'55 Bel-Air (it needs brake work, i need advise) - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:21 PM
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'55 Bel-Air (it needs brake work, i need advise)

If anyone has been following along, you may have seen my drive train issue has been resolved (snapped an axle, now its fixed ), and now that its drivable again the breaks seem to be worse than when i parked it a few years ago.

It stops pretty well (its not scary to drive), but it pulls pretty hard to the drivers side and it feels like the drivers side front is grabbing the most of all 4 corners.

I am a young buck, so if its not disks its beyond me. Where do i begin?

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Old 08-03-2009, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jgs240
If anyone has been following along, you may have seen my drive train issue has been resolved (snapped an axle, now its fixed ), and now that its drivable again the breaks seem to be worse than when i parked it a few years ago.

It stops pretty well (its not scary to drive), but it pulls pretty hard to the drivers side and it feels like the drivers side front is grabbing the most of all 4 corners.

I am a young buck, so if its not disks its beyond me. Where do i begin?
Pull it apart and see if the wheel cylinder is leaking. Wet pads will lock the wheel right up. Wheel cylinders are like headlights, if one is bad, replace both or you will be replacing the other shortly.

If the shoes are dry, the next item to check is adjustment and that everything is moving freely. To adjust properly, lock the wheel with the adjuster and back of about 7 clicks.

other things to look at are the brake hoses, old collapsed hoses can cause all kinds of issues.

My bet is you have a leaky cylinder.
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:07 PM
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Thanks!

I replaced the drivers side rear wheel cylinder about 5 years ago, it had the complete opposite symptom (no breaks...eeek). Ill take your word on this one though
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:58 AM
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Just my 2cents worth,but you guys are building hot rods and this 2009. if you look at cost, reliability not to mention safety. I would think that instead trying diagnose old break systems it would be a no brainier to retro fit a disc setup. There are certainly enough companies out there to give you want you need.I am novice when comes to hod rod builds but I have build a few bikes and disc are the only wa to go. Some of rods I seen have big hp and drum brakes, is theret some kind rule hat says you need to stay with OEM brakes? I'm not trying to be wise -@#$ just would hate to someone go down just because they needed to save bucks and brakes got te nod. unless you are restoring to OEM specs on complete car, upgrade man,allot of problems will go away the number one is that you will still be around to tell me to SHAD-UP! Be safe my friend Dusty
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by dusty019
Just my 2cents worth,but you guys are building hot rods and this 2009. if you look at cost, reliability not to mention safety. I would think that instead trying diagnose old break systems it would be a no brainier to retro fit a disc setup. There are certainly enough companies out there to give you want you need.I am novice when comes to hod rod builds but I have build a few bikes and disc are the only wa to go. Some of rods I seen have big hp and drum brakes, is theret some kind rule hat says you need to stay with OEM brakes? I'm not trying to be wise -@#$ just would hate to someone go down just because they needed to save bucks and brakes got te nod. unless you are restoring to OEM specs on complete car, upgrade man,allot of problems will go away the number one is that you will still be around to tell me to SHAD-UP! Be safe my friend Dusty
Drum brakes when setup properly work well. They dont have the fade resistance that disks do but they worked well for many years on cars weighing in excess of 5K lbs. Sometime the owner likes to keep the car original also.
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:30 AM
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Another thing you may want to look at is the rubber hoses at the wheel cylinders....when they get old, they deteriorate.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:04 AM
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Can i do multi-quotes here? I cant find the button if i can...

Thanks everyone for the advise so far. I have been considering a disk upgrade since i do plan on more power somewhere down the road. But money is tight for this project, so this will probably be a drum repair for now.

Also thanks for the heads up about the rubber near the wheel cylinder...its on the list now.
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