Does anybody know of a hydraulic drum brake application that will work on a small drum T?
Several folks have used Nash Metro (or similar Austin based cars) brakes. They have an 8" drum which is a nice match. Now 50 years old, these can still be found but not on every corner.
I'm not aware of a newer/more commonly available setup but would be interested in hearing about any.
The largest improvement in braking would be to add brakes on the front wheels. Metro brakes work there as well and don't glare as much as disk brakes but are obviously not stock. Brakes on the front would also require strengthening of the wishbone by doubling it or some other stouter method. I have Metro brakes on the front and rear of my speedster and split a Model A wishbone to support the front axle. They work fine but the setup is obviously not stock. That matters more to some people than it does to others.
There have been some recent efforts to develop drum brakes for the front but none of these are yet available to the best of my knowledge.
There's one on a speedster I have in the shop but I don't know what it's from. It looks like it was made specifically for a T. It has a non-stock or modified backing plate with a floating/sliding wheel cylinder (self centering). The drum fits inside the rear flare of spoke wheels. The drum is integral with the hub and replaces the stock hub. It's a pretty slick set up for spoke wheels. I don't have pictures of it yet but maybe someone can identify it.
It would be nice to reproduce these if they are no longer available. You really have to look hard to notice they aren't stock drums on the rear.
Just sold a set of Metro brakes adapted to T spindles for wood spoke wheels at Chickasha for $500.00. Included was a NOS 27 front axle, a rebuilt tie rod, early front perches with an early and late wishbone, and a split wishbone adapter.