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Old 07-13-2017, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bygrace View Post
...So when I look in the Concourse catalog, they show 1960 shoes to be 11&1/32. The earlier shoes were 11". Hmmm...
... I think I'll get shoes from out T-Bird specialists who seem to know the differences. Maybe look into radiusing them...
Drum brake systems are VERY low-tech which is exactly why they work so well. They are simple and as such, few things can go wrong. Disk systems are even more simple.

Back in the day, the only guys that arc'ed shoes were racing guys who shaved off every ounce of weight possible. Regular garages never did. There were no self-adjusters and because new brakes quickly go out of adjustment as they bed-in, garages offered the first brake adjustment for free. This was common practice.

Ford didn't make our 11" brakes. Vendors like Bendix did. If you go to and click on all the part numbers for Squarebird brakes you will discover, the same Squarebird brakes fit a host of cars in the same range of years like:
Chrysler, Dodge & Plymouth
just about all Ford, Lincoln, Mercury cars in all of North America
..and others like Checker.

One of our members in California got a "high-performance" drum brake job. I never heard of such a thing. When the drum is turned true (is there any other way?) and new shoes are mounted, you can expect braking so good your life can depend on it for many ten-thousands of stops. New shoe linings are ~3/16" thick. Why would a drum diameter difference of 1/32" matter? BTW, the arc goes by the radius which is, 1/32 divided by 2 = 1/64" or 0.0156". Fifteen thousandths, on shoes that are 12-times thicker!

I don't mean to bore you with math but consider this... If new linings fit 11" drums, then the actual steel shoe must be smaller in diameter otherwise the lining would never fit the shoe.

Bottom line... wear your shoes out. When ready, put new shoes on or go with disk brakes. BTW, disk pads also have a bed-in period so always go easy on new brakes. Each brake is unique and must not be judged until the bed-in process is complete. - Dave
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