These episodes really get your attention, don't they? With brakes, you
sometimes don't know you have a problem until the worst possible time. And
if you collide with somebody, everyone automatically assumes the old crock
is at fault for bad brakes. Not much sympathy for a "classic" vehicle when
you're in an accident.
Brake problems can be deceiving to diagnose. What seems like a front locking
up can turn out to be a rear wheel not braking. Check your rear shoes to
make sure one side isn't soaked in gear lube from a leaking axle seal. You
can usually spot this without even removing the wheel. You'll see goop
leaking out of the adjuster hole on the inside of the backing plate.
If all's OK back there, you may have a wheel cylinder hanging up, not
allowing the shoe to return fully, weak spring(s), a soft hose, shoes making
irregular contact with drum, or even shoes mounted with the leading edge in
the wrong position (this is all to easy to do, believe me). Uneven
adjustment can also cause pulling - if the shoes are wearing at a different
rate it doesn't take long for them to really get out of sync.
A big reason I put on IFS and a modern rear end is to reduce the possibility
of 50-year old brakes failing due to questionable parts. Stuff like brake
drums and hoses can only last so long. And, after doing any brake work I
always try to find a shopping center parking lot to do a few panic stops and
see if everything is working OK.
I hope you get it sorted out. Not being able to trust your brakes can take a
lot of fun out of driving an old truck.
Jack / Winter Park FL
----- Original Message -----
From: craig k <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 1999 2:02 AM
Subject: [oletrucks] almost an accident
> Need some advice on our brakes - they almost caused a wreck today!
> When you hit the pedal too hard the driver's side front seems to lock,
> throwing the rear end to the right and in general making for a dicey
> situation (and too hard is really too -quick- as a good slow hard push is
> ok). Tonight some idiot zipped in to my lane right in front of me and hit
> the brakes (duh); I missed him but almost nailed a truck in the left lane
> as the wheel locked and we slid into his lane.
> I am assuming that something in the wheel cyclinder is wrong, or maybe I
> can just back out the shoes a bit?
> In theory, the M/C was rebuilt 4 years ago, so should I eliminate it as a
> suspect or tear it out?
> caretaker of
> stephanie's 50 3104 216 5-window deluxe
> oletrucks is devoted to Chevy and GM trucks built between 1941 and 1959
oletrucks is devoted to Chevy and GM trucks built between 1941 and 1959