Hi Guys , looking for advise on what sequence I adjust the nuts on the brakes. Also, is it a good idea to remove the spring between the two.
I have a set of original AC brakes on my '24. The springs were rusted and shot, so I replaced them. Some of the more experienced members have recommended using old engine valve springs, but I didn't have any, so had to buy springs at the hardware store.
I also added a (weaker) spring on each brake arm to help the arm retract when I released the brakes.
I started out with equal length springs on top & bottom, but I ended up cutting the bottom spring in half and putting a longer spring on the top to get an even gap between the band and drum.
You have to adjust the nut on the top of the threaded rod until the band is very close to the drum all the way around, but not dragging. As you use the brakes, the band and linings will conform better to the drum and you will want to adjust the top nut down to tighten the band some more. If the brakes drag or get smoking hot during a drive, the bands are too tight and you need to loosen them. One turn at a time is a good increment for initial adjustments, you can use less of a turn to fine tune it when you get really close.
My house is part way down a hill, so I use my brakes fairly hard right before I pull into my garage. Instead of using skid marks, I used brake band temperature as a guide to whether I was getting even braking side-to-side. After I pulled into my driveway, I adjusted each band so that it was hot, but not burning hot, to the touch and the temperatures were even side-to-side.
Hope this helps!
One other thing - once you have the angles on your pedal and actuating linkage adjusted to provide maximum leverage with the brakes applied, make all of your subsequent adjustments using the top nut on the threaded rod on each brake assembly.
Thanks Mark. Should I leave the bottom not alone and adjusted to the bottom?
No, adjust the bottom nut as required to bring the bottom part of the band very close (but not dragging) on the drum.
I didn't realize your brakes used a bottom nut. Are they the current reproduction brakes from Larry Sidmore?
The next time I have to replace the linings on my original AC brakes, I may try removing the bottom spring and replacing it with a nut and washer like Larry's reproduction.
Here is a picture of my original AC brakes after initial installation and before final adjustment.
Notice the large gap between the bottom of the band and the drum.