I just saw a 1912 T with period style aftermarket 4 wheel cable brakes. I have a '23 roadster with '27 wire wheels and I would love to have 4 wheel brakes for it. Does anyone know if they were made for '27 wheels?
There were several kinds of four wheel brakes made after-market for the model T Ford. Cable, rods, and even hydraulic brakes were offered during the '20s. Like most after-market accessories for the model T, they were not generally for any specific year, although '26 and '27 were sometimes different because of Ford's change to larger rear drums for 1926.
Original era after-market four wheel brakes are rather difficult to find and get. I have seen only a few sets in over 45 years in this hobby.
Another option, that I have seen done several times. Is to adapt a four wheel brake system from some other '20s car. Chevrolet added front wheel brakes in '28 (technically after the model T ended), but are easily adapted with T parts and still look vintage enough. I have seen Buick cable operated brakes adapted to a T, and they were available while the model T was still being produced. Many cars did offer front wheel brakes by 1925, and can be adapted and made to look good.
One of the most important considerations when adding brakes to the front of a model T Ford, whether you want to do so in an era correct way? Or a more modern method (probably hydraulic or disc)? Is the front axle's strength and stability. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!! The model T front end is not designed for braking stresses.
It may not require much, just how much is still open to debate.
I have seriously considered putting vintage four wheel brakes on one of my cars.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Les Schubert has made a repro of McNerny period front brakes for Model T's, he's on the forum and may reply.
Gene Carrothers from Huntington Beach is also on the forum - it may have been his '12 Torpedo you've seen?
His homemade period style brakes are discussed in this thread (among others):
A few makers of Ford 4-wheel brakes in the day.
Cable operated external bands, and one which was hydraulic too, in 1926. Finding any of these complete setups in good shape would be a challenge!
Further to Wayne's comments.
Bracing the front axle; a "doubled" radius rod has proven to be sufficient on numerous front brake installations with many thousands of vigorous driving
The item that seems to get "glossed over" is the subject of front axle geometry/steering box stability. When front brakes hit the market in the late '20's it seems like everybody changed the front axle geometry to a design with tilted kingpins that projected through the centre of the tire patch at the ground. I did this on my '27 and it steers/handles like a modern car and I retained the stock T steering box.
The other option is a improved steering box of a generally "non reversible" type
The third option is to ensure both hands firmly on the wheel in any braking situation
I hope this helps
I saw this set-up last Sunday mounted on a speedster. The front axle was sufficiently braced to resist the torque on the axle and wishbone.
Les S, Thank you for your additions.
Tom M, Canadian speedster? It appears to be right hand drive?
The design on the brake mechanical operation looks pretty good. Centering the pull to the kingpin is one of the important keys to making mechanical front wheel brakes work okay.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Yes definitely RH drive, everyone drives on the left here and I was delighted to find our Model T counterparts here in Australia are very hospitable!
I am on my iPad outside a laundry so I will comment more with names and photos in a future post.
Tom Miller's picture is of Andy Brown's speedster in Victoria, Australia. It's pictured in the thread I linked above and in this thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/251110.html?1323188056
The gent who showed me the car was named Kevin Brown and I thought he said it was his son's car. It's very possible Igot it wrong with the state of my ears.
(Message edited by tmiller6 on January 19, 2016)
Maybe it has changed hands since 2011?
Here's what it looked like back then:
Robbie Dalton corrected me via PM. It's Andrew Browne's car. Still climbing hills and still looking similar to the photo above.