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Old 09-04-2019, 07:06 PM
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Front brakes freeze up after 3 miles

n a 1973 Javelin 232 6 cylinder, strait shift transmission, manual steering and brakes, no air. This car has drum brakes on all 4 wheels.

Did a complete brake job, and replaced the dual master cylinder, all 4 wheel cylinders, brake shoes, front two grease seals, and front two flex hoses. Bench bled the master cylinder. All 4 wheels bled out nicely. Pedal is firm. Brake pedal and plunger in the master cylinder come all the way back.

After you drive the car for about 3 miles the front two brake shoes expand out on the drum and will not retract. The front wheels are so hot you can not keep your hand on the wheels. The back are fine. Brought the car back to the garage and the front 2 wheels would not rotate to the front but would rotate to the back.

The plunger on the new master cylinder is coming all the way to the back like it is supposed to. While the wheels were locked up I loosened the bleeder on the wheel cylinders, and brake fluid just dribbled out, indicating that the wheel cylinders were frozen. I took the new wheel cylinders off, disassembled, honed lightly, cleaned and lubricated with brake fluid, reassembled, checked the pistons on the inside of the wheel cylinders for movement, adjusted the brake shoes as close to the hubs as I could without them touching. The back brakes are working fine with no excessive heat on the wheels.

Anyone have an idea of what is causing the problem? Thanks.

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Old 09-04-2019, 10:03 PM
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Do you have the shoes on right?
Long lining on the back, short on the front.
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:14 PM
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Brake shoes oriented correctly

Yes the shoes are on correctly. Short on front long on the back. Thanks for asking.
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Old 09-05-2019, 04:10 AM
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I've recently had this same problem on two completely different vehicles. The cause in both cases was the brand new drums were out of round. This causes the shoes to move back and forth slightly while you drive, which is enough to actuate the self adjuster linkage and over tighten the shoes.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:11 AM
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Do you have a small amount of free play in the peddle before it actually contacts the MC plunger, about a 1/2" should work.


Drum out of round, possible or shoes to thick, once upon a time all shoes were fitted to drums.

Pep
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:47 AM
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Brakes loosened up after cooling over night.

I thought about the out of round drums, but these were the same drums I had before I did the brake job and I did not have this problem with the old parts.

I have about an 1/8 inch free play at the brake pedal but this is not adjustable on this car. The brake rod is attached at the master cylinder and the brake pedal. I might try to shim the master cylinder but I can actually see the plunger coming all the way back with a flashlight.

I test drove the car last night. When I got up this morning the front brakes were no longer seized up, so now I am suspecting a defective master cylinder?? Also the adjustment on the brakes was the same as what I set them to a few days ago so I don't think the adjustment has changed.

The weird part about it is I can push the brake pedal up and down for 20 minutes in the garage and the brakes do not drag. If it take it out for a drive everything is fine until I drive for about 3 miles and then you can feel the brakes starting to drag. Also it is very unusual that the wheel only locks when rotating in one direction and not at all when rotating in the other direction when they do drag. I will continue to play with it.

All suggestions welcome. Thanks for the help so far.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:36 AM
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So, do the brakes start dragging after they are applied a few times, or even if they are not applied?

Do the front brake drums pull off easily when hot and dragging, or do you have to wait until they cool?

What does the wear pattern look like on the shoes, or are there too few miles to see it yet?

Did you set the shoe pairs in the drums before assembly to ensure the arcs were the same? Although what typically happens is freshly turned drums contact only the center 50-75% of the new shoes. And I can't see how that would cause your problem.

What shape are the bearings in? Some of the very low priced shoes, drums, bearings, and wheel cylinders are poor quality. For example. I currently have a problem with some fairly new Pep Boys shoes that were causing lock-up on one rear wheel under moderate to heavy braking. When I pulled the drum, both shoe linings had a couple very rough spots, kind like small peaks and pits. I sanded them down with 80 grit, which fixed the problem, but I plan to replace the shoes with Wagners. Drums looked good.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:15 AM
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I realize this is a manual brake system, but when I replaced my power booster to the master cylinder I had a similar problem. The pushrod adjustment from the booster to the MC had too little slack, and would not let the MC fully return. Now with a proportioning valve putting pressure bias to the front, the front brakes would stay on after a few uses on the road.
Does your manual dual reservoir MC have a bias to the front brakes?
Sounds like there is something partially blocking front brake section of the MC, preventing the fluid from returning quickly & fully. Could be a small piece from the rebuild process.

Last edited by Bob37pont; 09-05-2019 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotRodMan View Post
The brake rod is attached at the master cylinder and the brake pedal.
Is this photo what it looks like,? If yes the arrow is pointing at the adjustment, that t i t is threaded.
Pep
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:41 PM
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I would suspect a bad master cyl. either machined wrong or junk somewhere plugging up the return from not getting it clean enough during rebuild.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:13 PM
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You need a break pressure gauge. This will let you check pressures at the master cylinder, portioning valve, and the wheel cylinders individually to see where your blockage is. It is alot of bleeding. But it works to find where your issue actually is.
You run a flexible hose to the gauge then use a male to female fitting to screw it into the section your testing.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:32 PM
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Problem still not solved. I will answer all your questions and tell you about my latest attempts to fix the problem.

Brakes start dragging only when the brakes are applied. It was about 3 miles but it seams to be getting worse. I test drove the car this afternoon and I only put about a mile on the car, and the brakes dragged worse than they did before.

The front brake drums pulled off easily when hot and dragging but I made the mistake of using my impact gun to remove the lug nuts. The vibration from the gun loosened everything up and the drum came right off. That probably would not have happened if I had removed the lug nuts using a socket and ratchet.

There are too few miles to establish a ware pattern on the shoes but the car stopped fine with little pressure on the brake pedal. I sanded the shoes before installing and upon reinspection, I do not see anything unusual about them or the drums.

No, I did not set the shoes pairs in the drum before assembly. I guess I should have done that. The drums were not turned because they looked good. Before things lock up the brakes work great. Firm pedal, light pressure on the pedal and the car stops without pulling or squeaking.

As far as I know the manual duel reservoir does not have a bias to the front brakes.

Something may be blocking the front brake section of the master cylinder preventing fluid from returning. I will look into this possibility. The only thing I know to do with this would be to blow out the brake likes with compressed air, unless you have a better idea. If something is inside the master cylinder I think replacement is the only option there.

On rip tides photo, no my set up does not look like this at all. There is no adjustment on the push rod. One end clips into the back of the master cylinder and the other end bolts to the brake pedal. I even have to use my original push rod from my old master cylinder because when you order a new master cylinder the push rod does not come with it.



The bearings were completely cleaned and repacked with grease before installing with new seals. Checked the bearing surfaces as well as the race and it all looked good. Adjusted bearings to manufacturer specs.

Tonight when I test drove the car, the front wheels started dragging I brought the car into the garage, jacked it up, and the wheels would not turn forward but would turn backwards as it usually does. I loosened the bolts on the master cylinder at the fire wall and giggled the master cylinder around, next I disconnected the brake line from the master cylinder that feeds the front brakes, a little fluid dribbled out, I then loosened the bleeder valve at the wheel cylinder, a little fluid dribbled out, but after all this the wheels were still stuck. Not sure what to try next.

Since I have already removed the new wheel cylinders, honed, cleaned, checked each part, checked for smooth operation, I am not sure where to go from here. I may try replacing the master cylinder and blowing out the front lines. Never had this problem before after doing brake jobs for years.

Thanks so much for all the questions and suggestions. Still open for your advise.
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:25 PM
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Did brakes work before the rebuild, if not what was wrong?



"Brakes start dragging only when the brakes are applied"

If that is true no need to drive the car to find the problem? Pump the breaks a few times on the stands and start looking.

"vibration from the gun loosened everything up "
Any scoring on the back inside of the drum/drums?


How did you adjust the wheel bearings, what is the factory spec used?

Wheel bearing adjustment
25ft.lb

Back nut off 1/2 turn
22in.lbs
insert cotter pin

"a little fluid dribbled out" is telling you there is NO pressure in the system (good). Sounding like a mechanical problem,

Are the brakes self adjusting ? That star wheel adjuster assembly could be in backwards. (front wheels)
Pep
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:42 PM
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X2 with test it on stands if this only occurs when the brakes are applied. Confirm this. The drum coming off with the wheel is peculiar. The drum is centered on the hub, correct? No floating on the hub is what what I'm asking.

If the drum is not smoking hot when these lock up/stick within a mile and your sure the master cylinder piston is returning, then change the hoses 1st (have you already done that?)

Have you tried backing the adjustment off a turn or two on the adjuster and seeing what effect it has?
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:17 PM
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Yes, the brakes worked before the rebuild. The pedal was going closer and closer to the floor when I applied the brakes. When I tore everything down for inspection all 4 wheel cylinders were leaking, the shoes were worn, and the master cylinder was not leaking but was old so I decided to replace that while I was doing the job.

As far as no need to drive the car, I only get a mild lock up when I push the brakes on in the garage. The real trouble starts when you drive the car.

Did not see any scoring at all on the inside of the drums.

I am fortunate to have the factory service manual for this car and the front wheel bearing adjustment for this car is tighten spindle nut 20 to 25 foot pounds while rotating the wheel. Loosen the spindle nut 1/3 turn and with wheel spinning retorque spindle nut to 10 inch pounds.

The brakes are self adjusting and I have the hardware installed to the rear with the star wheel oriented to the rear exactly as the service manual shows in their photos. Have brake shoes adjusted as close to the drum as I can get it without touching.

You are saying there is no pressure in the system which sounds like a mechanical problem. Does that mean I should rule out replacing the master cylinder?

One thing I notice that happens now that did not happen before the rebuild is that sometimes when I put my foot on the brake pedal, the pedal will slip down quickly for about a half inch and then catch again. The pedal is still firm but it did not do that before. I thought that was weird but did not know what to make of it. I had an idea that may be a master cylinder problem. What do you think?

Thanks so much for your comments and questions.
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