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  #11  
Old 07-13-2017, 03:13 PM
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If you look in the shop manual you will see specs on the lining depending on your drum diameter. The standard is 11" (Wagner part # 160). The oversize is 11 1/32" (Wagner part # 264). Measure your drums and see where they fall. I've used both part numbers and haven't noticed any unusual wear. I don't think 1/32" is going to make that much of a difference.

John
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  #12  
Old 07-13-2017, 04:26 PM
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Yeah, If all else fails, read the manual? :-)
Measuring what I got sounds like a good idea too. Strangely, Concourse specifically lists 11" for late '58 and all '59 fronts. 11&1/32 for 1960 and early '58. It's almost like they know something.
Thanks for the adjuster feedback.
Mike
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  #13  
Old 07-13-2017, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
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 Rockauto.com 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
Hudson
Oldsmobile
Packard
Pontiac
..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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  #14  
Old 07-14-2017, 02:02 PM
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I like my power drum brakes. These seem adequate for normal driving as long as you know your limitations. I intended to overhaul both front and rear over the Winter, but from reading Dave's post, it's probably a waste of time and money. I like starting fresh just so I know everything is ship-shape. However, it seems you can upgrade disc brakes with better rotors and pads, but drum brakes are limited to their design and lack of further development.

Dean
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  #15  
Old 07-14-2017, 02:04 PM
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Got all my parts, ready to go on the first cooler day. Can't handle the heat so well at 77. (Years, not degrees).
Thanks. Because of you all I may not be 'going under' for adjustments.
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  #16  
Old 07-14-2017, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanj View Post
I like my power drum brakes. These seem adequate for normal driving as long as you know your limitations...
...However, it seems you can upgrade disc brakes with better rotors and pads, but drum brakes are limited to their design and lack of further development...
Drum brakes WERE quite adequate when everyone else had them too, and so were bias ply tires. Drivers had enough respect and courtesy for others, to put 'car lengths' of space according to their speed.

Not any more. Try giving a couple car lengths in today's rush hour traffic. By today's standards, classic brakes were weak but their horns were monsters. Now you know why.

Power disk brakes are amazing. They make your classic car stop just like a modern car. I have never heard of a single owner who went back to drums. The Squarebird retrofit could be easier (and it is for other cars). This change is one of the best moves you could make for yourself, your family and your car. It is well worth it. - Dave
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  #17  
Old 07-15-2017, 08:21 PM
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Cool day today, and going to be hot later, so got new shoes in with the self-adjusters according to the tips and info (part #s) provided here. Probably got the most help from the pictures. Oops, AND my wife. After all, it's her car. Thanks again. Mike
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