While putting my 26 away after a ride last week end, the parking brake failed to hold the truck on the slope in front of my garage. I decided to do an adjustment today. When I crawled under the truck I noticed the driver's side brake arm and shaft had backed out of the housing. When I took the wheel off to investigate further, I found that the brake cam had come off the shaft and the brake shoe with cam lobe had rotated 180 degrees toward the rear. I always thought these were one piece but apparently the aftermarket cams are two piece. The shaft was clearly splined but the cam had only a hint of spline. They are also apparently a press fit as I had to really whale on it with a hammer and back the shaft with a sledge hammer to get it back together, I then notched the area at the end of the shaft at the shaft/cam lobe interface and welded it back together. I've never seen this or heard of it here on the forum before. Any ideas what would cause this?
Grease, vibration, and time.
This is so wrong! Another case of improperly made repro parts - and a safety item too. Who can sell this to folks with a straight face, knowing they will trust it as an emergency brake, and in some cases even used as the service brake with a equalizer kit from the vendors. I'm glad I've got genuine Ford brake cams on my cars.
LOL genuine Ford Parts. Love it.
I'm considering a Ruckstell axle in the coupe. Now that I see this the cams are going to also get welded onto the shafts.
I got these from Langs 5 years and 3500 miles ago. It took me 3 years to get the T on the road so only a couple years on the road. I put them in new with new bushings when I rebuilt the rear end which was one of the first things to get done right after frame and front end work. . My old ones were shot, the shaft was badly worn. This shaft that I have pictured showed no wear. I can't figure out what made it fail like this. If the cam had good splines and I know it had a good press fit, what made it loose the splines in the cam? It's not like this gets used that often.
They're not made correctly, Original Ford brake cams looks like they're made in one piece. The material Ford started with was likely forged to get a thick end of the shaft to shape the cam part out of.
Ok, It may be too expensive to make them like Ford did for a small scale repro producer, but these in my view poorly formed splines in such a small diameter isn't enough, the shaft part and the cam part must be welded together to be safe for brake use.
I asked Lang's what they currently sells - here's Steve Lang's answer:
"We have had two different suppliers. The one you see in the photo (here on the forum) was the same company that has been doing those cams for years. We called him up and it is the first time that he has seen it happen. Just last year a second company started to make some when the original supplier was out and he is pining the head of the cam onto the shaft."
I think the pinned cam might hold up for the braking forces since the arm in the other end is also pinned. The only worry is the smaller diameter where it's pinned, giving higher shear forces on the pin there than on the other side. Hmm, would be easy to make a calculation what it would hold up for.. If you receive the press on lightly splined style seen above you better weld it to be safe, IMHO
Roger, are the pinned cams also splined?
I would rather have a splined fit than a pin. Problem with those you have Chet, is there is apparently nothing to prevent the two pieces from separating. It wouldn't have been be much work for the manufacturer to have countersunk the lobe and filled it with weld once the splined rod was pressed in. He took enough time to spline both pieces, a little extra would have been nice.
Richard, the welding you mentioned is exactly what I did to fix this issue. I would like to pass on some "off the forum" activities on this particular failure. I would also like to clarify that this thread was not intended to bash anyone or any product but to simply explain and share what happened to me so that others could learn from my pain. I also was curious to know if I had installed, used or repaired this incorrectly. I am pleased to report that not only has Lang's contacted me by phone but Chafin's has also done so. They both wanted to let me know that this is an isolated type of failure and that I had not installed or used the part incorrectly. I have been out of town on business since Monday so I haven't had a chance to call Langs back but had a very nice conversation with a representative from Chafins this evening. I used to actively participate in the antique engine and tractor hobby. In the 15 years I was heavily into them, I wrote an article for and was published in Gas Engine Magazine and was a frequent post on Smokestack/Harry's page. Not once in 15 years did any of the parts suppliers that I did business with read , let alone respond to anything I wrote. Not only has the supplier of this failed part read my post but has called me personally to make sure I have what I need, 5 years after the sale of < $20 part. On top of that, another supplier has also contacted me to make sure I have what I need, and they didn't even sell me the original part. You can't help but be impressed by that level of customer focus. We have a great hobby.
I can't stress enough how good the original parts are compared to reproduction parts in most cases. Ford made a great car from 1909 - 1927. It's worth the small effort to seek out original Model T parts. They are not hard to find.
It would be a great help to those of us new to this hobby to have information on real NOS or rehabilitated parts suppliers. Perhaps a list of those suppliers that make every effort to provide those accurate parts. When I started to get into this hobby (after retirement) I found most suppliers sold the same parts from the same vendors. Am I wrong? How do we newbies know those authentic parts?
Help us out and pass this info along in the form of perhaps a grade system that gives higher grades to suppliers that use more authentic parts.
Just my thoughts.
Worn out original brake cams can be refurbished by welding and filing in a vice and machining in a lathe back to original shape.
What does repro 09-25 brake cams look like? How does the cam attach to the shaft on them?
I have never found a bad repo part from Chaffin's Garage, 1-951-735-4791, in fact I find them to be excellent. Another good vender is Ford and More in Spokane, Washington.
An excellent source of good original parts is swap meets. Chickasha is the best. I all so find that the Loveland Swap meet is very good for T parts. In fact Loveland is the best swap meet in Colorado for T parts.
Most of the parts dealers have good used or NOS parts. But because the supply is hit-and-miss most of those parts don't appear in their catalogues and you have to ask. Swap meets can be another source. The chance of finding what you want varies from one to another. Hershey, Iola, Chickasha, and Bakersfield are likely to have Model T parts. Finding anything you want is more of a long shot at small local meets that tend to be a mixture of postwar and non-car stuff. Estate sales and auctions can be a parts gold mine. Online sources like eBay and Craigslist sometimes have what you want. The classified ads on the club websites and in the magazines are a good place to look, as well as HMN and OCW.
There's no store where you can take a list from your Model T parts book and buy any NOS part you want off the shelf. All these sources are a gamble, some with better odds than others, and they all require study. You have to become familiar enough with the item to know it when you see it, and to know that a similar-looking item isn't it. With time and study you learn that.
A rating of vendors ain't-a-gonna happen. There will be a dozen or more people come riding to the rescue of any vendor that doesn't get an A. I'm surprised someone hasn't already chimed in on this one about how this problem should not have been aired in public and should have been taken up off line with the vendor and give them a chance to fix it, and so on and so on. Heck, some even come to the rescue of Mac's for Pete's sake.
I do like the idea, though. A pole with some questions regarding quality, customer service, promptness of shipment, having parts in stock, etc.... might be a good idea. The number of responses could be given so a 1 star rating with only one responder could be given less weight than a 1 star rating with 100 responders. Vendors with lower scores than they would like would have an opportunity to see what people think and make improvements in the areas they were deemed lacking. Vendors with good scores might see an increase in volume. I like it, but like I say, I don't see it happening.
One interesting item at least to me was one of the top venders one time told me that he went together with another one of the largest venders and ordered parts together so they would get a better price on the parts. He said that they would order hundreds of sets of aluminum pistons at a time.
Originally back in about the early 70s most of the repo parts were coming from Argentina. Later that was switched to Tiawan (sp?).
My apologies to Hal,
I misspoke. I meant to simply categorize suppliers so that newbie’s would know where to buy NOS and good used parts as apposed to New repros. I have used “the modern Carb” to allow me to learn how to drive the “T” in hilly conditions. I plan to install an “NH” after my lessons.
I would not want to Grade any supplier. That is up to me to do. I have found that the suppliers in this hobby are helpful beyond the norm. I hope this clears up my comments.
No apology needed. It's really not a bad idea. Just given the history on this site, I would doubt it would ever be deemed acceptable.
To answer your question, though....Langs definitely has some original parts. I imagine Snyder's does as well. Probably most of the vendors would have SOME, but you would have to ask because as said above, they don't put them in their catalogs. Model T Haven in Kansas has A LOT of used parts.
Some of the used parts at Chaffin's. I neglected to take pictures, but it's the same thing at Bob's. Lots of used parts. I see Don Lang buying parts at Chickasha, and I've seen other dealers buying used parts at auctions. If you want a good used or NOS part, definitely ask around.
"If you want a good used or NOS part, definitely ask around."
That's the key if you're looking for original parts -- ask around. All of the major vendors have some original parts, but their supplies vary. They buy them when they are able to find them, and they sell them whenever they get the chance, so none of them has the same parts all the time.
There are many vendors listed on the MTFCA home page under the link, "Parts Suppliers." The only way to find out who has what at any given time is to contact them directly and ask about what you need.
Another good way to find parts is to place an ad for what you need in our "Classifieds" section.
The best way to find parts is to be a member of your local club. There's likely someone near you with what you need. Alternatively, you can call Chaffin's or Lang's or John Danuser and often they will have a good used original part. Regarding NOS parts they are hard to find and expensive.
I will always take a good used original part over a new reproduction part, regardless of who sells it. The vendors have to sell everything the other vendors sell, or they might miss a sale. They have to sell to the least informed customer as well as the most informed customer, without offending either of them. You can't blame the vendors for what they do, but you can be a more informed customer.
Obviously some things like upholstery, gasoline and tires can only be purchased new. I just added that to anticipate the typical nit pickers.