Brake Springs

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: Brake Springs
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 07:17 am:

This is the second time I've pulled the rear wheels to find that the rearmost brake springs have come off. Its getting old!

A recommendation on a forum post suggested drilling a small hole through the backing plate about midway along the front spring and using a cotter key or safety wire to snug the spring against the plate.

This has kept the front springs in place. Do I need to do the same with the rear springs?

Anyone else with this problem ?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 07:26 am:

I have new springs and it's a fight to get them on, much less worry about them coming off. I have to be very deliberate about gripping the pliers so that if I slip, I don't whack my knuckles into something. How easy are yours to slip on and off?

Are they hitting something? I don't understand what could make them come off. Can you take pics please? I know the front ones sort of ride over the heads of the bolts for the radius rods.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 07:42 am:

The reproduction springs are not bent quite right, and will fall off. They need to be re - bent slightly to fit properly and stay put.

I had one fall off. That wheel made a little sound, leading me to remove the drum and find the problem.

Rocky spring.jpg


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 08:55 am:

Seth: The picture Royce submitted is exactly what I've got, right down to the pieces of spring resting on the bottom shoe. (Except it looks like his front spring came off - it was my rear spring (both sides)

Royce: Thanks for your input, I will try bending for a better fit when I replace them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 09:41 am:

Sometimes the 'lugs' on the repro brake shoes are a bit shallow to hold the brake spring loop securely, so you have to Dremel out the notch.

The new one piece repro shoes have nice notches, hold the brake springs better.

Tip for install is to use a needle-nose Vise Grip plier. The shaft of the spring is held fast so you can stretch it to fit over the notch.


NOS Ford iron shoe with new springs


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 09:42 am:

Cool - Bud I was going to say the same thing - once I got my springs on, I clamped the ends down because they were very open.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Richard Bennett on Friday, September 06, 2013 - 08:32 am:

Dan, what purpose does the rear spring serve on a one piece shoe?

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Friday, September 06, 2013 - 09:12 am:

I'll jump in - the rear spring helps holding the shoe together when it breaks apart :-) (not very uncommon on worn shoes, some T restorers even recommends notching it in the middle so you get it to break in the best place = not besides the anchor bolt.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan on Friday, September 06, 2013 - 09:50 am:

This may sound obvious, but why don't you just buy a brake tool? They're great for getting springs on and off, are inexpensive, readily available. Why bust up your knuckles?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Adam Doleshal on Friday, September 06, 2013 - 12:02 pm:

The two piece repro brake shoes have lugs that are a bit too thick for the springs. Other than that I have found the rear springs to be okay.

I have found that installing the springs to the inside with the "hook" pointing to the outside does a couple things: 1) It has a tendency to pull the top of the top shoe and the bottom of the bottom shoe towards the backing plate and helps keep the shoes from rubbing against the inside of the drum. 2) It provides a hair more clearance between the brake shoe springs and the 6 nuts on the inside of the brake drum.

What people sometimes do wrong that leads to an issue: 1) Use of hub nuts and bolts that are slightly too long and stick too far out of the drum. 2) Distort the springs putting them on. 3) Re-use brake cams or cam bushings that are too worn.

Correctly installing brake shoes & springs is also very simple and requires no tools. You put the springs on the shoes with the springs on the inside and hooks on the outside and then hold the brake with springs up to where they go on the backing plate. You then offset the top shoe over the support bolt and place it on the top of the support bolt, then pulling the bottom of the bottom shoe slightly towards you, you then place the shoe on the bottom of the support bolt. Once the rear of the shoes are on the support bolt, it is easy to grasp the front of the shoe and pull it apart enough to get it over the cam and in place. If you have "one-piece" shoes, the procedure is even easier, but it requires removal and re-installation of the support bolt.

If the shoe does not stay in place and does not fit tight to the backing plate on its own, then something is wrong in the geometry of the reproduction part you are using that you have to figure out and adjust for. (or send back and hope for a better one).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Kopsky, Lytle TX on Friday, September 06, 2013 - 01:36 pm:

Another often made mistake is using pliers, vise grips, etc. to install a spring. If you don't have a spring installation tool, do as Adam suggests and install the springs before installing the second shoe and stretch in place. Scaring the spring by mishandling will usually cause the spring to break there.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 09:13 pm:

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll bet that between bending the springs a tad and dremeling the the notch a bit, it will do the trick!


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