Hi Geoff, You mentioned that you had the Brake hoses changed. It's a possibility that the wheel that's turning hot has a defect brake hose. When you apply the brakes might be o.k. under pressure, but they may not entirely release if the hose has caved in. I had this problem with my '79 Cadillac Eldorado. I didn't have any pulling 'cause it was one of the rear wheels. After replacing the hose the problem was solved.
Chris offers sound advice. If this is the case, John suggests you crack the bleeder valve and see if the wheel is free again.
I agree with John's suggestions but I'd like to 'talk' for a minute...
Hydraulic pressure should be the exact same on all wheels unless a line is restricted (like a de-laminated hose). I know the hoses are new so both front hoses SHOULD be ok.
Your shoes ride on three 'pads' on the back plate. Sometimes they wear a trench into the pads which usually makes the shoes 'hang up' then snap into service.
You can lift the shoes off the back plate and look at the three pads for each shoe. If the pads are worn, they can be filled-in with weld then ground or sanded flat.
Disk brakes do not pull. When you retrofit, the new disk brake system works exactly like your modern driver, if it's done right.
If you are going to retrofit, stop spending money on your drum system and put that money towards the components you need for power disk brakes. Now that you are a paid member, we have extensive info in the 'Members Only' section pertaining to the parts you need including part numbers, cost, etc. - Dave
Dave is correct that disk brakes is the way to go. However, being the obsessive person that I am I would have to find out what the problem is before I gave up. After all this isn't normal brake fade that you are experiencing. This is a failure of the braking system to work as designed. With all the new parts that you have installed there's no reason for it not to function as well as when it left the factory. There can only be a few possibilities. Either the springs are not strong enough to force the shoes back to their at rest position, the shoes are hanging up on the backplate, or the fluid pressure isn't releasing either due to a blockage, or the master cylinder piston not returning to it's proper position.
I am like John: I have to know what is the issue. OCD I guess.
So this weekend I will re-create the issue, drive the wheel until it is hot, jack it up, try to spin. If it is difficult (which it will be), then I will crack the bleeder valve and see if I can relieve the pressure.
I am 99% sure the hoses are fine, as they were replaced twice to make sure it's not the hoses.
I am not spending any more dough on this, as I have already replaced everything once..except the springs John mentions below.
I can watch the shoes/cylinder move in and out when I have the brakes pressed, but something about this right brake just isn't right. Seemingly, I have tackled all the mechanical stuff except replacing/repairing the master cylinder. Even if I go to discs, a faulty mc will create still create a problem, is that true?
So I guess it's time to start tracing the issue back to the hydraulics as John says. It's only about time right now, not parts or $$$.
I love a good mystery.
Brakes and Pull to Right
Ok, so we had a little misfortune that turned to gold today.
Here's what happened. After doing all my checks on the brakes, me and the Mrs. went out for a shake down. Cruise to the beach, see a little sea, have a little lunch.
Down to business: While driving home (about 2 miles from home), some "poor driver" pulled out directly in front of us and I slammed on the brakes! Right wheel (or maybe both?) squealed, and I heard a "pop" under the hood. Sounded like my knee when I injured that years ago. Didn't hit him, but I wanted to do so.
I pull over to the curb because the Bird just wanted to go that way. You talk about alignement issue, this car just wanted to circle the globe to the right, as far as she could go. So, at 10mph I walked her home, barely using any braking, for when I did it sounded like nails on a chalk board. I am being long winded so I will try to get to the point.
When I got her home, I immediately pulled her up on jacks, removed the front tires and got under the car.
See photo below, that strut arm moved about 1" forward, maybe a little more. Big issue, but I thought that must have been the pop I heard, and said, "Oh, I can fix that."
While I am under there, the mail arrives with my new lower ball joints. Well, I am here, let's get to work and replace at least the right Lower Ball Joint.
I once again removed the Lower Control Arm, called simplyconnected, and said, "Is this thing (ball joint) pressed in to the lower control arm?"
"Nope, you dope! said Dave, "there are 3 bolt and nuts there holding it in. Just give it a love tap with a hammer and out it should pop."
Yes, it did. Out it came, and on went the new Lower Ball Joint.
Speed ahead to where I re-installed the LCA, put the wheel up on ramps, and tightened the loose nuts I left to ensure I tighten them while not suspended.
Put her back on Jacks just to make sure I have everything and didn't leave any parts remaining. Re-checked the nuts, and everything was back together.
Test Drive: Took her out on the local streets and when I came to a stop sign I really let the breaks have it. NO PULL! A slight drift to the right, but the car doesn't feel like someone is grabbing the wheel from me and making a hard right.
Update: Wifey just returned saying it is pulling again. Out for a test drive around the block....Doggone it! Not as severe as before but still wants to turn right.
Oh, well...HAPPY FATHERS DAY everyone.
So, in conclusion:
Suspension had problems. I guess that strut just wasn't secure enough and kept allowing the front to move to the right. Now it seems like its fairly solid.
Needs an alignment but other than that, I can check those issues off the list. For now....
All the above is true, except the part where Dave called me a dope....he didn't....but he wanted to.
Miracles do happen. I am now a Suspension and Brake Expert! LOL!
Pics to follow......
Sorry to hear about your close call. At least you and the car came out unscathed. Unfortunately I suspect you still have your right front brake issue since your car is still pulling to the right. Those things don't fix themselves. A loose strut or bad ball joint isn't going to cause the wheel to overheat and lock up. I think you're back to square one with that problem.
I told Geoff he probably has two problems that are NOT associated with each other.
He called today and reported the wheel moved about 1-1/2" forward. Ok, that accounts for the trashed lower arm bushing. The lower arm should never move forward/backward. There is a strut mounted to his frame and to the lower arm that only allows up/down motion, not front-to-back.
Geoff, I urge you to disassemble that arm and inspect the rubber and washer parts. The washers are supposed to hold the arm from poking through.
If you lock up your brake, the body wants to push forward but your wheel wants to cram the strut backward. If the strut washers are trashed, it makes sense that the lower arm IS moving and pulling the car to the right. Once the wheel locks up, it is no longer a brake issue but a suspension issue.
I would get a long pinch bar and torque the lower arm backward and forward by hand. Notice what is allowing any motion. I also believe the 'snap' you hear is also from the strut.
Use all your senses. If the strut is solid, look closely at the frame where the strut is mounted. Something is moving and it's a very dangerous situation. Again, no lower 'A' arm motion front-to-back is acceptable.
Logic says; if the RH 'A' arm moves forward the car will veer LEFT. If the RH 'A' arm crams the strut backward, the car will veer RIGHT. An inch and a half in either direction is HUGE!
I only wish I lived closer to help you out. This is purely a mechanical problem that should be relatively easy to prove out. Remember, when you hit the brakes hard with the car going thirty MPH those struts exert thousands of pounds of force on the frame on both sides. The other end of the struts bolt directly to your OEM ball joints. Clean the frame area well and carefully inspect for cracks in the surrounding strut/frame members. - Dave
Lots going on here to think about and consider but the cause of 1.5" of movement should certainly be fairly easy to locate.
Which leads to another point:
We all probably drive our cars very easily and carefully, but once in a while we should slam on the brakes (preferably in a safe location and close to home:eek:) just to check and make sure everything should work in an emergency situation. I had to make a panic stop from 70 many years ago in my 57 and finally stopped BESIDE a restored Mustang. Thankfully there was a nice wide berm and no accident. This was the motivation to convert this car to disk brakes as the Little Bird linings are very narrow and were completely faded away after one hard stop.
Be safe & Happy Father's Day!
Happy Father's Day
It's a time of reflection, family and surfing! I am taking the day off!
Happy Father's Day to all of you "Bird-r's" out there!
Tomorrow I am back to work, so when I find time this week, I will crawl under Betty and get this figured out.
I agree, although the water here is a little too cold for my liking. Have a great Father's Day.
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