For all Of those T owners looking for better brakes for there T's, I recently bought and installed AC brakes supplied by Larry Sidmore at 209-533-9207. So far they work great. He only makes the actual brakes and brake pedal. Another T owner Rich Baughman at 916-652-7827 makes the controls which along with the brakes look very professional. The controls are made and mount without drilling any holes. One great thing they work in reverse.
Richard, if you don't mind telling us, what was the total cost and how tricky was it to install?
Hey Bill - I don't know about the linkage that Rich makes but the brakes are $350 and the pedal is $100.
Mounting the brakes themselves on the rear axle was super easy. The only thing I needed was a longer bolt for the lower of the two radius rod bolts (1 on each side). I didn't have to massage them anywhere, just makes sure you strip the paint off the outside of your brake drum while you have the wheel off.
I made my own linkage using rods instead of a cable but even then the whole thing only took me a Saturday and Sunday to install and go test. With the ready to go linkage I'd think you could do the whole install in an afternoon.
The linkage is $165 plus shipping(around $25 or so).
He makes 2 kinds of linkages, for closed cars and open cars.
I recently purchased a set, but have not had a chance to install them yet. Too cold.
You mention different linkages for open versus enclosed cars and that surprises me as I thought both body types used the same chassis. Can you explain the differences?
Inquiring minds want to know. Good luck with your project. Bill
So a very basic question here guys - do these brakes replace the stock brakes? I know that may sound stupid, but it seems they somehow mount externally. I am at the point of going through my driveline from the U-joint back this spring and currently have no brakes - it is a speedster so a mod is fine as long as it looks reasonably in period.
Steve, they supplement the stock brakes. I have my home-made AC brake linkage adjusted so that the AC's take all of the braking load under normal circumstances, but if something breaks or I have to make a panic stop and really stomp on the pedal, the extra travel activates the stock transmission brake.
The equalizer I use with my original AC brakes activates the AC brakes when I pull the lever back to the parking position. But again, if something breaks or I really yank on the lever, the stock Ford internal drum emergency brakes are still there as extra insurance (I installed lined emergency brake shoes).
So, in effect, The AC brakes are my primary system and the stock Ford transmission brake and internal drum emergency brakes act as two separate reserve systems.
AC and RM brakes retain both stock braking systems (service and parking). Both of these systems are outside band brakes on the rear brake drums. I have used both over the years.
Their limitations are;
1. They don't work when they are wet very well
2. They don't work in reverse very well
Are they a improvement over the stock T system, yes.
The limitation on your speedster is this. You have now removed considerable weight from the rear of your car, but the front weighs almost as much. You can now go faster and accelerate quicker. You can only stop the rear wheels. You figure it out!!
And yes I am a big proponent of front wheel brakes.
The ac brakes I installed work great in reverse. The linkage system I used I like. No cables no holes to drill and actually can be installed in no more than an hour. The cost of the parts and not to say anything about the welding, bearings and such you would probably approach the cost of building your own with the quality of them and of course that depends on rather you are a good welder and have the proper equipment to build them.
Steven check out this thread. This has a lot of good pictures of the brakes both on a rear end and by themselves, as well as the linkage.
Steven said, "So a very basic question here guys - do these brakes replace the stock brakes?" It appears that for most the answer is, "No."
However, I've always wondered what the folks who designed Bennett brakes had in mind on this topic. With the Bennetts comes a Bennett brake pedal that is absent the cam needed for operation of the transmission brake. The designers clearly intended their brake system to replace the Ford service brake. I wonder why? Also, were there any other auxiliary T brake systems out there that did the same?
I'd say it's yes and no. Yes in that I use my ACs as my primary brakes - they do most of the heavy lifting. No in that I have not removed my transmission brake band. I have the transmission band come on around halfway through the pedal travel. And the Ford hand brake works independently of both of those.
Thanks guys, lots of useful information here. Interesting in that Henry must have taken a while to adapt to those new fangled four wheel brakes, I do remember my Model A was designed such that, even with 4 wheel brakes, the lion's share of the work was to be done by the rears - seems like a little more research is in order, on an auxilary system, but a good idea to have. While I do that I will renew the Ford Hand brake system for the time being - will use lined shoes and replace everything at the very least, seems simple enough.
On the A the "lions share" of the braking is done by the fronts (just like all 4wheel brake systems). The Industry switched to 4wheel braking in the '26 to '28 time frame. There were 4 wheel brake systems made for the T and some of us run them. It's nice to have on my T
I wish I had not deleted the pictures. Maybe Richard will see this post and add some pics.
Maybe I should not have said open and closed car. Richard makes one set of linkages that sit above the bottom of the frame and extend above the top of the frame. There is a lot of room between the top of the frame and the bottom of the floorboards in a normal car.
Many Speedsters consist of a plywood board on top of the frame, so the linkages have to be attached to the bottom of the frame and extend below the frame or they would not fit. There just isn't enough room.
If you could see his pictures it would probably be clearer than my explanation.
My 2000 Chevrolet Silverado pickup has 331,000 miles. I still have the original front brake pads, the back brake pads have been replaced twice.
I wonder if the anti lock brakes or perhaps the fronts are way over designed. Any ideas? Most of miles are highway miles and I use my Model T braking skills when I drive. I have never had brakes last like these before and likely may never again.
Ted on my F250 they wear out about the same time (about 100,000 miles). It has 6 spd manual.
The front pads are way bigger
I have no experience with your brand
I'm thinking of getting a set of AC brakes, but not sure if they would fit my early (May) 26 Tudor.
Paul, Larry's ad says they're only for 1909-1925 small drums.
Put the brakes on the front also.
Several were made aftermarket for the T, Big Four and McNearney just to name a couple.
Here are the pictures:
Dave, I really like your linkage set up. That's an interesting mounting on the rear spring perch?
Modified the brake band to clear the Hasslers.
These are not mine. Richard Baughman sent me some pictures and I resized them for him.
They are a little mixed up, but you can see how some are attached to the top of the frame and some are attached to the bottom of the frame.