Where is the least expensive place to buy a set of Rocky Mountain Brakes for my 15 T Roadster? Small drum. Are the small drum outside AC brakes as good as the Rocky Mountain Brakes?
Buy directly from Rocky Mountain Brake Co. in Temecula Ca.
Large drum brakes are better for stopping when moving forward than small drum brakes. I would recommend using Rocky's but installing the small drums inside the large ones and using lined shoes on the parking brake for additional safety and also a good way to stop when backing up. I would also leave the band in the transmission and leave it looser than the Rocky Brake, but able to work when you push the pedal hard.
That way you will have 3 sets of brakes on the rear wheels and 2 transmission gears as well.
Problem with the repip rockies is they tend open up if you stop going up a hill the orginal rockies wont
I would look at the AC bennits
As a better choice for small drum
But as stated bigger rockies give you alot more brake surface
The larger surface area of the large drum is helpful for heat dissipation, but the original Rockies, Bennett's and ACs will all easily lock up the rear wheels and operate as good brakes. I'd be more concerned with the operation of the repop Rockie's in reverse than the size of the drum. I've got one car with original Rockies and another with repop Rockies.... I plan on removing the repop Rockies and installing small drum ACs.
I don't understand why the Rockies will not work in reverse? The caliper doesn't know which way the rotor is turning and when hydraulic fluid is applied, the caliper closes. Any help in understanding this issue? Bob
Rocky Mountain brakes are external contracting band drum brakes. The anchor point for the external brake band is located to allow for a greater self-energizing effect in the forward direction at the expense of less self-energizing in reverse.
Not to discourage anyone from Rocky Mountain Brakes, but with disc brake kits now available for Model T's, wouldn't that be the better way to go? Or do they have their own set of problems?
Bob - the RM's work just like an oil filter wrench. When you do it the right way the more you spin it the tighter it squeezes (thus the "self actuating" part) which is how repro RM's work when the car is moving forward.
However, spin something in that oil filter wrench the opposite direction and it is really hard to squeeze it tight enough, the motion makes the band open up and release.
The AC's, Bennett's, and original RM's are all anchored at the rear of the drum so the top half does most of the work braking when moving forward, and the bottom half does most of the braking when going backwards.
Ultimately, I would think something like a 2/3s for forward braking and 1/3 for rearward would work the best. Looking at Mark's picture like a clock face, maybe 4:30 would be the best anchoring point.
Scott - from a pure safety/stopping perspective yes. Those are definitely much more effective. That's more than reason enough for some folks. But, they're pretty noticeable (that big shiny silver rotor is an eye sore to me on a brass car) and not even a period correct accessory. That can be a no-go for a lot of folks. It's definitely further on the spectrum towards the non-original/heavily modified end.
My opinion off the brake systems is that any brake that will slide the tires is good enough for the T. The narrow tires do not really have much of a footprint so they will lock up very easy. I would think that anything over the ability to lock them up on dry pavement would be overkill. Then my question after reading all of the helpful post is what brake system should I install. I have original small drum on my 15 T Roadster at this time and know that they are kind of worthless as far as brakes go in this day and age. All suggestions and advice greatly appreciated.
I'm happy with my original small drum AC brakes.
Do a search for Larry Sidmore, he sells a good reproduction of them. He can also supply a modified brake pedal.
Also search for Richard Baughman, he makes a linkage setup that works with Larry Sidmore's brakes.
Plus 1 for Larry's brakes! They are fantastic.
95% or more stopping is while going forward. Traffic areas and downhills it is important to have the best brakes.
Going backward. Sometimes a T will stall going uphill and start to roll backward. A quick thinker will apply low and or reverse in that case. Pull back the parking brake. The average "older" driver will push harder on the foot brake. So it is very important to have good transmission brake and parking brake to prevent rolling backward. Properly adjusted Rocky Brakes with good transmission and parking brake will stop the car going either forward or backward.
Richard. Larry lives close by in Sonora. Baughman is in Loomis. John
Thanks I talked to Larry and I think with what I have heard that I will probably go with the AC brakes for a couple of reasons one sounds to me that they work better in reverse and another is they are about half the price.
I was never able to adjust my AC brakes adequately (adjusted by cables,not rods). When Norm Kling did the excellent engine work on my 1917, he insisted I remove the AC brakes and get Rocky Mtn brakes. We found out that Bud makes the new ones with a washer that helps better actuate the brake in reverse. I've never been happier with the braking performance!
Mark Strange ended up with my old AC's and was able to better adjust them somehow (have to ask him) and appears to be happy with the results.
Thanks again for the AC brakes, Bob.
I ended up using a Bennett brake pedal that uses a pushrod to actuate the brake equalizer setup that is available through the major T vendors. I then attached a turnbuckle and pulley assembly to the bottom of the equalizer bar and ran the cable that Bob gave me from the pulley to the brakes. I have been very happy with it, here are some of the old threads documenting my installation:
At the time of my initial installation, some folks expressed concern that my home-made U-shaped bracket attached to the bottom of the equalizer bar wouldn't be strong or stiff enough, but it's been fine so far after a year and over 800 miles of use.