“Front Wheel Brakes to the Forefront again!” (The last entry I found on this subject was a year ago.)
Although I completed the installation, adjustment and testing of a set of new '61-Nash-Metropolitan brakes on the front end of our '12 Touring last July, only this week did I manage to reduce the size of the photos so they could be added to this present thread.
With the '89 Volkswagen Jetta brakes I installed on the rear, some 12 years ago; for additional security, I now sport “four wheel hydraulic brakes”, with a vacuum brake booster coupled to the dual piston master cylinder, both nicely hidden 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, by end July we have clocked over 21,000 miles since my initial restoration completed in 2002- when I had added rear hydraulic brakes.) Since then I am continually striving to improve the performance, safety and security of our Model T Fords.
I took the lead on this front brake project from the efforts of RD Ricks- "Ralph" an active Forum contributor, who showed the way and the possibility of one doing this upgrade without excessive expenditures. Of all the makes available, this set was chosen because of the 8 inch diameter of the drums which nicely matches the small drum diameter on the rear of Model T's '09 -'25. (The same holds true for my '89 Jetta cast iron rear drums.) Good used Nash–Metro backing plates and drums show up regularly on the web. As well, all the needed components are still available new from reputable vendors! Obviously some custom machining and first class welding are needed. (I recommend giving this task only to a certified welder, and for safety sake, not to be tackled by an amateur welder!)
In passing, I would like to add a couple of pointers for any future enthusiasts,
that might decide to accept the challenge of adding this upgrade to their Model T.
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 original Model T Ford speedometer drive. Frankly none of the large speedometer gears I could find were large enough in diameter to go around the brake drum. I opened my mind to all possibilities, after rejecting ``custom gears`` made to order- the price of which was out of the question. After some time. I focused on the vast selection 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 new for $75 as can be seen in the photos- here in America from –AL SUEHRING Flywheel Ring Gears in Amherst, Jct. WI 54407;Website: firstname.lastname@example.org
As intended, with a suitable fixture holding the gear securely in the lathe and using a carbide tool bit, I was able to turn a 50º angle on the inside of the gear, to closely match and mate with the outer corner of the right side 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- a first class epoxy steel adhesive. I also installed an 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 as the wheel is rotating. Indeed space along the spindle is at a premium for this modification, as we must still assure that the cotter pin that retains the nut can properly enter into the original hole in the spindle, an absolute must, in my opinion! All went well! This ring gear was also selected for it has 90 teeth, versus the original speedometer gear 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. (This gear is also covered in the photos.) As the nylon gear as purchased, was too thick, I was able to split it in two in the lathe and now have a spare pinion gear as well!) A custom mount was designed and installed in a similar fashion to the original speedometer gear drive. Note that the pitch of this nylon pinion gear nicely matches that of the ring gear. Consequently the final assembly turns very smoothly and the speedometer reads accurately as before. I purchased :
I 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
The second point worth mentioning to all, is that on the several original 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 as the wheel rotates! 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 have 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 well aware of the backyard mechanics’ trick of using a center punch to produce a roughened surface on the spindle in an attempt to prevent the inner race from rotating, but that is simply a stop-gap approach to the problem.
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 our Model T’s, using two small 3/16” diameter steel pins that fit into respective holes in the solid brass thrust bearings of today (that replace the original crystallized babbit bearings 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 180º to the other, on the inner edge of the inner race, just free from the grease seal mating surface. This idea came to me following my need to incorporate two steel spacer 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 0.090”.) Upon each of the spacer washers, I drilled, tapped and brazed in place, also at 180º, two M5 Grade 8.8 machine bolts, the heads of which are squared to 0.309” wide x 0.080” thick. Then to the back side of the spacer washer, I brazed a second 0.090” washer with the two large flats the same as provided in the design of the Ford 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 using JB WELD. (Thus the rear washer fits snugly around the flat sides on the root of the spindle. You can see the squared bolt head in photo 095 showing the spindle.).Obviously close attention is required with the width of the 5/16” slots I had ground on the inner race so that the bolt heads will fit nicely in 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 into place every time. It works beautifully.
Most of the photos are self explanatory. The last photo shows the rear end of our T with the cast iron Jetta brake drum turned down to appear as the original Model T brake drum. The Model T parking brake also operates the two brake shoes via the original parking brake cam. Obviously, rather than the normal location of a hydraulic wheel cylinder- which is at 12 o`clock on the backing plate, the VW wheel cylinder is opposing the brake cam at the rear edge of the ``backing plate.`` Regular Jetta brake shoes are employed with minor modifications as they were too wide for the 1-3/8" space available. “All for the love of our Model T Fords!”
For those members that prefer "true authenticity for their machines", I say: "To each to his own."
All my modifications can be brought back to original, for I have kept in stock all the items needed. Our passion is driving the Model T Ford despite the challenges of modern traffic.
Very slick! I admire your technical abilities.
Great job and pics!!
Thank you for the good photos and explanation for adding the brakes.
Well done, both the work and the notes on how it was done.
Thanks again, Bill
Tom, well done. I respect your ability to work through the many challenges you encountered by using good practical engineering solutions. Joe
Does this make the car a Model A or perhaps an AT?
Makes it a hell of a lot safer in todays driving. Even my 10 7/8" rear brake only rotors are a BIG improvement.
One item I neglected to cover in the above article , can be seen in the photo "with my tap cutting threads into the front hub" for 6 new bolts that hold the wheel,drum and hub all together. When I initially installed the Jetta drums on the rear, I did the same.I replaced the original Ford carriage bolts, with stronger Grade 10.9- M12 x 60 Allen Head cap screws.(Turning the cap screws from the outside, into tapped material permitted me to eliminate the nuts normally found on the inner side.Space is very limited inside these small drums with hydraulic cylinders in place).These new Metric bolts are actually 0.465" in diameter x 2.375" in length.The domed heads are almost identical in shape and size to the heads of the original Ford carriage bolts.I tap through the spokes as well, giving a tighter fit than original.Using the Allen head from the outside to evenly torque all six bolts, and lock them in place with "RED LOCKTITE"! Those on the rear have not lossened in the past 13 years! The depression in the head for the Allen key, I carefully fill with body filler prior to painting.(Should I decide to disassemble a wheel, I can easily "dig out the body filler" and insert the Allen key again.Heating the inner threaded portion of the bolt and the hub will also release the grip of the LOCKTITE.)Finally, with the wheels repainted as new, we can quite easily from time to time, inspect around the bolt heads ,for any sign of cracked paint that may indicate a bolt had started to loosen. Sincerely; Tom Forsythe
Wells: do you have original technology paint on your T?
IF not, then STFU.
I applaud the quality - and your determination to use an original speedo drive, but I can't really see from your photos what measures you have taken to resist the high braking torque that goes into the axle. I appears you still have the above-the-axle radius rods. Do you also have other rods under the axle?
What sort of braking effort have you set up, please, front vs rear?
Fantastic workmanship. You're a true craftsman.
Ricks, keep your mouthy personal attacks to yourself.
Chris -- It appears to me that he has the early-type wishbone with an aftermarket or fabricated brace below the axle as well.
Nice attention to detail and great workmanship! I would dismiss the negative comments as that has nothing to apologize for my friend. The model T brakes were lacking when new. Also, brakes at the wheels will take a lot of wear of the pinion, u-joint, drive plate and clutch plates.
That is worthy of an article in the vintage ford or t times if you have the time to write it. I hope you do.
Wells, I take it personally when you attack modifications I have on my T.
Sorry, I went just a bit overboard.
Chris: (1)Re the front radius rods.I think you can see the item below the axle in the photo.Indeed the original early wishbone is in place on our '12.If you look closely you can just make out the front end of the "original accessory radius rod doubler" from the teens that I picked up at Hershey 15 years ago.At the rear of two solid 5/8" steel rods, are two forged clamps that secure the rods to the Ford radius rod close to the root.In place of the original castellated nut, on the bottom of the spring perches, goes a block of steel 1-5/16" x 1-5/16" x 1-3/4"tall, which has a tapped hole vertically on center to take the place of the original nut!On the sides of the lower portion of the block, there are "through holes - 5/8" diameter in both axis-NS & EW. We torque this "new nut" tight and line it up so that one of the through holes is in proper alignment to pass the ends of the 5/8" rods.(The front 4" of the rods are bent to about 30 degrees to point straight ahead, and threaded for about 3-1/2".)A regular nut goes on the back side of the block and "a castelated nut with a cotter pin" boldly showing on the front face.This is a rather crude design I agree, but it is very effective and an early original - for the purists!
Today I install modified '26-'27 wishbones on my buddys' early T's. Certainly any modification for front wheel brakes must also include a double wishbone, if the vehicle is fitted with the early wishbone that goes on the top side of the axle through the spindles.(These early wishbones were known to break of at the spindles, due to the rough roads encountered back then.
Ford finally "upgraded the installation" by fixing the radius rod to the lower side of the axle as we know.
(2)Re "Braking effort":Much guidance on the subject of hydraulic brakes can be found today on the Internet.During my research, I concluded that I should install an adjustable proportion valve to enable me to modify the braking efforts front to rear..Consequently I installed Under the carpet,an easily accessible "Wilwood Knob Style Adjustable Proportioning Valve P/N 260-8419. These are readily available in North America.(Canadian price $55.)With the knob rotated all the way out, I am currently running with the maximum pressure reduction of 57% in the line pressure to the rear brakes.With this setting, all four wheels appear to be properly contributing to stopping the car, with none locking-up.Regards; Tom Forsythe
|The double wishbone |
photo Tom & Yolande.doc (176.1 k)
I would just like to ask, why you went to a vacuum booster, on such a light car. Drum brakes are self locking, and have a far better braking power then disc's, that's why disc's are all power brakes. Your leg power wounldn't stop you other wise.
Here this is for the people that say, why put juice brakes on. they are to modern for the T's
not all cars with discs have power brakes.
Most cars with 4 wheel discs do though.
I was thinking the same thing about the power booster need, except that with the very large diameter wheels on the T and the very small drums used, a booster may be needed.
The drums came from cars with 14" wheels. The smallest T wheels were 21.
Porsche 914 has 4-wheel discs, no booster.
My 1934 Franklin Olympic had same size wheel cyls all around, same size as Master cyl. I chose VW 19mm master to go with 3/4" Metro wheel cyls, and the ratio is just peachy. The pedal to tab ratio is about 6:1 push to the MC.
Nice catch on the buggy wheel, thanks.
4-wheel hydraulic brakes were on all Duesenbergs, beginning in 1920.
And no power assist on the "Dusies", right Ralph?
To each his own, I suppose. Clever. Good craftsmanship. Neat installation. However, there is no way I would EVER do this to a T. EVER. But that is just me. My appreciation of the T runs so much deeper than just the sheet metal. My appreciation is of the SYSTEMS, including the brakes. I have resisted putting RM's on mine. I might one day, as I do enjoy taking a car to the mountains and I don't feel safe doing that in a T without the RM brakes. But even then, they are still mechanically operated and period correct. Everyone should do as they wish with their own car, but I must admit, I feel sadness when I see what some choose to do. It's kinda that same feeling you get when you hear a celebrity that you liked but never met, died. They weren't family, but you still have feelings for them. Same for someone else's T. No, it's not mine, but it still makes me sad. 'Course, I'm sure most of you think this is silly and don't much care what I think. And that's OK. Sorry, just can't help how I feel. Perhaps I should keep it to myself.
Doesn't sound silly to me. Sounds spot on. I personally don't buy the argument that says, "It's not permanent, I can return it to stock at any time". What happens when you pass away and your unknowledgeable or uninterested family foists your heavily modified car onto a new owner who thinks that your mods are correct? Then the car and others like it, remain that way permanently. Eventually, much Model T knowledge and history will be lost and the cars will be held with less regard than arcade bumper cars.
I would like to know more about the photo Pat Clark posted.
It looks like a well done rebuild on the carriage wheels.
What is the type of vehicle the brakes are on?
Where is the Museum it is in? Is there a story to know?
Modern horse drawn carriages are fitted with hydraulic brakes. This says that they were introduced in 1910. I had assumed they had been developed much later.
The same can be said for:
Replaced Seat Materials
or any accessory.
The purists will find the information because the history is already noted in much detail. And after I'm gone, what I think won't mean squat to the next owner. For that matter, to me either.
Ken from your list you have there I have 2 items on my 22 that were put on my T by my Grandpa in the early thirties. A Stromberg OF carb and an early Bosch distributor. Also they cut from the rear door jams back to make it a truck. Is my roadster pickup considered a modified T?
The model T Ford just may be the single most modified vehicle the world will ever see. There is no sense getting your panties in a wad over what someone else does with THEIR car. I stand with Ralph. Beautiful work on those brakes.
I understand wanting to keep a car original. I also understand wanting it to be safer.
For my own car, I'm still on the fence...
It's not up to me James. According to Dave you own something less than an arcade bumper car.
I've seen some Model Ts that rank right up there with clown cars but the owner(s) wouldn't have it any other way for the money they have invested. If they like it, it's fine with me. Adding brakes to improve safety sure doesn't make a car an arcade game. And as Williams points out, simply changing the spindles and removing the extra parts returns the car to factory similarity for whatever iPhone connected generation follows.
Speedsters. Now that's a curse on Model T history with chopped up frames, weird looking axles and springs, huge and hideous looking engines with exhaust tubes as long as fire hoses, missing body parts and seats meant for a go-kart. How could anyone call that a Model T? (Tongue in cheek guys.)
(Message edited by ccwken on February 05, 2015)
Dang spell checker.
Why my booster? When I installed the Jetta drums and shoes on the rear 13 years ago, I was not satisfied with the pedal pressure I needed to apply to stop the car effectively. I expected better. I had arc welded an extension arm on the original Ford brake pedal arm as is done by many others- (RM and the disc brake suppliers, etc.)
After checking the available vacuum from the engine – which is surprisingly adequate, it was an easy upgrade to mount a booster on the master cylinder. The booster indeed improved the stopping power and reduced the required pedal pressure, but still left room for improvement. I then considered the lining material used by VW on these Jetta shoes, - which, to increase the life of the linings, is very hard indeed! Consequently I took the shoes to a local brake reliner who bonded in place “softer linings”- such as was used on most vehicles in the ‘60’s –and ‘70’s.These made all the difference. This was my stopping power until my addition of front brakes last summer.
Re Gary’s comment “less wear on the pinion, u-joint, drive plates and clutches”. I agree completely. This was early on, a major facture in my decision to install the rear brakes.
Re Hal’s concerns: I document every change I have made on our ’12 Touring since I started. (All in three binders.) This I have done for the benefit of that “new owner”, when I pass on! Everything can be easily unbolted, replaced and returned to originality-if one chooses!. Re your thoughts of a possible brake upgrade to your machine: brings me to recount a personal experience:
About 5 years ago on an organized MTFCA Mainely T tour, I was driving my buddy’s ’16 Center-door sedan, with both our wives in the rear seat. We were touring leisurely on a less travelled country road, enjoying the scenery, when we had to stop for construction, as a portion of the road ahead was being paved. The cars were advanced, one by one, until we had our place at the bottom of the steep grade. Then the flagman waved us on. With no chance to take a run for it, I did my best to mount the grade, but half way up she slowed and finally stalled. I depressed the brake pedal with all my force, but could not prevent the car from rolling backwards down the grade some 200 yards to the level ground. All this time, I was concentrating all my efforts to hold the car in a straight line on the road surface so as not to overturn in the ditches on either side of the narrow pavement.
I am still in a cold sweat as I write these memories this morning!
My greatest disappointment was that in my panic, I was unable to think clearly and quickly enough, to simply depress, with all my force, the clutch and reverse pedals which would most likely have locked the engine and transmission and stopped the car in its tracks, to say nothing of applying the parking brake!
Just the same we considered we were quite fortunate to have avoided a disaster.
What period accessory exterior rear brakes were on this machine? You guessed it!
Back in ’67 I installed on my first Model T- a lovely ’27 Touring, a set of rear external brakes from a 1928 Chevrolet. The drums are the same diameter as on the ’26, ’27 T. During the 30,000 miles I drove the car, these brakes were always very effective, even when we were pulling “the lightest of tent trailers” to the East coast in 1970, including the Cabot Trail! Obviously the engineers at Chevrolet had done their homework in designing these brakes. Sincerely; Tom Forsythe
Once again the naysayers are threatened by someone improving their car. I'm putting discs on my 4dr as I like to drive a lot and stop when I need too. We live in the mountains and many time the stock brakes were inadequate big time. Keep up the good work Tom and thanks for sharing your brakes system. Best Mike
I would say since you have the rear backing plates mounted with the wheel cylinders pushing on the trailing end of the shoes you do not get as good of braking action as you would if they were turned around so the cylinder is pushing the leading end of the shoe into the drum. That would cause some self energizing.
But if you improved the rear braking action you may end up with a car that slides the rear wheels in a panic stop. That would not be good.
I have Mitsubishi pickup (Dodge D50) brakes on the rear of my '26 touring and no need for a booster. I have been driving it that way since 1997.
In your particular case, a properly adjusted Ford brake should have held you just fine. I've not installed a set of RM's, but it is my understanding that getting them AND the Ford brake to Gee and Haw together is one of the problems.
I tried to word my post to convey my true feelings without being offensive. I don't appreciate your characterization.
"If you don't have anything nice to say - Don't say anything at all!" (and) If you want to 'point a finger' at someone... just look at your hand. There are three pointing back at yourself!!
My belief is that we all have better things to do and enjoy. Life is too short to be wasted.
Hal, It appears to me that you needed to shame Tom for making am improvement on his Model T. This would have been nice. [Perhaps I should keep it to myself].
Sorry you see it that way, but I did not "Shame" anyone. I did not tell anyone what they should or should not do. I did not make any personal attacks. I did not call anyone names. I complimented him on his workmanship and creativity. You just read into it what you wanted to read into it.
It always gets me that there are some who feel that they are the self appointed Gods of the Model T world. The purpose of this thread is to show and educate on how to hydraulic brakes can be adapted to a Model T. I commend William on taking the time and having the patience to write this extremely informative and well documented article and for posting excellent photos. The purpose of this thread is to inform and not to ask opinions about how hydraulic brakes are viewed by the Model T ethics police.
I have examined the photos as best I can. As I have spent a lot of time on T front brakes, I have two comments;
1. It is not clear to me how the backing plates have been attached to the spindle. It appears (and I hope I am wrong) that a plate has been welded around the large part of the spindle?
2. Steering. It seems that no provision has been provided to deal with unequal brake load feeding back into the steering
Certainly some people have elected to use the "two hand death grip". Others have installed a "after market" non-reversing steering box
A few have altered the front axle geometry to manage this issue
To clarify. The problem occurs if one wheel has good traction and the other has poor traction (grass, dirt , water etc), particularly in a panic stop situation
Aaron, I don't think Tom showed the rear brake layout, only the fronts. Every rear drum brake setup I've seen, including the T, has one leading shoe in each direction. The fronts have both shoes leading when going forward, so you automatically get 2/3 stopping via the fronts.
My MGTD owner's manual of long ago stated that if there is trouble stopping in reverse, then oil has gotten onto the rear brakes. Sure enough, the seals were gone.
Regardless of the geometry, Les, one wheel with more traction than the other is going to cause a swerve, albeit less severe. The difference may make a difference. Regardless, the car will pull to the side that has traction, and hopefully away from the skidding condition.
I have driven a VW with one slipping front brake, and you gotta' be careful.
I do believe that those who make safety improvements, do so out of concern not only for themselves but also their families. While I am a purist at heart, I also think that useful modifications are quite OK. I wonder how many have MODIFIED their T with a WARFORD Transmission or a RAJO head and still call them selves a purist. AFTER ALL THEY DID NOT COME FROM THE FACTORY THAT WAY
On my '27 roadster I modified the front axle so it has "modern" geometry ('28 and newer), BUT I use the stock steering column and box. Just to clarify it is NOT a newer front axle. I have done brake tests as I have cable operated mechanical front brakes and stock rear brake system. I have done "hands free" panic stops with one wheel on dry pavement and the other on wet grass. ZERO pull of the steering wheel and virtually no pull of the car. Admittedly the good traction side was the "high side" (onto the roar) but the grass was almost at the same level.
I hope be able to post pictures of a "no-weld" backing plate installation that I am using on a speedster soon
And I plan to install the first of the McNerney ones on my '13 soon too. Both of these will be using the Ross steering boxes
My point is that the driver NEEDS to be aware of the possibilities. Your solution was a '37 Ford steering box (somewhat non-reversing)
Gee Guys -- This is almost as much fun as having Royce back. Almost.
BTW, I forgot to say -- William, Great job on the brakes. Thanks for sharing them with us.
Old people arguing over imaginary criticism.
Les -- What's wrong with welding the backing plate onto the spindle?
BTW, I drove three Greatraces of 4,000 miles each with 5:1 Ford steering and front brakes with nary a close call.
I did have a leaking front cyl on at least part of the 2000 race. That's Brent Terry bleeding the brake on the overnight in Grand Island.
It was my daily beater from '97 to '01, driving the 22 miles to the office nearly every day. Some times it was parked at LAX while I plied the West, from Deadhorse Alaska to Panama.
I didn't install the '37 Ford Steering until 2001.
Odd to me that usually a few times a year someone who could have been saved with better brakes is lost then a long line of condolences are posted some by folks who insist on period correct. If you drive in Astoria one main hill drops about a thousand feet in one mile with two main cross roads near the bottom and the Columbia river at the end. My 22 has a vintage Chicago mark E, if it came out of gear going up or down that hill I would hate to be in it without the discs I have. Been up and down that hill many times.
I know the '26-7 spindle is essentially the same as 4340 chrome-moly steel. I spent my career building pressure vessels and piping for the oil and gas industry. That type of material was considered unweldable by the regulatory authorities. Certainly it CAN be welded but it is prone to micro cracking. These can grow in high stress and vibratory conditions!!!
Wait a minute. Royce flew the coop????? What did I miss??
I sometimes wonder if the FMC was located in PA or one of the western states, instead of the flat landscape of the Detroit area, would Henry have insisted on a better breaking system? If he had, what would it have looked like?
Boy, we're a feisty bunch! Tom, the quality of your work is impressive. The engineering is very impressive. I think it stands up to the critique quite well. I'd like to have a setup similar to this on my speedster.
I like the outside of the box thinking... Still... waiting for Les's engineering (after he is done with the Ross) Les's breaks would have most likely been approved by Mr. Ford himself!
Dang... I meant brakes!
Yeah, It's news to me too. What happened to Royce?
That is a neat and well done set up and I have no problem with anyone improving the braking on their car. However if the front backing plate is welded to the spindle I am with Les on this. I deal with cracks in welded parts on just about a daily basis. Seldom do I find a crack in a good weld. Often I find cracks next to the weld in the heat affected zone. The spindle has a small cross section and is a single point failure part that could lead to catastrophic results. Just my .02
Ed & Rick - I believe that he went to the other forum.
It might be "close" to 4340 but it ain't. That's the same as saying Z-Bronze is close to 660 Bronze. I'd like to see the results of your metal analysis.
Not many of the Ford steels contained nickel and 4340 contains a lot of nickel. Probably why it's hard to weld.
4340 would be like a wet noodle without heat treatment. The spindles are about the same hardness as the front axle. They are relative soft but tough--Like the rear axles.
The spindles are forged. 4340 forgings need specialized equipment to test after each step. None of which was available at the time.
I've welded and machined on every spindle but the very early style and they all weld just like the axle and other mid/low-carbon steels.
Sorry guys, I am mistaken about the pictures and shoes being back wards.
As RD pointed out those are pictures of the front wheels, I thought they were rear.
Next time I'll look a bit closer before I comment.
I think he's done a fine job.
I say good job!
Some things things I would changed, But I'll always back someone that's improving on safety. I don't know of anyone that does not think, rear brakes only on anything is a bad idea! Was not smart thinking.
There should of been a factory recall on T brakes. Oh wait, those didn't start for 50-60 years. But then again, that would be changing the the original car. I guess we all should take our cars back to the dealers, and tell them we want the bad ideas back on our cars, because it's not the same as original.
I'm a purest, I want my anti-locking brakes, air bags, and my ign key, not working again!
You asked about the pictures I posted. It is at Dolly World in TN. They have a setup were you can watch them make wagon wheels.
Sorry for high jacking the thread.
I considered having new spindles made with brake backing plates. I took a spindle to a metallurgical lab and had it analyzed. It was the equivalent of 4340. I believe the late T crank is of the same material but have not tested one
Hello Aaron: Thanks for your thoughts.
We’re going back 13 years since I tackled the rear brakes. Purist as I was at that time, I did my utmost to make this upgrade invisible to all but the most observant enthusiast. I machined my own design of wheel cylinders- with the inlet port on the side of the cylinder, rather than through the rear face. I mounted the cylinder opposing the parking cam. Attached the hydraulic line to this side port from within the brake drum- backing plate area, and passed the line forward inside the rear radius rods! Quite a job indeed! At a glance, the only give-away to this upgrade is that the Jetta cast iron drums which I turned in a lathe to the same form as our original steel Model T drums, have a rim thickness of 0.250”, versus about 0.150” to 0.180” for the steel drums. I ran with this upgrade for a couple of years, continually pestered with fluid leaking from my solid bronze wheel cylinders. To resolve the problem, I relented and installed a set of VW wheel cylinders and have since been running the external hydraulic lines that can be seen in the photo.
Our T has a Ruckstell differential, consequently the right hand housing has to be –late ’12 or ’13-’14. As you probably are aware, the right side of an original early ’12 rear end housing cannot be mated to the Ruckstell housing.
I retained the original backing plate end of these housings to mount my wheel cylinders and attach the brake shoes with suitable retaining springs. The space within these drums is very limited indeed. Everything just fits with little room to spare.
I mounted the VW wheel cylinders opposite to the original parking brake cams as I did initially. I had made special adjusters that I bolted to the end of the shoes that rest against the cams. Thus to adjust the shoes against the drum, is somewhat tedious as I must remove the wheel and drum for access to the adjusters. It takes a few tries but works well. I intend in the coming weeks to remove a rear wheel and photograph these details for you and others to view on the Forum.
It is my understanding that with these rear brakes, when the vehicle is moving forward, the leading edge shoe is really producing the braking force, with the wheel cylinder wedging the shoe in the forward direction of rotation of the drum. On the contrary, the trailing shoe creates minimal braking force at this time.
When the vehicle is moving backwards, the trailing shoe is now wedged against the drum producing the braking force, while the leading shoe creates minimal braking force. In either situation we are only benefiting from the force of one shoe-(on each side of the vehicle.)
It is interesting to consider the Nash- Metropolitan front brake scenario:
As each shoe has its own wheel cylinder, -look closely at the photos- so positioned that when the vehicle is moving forward, each shoe is a leading edge shoe, thus doubling the braking force. The down side of this concept is that, when the vehicle is moving backwards, both shoes effectively are trailing shoes, with neither wedging forcibly against the rotation of the drum. Consequently minimal braking action is produced on the front end when backing up. We are relying as mentioned above, on the individual trailing shoe in each of the rear drums to stop the vehicle. This system is quite well known and has been acceptable to the industry for many years.
Hello Hal: Re the ’16 Centerdoor: I believe that a previous owner had probably backed off the adjustment of the transmission brake, expecting that his RM installation could properly handle the job. With the transmission brake backed off, very little lint would be produced from the lining on the band, reducing possible contamination of the oil. My thoughts on the matter. Sincerely; Tom Forsythe
Hello again Les: Thanks for your valuable input. We can all learn from the experiences of others which is one of the major benefits the Forum is contributing to our passion and hobby.
I did not take lightly to the idea of “welding together” the backing plate, the ¼” CRS disc and Model T Ford early spindles, as can be seen in the photos. (Actually my end products look very much as can be seen in Ralph’s excellent photos posted back in April of 2012, of his welded spindles, prior to finishing and painting.) I used these photos and his write up as a guide in my efforts! I presumed that these materials could today be safely welded by the certified professional that I had engaged. He confirmed to me there was no problem. (Just in passing, this same professional has been flown on several occasions from Ontario to the Athabasca Tar Sands to make repairs that the authorities had not trusted to their regular employees. Repairs to pressure vessels, compressors and all!) In spite of his excellent reputation, for my peace of mind, I took the welded assemblies to a local testing laboratory here in Montreal. I was quite ready to pay for any recommended testing of the welds to assure me of the quality of the welding job on each spindle. Following a visual inspection by their personnel and a ½ hour telephone conversation with the welder, the lab assured me all the correct procedures had been followed during the welding process and no specific testing was justified. Indeed I have a first class job on both! So reassured I consequently proceeded to mount the components on the car and completed this upgrade in late July 2014.
Of equal concern today, is the fact that I engaged the same welder to weld the two portions of the ’37 Ford pitman arms to produce the 8” pitman arm needed for my installation. This can be seen in the photos. Although presently properly installed in the car, it is my intention in the coming weeks, to take the pitman arm to the same testing laboratory for verification of the integrity of this weld, through whatever testing is recommended. Testing will tell. Should I remain with doubts, I can always find an “after-market” 8” Pitman Arm that is currently available. I’ll post the results at a future date.
As we all know, even our present automobiles contain numerous critical “welded” components that are safely welded and tested- before our use. In my mind it is a matter of using the latest technology, the proper materials and equipment to produce a safe product. Sincerely; Tom Forsythe
It seems you have been duly diligent!!!
One correction; the term "tar sands" is incorrect. Tar is a product of coal!! They are scientifically called "oil sands"😊😊
Thanks again for the correction.I guess, being in Montréal, I'm too far away from oil sands site.Have a great day! Tom
No need to apologize, Tom.
Oil sands, tar sands or, more technically, bituminous sands, are a type of unconventional petroleum deposit.
Oil sand is either loose sand or partially consolidated sandstone containing a naturally occurring mixture of sand, clay, and water, saturated with a dense and extremely viscous form of petroleum technically referred to as bitumen (or colloquially tar due to its similar appearance, odour and colour). Natural bitumen deposits are reported in many ...
I think the deposits of Gilsonite, as used on the Model T, are related.
Modified Bitumen Roofing Tar, anyone?
One thing about this site, you should never move from the standard Mr. Ford set for his Model T.
Kind of a Death till we Part type thing.
I'm build a 1956 T-Bird that will look stock, but it has about 20 modifications, I post those up grades as I'm building on Squarebirds, nobody say's any thing bad to me. I think people there understand man's need to tinker and further their art. Maybe they don't care what Henry would think.
I think this was a very well thought out project.
Hello Charles: Boy are we on the same wave length or what!- "man's need to tinker and further their art- well said indeed!
Over the past ten years, when not upgrading our T Touring, I've done as you on the car in the photo; a "very complete restoration" and countless upgrades including new leather interior, cruise control, remove entry door locks, and a Borg-Warner Overdrive unit in behind the original 4 speed automatic transmission.Consequently at 60 mph it turns 2100 rpm rather than the original 3500 rpm.(I just love the challenge of making such improvements!)As I suffered "a mild cerebral attack" in Nov.2012, I sold this fine machine to an avid collector in New Hampshire in Oct.'13- for good money!
It now shares stable space with a dozen other thoroughbred machines. Don't we enjoy the greatest of hobbys! Keep up the good work,for "our real pay" is the satisfaction of doing a good job! Regards, Tom
Beautiful Mercedes Tom, from your grin I seeing you enjoy the passion of a job well done.
Sorry about your cerebral attack.
Hello again Chris Barker: Re: the accessory radius rods I wrote of earlier- the front ends of the rods and special nuts I had described appear more clearly in the attached photos.One could easily reproduce this arrangement for his early T.As I stated, It looks "rather crude" but that only adds to it being "period correct!" As well they do an excellent job. Also note the Acetylene lamps burning brightly in mid afternoon!Tom
Really unfortunate about Royce - always enjoyed his posts.
Earlier this year, in response to a few members, I promised to post a couple of photos of the ’89 Jetta rear brakes I installed on our touring back in 2002.You can clearly see the Jetta shoes-(reduced to about 1-3/8” wide), the Jetta wheel cylinders and the custom adjusters pressing against the original parking brake cam - all mounted on the original housing = backing plate. In spite of the modern axle bearings and high quality seals, some hydraulic lubricate still leaks by the seals. Each spring during preparation for the season, I clean up the shoes and drum surfaces and adjust the shoes if required. With my braking now on all four wheels, I am pleased with the current results.