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Old 05-20-2010, 10:56 PM
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front drums on a 23 T

I currently have no front brakes on my T-Bucket and would like to put some drums on the front to keep the late 50's/early 60's style I am going for. I am not building a Rat Rod however and would the set up to look clean. Does any one have a parts list for installing early Ford drums that will be safe and good looking. The car only ways 1500 lbs total so I figure front and rear drums will have enough stopping power, plus I dont think discs will look right with the era in which I am trying to achieve. I need everything from spindles to the plumbing. Any advice on what parts to look for and what to watch out for when buying from swap meets is greatly appreciated. thanks, Sean from Murrietta Ca.

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Old 05-21-2010, 04:11 AM
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What front axle do you have?
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Old 05-21-2010, 04:12 AM
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:33 AM
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you can now buy an entire front drum setup from www.speedwaymotors.com. cost is around $500 and it's not available as a 'kit', but they do sell all that is required.. pretty sure there reproduction '40 Ford but I know they have self adjusters, which the '40 Ford didn't have
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:46 PM
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I have an I-beam front end with the leaf spring. I thing it has a couple inch drop if that makes any differance.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:55 PM
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I was looking int the speedway 40 ford drums, I also read that you can put the buick drums on the backing plates which i would eventually like to do. I think i got som spindles from my old man that can be used with some slight mods. They are one solid piece and the steering arms on them are for cross steering and i have traditional steering setup. Will need to cut one of the eyelets off the right spindle and weld a top steering arm bracket on the left. I am still unsure of which hubs to use and what I will need for the plumbing. Do i still use a proportioning valve for the front drums like you would for discs?
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:30 AM
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There are all kinds of different things you could do, but we need to know what KIND of axle and most of all the SPINDLES, what are the spindles from? Post a photo if you can. Chevy spindles are often commonly used on old buckets and if you have Chevy spindles there are drum brakes that will bolt on there, the car the spindles came from DID have front brakes remember.

If they are Ford, again, the car they came from DID have front brakes. But depending on what year you can up grade with old vintage hot rod stuff like Lincoln brakes with Buick finned drums. Or use more common Ford backing plates and Drums. The Buick finned drums have went thru the friggin roof in price.

Brian
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:27 AM
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I can understand why you want front brakes, but drum brakes add a LOT of weight to the front end which can cause you problems - for instance, the spring may need another leaf or two plus any wear will show up immediately. I recommend a disc brake set up - relatively inexpensive plus fairly easy to find parts for Wilwood's or even the GM's. Best of all - they look and work better

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Old 05-23-2010, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child
I can understand why you want front brakes, but drum brakes add a LOT of weight to the front end which can cause you problems - for instance, the spring may need another leaf or two plus any wear will show up immediately. I recommend a disc brake set up - relatively inexpensive plus fairly easy to find parts for Wilwood's or even the GM's. Best of all - they look and work better

Dave W
Dave, drum brakes don't weigh more than disc, as a rule they weigh less! Unless you are talking a trick T-bucket style little aluminum caliper compared to a 12" cast iron drum. But a little 49-54 Chevy drum set up is less than your average cast iron caliper disc set up.

As far as the weight, more springs aren't needed, it is UN-sprung weight. More shock, maybe, but not more spring.

This is the thing about disc vs drum, we aren't talking about something that is miles different to the AVERAGE driver under AVERAGE conditions.

Yes, disc brake technology kicks drum brake technologies ever love butt. If we are talking about 100-0 brake tests, or towing a trailer down a hill tests, holy crap there isn't any question disc brakes are far superior. In a 100-0 brake test after one stop you might as well get a rope and engine block and throw it out the window. Your drum brakes are cooked after that 100-0. Where a proper disc set up you could go over and over taking the test a dozen times. The Road & Track 100-0 test with the 65 Corvette was hilarious, they literally said something like "we gave up" on the amount of 100-0 tests they could do without brake fade.

But in your AVERAGE rod being driven to runs smoking the tires once in a while, it makes next to zero difference.

And a 1500-2000 lb car? Heck, my brother ran 13's at 100 mph with drum brakes, never saw a problem under AVERAGE driving. Did I notice a difference when I put the discs on my 65 Gran Sport, heck yes. But did it WORK with the drums, heck yes again. It worked just fine, as did my 65 Skylark my wife drove. Yes, I smoked the brakes pulling a 1800 lb camp trailer down mountains a few times. But in AVERAGE driving there wasn't a single thing wrong with those little 9" drums.

If you can bolt on drums and give the car the look you want while saving money, why not? Now, SV, if you plan on driving your little T like a 32R VW or Z06 Vette, you better step up to some quality discs. But if this is a little cruiser, drums will work for you. There are many opinions on the subject, that is mine.

Brian
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:30 PM
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Thanks for the advice about the disc vs. drums. I know that discs will function better than drums but it is really not the style car I'm going for. No offence to anybody out there but I am not a big fan of the whole Fab T, big blown engine and steam roller tires look. I inherited this car from my dad which me and him built it in the late 70'/early 80's. I love the car but it is just not my style. I also dont want a, for lack of a better term, RAT ROD. I love the old skool look and mentality but I want it to be safe, very clean looking, but also retro at the same time. I believe the axle is a 34 Radius rod I-beam axle the only differance from the others that I have researched is that mine has holes across the center face of the I-beam and is not solid like the Mr. roadster ones at speedway. The spindles I have in my hands (not the ones currently on the car) that i got are 37-41 ford spindles (I think). They have the round mounting plate with the 4 holes and forged steering arms set up for cross steering. my car has traditional style steering so I know so fab work will need to be done. However they came out of my dads basement and are all rusty. I think they can be cleaned up but if there is some pitting on the spindle where the bearing races sit will it be a huge problem or am i better off just buing some new ones from Speedway? I also dont really know much about drum brakes. What is self energizing vs. non-energized brakes and hydrolic vs. mechanical? I thought most brakes worked with brake fluid and a reservoir, drums or discs. I dont want to have something that works with cables. Or am I way off in my thinking?
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:36 PM
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I also am only going to be driving it occasionally around town, to local car shows mabe down to San Diego or up to L.A., both are about an hour away, all freeway, no traffic and the speed limit cause my wife will probably be freaking out seeing there is no top, no seatbelts, no roll bars, and a fiberglass body.
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:32 PM
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self energizing drums have the brake shoes on a pivot so the shoes will pull down into the drum along with fluid preassure ( mechanical advantage ).. original '40 Ford drums are not self energizing, they rely on fluid preassure, but the Speedway setup is... drums are a more efficent brake setup than drums relativly speaking, but drums get hotter and fade quicker.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
original '40 Ford drums are not self energizing,
But the Lincoln brakes of the same vintage are and bolt right on. That was the hot set up, Lincoln brakes with Buick finned drums. I had some chromed Lincoln backing plates that hung around for years, sold them a couple years back.

Brian
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:04 PM
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There have been issues with all that rotating mass on the light T-Buckets trying to get everything balanced to avoid vibration and oscillation. If you go to any of the T-bucket forums you will find talk on this topic. The light disks seem to work the best.
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