Should I spring for Kevlar or use Cotton?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Should I spring for Kevlar or use Cotton?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Philip Berg on Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 10:17 pm:

Looks like Carl needs some new band material. In my stash of parts I have a three bands that have been re-lined with what I think is cotton bands. Took one of them to a club meeting and one member says if it's cotton throw them away and get Kevlar.

In the spirit of Mr. Jelf I can't see throwing a perfectly good set of band material just because they're not Kevlar.

So should I Kevlar or not?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jason Given - St. Paul, MN on Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 10:42 pm:

if I had them, I would use them.

I have kevlar, if I was to replace them, I would strongly consider wood.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 11:02 pm:

Depends on how much you enjoy replacing bands. I switched over to Kevlar on all my cars and have not changed bands in any of them since and in some cases that is well over 15 years. I have never had a problem with them but will admit that they have a different feel that takes getting used to.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 11:24 pm:

Philip, I had the original cotton bands when i bought my T, and all they seemed to do was shed and distribute the material to places where you don't want it to be, especially the oil funnel and mag pickup. Everyone has their own experiences and preferences when it comes to this subject, but after replacing mine with Kevlar, all is good.

(Message edited by JP_noonan on December 10, 2016)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 02:58 am:

I like Wood


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank van Ekeren (Australia) on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 03:02 am:

WOOD!!! no more than just a memory!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 06:45 am:

Read up on Kevlar bands. Many have no trouble with them. Others swear they are the cause of overheating drums which crack and then sometimes fly apart. I'm sure that if they are properly adjusted and you're not one of these that slips the clutch or uses the brake to slow from highway speed, rather than planning ahead and allowing the engine to slow the car, then Kevlar is fine. But then again, any band material will last a long time under those conditions. Kevlar will not wear out if you do slip the clutch and ride the brake, but it might cause broken drums if you do. It's kinda one of those chicken and egg deals. If you drive like you NEED Kevlar, you might see some negative consequences. If you DON'T drive that way, then you don't NEED Kevlar.

I like wood bands. I have gone years without having to adjust them, and they don't leave fiber in the engine to plug up the oil funnel or accumulate on the mag pick up.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 08:14 am:

I am on the wood team!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R. S. Cruickshank on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 08:14 am:

Bands should last a long time with the amount of driving most of us do. I have Scandinan on three of my T's and wood on the 1912. When and if the cotton bands are no longer usable, I will switch to wood for all the cars. While I hear of stories about the Kevlar, I have not seen a negative comment on wood.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 09:07 am:

Have used wood bands just once. Ran for about 6,000 miles with them.

Worked OK, but had to keep adjusting low pedal.

Finally took the wood out, the low wood lining was about gone. Reverse was just a bit worn. Brake lining no wear (Use of Rocky Mtn brakes prevented trans. brake wear)





Lots of wear on the low bank lining, the oil grooves gone now, and most of the wood shards were found during oil changes while cleaning out the trans. oil screen.



Thinned low pedal wood lining.

Have used Kevlar for 20 years, and in my other T's the Kevlar isn't wearing like the wood did.



Replaced the wood lining with the best IMO lining for the Ford,.... Kevlar.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 09:24 am:

Kevlar bands are tougher than steel drums. So your drum wears instead of the band. On the other hand this is ideal for great brake operation.

I like to use the Kevlar band on the brake only. For the other two old original Scandinavia or Montgomery Wards or Ford bands are worth searching for. They have asbestos woven in with cotton, which makes them durable without hurting the drums.




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By samuel pine on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 10:05 am:

Going on 4 yrs since in completely machined all
and a new set a Scandinavian <(spelling) I have
no fuzz or junk on my filter / magnet. In those
4 yrs I only tweaked only 1/2 turn on the bands.
Could be my father insisted to stuff the pedal and
not slip it. He said slipping causes the fuzz?
And that was 60 yrs ago. right or wrong I do not
have any issues with cotton linings. I do think
its another reinventing the wheel it worked 90yrs
ago, so why change it. Please don't get a fended
but 90 yrs ago women cranked and drove these things
they were tough; 90 yrs later we turn into wimps.
I myself touched on this time when kerosene rulle'd I remember school bus 39 Dodge had more ice inside the windows than outside; good,so ya write your name on the glass- then the heat? threw more A/C than heated air. These new wave
21 century phone people will be 'LIKE ' done or
crippled. I still run on 6vt only car i got, ya
heater kind of wimpy but I wouldn't trade for a
plastic computer junk. But it starts without fail
and I can see a engine in there 46 V8 Ford.......
cold air than heat.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie Dill in Stamford, CT on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 10:27 am:

I'm always hoping for a decisive / unanimous opinion from this forum. Surprise - virtually NEVER happens. But that's also what makes it great.

I need to change out at least my low band. It's adjusted to full tight and still requires a hard press on the pedal for full engagement. I bought a set of Kevlar bands and was going to use those. But then there's this thread. I'm concerned about the downside of Kevlar, especially when teamed with my lack of Model T driving experience.

If I were to go forward with the Kevlar, what is the proper way to operate the pedals to avoid the drum damage? I'm also OK with ditching the Kevlar and investing in wood bands which seem very attractive per this thread.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 11:02 am:

The problem with the wood bands is when you have a panic stop the wood band lining can get torn from the band. I noticed on a friend's '15 that it had a lot of chatter, he had wood bands that were burned and blackened, perhaps from his driving style.

In any case your driving style regardless of the type of band will influence how fast your T needs maintenance again. You should drive the car like it has no brakes. Allow it to slow down using engine compression as much as possible. When starting from a stop use as little throttle as you can. Stomp the low pedal in a decisive but steady movement, then increase the throttle when the pedal is firmly planted.

Like this:
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=youtube+cornydogeater&view=detail&mid=E5761 97DBD69AEBFA987E576197DBD69AEBFA987&FORM=VIRE


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 11:18 am:

Driving style, that is the key. You have a set of cotton ready to go, use them. When they need replacing go with Kevlar or wood or even cotton (if you can find them). Most people don't drive enough to worry what lining they use.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 11:21 am:

New Model T drivers, consider this. Dan is one of the most experienced T guys there is, and he is the MTFCI technical advisor. Go back and read his comment above.

My theory of driving with Kevlar bands, or any others for that matter, is to be aggressive with the pedals. When the band is tightly grabbing the drum, no wear is happening. Letting it slip (drum and lining rubbing together) is what produces friction heat, and wear. When using the low and reverse pedals, I allow only the briefest of slipping to get the car moving without killing the engine. I tromp down hard to be sure the drum isn't moving. The drum should be stationary and making the gears turn. We've discussed proper braking to a fare-thee-well, so a Google search of that subject should get you lots of good advice.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Lay,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Lancaster Ca. on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 11:44 am:

Hi Phil. Larry at the Tin Shed in Santa Fe Springs rebuilt my trans several years ago and he suggested wood bands so that's what we used and they are great. I have about three thousand miles on them and they are almost install and forget. Very little adjustment at all. No chatter. I think they will outlive me but if I ever need to change them again I will go with wood again.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Philip Berg on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 11:53 am:

Sorry if I didn't phrase the question correctly, I know all about Kevlar bands. My 16 has them. I was just looking for a cost justification to not use a perfectly good set of bands (that worked for millions of Ford owners) over a modern counterpart.

The bands that are in the car I don't think are Kevlar because the engine was rebuilt in the 60's. I've changed the oil three times since I got Carl and have found no evidence of band residue in the oil or in the transmission.

Thanks for the input.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 12:01 pm:

When I rebuilt the coupe in 1976 I used cotton bands. Being a newbe they didn't last long and on advise of the guys in Long Beach I switched to wood. Also Ben Yumori told me to "push the pedals like I mean it", either on or off, no slipping. All went well but there was chattering on the low speed drum. I admit that it could be a problem with excessive wear, but it went away when I changed that one band to Kevlar. Now all three bands are Kevlar and they are still great. Since then I have used Kevlar in all five Ts, no cracked drum, that I know of, but I still push the pedals as though I mean it... thanks Benny


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 12:34 pm:

I'll agree with Royce about only using Kevlar for the brake band. I use the cotton for low and reverse. I also like the wood ones in my '27. A few years ago I added front brakes to it (and will add them to my '13 this year


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By joe macintosh on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 12:48 pm:

I have a few rolls of asbestos linings ,what should these be used for ???


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris from Long Beach, CA on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 01:32 pm:

I use wood and found that I can change bands without removing the hogs head when using demountable bands. Here are pictures of transmissions after using Kevlar because of improper use and assembly and using reverse and low because the brake needed readjusting. Kevlar lining will outlast several sets of drums but drums cost more than Kevlar.

Note that the Kevlar lining is brand new


K 1


The kevlar broke the low speed drum and the broken drum shredded the Kevlar



K3


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 01:43 pm:

I would sure use them Philip.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 01:49 pm:

Especially in the first picture, how do we know the Kevlar cracked the drum? Reverse drums are notorious for having cracks. I've found a lot of them in transmissions that never saw Kevlar. This could be a case of post hoc ergo propter hoc.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Kelsey on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 01:54 pm:

My two bits (from my limited experience)....since you are a new T driver, install the cotton bands, just to play it safe and invest in a set of Rocky Mountain brakes. Experienced drivers know how to treat their Kevlar bands properly, without worry of heating up/cracking a drum. I look at it this way. To replace a cracked reverse drum is $329, plus labor if you don't do it yourself. Yes, Rockies are expensive, at $864, but the investment is immense! Not only will you save your brake lining from wear, but you will also have additional stopping power, especially if your drive line gives out, which I have personally experienced. This is what I chose to do being new to Ts not long ago. I have very little wear on my brake bands after 1500+ miles, as the Rockies do most of the work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tommy coffey on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 02:05 pm:

I have been reading every post on here since I got my T,even soaking up info on things that are not a current issue with my car. On a subject like band material, where so many have different opinions, if a club member or anyone else says throw certain linings away, I would not put much stock in any advice from him (or her). There is a lot of valuable info on here. Some participants are just better at sharing it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 02:50 pm:

Old NOS Scandinavia, Ford, Wards, or most others are likely fine. The "new" Cantex Scandinavia bands don't seem to last.

The secret of long band life is don't slip them, except you have to on the brake band.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 03:11 pm:

Tommy you will find a LOT of opinions about what or what not to use in your T.
Type of Oil.
Type of transmission bands.
And maybe marvel mystery oil?
And maybe a few others. Stay tuned.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 03:36 pm:

I broke two low drums with Kevlar, but I can't blame the problem on the Kevlar. The cam and notch were worn which caused the following problem. The pedal didn't begin moving inward until I got almost to the place where the band should be completely applied, about 1 1/2 inch above the floorboard. So I tightened up the adjustment so that it would work at that position. Unfortunately, in order to get the band tight enough for the low to work, it was too tight while running in neutral and high. That is what caused the drums to get hot and crack. The old cotton bands didn't cause the drum to crack, they just needed adjustment almost every time I drove the car because they were too tight but it drove as though they were too loose.

Now I have confused everyone!
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Miller, mostly in Dearborn on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 04:49 pm:

My cars and the cars in daily use at the museum down the street from me use Kevlar. I gave up on cotton and never tried wood.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By JohnH on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 05:13 pm:

I get 6-8 years out of cotton linings for low and brake, and that includes Cantex.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R. S. Cruickshank on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 08:07 pm:

One alternative that has not been mentioned to save wear on the brake band is the use of a good HORN. Sometimes when the horn is used properly, the use of brakes becomes redundant.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie Dill in Stamford, CT on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 08:14 pm:

Adding more questions from the novice. My T came with disc brakes. I haven't even got into those yet, but suspect they need general maintenance. They are modern so I should be able to get assistance from a local mechanic.

Presumably the disc brakes are activated using the brake pedal. This is also actuating the brake band - the one that seems to be the riskiest for drum health.

Just in case, I've attached a couple pics of the brakes. Any comments about the brakes or any other "incidentally findings" like my less than attractive wheels.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 10:50 pm:

Those brakes have a hydraulic line. I assume there's a master cylinder operated by the brake pedal.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie Dill in Stamford, CT on Monday, December 12, 2016 - 07:35 am:

It definitely has a master cylinder. I will have a closer look. Would you think that the brake pedal actuated both the hydraulic and T brake drum? Maybe hydraulic shares the strain thus taking pressure OFF the brake band?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Horlick in Penn Valley, CA on Monday, December 12, 2016 - 02:03 pm:

Charlie, look inside the transmission cover. Do you have a brake band? Does it work when you step on the pedal? That is a slick looking disc installation.


Frank, "Kevlar lining will outlast several sets of drums but drums cost more than Kevlar". Each of the four times I had a drum break when I was using Kevlar the drum also destroyed the Kevlar so you will have the cost of the drum AND the Kevlar added together... plus the cost of the transmission rebuild and r&r.


Norman, I'm with you... I have found that if anything goes wrong with Kevlar you loose a drum. With cotton and wood if anything goes wrong you loose a lining. I now use only wood linings and really cringe when I hear folks promoting Kevlar. If you must use Kevlar I suggest only doing it to the brake band. The brake drum is thicker, I have never seen one turned blue or broken by Kevlar... it's always reverse or low gets destroyed.


Steve, I also understand what you are saying but sorta disagree. Yes, there have always been broken drums. I hold out to you that over the last 100 years most of the weak or defective drums have been culled out. So we should see a decrease in the rate of drum failure now. However Kevlar can cause heating of drums to temperatures several magnitudes higher than other linings. Kevlar linings are now busy culling out many of the drums which are weak, but stronger than the ones failing years ago.


IMHO, TH


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham on Monday, December 12, 2016 - 05:16 pm:

Royce is going to drive me crazy frequently posting that picture of NOS Ford band linings for 90 cents and suggesting that's the best solution to the problem. Until I can find such a treasure I'm afeared of Kevlar and unhappy with wood !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Philip Berg on Monday, December 12, 2016 - 05:46 pm:

Thanks for all the answers and views, I've decided to use the cotton bands my grandpa had.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Fischer - Arroyo Grande, CA on Monday, December 12, 2016 - 07:32 pm:

OK, I just gotta show my ignorance here:

Is there a reason why some form of modern drum brake lining material isn't practical for use on the T bands ?

Dick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham on Monday, December 12, 2016 - 07:41 pm:

Well, one reason is that modern brake lining materials aren't designed to run in oil. Kevlar is the modern lining material that's both loved and hated, the problem is that model Ts left the factory with an ideal material, which was also offered by some aftermarket suppliers until asbestos was deemed the cause of all human ailment from lung cancer to the heartbreak of psoriasis . . . leaving us to re-invent the wheel.

Perhaps a suitable material exists that hasn't been tried yet ?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris from Long Beach, CA on Monday, December 12, 2016 - 07:47 pm:

Terry. you are right I was just being timid and not wanting to scare folks. It God had invented Kevlar rather than cotton bushes and trees we would all be using Kevlar.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Thomas - Centerville, Iowa on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 06:44 am:

The drum will only heat if you let it slip. I understand that the brake drum will have to slip while stopping, but high/low and reverse?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 07:46 am:

Or, as Norm pointed out, they are misadjusted.

Also, whenever you are in a group of T's there always seems to be that one person who has to slip the bands forward and reverse, forward and reverse, forward and reverse trying to get into that parking place. It makes me cringe knowing they are either wearing the heck out of their bands or else overheating the drums. Neither is good. THAT is the person who, if they don't already, will swear they HAVE to have Kevlar next time they change bands.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 10:52 am:

And then they will gripe that Kevlar broke their drums.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Eagle Idaho Falls on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 01:21 pm:

As far as I am concerned Kevlar is "Bullet Proof". $;0)
I ordered Scandinavian last time and look forward to appreciating it's advantages as stated previously. Also I will follow Mr. Bingham's reports on his wooden bands.
"We're all learning here."
Rich


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 02:16 pm:

Kevlar will last just about forever, but used incorrectly, can damage your drums.

Having said that, I purchased my first (and so far, only) Model T about six years ago as a brand new, know-nothing newbie. _And the gentleman who sold me the car taught me how to drive it, so I was about as green as could possibly be. _My newly purchased Model T happened to be equipped with Kevlar band linings and it tolerated the rigors of a completely inexperienced driver learning on it rather well.

Having zero experience, but not being ignorant, I understood that one should slip Kevlar bands as little as possible, and when using the brake, it was important to pump the pedal to facilitate oil-cooling. _Not exactly rocket science.

Compared to the old heads on this forum, I'm still a know-nothing newbie; I haven't any experience with wood or cotton band linings and so, can't speak for what it's like to drive with them. _On the other hand, with Kevlar linings, I've had to adjust the bands precisely zero times and even as a newbie, have had zero difficulty with them. _They engage smoothly and don't chatter. _No down-side, at least as far as I'm concerned.

It happens that I have Rocky Mountain brakes, so the wear and tear on my power-train brake drum is reduced.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Eagle Idaho Falls on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 02:51 pm:

I have no doubt that Kevlar could be hard on the drums. In all fairness, I have driven 20,000 miles using them in 4 different cars with only one failure. A brake band locked up and burned out in a matter of seconds at speed without being allied. I assumed it had come loose at one end to do that. Riveting bands was not one of my better accomplishments.


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