I’ve researched previous MTFCA threads on this topic and couldn’t find a discussion. I’ve put jackstands under the rear axle of my ‘26 tudor and placed the Warford in neutral. The LR wheel spins easily forwards and backwards. However, the RR wheel very sluggishly and stubbornly moves forwards and rear wards. Took the wheel, hub and drum off and the brake shoes move vertically nearly 1/2”. There are 4 indents -2 above and 2 below- guiding the metal rim of the brake shoes. I noticed the bottom right one is broken off. These “indents” are in the sheet metal backing plate. Are the other 3 too ‘open’ and should be closer to the shoe rim or is the missing one that necessary? The brake cam is perfectly horizontal and clevis pin isn’t under strain....
Hi George. We might as well get this into the archives in case there is a question on it in the future. I had the same problem on my 1926 coupe, in that one of the emergency brake shoe clips was worn off on both the right and left plates. Like you, I toyed with the choice of whether or not all four of the clips were needed, for being the lazy man I am, I didn't relish the thought of the work it took to replace them.
Most choices like this can be approached from the standpoint that, one of Ford's biggest concerns was to shave off every possible second that it took each Model T to go down the assembly line so, with this in mind, he designed it for economy and minimization by designing in only the crucial components and removing any that weren't necessary and if he thought that the brake shoes could get by with just three clips, he would have designed it that way, since the addition of a fourth clip would add a couple of minutes to the time spent on the line. Minutes he was trying to eliminate, for each minute the car spent on the line, multiplied by the thousands of cars, employees and parts each day, amounted to thousands of dollars in labor and parts he had to pay. Therefore, I decided that it would be best to go ahead and repair it properly in case the fourth clip was crucial in providing the support necessary to ensure the brake shoes make uniform contact with the drums or that, in leaving the clip out would I risk the chance that, without the necessary support, the shoe might become cockeyed and not make the necessary contact to ensure that the emergency brakes provided the maximum stopping power they were designed to have.
Since I had both drums and plates off, I found that all of the clips were badly worn and barely holding the shoes on, so I ordered eight new clips from Snyder's (if they are still available, as I did this in 2009) and using the cutoff wheel of a dremel tool, carefully cut off the heads of the original rivets. When the clips arrived, I riveted them on, using the right size steel pop-rivet making sure the rounded head was on the visible side so that I could dab the hole with some epoxy putty like JB Weld and formed to look like an original rivet. Dab on a dollop of black paint and it is hard to tell.
I think you will be glad you did it this way as it will give you the peace of mind that you did not sacrifice the safety of your T for doing it the easy way, instead of the right way. Good luck. Jim Patrick
Many thanks Jim. First item on the agenda tomorrow is to call Snyder’s and order some clips. And all this time I thought those 4 brake shoe ‘guides’ were punched into the backing plates. You’ve been very helpful for my future safety...:o)
Glad I could help, George. Stay safe.
The lugs to hold the shoe in place varied over the Improved Car, the early backing plate carries riveted lugs. The next style has punched clear thu so there is a slight opening. The last design (3) has punched but a disc spot welded over the punched in place lug.
And here is an oddity, got this in email, the backing plate sure seems Ford original, but note the stamping of perhaps steel sheet numbering from the supplier of the steel to Ford
Thank you Dan. Mine is like the left-most example. I was not aware there were punched brake shoe guides. So if the punched guides are broken or worn off, would you recommend hammering closed the remaining punched guides and drilling holes and riveting on the 4 brake shoe clips like I have on mine or leaving the good punched guides and installing replacement clips to replace only the broken off guides. My '26 coupe was an early improved model, manufactured in March of 1926. Very interesting. Thanks again. Jim Patrick
My question exactly Dan. My backing plates are like your #2. On my RR, one of the punched out shoe guides is gone completely and another is damaged causing excess movement of the shoe. As stated above, I intend to order these clips tomorrow. Simply position them on the backing plate, drill 2 pop rivet holes ?
Thanks for the picture. This hasn’t been discussed before here.
Yes to both. Had to do that to one backing plate I had, the formed lug was just gone, so made one from sheet stock, and riveted it with s.s. Pop Rivets. Used 2 rivets, side by side.
My replacement was a bit wider than Ford version, but cupped the brake shoe edge just fine. You do have to have all 4 lugs in place around the circumference of the backing plate.
With Lang's providing a replacement, I would use that now if I had to.
Very useful discussion. I learned a lot! I’m glad you revived it, George. Looks like Dan is the real expert on the improved T. LOL! Jim Patrick