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  #1  
Old 06-13-2012, 12:14 AM
dennis dennis is offline
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Unhappy my 59 doesn't want to stop

Background: 1959 hardtop. complete restoration ground up. Here's the problem. I have all new brake system,master,wheel,lines,shoes and attachment hardware. drums were turned about 20 year ago(yes 20 years). but only had a few hundred miles on it when it was put in storage. I scuffed the drums.
This bird does not want to stop. I really have to stand on it to stop. The car does not have power brakes. Very scary.
Maybe I'm used to power with dis of modern cars and need to adapt.
Any of you have this problem? Know a solution to my problem?
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  #2  
Old 06-13-2012, 12:47 AM
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Did you pay attention to the rubber hoses? If not, go to rockauto.com and change them quickly.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:10 AM
Astrowing Astrowing is offline
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Also, if the drum inside diameter is more than 30 thousands over, they'll need to be replaced. A proper arc between the shoes and the drums makes an incredible difference also. Without a proper arc, only a small portion of the shoe actually makes contact with the drum. My fronts were at least 250 thousands over.

As a follow-up to Dave's remark, hoses can look pretty good externally, while they are just about completely blocked inside, preventing adequate hydraulic flow.
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Last edited by Astrowing : 06-13-2012 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:13 AM
philgarvey philgarvey is offline
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Have you adjusted the brakes? There should be a slight drag on the wheels as you turn them.
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2012, 11:06 AM
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GTE427 GTE427 is offline
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The majority of Thunderbirds were equipped with Power Brakes. Early 59 Thunderbird's had the Brake Booster located under the dash, not on the engine compt side of the firewall and some owners do not realize this at first.

If you do have Power Brakes, check the Booster or the vacuum supply to the Booster.
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  #6  
Old 06-13-2012, 11:09 AM
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Although the car will never stop as well as today's cars there's no reason you can't get satisfactory braking performance if you replaced all the components. As well as suspecting the drums as mentioned do you have the under dash booster. The majority of 59's came with that rather than manual brakes. A lot of people don't see the booster under the hood and assume they have manual brakes. There's a big difference. If that's leaking that will cause your brakes to be poor.

John
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:15 PM
dennis dennis is offline
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Default car won't stop

Thanks guys,
I replaced the rubber hoses when I restored the car. There is no power booster. This bird was entry level automobile. It does have power steering though. The interior was a cloth/nylon insert seats. I will adjust the brakes and if that doesn't help will pull the drums and check for sizing of drums. I'll also check the brake shoes for high spots.
Thanks for the response so quickly.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:49 PM
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I have lots of questions and I need more background.
What size bore was the M/C you removed?
What size M/C bore did you replace with?
Did YOU bench bleed the new M/C?
Did you rebuild your wheel cylinders?
What DOT brake fluid are you using?
Did your back plates have deep grooves where the shoes contact?
Does the pedal go to the floor, feel mushy, or what???
Were any changes done to the brake pedal or rod?

Describe in detail.

Drums that are a bit large should still stop your car. Shoe arcing will happen naturally as you use the brakes but will require rather frequent adjustments. When worn-in, your shoes should work like new. Larger drums (& rotors) make the car stop easier because the 'lever' is longer. Heat poses a problem, but not around town. - Dave
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2012, 08:25 AM
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There should be a diagnostic flow chart in your shop manual.

This should direct you to the problem(s).
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:06 AM
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I agree with what Dave is saying in terms of systematic troubleshooting which is what KULTULZ is also saying. Follow the procedure in the manual. Actually measure or verify what it asks you to do. Don't assume that anything is ok because a previous owner has told you it is ok. With data, you can make informed decisions and you can also ask others to help you make those decisions. Some verifications may require pictures.

As far as brake drum diameter is concerned, measure it. I would say that 60 thousands over is the absolute limit of a "bit large". Any larger than that, I don't think you're ever going to get acceptable brake performance. Ford advised oversize linings for 30-60 thousands over.
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