Many years ago my dad fit 1953 Chevy brakes to our '26 Fordor. (Rear wheels only) Stops fantastic and barely noticeable as the brake drums have the same general shape as 26 T style.
After 28 years, I have replaced the brake shoes. The old shoes had linings that suggested a primary shoe and a secondary shoe. One having a longer lined surface than the other. The replacement shoes did not have different lengths on the lining. Both looked like the old primary shoe, with longer lining. However, it appears that two of the shoes have a thicker lining than the other two. I didn't measure the thickness but it's enough that you can tell by looking at them. Also, as it turns out, I put the two thick shoes on one wheel and the two thinner shoes on the other. The adjuster on one side is almost totally collapsed while the other is screwed out about 1/4".
So, does anyone know if the different thickness suggests that one shoe is the primary, (thicker?), and the other the secondary? Or, did I just get a crappy mismatched set of shoes?
Either way, it stops good as is and I'll let them stay as they are. Maybe they'll only last 25 years this way. Good enough.
The thicker shoe is probably the secondary shoe if the linings are the same length. Manufactures make them differently.
My guess is the thicker shoe is the primary shoe as it will see more braking action than the secondary shoe. If you put one of each in the same position on each wheel, they will probably last your lifetime on your 26.
One of our members has this Chevy brake setup on his centerdoor.
The primary shoe is normally the front shoe and not necessarily the one that sees the most braking force. That's why it's often smaller.
With the T weight though, it probably wouldn't make any difference where the shoes were installed.
And, the secondary shoe is the primary shoe for stopping when moving backwards, so it doesn't get much wear. The shorter lining may give more leverage for same pedal pressure, which helps when you're going backwards, as in backing down hill.
Vehicle faces to the left in this drawing. Primary shoe is on left. Leading edge of shoe is opposite end from pivot. Trailing shoe gives barely any braking, which is what you have backing up with Rocky Mt. Brakes.
Front brakes have two primary shoes, (leading shoe) going forward, and provide little stopping going backward.
No mention of service or inspection of the wheel cylinders . . .
Keep in mind that brake fluid has an affinity for water, and as
the brake shoes wear a greater portion of the cylinder bore is
exposed to rusting and pitting. New brake shoes force the piston
seals back in to try and do their job on this now rough surface,
usually resulting in hydraulic leaks or cylinder blow-out.
That's why I have brake cyl hones, Art. I don't do that until after it leaks on the new lining, of course.