Is Dan Mceachern still making ac brakes ?
I thought Larry Sidmore was the maker of the AC brakes. They were available at Chickasha in 2010.
Allan from down under.
Larry makes them and they are very well made. I have a set on my '14 and they work as well as they look.
Dan Mc Eachern did used to make those brakes. But that was a long time ago. I do not know why Dan stopped making them. I am glad that Larry Sidmore picked them up. He is doing a very nice job making those brakes, and I recommend them. I had a set on one of my Ts and loved them. But that was a long time ago, when Dan Mc Eachern was making them.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I bought a set from Larry this spring at Chickasha.
I asked a question about the AC brakes some time ago in another post and never got an answer.
"Would I be correct in assuming that the AC system suffers from the same problems as Rocky Mountain brakes? i.e. Poor wet braking and no braking in reverse ?"
Anyone know ?
All brakes of this type will fade when wet, as far as the a/c they are about equal forward and backward as they are anchored in the middle of the shoe. Certainly better than the ford brake if an axle or drive shaft breaks. I like them better because of the equal braking pressure and the look of being period correct. Kb
A set of AC brakes is on my wish list, but new tires and an engine swap so I rebuild the original one have to come first.
I hope they are still available when I get to that point.
Wish they made them for the '26-'27 big drum rear...
While I can't comment on the new AC's, my original AC's seem to work well in reverse. As far as working when wet, I think most any brake suffers the same problem, brake fade when wet. Disk brakes may not as much since the pads are more or less in continuous contact with the rotor.
With the woven lining of the AC or Rocky Mtn. they may take longer to generate enough heat to dry before they become effective. If it's wet, drive like you have no brakes and dry them by applying pressure before you need to stop. With the foot print of the Model T tire, it's easy to lock the wheels up and slide and they do slide nice on wet or dry pavement. You don't want to slide because you have locked up the brakes, you want to bring the car to a stop without locking the brakes up. When you are sliding your tires have lost their gripping power and it does not matter what brakes you have the car will slide till it's lost enough forward movement to get a grip.
The lining on the current AC's I think might be more resistant to absorbing water but you still need to dry them as you drive, water acts like grease when things are wet whether it's woven or hard lining, drum or outside brakes.
Larry's AC units are very well made--however, in this "modern" litigious world, you do have to sign an affidavit that you are only purchasing these for display use only. I choose to "display" them on my T's rear axle. It's just coincidence that they are also connected to the brake system. . . . an "interpretive" display!
I only mention this because we don't want to get Larry in trouble--he is making an historic display item only!
Thanks for all info how do you get hold of larry
Thanks to those who answered my question about the Reverse / wet braking.
Definitely increased my interest in getting a set!
I have read in original AC brake instructions to remove the transmission brake band and rely solely on the AC's for stopping. Has anybody actually done this? How well do they work in this situation? Sounds to me like a very bad idea should the AC's get wet or fail.
Maybe back in the day when you were driving at 15 MPH. At average speeds of between 25 and 35 and stop lights every couple of blocks I want a backup.
Several of the accessory brake manufacturers had their own replacement brake pedal that did not have the actuating cam for the Ford transmission brake - I'll take a photo of one or two of mine.
Does anyone have photos of the AC brakes. I'd like to see if you do.
I would never disable the transmission brake. If you want to rely on the auxiliary brakes set up your system so that the auxiliary brake activates first and then by applying more pressure on the brake pedal if needed the transmission brake kicks in. Most of the time the auxiliary brakes will do all of the work but in the rare instance where you need that extra braking power it is nice to have it. The AC brakes seem to hold in reverse fairly well but the Rocky Mtn. brakes do not so you definitely need to rely on the transmission brake when backing up or holding on a hill.
The price may not be current.
I have a set and can offer the following observations:
1. Larry only sells the band assembly (as I call it) as shown in the picture above on the right. You will have to rig up your own connection from the brake pedal to the actuator. I think a couple of us posted a thread on our approaches last year. I found everything I needed at TSC other than welding a tab onto a brake pedal. I used cable and a flat pulley to even the load. from the pulley I ran a rod through a gate hinge on the drive shaft tube (to hold it down), then a turnbuckle, then a clevis into the tab on the brake bank I welded on.
2. They require that the drums be cleaned of paint and that they be not too out of round. Some grinding may be required.
3. Adjustment is required after they run in. I guess that's obvious.
4. Larry sells for display only. So running without the stock brake band is out of the question. You have to assume these as back up brakes to the tranny brake, or at least that's how I look at it. I set mine with the tranny brake adjusted loose enough that it wasn't doing anything and did my testing in my gravel drive. Then I adjusted the tranny brake back to where it works in concert with the AC's.
5. They DO work but bear in mind on the small drums you have less leverage than you would have with the RM brakes as they come with a larger drum. In my experience they do not stop as solidly as RM brakes on a friend of mine's depot hack, and its considerably heavier than my rig.
Just my .02.
Please help out a newbie, What is TSC?
Tractor Supply Company. wow - people out there don't know that?
As far as I know, we have only 1 TSC in Wisconsin. We have lots of Fleet Farm and Farm & Fleet stores.
At the last swap meet I was at (Bakersfield) he now offers the whole set up and for a $100 more he had a replacement pedal for your break pedal. But even on his literature he says these are only an accessory break to be used in conjunction with Ford's transmission brake.
Does Larry Sidmore have an email address? If yes, can someone PM me with it? Thanks.
Steve - We don't even have Tractor Supply Company in the Pacific Northwest!
Lot of Tractor Supply's here in Florida.We just got a new one here in Homosassa, Fl.
Larry is old school, you have to call or write him. He also does not take credit cards.
Orscheln Farm and Home for those of you in the midwest. a lot like TSC.
Bought the AC brakes from Larry last year and put them on my 14 T. I followed Steve from Tennessee's instructions and I'm very happy with the results. Seem to work fine both wet and dry. Thanks Steve.....very helpful video and easy to follow directions.
Any outside-band constricting brake may have trouble when wet. Often they work fine. Sometimes they don't. Especially if you have gone some distance without using the brake. I had that happen years ago when I was driving my (then) 1925 Studebaker home on the freeway in a pouring rain. I hadn't touched the brakes for at least a dozen miles until the traffic light on the off-ramp. Fortunately, the outside mounted transmission hand brake worked fine. Like I often advise, practice using the hand brake. It should be almost instantaneous and automatic to use it in an emergency.
Usually, outside band brakes work okay in the rain, as long as you use them just a little bit to scrape the water off and allow a bit extra for stopping distance. Actually, internal drum brakes can have the same problem.
I like the AC Brakes. The only real advantage I see to Rocky Mountain Brakes is that due to drum and band size, they will wear slower and last somewhat longer. (Note; This is both total mileage and potential "brake fade" issues on long hills and hot days.) I have known several people that use ACs and are happy with them. I have heard of a number of people that did need to reline them eventually. But most of them said it was a lot easier than changing transmission bands. And less often.
Whatever your choice for braking, never forget that these cars are antiques. Some extra care must be taken.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
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