HI Folks just want to check and see how long the different bands last and the pros and cons.
There seem to be 3 different types and Woven which I assume is cotton, Kevlar and wood.
How long do each of them last and how hard are they on the hardware. I also assume the original equipment had the cotton bands in them but don’t know for sure.
I have a 1926 Roadster and want to drive it in a few local parades and that is about it. Maybe a trip to work now and then occasional car show and it is all flatland here so nothing to tough.
Just looking for some opinions on the differences and what I should use.
I use the Kevlar. Unless it's raining I enjoy driving my car everyday from May until November. In five years I've seen very little deterioration. With what little driving you're planning any of the band materials should work just fine. A lot of guys on the forum like the wood bands, some use the fiber. Some don't care to much for Kevlar.
Your driving habits and conditions will determine longevity. As long as you drive the Model T as it's suppose to be driven, you'll be fine with any one of the material.
My '24 came to me with new cotton bands. Not sure what brand, they are white. So far I have over 3000 miles on them with minimal wear. I have AC brakes, so my brake band only gets used if I really stomp on the pedal in a panic situation. The reverse band doesn't get used much, so that leaves the low band as the one most likely to wear out first. I have another band already set up with a kevlar lining for the future day when I'll have to replace the low band.
I would like to know if someone can tell me how you know it is time to change the linings? Is there a thickness, look or what?
I also believe I need to change my linings. I would like to know how you can tell what linings are currently on the car. Mine have what appears to be off white with red thread running through them. The brake lining is very thin. The other two look much thicker.
Pedal hit the floor and the car won't move
Or in the case of the brake pedal, car won't stop.
Post a picture of the top of your transmission with the inspection cover removed and the experts will look it over with their calibrated eyeballs.
I prefer the Guinn wood bands.
Tom, I hate to simplify it but, if your cars stopping and going okay, and if your not getting a lot of loose fabric from the bands into your transmission and around the mag post and you're not running out of adjustment on the pedals you're fine. The only real way that I can think of to check your bands is to take them out of the transmission and look at them. If you're going to do that though, just for the heck of it as long as they're already out; change them too. Part of the inspection on the inside of your transmission can also include the condition of your drums. Look for grooves from the hand rivets or cracks in the outer perimeter surface where the bands ride.
Not very long you use then like this:
Some complain that Kevlar bands will overheat the drums and cause them to break. I think that has to do with driving style. I use Kevlar and a heavy foot. By that I mean I'm aggressive with the pedals. It's friction, turning drums rubbing against the band linings, that makes heat. So starting out I tromp down as hard and as fast as I can without stalling the engine, to have as little slippage as possible. Keep that pedal down hard so the drum doesn't turn, and there's no friction. I expect these band linings will outlast me.
Gerald - My first thought when you asked,...."what type of bands to use?",....was that you'll get all kinds of different advice about whether to use either cotton, wood or Kevlar. Each has their advantages/disadvantages, and, here's something that you won't hear very often, but I really don't see a problem with a mixture for that matter. As Mike said, it sounds like with the light use you'll be giving the car, the type of bands you use won't much matter. Personally, I really like the soft "feel" of cotton, but wood bands don't make "lint" to clog up oil lines, and with wood, there's little worry about heat that could crack a drum like what could happen with Kevlar if adjusted too tight, however, Kevlar is probably the most durable if kept properly adjusted. But if you are somewhat hard on bands as some folks are, the wood would last longer than cotton and wood might be a good compromise. It is a tough choice,..... FWIW,..... harold
Gerald - I think I've repeated a lot of what others have said, because I STARTED this post several hours ago and was interrupted and didn't finish it 'till just now,.... sorry,.... harold
I have Kevlar bands in our '25 coupe. A few years ago, I got stuck on a dirt country road at the bottom of a hill in the spring after the frost went out with one of my daughters and her son. Those of you that live in areas that freeze in the winter know what I mean. When the frost goes out, the mud is VERY deep and loose. I had to plow ahead and back up MANY times, leaving six inch + deep ruts. I would hit it, back up, wait a bit, and hit again. It took many times to get over the hill, but I made it. I don't think I would have made it if I had anything other than Kevlar bands. I did wait a bit after each "assault" on the hill to allow the drums to cool. It took awhile, but the old "T" got us home. JMHO Dave
Cotton (Scandinavia) is probably the easiest on your drums, but is the least tolerant of poor driving habits. While I have no first hand experience, it is my understanding that the new Scandinavia bands don't hold up well at all. Something about how tight they are woven vs. the old Scandinavia. These bands can produce fuzz that can clog up your oil line.
Kevlar will probably last the longest, but can be hard on your drums if you use poor driving habits (Slipping the bands). People swear by them for their longevity. My opinion? If you don't slip your bands, you don't have to worry a whole lot about longevity. If you do slip your bands, wouldn't you rather your bands fail before your drums? So it's kinda a Catch 22 to me. By the way, these can also produce fuzz that can clog your oil line.
I prefer wood. Once they are worn in and seated, they require very infrequent adjustment. Maybe not as infrequent as Kevlar, but certainly months and even years between adjustments if driven properly and they won't overheat your drums. Somebody on here the other day made some reference to splinters clogging his oil line, but that has not been my experience and frankly is the first time I've heard it. They don't produce fuzz or even sawdust when they wear. The material just disappears into the oil and goes out when you change it. I would consider splinters damage or a defect, not wear.
Im undecided on my T. I know what I had on my last one but its not really an option anymore. I started with wood bands (ones my dad had made years ago) but after many thousands of miles they wore down. I think it had more to do with all the mountain driving and it being my first T. I pulled them out and my grandfather lined them with asbestos bands. I never had an ounce of problem with them. Given the option I would run asbestos in a heart beat if I could find some. This leaves me with wood or Kevlar for choices. Each has its advantages and draw backs as mentioned earlier. Ive thought about running an oil filter and if I do then I will go with Kevlar.
I get typically six years out of Scandinavian low and brake linings; both the old and new kinds. On the other hand, I've seen a set of Scandinavians wear out in a couple of trips in other cars. It's all in how they are treated. Wood is my next preference.
No lint problems with Kevlar - if you seal the ends with super glue. Ok, there are two producers of Kevlar bands and it's only bands from one of them that needs sealing done before they're oil soaked. You'll see if it's needed.
No need to use just one type of bands in a transmission ;)
I'm most worried about my reverse drum - they're most crack prone, so it got Scandinavia lining. It's not much used anyway, so it'll last. Adjustment needed just once in three seasons of use.
The low drum can also crack if abused, but gets a lot of use, so I have a cotton wood band there. Needs infrequent adjustments.
The brake drum is the toughest and also the most critical function - I've read a couple of stories at the forum about wood brake bands that burned out in one long hill, so I have a Kevlar band for braking.
It hasn't needed any adjustment after the first run in period, and I drive fast.
But for some parades and local ice cream gathering at low speeds, Scandinavia bands - even the modern brown tar babies - will last many years
(Message edited by Roger K on March 10, 2017)
The original Scandinavia bands are a woven mesh consisting of cotton, linen, and asbestos. They can often be found NOS on eBay and at swap meets, along with other brands sold back in the day including Ford, Montgomery Wards, Western Auto and many more.
The one below is part of a set of three Scandinavia pre - mounted bands. These are on early style non quick change bands. This set is going in my 1910 touring.
I scanned thru the threads and didn't see anyone mention WOOD from Jim Guinn. Everyone I know that uses them really likes them and they last forever.
No worries about overheating or fuzz plugging up your oil return line.
I use wood in my speedster since before the Kevlar came out. I think I'm on my third set in 21 years and attribute the wear to abuse on my part. I'm not always good to them.
I chose Kevlar for my pretty stock '26 coupe and while it gets fewer miles they have held up quite nicely over the last about 7 years. One caution with Kevlar bands is to set them relatively loose and use the longer/stiffer band springs to limit any no load drag on the drums. Set them so they won't slip under full power when fully engaged but don't go for a high pedal.
I had a set of the more modern Scandinavian bands in a touring car. They were the "tar babies" and wore quickly even with appropriate non-abusive driving style. NOS may be great but I won't be buying any more new ones until they start getting some rave reviews.
Depends a lot on the type of terrain you drive on. I'm a flatlander, so bands last me a very long time.
When we did a MTFCI tour in Maryland 15+ years ago, I wore out a set in 5 days, and Dad only made it 4 days on his. Both were brand new cotton before the trip. Dad's previous set of cotton bands lasted him 7 years (back when they were good). Now we both run kevlar and Dad has added Rocky Mountain brakes to his car.
For me, Kevlar's durability is important because, as I understand it, installing new band linings is an ordeal to be avoided, particularly if one has never done it before.
I bought my '15 Touring in back in August of 2010. _It was my first Model T, so the level of my driving skill was pretty low, but over course of almost seven years, I learned. That couldn't have been too easy on the transmission bands, but in all that time, they've never so much as needed an adjustment—and the darned Kevlar linings still look almost new. _How long will they last? _Well, the advertising says they may be the last set of linings you'll buy, and for middle-aged folks, that may very well be true.
Now, I've been given to understand that the toughness of Kevlar can actually be a disadvantage because an inexperienced driver, though poor technique, could accidentally overheat and crack the drums. _Well, again, I was an inexperienced clod and it took a while to develop good driving habits and in spite of that, nothing bad happened to my drums. _With that in mind, I think, with reasonable care, Kevlar should be okay for anyone.
Good info from all and thank you.
I know my brake band is done since it has grooved my drum and appears to be very thin. The other bands are about 1/8 to 3/16 thick.
I am curious as to what bands might be on my T. They are off white, maybe from oil, woven, and have a red thread running through them. Does someone know what bands they maybe???
I did not mean to high jack your thread!
Hopefully, we will both learn something here in the process. I am having a hard time also determining what linings to put on. I have read many threads going back to 2007 in reference to this matter and still can not decide what is best.
I am leaning towards the Kevlar bands, however, I am concerned about putting them on without removing the hogs head.
I am starting to think that you just need to experiment for yourself and see what works out.
Your mixing of the types of linings for your T seems well, you probably would have bought this set of linings back when.......they came with 3 types of material, 48 pick cotton for the reverse, extra heavy for low, and asbestos for the brake!
Wood didn't work for me, turned to mush (lots of hills), NOS Scandinavian best but not easy to find, and has to be adjusted often. Kevlar wears well but may not be best for drums. So I run kevlar, so far no problems.
I have been lucky so far and only needed 1 adjustment so far. Tim
My car is equipped with Kevlar when it was overhauled in )#. I had no choice at the time, it was dad's idea . Thought about changing them out ,but on inspection the drums are in excellent shape and used/ adjusted properly.
Tom, I changed the bands in my 1923 touring without removing the hogshead. The Service Manual says it should take 40 minutes, and I spent only a couple of weeks at it. That shows what inexperience can accomplish. I would work on it for an hour or two and then quit to cool down, and come back to it the next day. Would I do it again? Now that I know what does and doesn't work, sure. I might even get it done in a day. A couple of tips: Use the pull-around tool.
I made mine from a piece of pallet strap.
Install reverse first, then brake, then low. Others advise differently, but that's what worked for me.
Every band material we now have available to us will have its lovers and haters, that's just the way it is. I had some form of cotton band when i first got my T which decided it would rather shed to every region of my engine, rather than stick to the bands and do its intended job. After a thorough cleaning of fluff i went to Kevlar which has been totally drama free so far. Like others have mentioned, if you do decide to go with Kevlar its very important you adjust them properly...Best of luck on whatever decision you make.
With the tool Steve shows, getting the bands in isn't that tough.
Tedious, perhaps, but not that hard to do.
I had a brake band fall apart one afternoon on my way to our
weekly shop session at The Ranch. My intended project was
quickly put on the backburner and I got a crash course in speed
changing of the bands. I had about 2 hours to get the job done
or I'd be driving around with no brake band in the truck. With the
help of Magic Mike Robison, I got the proper tutorial and guidance
to get the job done in about an hour and was good to go before
We installed a cotton lining and it did not require adjustment for
a month, then rapidly went south, requiring adjustment just about
every time I drove it. The way I drive the brake doesn't get much
use. Not sure what that was about. The rebuilt engine is now done
and will soon be in the truck. It got Kevlar bands, making further
adjustments of the old one a moot point.
I have had the inspection cover off a couple times and cleaned the screen out. I did have a lot of lint in it the second time I took it off for not more driving than I had done. Basically around the yard and a mile down the road. The last trip was about 10 miles and I have not removed the cove yet. I have the body off the frame and thought this might be a good time to change them since I have no idea when they had been replaced but they do look new to me. I will pull the cover later today and take a look to see what they look like now.
I use wood, no issues to report, just reliable service