This is in response to a PM from an old Forum friend, regarding the Nash Metropolitan front brakes I use on the ol' brass picup.
First of all: the Metro/Austin brakes don't push the wheel outward. The track is the same.
I bought into Les's worry about kingpin slant, until I thought some more about it. Sure, it's ideal, but not a deal killer. I have many thousands of miles on standard geometry. Any time a brake loses traction, the car will pull the other way. I've had a front brake lose all traction due to a leak, and it's hard to stop straight. The last event I had was caused by a greasy rear brake causing the car to swerve.
A front wheel that loses traction by going off pavement will pull the car back toward the front wheel with good traction, where you want it to go.
I drove 3 Greatraces and thousands of other miles with stock steering. Best bet is a steering gear. I used '37 Ford gear, made the pitman arm 8" long for 10:1, and am happy with it.
Whatever front brakes you choose, I recommend keeping the rears stock. After all, the tranny brake will be doing only about 30% of its former job.
A lot of the above is repetition. If you want more, do a keyword search.
GraybearAviation on Tbay
My concerns about unequal forces being transmitted back to the stewing wheel Ralph has handled by using the '37 Ford worm and roller sector steering box. A "non reversing" steering box is a good safety measure with front brakes. It is however not essential and especially if you tilt the king pins to line up with the centre of the tire patch as I have on my '27. There was a era solution of a device that you add to the top of the stock T steering box that prevented "kick back"
Try your stopping after greasing one rear brake, Les. Kingpin inclination won't matter, and the car will dive the other way.
Kingpin inclination keeps the steering wheel neutral, but does nothing for the pull of unequal braking.
Les, are you talking about the PHILIP IRREVERSIBLE STEERING CLUTCH?
Here's a link to the device from a thread I posted a while back.
Something new again learned on the Forum. I didn't realise any one else, except Chrysler, used those dual cylinder Lockheed type brakes.
I don't disagree with you, BUT I think you are over stating the issue. You and I both know that front brakes do most of the stopping on our cars. I think it will be less of a problem than if you had a similar rear brake condition and NO front brakes. We have seen lots of cars with one Rocky Mountain or similar rear brake system greased up and the car still stops quite straight, although not quickly, with one rear wheel sliding. We have also seen cars with one rear wheel turning backwards in a panic stop and essentially only the other rear wheel is exerting any amount of stopping force.
So I think your approach is fine (not significantly better or worse than mine).
That is exactly what I am talking about. I have one that is NOS and I plan to try it with front brakes. If it works well I might make a few copies. It is definitely cheaper to make than the Ross steering box and also than the new spindle/ tilted king pin approach
I have a '58 Jaguar with drum brakes that also uses that. Jaguar, in their infinite wisdom, also tried to make them sell adjusting. That feature is very troublesome.
My wife's '61 Morris Minor has them.
I have a Philip Irreversible on my car. It certainly works well, no kickback. I demonstrate it to people by telling them to grab a front wheel and try to turn it, then I pull at the steering wheel and round it goes!
But it gives a notchy feel because you lose the feedback. Until you are used to it, you keep thinking the steering has locked up on you (well it has in a way), also it doesn't self-centre after a corner, which is tricky in a T when you are playing with the hand throttle as well. I'd prefer a new steering box.
Thank you for the comments. It behaves as I suspected it would.
I have a set of these adapted to T spindles, but I don't know if the spindles are 26-27, or pre 26. What issues would I have if they were pre 26 and I used them on a 26-27?
One time my brake rod pin came out, i heard the rod dragging on the road & knew what it was so i tried pulling over using only the hand brake. Never made the car swerve but it did have less stopping power. Maybe your car has better brakes than mine.
Here are the patents for the Philip Irreversible Steering Clutch . . .
Lucius J. Phelps
San Diego, California
Irreversible Steering Gear Attachment for Motor Cars
Patent number: 1187860
Filing date: Dec 6, 1915
Issue date: June 20, 1916
Lucius J. Phelps
San Diego, California
Irreversible Steering Gear
Patent number: 1328761
Filing date: Dec 13, 1917
Issue date: Jan 20, 1920
In reference to my above post, I know that the front axle was located higher on the 26-27 front spindles to effectively lower the 26-27 chassis, so my question is: if my Metro brakes are adapted to pre 26 spindles, (I don't know because I bought them that way and don't know who did them for sure), will the use of pre 26 spindles and the use of the rest of my 26-27 steering components, cause any interference problems.
Art, I have three of these Irreversible Steering Gear new in the box from a "stash" of these found in Southern California. Interesting to see the patent holder was also from socal, seems like a connection. Thanks for the info.
Here's a picture of the front brakes on my car in Kanab taken by Erich Bruckner.
I copied pictures and patent info from the McNerny and Big Four brakes that were available on the 20's. The more miles I put on them the better they work as they get seated. I haven't experienced any pull in either direction with a hard stop.
I can actually tell the difference and best of all that I like is that they were period accessories
(Message edited by admin on February 07, 2014)
Terry, I don't think you'll have any troubles with earlier spindles on an improved car. The camber may be 3 degrees instead of 1.5 on the ballon tired cars, but I think all it will cause is a little more wear on the outside of the thread on your 21" x 4.50" tires. They'll likely still hold up for more miles than any clincher tire.
(Just be careful to place the spindle with LH thread on the RH side so the bearings can't self tighten..)
Here's a period ad for the Mc Nerny brakes
Here's the Ross steering gearbox period ad.
So I wonder what $15.00 and $37.50 is inflation adjusted to now? Anyway these are two projects I am working on and hope to be testing this summer
If anyone wants to try to adapt some Metro front brakes to their T, there is a set on Ebay right now for about $120.00, without the drums. He may have them, though. If not, they shouldn't be too hard to find. You have to redrill the holes for the T hub bolts on wood spoke wheels.
$15 in 1924 would be $202 in 2013
$37.50 in 1924 would be $505 in 2013
McNerny Four Wheel Brake Patent
Clyde J. McNerny
San Francisco, California
Four Wheel Brake Mechanism
Patent Number: 1538714
Filing date Apr 7, 1926
Issue date May 19, 1928
I found I needed an insulator between the drum and the spokes, as they were charring. I used a thin piece of fiberglass.
Early and later patents for the Ross Steering Gear.
David E. Ross
La Fayette, Indiana
Assignor to Ross Gear and Tool Co.
La Fayette, Indiana
Patent Number: 1567997
Filing date Apr 30, 1924
Issue date Dec 29, 1925
Franklin F. Chandler
Assignor to Ross Gear and Tool Co.
La Fayette, Indiana
Patent Number: 1784044
Filing date Oct 2, 1929
Issue date Dec 9, 1930
I guess I'll find out. I have made a set with new 30x3-1/2 wooden wheels. I've made a slip on brake adapter to just slip over the T spindle. Of course it requires a different inner hub bearing and a custom hub (which is one piece with the brake drum)
The Dexter 7" hydraulic brake backing plate assemblies ALL NEW are cheaper. Now you probably need my hub/drum castings
Ralph, What year Nash Metro front brake plates will work for converting for use on a t's front end?
Jay, I'm not an expert, but I believe all years will work. My setup was reportedly made by the late ? Orville Enyart ? of California.
Terry, Thanks. For anyone who is interested in making up a set of front brakes with nash metro units there is a set being offered on Ebay right now. Here's the link:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1961-NASH-METROPOLITAN-PAIR-OF-FRONT-BACKING-PLATE-BRAKE S-BRAKE-HARDWARE-/271391515366?pt=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item3 f3031e2e6&vxp=mtr
I would make sure the rebuild kits are available.
I think that the Nash Metro was built by Austin Heally and so the brakes may be the same as an Austin Heally Sprite or the MG Midget. I am going to try to put the brakes from a Sprite on a pair of 26-27 spindles for a speedster, they look the same as the Nash Metro backing plates and should be easier to find than the Nash Metro parts. Just my .02$ Jim
Tomorrow morning I'll be showing off my copies of the McNearney/Big Four brakes to Chris Bamford when we go to Derelict Donut shop car show. We plan to leave just before sunrise and I can show off my new Hella Driving lights that I installed inside the brass lights.
We'll be meeting Bill Harris with his neat touring there as well.
To: 'RD Ricks'
Subject: MT Brakes
Hello again from Montreal:
You may remember my communications with you earlier this spring.
I am pleased to report, thanks to your articles on the MTFCA Forum, that finally last Thursday I completed the installation, adjustment and testing of a set of new Nash-Metropolitan brakes on the front of our 1912 Touring! With the ’89 Volkswagen Jetta brakes I installed on the rear, some ten years ago, I now sport four wheel hydraulic brakes, with a Vacuum Power Brake Booster coupled to the dual piston master cylinder under the floor. She now stops effortlessly in a straight line with total assurance! After all the work, I am completely satisfied with the results.(Worth mentioning, we have now clocked some 21,000 miles over the past 11 years.) I am always looking to improve the safety and securely of our Model T Fords.
You had mentioned to me that Orville Enyart did the job on your vehicle.
Just in passing, I would like to add a couple of pointers for any future amateurs that might decide to accept the challenge.
(1) I did a lot of research on the internet, in an effort to find a suitable set of speedometer drive gears that could be incorporated in the same fashion as the originals.
Frankly none of the large speedometer gears I could find were large enough in diameter. I opened my mind to all possibilities, after rejecting custom made gears to order- the price of which were out-of-question.
After some time, I focussed on the vast section of smaller gasoline and diesel engine ring gears, finally selecting:
1 only – 1946-1958 Renault 4CV-747 cmᶾ engine ring gear,Renault P/N R859; 232 mm OD x 206 mm ID x 8 mm thick which I purchased- for $75 -here in America from- AL SUEHRING Flywheel Ring Gears in Amherst Jct. WI 54407 <email@example.com>.
As intended, with a suitable fixture holding the gear securely in the lathe and carbide tool bit, I was able to turn a 50 ° angle on the inside of the gear, to closely match and mate with the outer corner of the Nash-Metro brake drum.(This machine work allows the gear to be mounted about 0.015” below flush with the back face of the drum.) Then I bonded the gear accurately in position with JB WELD – epoxy steel.( I actually installed another 0.080” steel spacer between the drum and the face of the wooden spokes to provide needed space for the nylon pinion gear to clear the spokes during operation.) As you will remember, space is at a premium, as we must still assure the cotter pin can properly enter into the original hole in the spindle, an absolute must, in my opinion! All went well!
This ring gear has 90 teeth, versus the original with 60 teeth - and a 16 tooth pinion. Consequently I searched for and found a suitable nylon gear with 24 teeth which retains the same 3.75:1 ratio as the original. (The gears run smoothly and the speedometer reads perfectly as before!)
Thus I purchased:
1 only- P/N GEABMS2.5-24-25-A-12, Super Gear, 24 TOOTH NYLON GEAR @ $48.79
MISUMI USA, INC.
1717 Penny Lane, Ste.200
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Due to the 25 mm thickness of this nylon gear c/w a steel hub, I was able to split the thickness into two, to end up with the one in use and a spare gear!
(2) The second point worth mentioning to all, is that on the several spindles and used inner bearing races in my possession, upon close inspection I realized a short coming of Henry’s design. No means is provided to prevent an undesired rotation of the inner race on the spindle! Instead of the bearing rotating on its rollers as it should, the inner race rotates the complete bearing on the spindle! On every used inner race- a total of 8 that I inspected, clear evidence is visible on the inner most face of the inner race, which are all very shiny due to their years of rotation on the spindle. I am aware of the backyard mechanics’ trick of using a center punch to produce a roughened surface on the spindle in an attempt to stop the inner race from rotating, but that is simply a stop-gap approach. I wanted a means to fix the inner race to the spindle and still allow easy removal of the total wheel assembly from the spindle whenever desired. I thought of the technique used to secure the two thrust bearings in the differential of the Ford T, using two small 3/16” diameter steel pins that fit into respective holes in the solid brass bearing today, that replaces the original babbit bearing of the early days. Unfortunately we are not easily able to drill into the high quality steel of the inner race! However, using my trusty Dremel tool, I carefully cut, two 5/16” wide slots x 0.090” deep, each at 180° to the other, on the inner edge of the inner race, just free of the grease seal mating surface. This idea came to me following my need to incorporate two steel thrust washers about 0.090” thick, one at the root of each spindle to provide needed clearance of the wheel cylinders to the Model T front hubs.(Essentially I am pushing both wheels outboard by 0.080-0.090”.) Upon each of these thrust washers, I drilled tapped and brazed in place, also at 180°, two M5 Grade 8.8 machine bolts, the heads of which are 0.309” wide x 0.080” thick. Then to the back side of the thrust washers, I brazed a second 0.090”washer with the two large flats provided in the design of the spindles at their root. With the two M5 bolt heads indexed at 12:00 and 6:00 o’clock, I then secured these special washers in place again with JB WELD. Obviously close attention is required with the width of the slots I had ground on the inner race so that the bolt heads will fit nicely into place. I simply, rotate the inner race so that when I mount the wheel on the spindle, the two slots are truly at 12:00 and 6:00 o’clock. A little wiggle and it indexes nicely in place every time. It works beautifully.
Enough for today!
All for the love of our Model T Ford’s!
At this moment, three other local club members, myself and our wives have been accepted to participate with our Ford T’s at this year’s OLD Car Festival at Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford Museum Sept 6 & 7th 2014.
Perhaps we will see you there!
Have a great day!
Gene, I like those brakes! KGB
I am sure I could find some Metro brake parts if anyone wants to experiment. Does the T conversion use the front or rear Metro backing plates or does it matter? Are the Metro brake drums also used? I know I have at least one pair fronts and 2-3 pair of rears if they will work. Willing to trade for parts for my 14 Touring
I forgot to mention wheel cylinders and brake shoes are readily available. One source is in North Hollywood at "The Metropolitan Pit Stop". I never thought I would be advertising a Metropolitan supplier on the T forum, even though my T shares its home with a 61 convertible.
In response to Bill in Adelaida Calif.:I used the front assemblies following what RD Ricks photos show.The Nash-Metro rears contains the parking brake components that we are not interested in for the front. Yes, we use the front drums as well.I purchased: new bonded brake shoes @ $44.99/set for two wheels from <firstname.lastname@example.org> and new Nash-Metro Flexible hoses but found them to be too short in length to use on the Model T. I went to a local shop that makes up all types of flexible lines for compressors and hydraulics-that is certified for automotive brakes and ordered a custom set to suit the job.I also purchased new, the two short formed steel hydraulic lines that connect wheel cylinder to wheel cylinder in each drum from <www.metpitstop.com>. Totally satisfied.
I tried several times unsuccessfully to upload some photos. With the help of a more computer savy buddy, I'll try again in the coming week.