have to change. I think there were some variations in the pedal suspension & mount so my dimensions may not work. The switch could stay the same or just get a regular 2 terminal. A picture of one such from Eastwood is attached.

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  • 1 month later...

Randy,

With the vaccuum that comes off the air horn to the intake manifold. If the port on the intake manifold is partially blocked or clogged, would that cause the hesitation I'm experiencing? If , what is the easiest way to correct this problem? confused.gif

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I don't have a pic yet, but the vacuumm line runs fron the driver's side intake(between #3 & #5 cylinder) around the back side of the Rochester into the air horn. I have since found out it has nothing to do with my acceleration problem. Either my choke is adjusted wrong, or the acclerator pump is faulty. The heat riser (that is the port I am talking about) has everything to do with the choke. That port I think is partialy blocked. I need to find a way to clean it out, hopefuly w/o removing the intake manifold. Any help would be appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That is what I'm going to do. I have enough money being spent on other things right now. Power Steering bar needs new seals, master brake cylinder needs rebuilt, water pump needs rebuilt, and the the list goes on and on and on...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I will be rebuilding the carb myself with a new rebuild kit for about 45 bucks. Wish me luck..... On another note, I know where I can pick up a '32 Covertable for 8K that aint running and needs new floorboards. Is it a good deal?

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  • 3 months later...

Thanks Kev.

I took her out on the freeway today for about thirty miles at speed. I got a slight sensation of being on a rollercoaster being pulled up to the top of the hill.(You know, a strong pull on a regular basis.) Is that normal? I also had a smell of like plastic melting but no smoke. I credited it too the generator and water pump gettting broke in. Maybe I am way off base there. Any pointers?

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I once had a '59 T-bird and had a large sheet of plastic blow under it. When I started it I started seeing smoke, so I looked under it and pulled out the plastic. But it was 'Too Late'. There was melted plastic all over the exhaust system. I had to live with the Stink for Weeks. cry.gif

That was during my Dateing days. So when I'd take a girl out on a date, I had to quickly explain that the Stink wasn't Me, but my Poor car. blush.gif

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Hot Bakelite gives off a harsh "burnt electrical" smell. Consider a switch. Possibly even the TL switch. You mentioned earlier that the TL is sometimes balky after a stop. There's an override switch that shuts off the TL when braking to prevent engaging it because of a "nose-down" position during long, hard braking. Maybe it's sticking and building up heat somewhere. Just a guess.

Couple of more thoughts: That "pull" or "surge' sounds like either slippage in the drivetrain (How's the trans fluid look and smell?) or fuel starvation like maybe a weak pump or partially plugged filter.

BTW, your earlier discussion of colors included talk about gray. The first incarnation of our '55 400 was gunmetal gray metallic all around. It really looked nice. The original 2-tone looks better on Clippers, I think, and it's hard to beat the dark blue over light blue. Just replace your greens with blues and you have a correct color. Even all faded and dusty, a pretty nice look:

A blue on blue Clipper Custom was the family hauler bought new in '55, pictured circa 1991. One re-paint in original colors--do not know the numbers.

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Great Pics!. Hope mine looks even close to that. The management has bought off on the Dark Midnight Blue/ Gunmetal Grey combo. I think it will look good. grin.gif I have to change the tranny fluid soon. It's not burnt, but it should be changed. BTW- I got a lot of strange looks on the freeway when I was driving it, especially from those I passed!!!! grin.gif

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What price range and brand of fire extinguisher do you recommend? The cut-off switches I've seen only work from under the hood. Are any made that work from the driver's seat? If there were a problem,the car would be burned up by the time the driver got out, opened the hood and did the disconnect.

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Cutting off the juice from under the hood is not a good idea if you've got an underhood fire going! BUT, the underhood switch can help keep a fire from starting when the vehicle is unatteneded. Sparks, shorts, and what-not electrical "events" can happen even with the ignition off. I've never put in a switch, but regularly disconnect the battery when a car sits, especially if there has been recent or ongoing wrenching going on with underhood parts.

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