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  #1  
Old 01-06-2018, 07:28 PM
Russ Thurber Russ Thurber is offline
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Default Treadle-Vac Issues

I am finishing a # 3 resto on a 1958 Bird. I am a desperado in search of a solution to my brake problem. ALL components are new with the exception of the treadle-vac booster. I have adjusted and bled the brakes thoroughly and still have pedal going to the floor when running, but have a nice firm pedal with an inch or so of play when not running. There does not appear to be any vacuum leaks anywhere. I have just enough braking ability to slowly get the car stopped at 15-20 miles an hour with about a half inch of remaining pedal at the floor. SCARY stuff. Also my research (via Thunderbird Headquarters) tells me that the correct master cylinder bore size (now on the car) is i ", but the original unit that came off the car has a bore size of 1 & 1/8". So what's up with this discrepancy? No big deal? Please HELP this very frustrated almost nut case. THANKS !!! Russ
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2018, 09:20 PM
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It looks that you will have to adjust the rod in between the pedal and the master cylinder. I had the same happening to me when i used a repair kit on the master cylinder and didn´t see that the new master cylinder piston had a deeper hole where the brake rod enters. Ended up with almost no brakes and the brake pedal almost on the floor. After adjusting the rod, the brakes work great.
Don´t you have the Kelsey-Hayes under dash booster in your bird?
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Last edited by Frango100 : 01-06-2018 at 09:33 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2018, 11:24 PM
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simplyconnected simplyconnected is offline
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Did you bench bleed your new M/C?
BTW, a one-inch bore should work just fine. Actually, it's easier to push but the pedal stroke is a little longer. - Dave
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2018, 05:35 PM
Russ Thurber Russ Thurber is offline
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Default Readle-Vac Issues

Hi Frank
Yes, the booster is under the dash, the bellows type. If I have to go under the dash to adjust the eccentric for lengthening the rod, I will have to remove the dash panel just to access the adjustment lever on the rod eccentric. Really ??? Not even enough room for my hand to begin getting up in there How much longer do you think the push rod needs to be to make a correction and could it be done with a tapered "button" type shim in front of the master cylinder piston to give me a longer reach?
Thanks for helping....much appreciated !!
Russ
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2018, 06:48 PM
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For some reason my bird doesn´t have the adjustable rod anymore, so I also had to put a "filler" shim inside the piston to make an adjustment. When I remember well I had put a 3 mm filler to make it work well.
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2018, 08:55 PM
Russ Thurber Russ Thurber is offline
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Default Treadle-Vac Issue

Hi Dave
Yes, I bled the master....air is out. Short of pulling out the dash panel, I don't know how I'm going to reach the rod eccentric to adjust the length, if that's my only option at this point. I might try installing a shim in the bore in front of the MC piston if it's necessary to get the right length.
Thanks for your help
Russ
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  #7  
Old 01-08-2018, 02:45 AM
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Russ, is the new M/C piston depth that much different from your original M/C? I would think you can simply adjust with the brake pedal bolt (which IS the eccentric). Simply loosen it and turn. You will see the rod change lengths.

I asked if you bench bled. It takes me about 20 pumps to get all the air out of a dry M/C. Doing this on a level bench is much easier. I use plastic tubes to return the fluid to the reservoirs. That way I don't waste brake fluid, I can see the air and I know when it's running clear. With some 'dry' M/Cs, I shade the output with my finger just to get things going while I pump the piston. YouTube has many videos regarding, 'bench bleeding'.

What brake fluid are you using?

If you get all the air out and properly adjust your wheel cylinders and your brake pedal rod, a one-inch bore M/C will work nicely. I am not a big fan of Treadle Vac boosters because they don't offer much assistance (even when new) and they are expensive to rebuild. I don't think there is much 'bang for your buck' after all is working again.

Part of the reason is, I believe every Squarebird that drives on our highways is in competition with modern cars that have disk brakes. Squarebirds do very well with power front disk brakes. It's one of the very best moves I made on our '59 Galaxie. Many of our Squarebird members have retrofit their cars. I haven't heard one complaint yet nor has anyone gone back to drum brakes (that I'm aware of). We use a two-stage 8" booster with a 1" dual-piston M/C. The difference in stopping is amazing. - Dave
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  #8  
Old 01-08-2018, 08:13 AM
OX1 OX1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
I would think you can simply adjust with the brake pedal bolt (which IS the eccentric).
Simply loosen it and turn. You will see the rod change lengths.
Wouldn't that just change the brake pedal height?

Anyone have experience driving one of these new. My mom got her 60 new, but I didn't think to ask how the brakes
were from ages -4 to 13 (and doubt she would have said horrible, not having driven any modern car with disks yet).

My first car, 63 dodge Polara had 4 wheel drum, manual, and they "stopped", but not very well,
especially since it had a 383 in it, so it wasn't slow.

When I got my 59 recently, all the parts looked re-furbed or new, but the brake pedal was still very low and the
brakes were barely adequate, just keeping up with traffic. I also had the underdash booster, which still worked, but
made almost no difference, even when I disconnected vac line to it (just to see).
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  #9  
Old 01-08-2018, 09:07 AM
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Dan Leavens Dan Leavens is offline
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Henry

My first car, 63 dodge Polara had 4 wheel drum, manual, and they "stopped", but not very well,
especially since it had a 383 in it, so it wasn't slow.


You brought back memories as my Father had a 63 Dodge Polara 383 with the push button / Park bar transmission. When I was a young 14 and my parents were out at a function, I took the Polara out with a buddy and literally smoked the brakes which the peddle went just about to the floor driving all over the neighbourhood. Placing the car exactly where my Father had it in the driveay I heard him say the next day to my Mother, that he needed to check the brakes as the peddle was soft Can't imagine why??
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  #10  
Old 01-08-2018, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OX1 View Post
Anyone have experience driving one of these new. My mom got her 60 new, but I didn't think to ask how the brakes
were from ages -4 to 13 (and doubt she would have said horrible, not having driven any modern car with disks yet).

My first car, 63 dodge Polara had 4 wheel drum, manual, and they "stopped", but not very well,
especially since it had a 383 in it, so it wasn't slow.

When I got my 59 recently, all the parts looked re-furbed or new, but the brake pedal was still very low and the
brakes were barely adequate, just keeping up with traffic. I also had the underdash booster, which still worked, but
made almost no difference, even when I disconnected vac line to it (just to see).
Although drum brakes are a far cry from today's discs you should have sufficient pedal where it's not going to the floor. Most of the low pedal problems with drum brakes come from not bleeding them properly or not having the shoes adjusted properly. It certainly takes a different mindset to drive with drum brakes, especially in high speed traffic.

John
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