The question is simple but I'm afraid that the answers will end up being complicated.
I am going to add a set of auxiliary brakes to my 1919.
Since the rear drums are small I have a couple options.
One is to purchase a set of "display only" AC brakes and the other is to attempt to change to the bigger drums and use Rocky Mountains.
I know that the RMs would be better but I am just looking for something to add a bit of safety.
So now the questions:
What will it take to switch tho the big drums?
Are AC brakes still available and if so where can I get them?
Fred -- If you buy the RM small drum kit, it will come with bigger drums to go on over your small drums. (They're not the same size as the Ford big drums, but close.)
Larry Sidmore makes the repro AC brakes.
A gentleman by the name of Richard Baughman is making and supplying the linkage parts.
Complicated??? Maybe -
See some of the pros & cons here
So...do you want more forward stopping power? use one type;
Or a little less, but better stopping in reverse? - use a different brand...
Good Luck !
My good friend Bill installed a set of AC's on his '14 and they are very well made. He had to make some minor changes to the lever rod, Bill replaced the all- thread with long bolts to keep the spring from binding, and added a flat washer to the pivot bolt to keep the band from flopping against the wheel.
Other than that, the only other challenge was the cable linkage. Richard Baughmans setup is a nice concept, but a bit pricy. Worth looking at for ideas though.
I have an original set of AC's on one vehicle and I used Model T valve springs on them. When you release the brake,they release. (the brakes will lock up both wheels and slide on gravel.)
This is an option also. http://www.texastparts.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=TTP&Product_C ode=T2565-SS&Category_Code=Safety A friend of mine is using them and likes them. There is a small drum option for them.
It sounds as if I can be fair in making the decision based on cost because both systems work.
RM small drum kit $814.50 plus shipping vs AC $350 plus $15 and around $100 - $150 to get or make the linkage.
BTW - Making the linkage is not problem because I can spell engineer and I like to fiddle.
$815+ vs $475 - looks like a simple decision, but life is not always simple.
Am I on the right track?
It was an even simpler choice for me because another forum member gave me his original AC brakes. I just installed new linings, purchased a pedal and equalizer from Lang's, and fabricated the rest of the linkage. I like my AC brakes, they work well going forwards and backwards and have more than sufficient braking power for the way I drive my T.
The U-shaped extension that I attached to the bottom of the equalizer for the cable/pulley has turned out to be plenty stiff and strong, no issues.
Here's another AC brake setup using pull rods instead of a cable:
Does Larry Skidmore have an email address?
I don't think so, here is a quote from a July 2013 thread:
"Larry is old school, you have to call or write him. He also does not take credit cards."
You'll probably have to take a trip down nostalgia lane and use that vintage technology, the telephone.
Larry and Rich are good guys and easy to work with.
When you install brakes on the rear of your car do check the bolts that hold the brake drums on. Make sure they are like new and TIGHT or replace them with RV Anderson bolts. I learned this the hard way after shearing all the bolts in short order after installing my A/C brakes.
Bill -- Thanks for the heads up -
I'll re-bolt my wheels since the ones I have are from 1919 and some of the nuts are a little thin due to past contact with a brake shoe.
I sent an email to Rich and got an immediate answer. Fantastic!!
He still make the kits for the AC brakes in two versions depending upon how your body is mounted on the frame -
Current price is $165 plus shipping.
I went looking for drum bolts and saw that Langs lists three sets that cost $18, $35 and $40.
Other than the head size on the $18 set is there any reason to spend the extra $$$$?
Purchase the more expensive bolts. You want properly hardened STRONG bolts on the drums. The less expensive are lower grade bolts..Not what you want when working on wheels and brakes. Don't ask how I know this...Pay the extra $22!
I am just about finished adding the AC brakes to my '17 Runabout and the set-up was fairly easy. I am, by no means, gifted mechanically and I managed to get it all together and nearly tuned in in an afternoon. The brake rod assembly made by Rich is well worth the money and is a very good deal. Now that I have handled the finished product- it is the way to go.
Just a quick recommendation,
James, we would love to see some pics of your setup when you're able, thanks!
After reading all the inputs I have decided to order the AC brakes and a brake pedal from Larry. i will also get get the linkage from Rich.
Both were very helpful!
When I get all the parts and start the installation I'll let you know how it goes