Any advice on how/where get a hold of these for standard Ford small drum and/or 09-25 RM brakes? Is there a reason why cast iron drums are available new for Model A (<$100) and not for Ts?
Cast iron drums on a T wouldn't be worth the effort, the T brakes are parking or emergency brakes, not real service brakes.
The Model A 4- wheel mechanical service brakes are internal hard lined shoe brakes, and cast iron drums can be useful in that application, as the brakes are in constant use for stopping.
And RM brakes for the T are external contracting lined bands, cast iron surface of an external contracting brake system presents little advantage over steel for this use.
I'm not sure where Dan has gotten his information from but cast iron is one of the best materials for brake drums and discs available. Used with a lined band or shoe they work far better that steel. Even on the parking brake if one has lined shoes you have a better gripping parking brake and it works great if you need to pull on the hand brake in an emergency.
I have cast iron drums along with my RM brakes on the Kamper. I made them in our foundry at work from a wood pattern which also includes the small hand brake drum. They replaced the supplied RM steel drums so I have experienced the effectiveness of both.
They are a definate advantage as far as braking goes. Cast iron offers much better retardation than steel. The foot pressure on the pedal is reduced ( I can drive my T in bare feet)
Having seen steel drums so hot the paint has burnt off and in one case nearing the point of being red hot and not having been able to get that senerio with Cast iron drums its a no brainer as far as I'm concerned. The RM's grab better, at lighter pressure especially in the wet.
As for why none available I expect its cost, casting and machining adds up, if you are prepared to pay for the making then you won't be disappointed.
My friend Bob out east machined cast iron drums for his T. He made them from round cast billets from McMaster Carr. I was impressed with their performance when he demonstrated them to me. this is a product that would benefit our hobby
Since my car runs AC brakes, I would buy a pair of cast iron drums if they were available. They could be thicker than the stock steel drums and I could adjust the AC brake bands to compensate.
I have cast iron brake drums and Bennett brakes on my shooting brake. The drums are from a 1970,s Hillman Avenger. These cars were imported into New Zealand from the UK. They are almost a drop in fit. the hole in the centre is the same as a T drum. Mated up to the hub, all I had to do was drill the 6 holes for the wheel bolts. I machined some of the width of them, and let part of the re-inforcing rib to locate better the Bennett brake shoes. Unfotunately,the Bennett rods interfere with the standard rods, and until I have both back wheels off, I have just the Bennett brakes. I can use the standard internal shoes if I get around to swapping the brake cams from one side to the other and hooking up the rods with the arms pointing down.
I have never had as effective brakes as these, but whether this is due to the Bennett brakes or the cast iron drums I cannot tell.
Allan from down under.
I had some cast iron drums made for my Rocky Mountains. They are far better than the originals, but need a lot of machining.
I for one ,13 years ago installed cast iron drums on the rear of our '12 Touring.The new drums and wheel cylinders I purchased from a local VW dealer-('89 Volks Jetta).At 200 mm diameter,these drums after final machining, have the appearance of the original T drums, except for their superior thinkness and slightly larger width.Two years ago , I added brakes (Nash-Metropolitan) to the front end.This past winter I upgraded the steering by installing a '37 Ford steering box.
I am very pleased with the four wheel stopping power which is quite evident.All for improved safety in modern traffic. Many thanks for the assistance of "our dear friend" Ralph Ricks, deceased earlier this year.
For those who may have missed the postings, these can be found under the titles:"Front Wheel brakes to the Forefront again"- Feb 08,2015-03:08 pm; and "37 Ford Steering gear into our '12 Touring"
-Jan 31,2015-04:01 pm
I made patterns and have had drums cast for the McNerny front brake project. Quite simple to do as cast iron machines easily
Cast 09-25 rocky drums exist, The moulds for them have changed hands but i know where they are rumoured to exist. See http://www.flatheadted.com/ and ask if they possess them and would produce some for you.
there were cast iron small drum brakes for the Model T.
I worked on a '15 touring that has them.
I converted it to a starter flywheel and hogs head and went through the Ruckstell.
It has bands on the outside of the drums that work with the brake pedal.
It seemed to stop better than.. no, it did stop much better than stamped steel small drums with bands on the outside.
As I remember the bands and band surface on the drums is slightly wider than the original stamped steel drums and shoes.
The hand brake shoes inside were just stock T hand brake shoes.
I have the early style RM brakes on our 13 T which utilize cast iron drums. The small drum shoes are lined. Very happy with the cast iron drums. I agree with Peter Kable and others that consider cast iron as being much better compared to pressed steel.
Aaron; Sounds like you're describing a set of original Bennet's. I have a set, but loaned them out about 7 or 8 years ago for someone to repop them and they never got them finished up. Sure wish they would, they're nice brakes.
Geez...if there ever was a T part screaming out to be made this has got to be it. And apart from anything else, it's not an "upgrade"...original RM and Bennett were cast iron. Wish I had the skills or contacts to start rolling these babies out.
Just wondering, how much more would it have cost to have made the drums in the RM brake kit in cast iron rather than steel? $50? $100?
That's just great...you reproduce an optional braking system for a Model T that was designed to improve braking but cut costs by making the drums in an inferior material to the originals, which in turn lessens braking performance. Why not at least offer cast iron drums as a more expensive option on the kit?
During one of my visits to RM producer (Bud)....I asked him the question as to why the later RM kit does not include cast iron drums. His response was cost and availability.
Just to add to the conversation, notwithstanding that cast iron brake drums for internal shoe brakes are common and known for good heat dissipation, and use. And cast iron is used on caliper disc rotors. Over time other materials have been used, Buick had aluminum drums for 7 times the heat dissipation. Today some racing caliper rotors are made of steel too.
But to keep it Model T for the masses, pressed steel drums were the norm in the day.
Steel drums have been long used for external contracting brakes, per Everyman's Guide to Motor Efficiency, H.W. Slauson M.E., 1927..."external brakes are applied by some form of joint by which the ends of the band are drawn together... The drum, nearly always of pressed steel, is attached to the rear wheel hub or to the spokes of the wheel itself.
And the original Rocky Mountain Brakes, first marketed in 1922 as the 'big drum' brake, by Tractor Train company, used a press steel double drum, the inner one for the emergency shoes, the outer for the service contacting brake.
Pressed steel works fine for these brakes. And the current available RM style brakes are steel. Have them on two T's and the effective braking is well advanced over the Ford transmission brake alone.
Note the copy line in this adv. "..pressed steel double brake drum". They were not cast iron, never were. The mfg. is a pressed steel company.
Would cast iron be better? Perhaps, as those of you who have them can say, for me, pressed steel drum does the work OK.
Maybe my T runs are slower speed and fewer down hills.
My observation is that the finned aluminum brake drums that Buick used had cast iron for the actual friction surface. Not terribly hard to make. The cast iron ring was installed in the mould and the aluminum was poured around it. Similar to how later brake drums were made with a pressed steel disc and a cast iron drum
The iron foundry I use did a run of brake drums for the early Corvettes and they explained the process to me in detail
Wonder if the people making the transmission drums would be interested far less work than the Reverse, low speed or brake drum.
Besides the earlier RM style with cast iron drums that's on our model T, Larry also has cast iron drums on his earlier set. I also bought an old new stock set of RM's with cast iron drums at the Bakersfield swap meet several years ago. The small drum for emergency brake and large outside drum are all one casting. They are out there.
The aluminum finned cast iron brake drums were called "Alfin", and they were popular on sport cars in the couple of decades before disc brakes came along and surpassed them in performance.
I have just installed cast iron brake drums on my 1910 and used the ones that Allan Bennett described. I was able to get them from our local car club parts shed for $10 each. They haven't been skimmed and are exactly 8"inside diameter.
The outside diameter had a raised section which was machined off plus a light skim. As Allan mentioned, the bore is the same as a T plus you have to drill the 6 holes. These drums are also wider than the standard T and this was what I was looking for. I was able to machine the width of the drums to a dimension that was wider than the original T drums. I did this to close up the gap between the drum and the backing plate. My brake shoes were partially visible and I didn't like that! No doubt, having cast iron drums will have other benefits to the braking system
Allan and Alan,
Are these the ones? The Hillman Avenger was never sold in Australia...any idea of which other Hillman models or other cars may have used the drums you're referring to? Would be great to avoid shipping from NZ or UK for such heavy items!
Constantine. That may well be the ones. Is the bore the same or extremely close to your T hub? Mine also had a slightly raised area on both the outer and inner faces which I machined flat. That extra material on the outside diameter was also machined off to look like a standard T drum. Is it 8" ID?
Constantine, I don't know of any Hillmans which had the same drums as the Avenger. I suspect the Minx may be too early and the later Hunter was likely to have bigger drums. The photo you show certainly looks like the drums I have, before I machined them.
Another likely source of drums may be from the rear of the last of the rear wheel drive Toyota Camrys.
Hope this helps.
Here is a comprehensive pdf list of brake drums and dimensions
I used Morris Marina drums
You should find what you need here!
The above link does not seem to work,so copy and paste the whole address into google and you will get it
The photo of the drum I found on the internet. It's from a Hillman Imp, these were sold in Australia. see:
I believe, but could be wrong, it is similar to the rear drums of a Avenger but not the same. It's listed in that catalogue Clifford mentioned above. Alan Long, maybe this is what you found?
You can get new ones in the UK...but shipping them to USA or Australia will cost. Used ones and maybe even new are probably around in Australia. Anyone finds some buy a pair for me and I'll pay you back!
These are an option I guess but better if someone decides to make new small drum and RM brakes in cast iron; like the Model A guys have off the shelve for <$100.
I've had a good lead from someone on the forum about new cast iron 11" drums that could machined to work with 09-25 RM.
Was in O'rellys on Monday ordered a Pwr Str hose for the modern car and asked about a 89' VW Jetta, and not in stock but the small pic looked like it would work and the price was 34 bucks. If I can get them to order one in so I can check it out it may be worth the restocking fee if I don't like it.
Constantine, I found a few used ones in our local car club parts shed. I can not be 100% sure what they are off as I was only looking at the width, the inside diameter and the spigot hole size. Mine also have an extra hole in the outside face which maybe used for brake adjustment. The outside certainly did have the raised section as per your photo but this was machined off leaving the drum with only slightly larger OD than the original steel ones. Alan
Constantine, Do you have anyone that can cast drums for you?
If so you can borrow my pattern.
Someone mentioned Morris Marina drums, I looked at Morris Minor drums and reckoned they would work, might be identical. I was also looking at using Ford E93A/103E cable brakes, made by Lockheed-Girling, work brilliantly and spares are readily available. Much preferable to hydraulics.
Here is Peter Kable's CI drum:
Here's what I come up with on the Morris drums;
Looked at the photos for the ones listed, both the front and rears are offset. So now I am not sure what to look for if I was looking.
(Message edited by redmodelt on August 06, 2015)
For all those interested here is a photo of the pattern and a drum.
The wall thickness is 5/16th inch
Thanks everyone for all the replies.
This topic has been covered nicely.
I've also received private messages from two guys who have mentioned Triumph Herald/Spitfire drums for Ford small drums.
And another guy messaged me who made 3mm steel adaptor plates, to be able to use 6 cylinder 109" LWB Land Rovers 11" front wheel drums (Part number: 576974) to use as RM drums. These are still available new in the UK and Australia, see:
My memory thinks the Imp was sold for a short time in the US after Chrysler bought Rootes. It was badged Sunbeam. If it is the car I am thinking about, it had a Coventry Climax engine. If that is correct, there may be some spares left even here.