I was surfing the 2005 Forum and saw an item where someone had installed "Chicago" brakes (similar to RMs) backwards, and one comment was that the car would stop in reverse, but not in forward.
A light went on in my empty head and I thought, why not install ONE side of your Rocky Mountain Brakes backwards - then you would stop both forward and reverse!
How cool is THAT idea!
Or make a sharp turn in one direction going forward and a sharp turn in the other direction while backing up
Bob that would not be a good idea. Your brakes need to be to be even or else your likely to end up going sideways as one side locks up.
I have original AC's (small drum) on my '13. They work pretty good in both directions. Their advantage is that they are anchored at the back so you get some self energizing in both directions. So if you modify your RM's so they anchor at the back they would probably work decent in both directions.
Original Rocky Mountains, and the first ones reproduced, stop in both directions.
Two wheel brakes are minimal enough. One wheel brakes are not enough and would be downright dangerous.
Braking with one wheel would make the car pull heavily towards the braking wheel and may cause a spinout.
The best solution is to keep the transmission brake working with just a little more pressure than the Rocky Brakes. Then when you back up, push hard. You should also keep the parking brake working so it applies just before the Rocky Mt brake when you pull on the hand lever. That way if you have a drive train failure while going uphill, it will keep you from rolling back.
Is it very difficult to set the brakes up as you described? Perhaps you have a particular technique or sequence to follow to get those results? What about the hand-operated brake that came with the car? Is it possible to keep that unit working at the same time as the RM brakes?
The answer is 'yes'.
Rebuild and test and be sure the Ford emergency or parking brake works well to hold the T fast when parked. This means retaining the stock linkage rods to the clutch lever.
Then have a good working transmission brake band, any good lining, Kevlar, Wood, etc, but just have it a bit loose so the tranny brake holds when the pedal is about down all the way.
Finally, add the Rocky Mountain brake set-up, the modified brake pedal with the linkage to the RM equalizer bar, then the rods going from the bar to the RM brakes on the rear.
Now you have all 3 systems in your favor. The parking brake for cranking or parking, the tranny brake for rolling back off the trailer, or double stopping when you have too. And the RM brake for the rear wheels as the normal driving service brake.
If you are using the Rockys on a small drum axle, you put the Rocky drum against the hub, then the parking brake drum inside. You will need longer bolts which are available at the vendors. Stake the threads. You will most likely need the axle shims too, to keep the bolts from scraping inside. Try without the key first without the shim, and if it scrapes, put in the shim and key. If you have a large drum axle, just install the parking brake as usual. After you have everything in place and installed the adjustments are as follows. First the parking brake with the clutch linkage. The transmission brake is set to lock when the pedal is about 1 inch above the floor board Adjust as you would normally. Then adjust the Rocky shoes to have 20 thousandths all around the drum with the brake off. Adjust the rocky rods equally for each side to apply one notch past where the parking brake starts to apply so that with the parking brake on tight, it also applies the rocky brakes. Last, adjust the link between the brake pedal and the equalizer so that it applies the Rocky Mountain brake first and with a hard push it will also apply the transmission brake.
How is it original RM's worked in reverse and not the modern ones? Were they anchored diferently also?
While returning from one of the cenennial tours last year, I found where some idiot didn't tighten the lock nut on the Rocky Mountain brakes control rod and it unscrewed on one side. Touching the brakes tried to swerve the car into the next lane. Getting shut down with three guests in the rear and my wife beside me wasn't fun. we found a parking lot and the idiot fixed it right!
I have pics of original Rockies but I can't post pictures so I can only tell you they are anchored in the back, about 1/2 way around the drum from the ends of each band.
They work equally well in both directions but not as well going forward as the repros do.
When i get my Leschubert front brakes on I'll be able to stop on a dime and get 5 cents change!
Here is an adv on the 'large drum' Rockies for the Improved Car, the design seems similar to the current reproductions to me...
Ford Owner and Dealer Feb 1927
You will notice that the anchor is at the back about 1/3 way around the bottom of the band on these originals.
That's not a very good picture in that advert., the anchor is at the 8 o'clock position as you look at the picture.
The new rockies have no anchor on the rear at all, but the band is anchored right by the radius rod on the end of the band that is at the bottom.
I have never seen a brake with that swing arm that the cable attaches to for pulling the brake lever. Looks like a 2 inch pull of the cable would move the arm about 3 inches.
My coupe has some unidentified outside brakes that are self energizing in both directions. The band, lever and lever pivot float on a have cast anchor. when applied the anchor moves a small amount to contact the bracket creating an self energizing anchor. It actually stops better backward because the movement of the brake pulls on the lever, plus the weight transfer.
I'm told that I have the original Rocky Mountain brakes on my car and work with stopping in both forward and reverse.
I have photos that maybe can help with your discussion.
Rocky Mountain apparently sold out to Tractor Train around 1926. They changed things around some, and are not the same as the earlier Rocky Mountain Steel products were. I guess they work equally as well, but have never seen them on a working car, only at swap meets. Orlando has the only complete original set I have ever seen, and he has been really helpful on the part I'm interested in. Original Rockies had no steel rods, only a 3/16 cable and equalizer. The originals have cams at the rear for adjustment, whereas the Jack Sunderlin reproduction made in the 60's did not. Jack was not a mechanic, and proably didn't understand the use for them, so he did not incorporate them into his design. Too bad.