Front end braking shudder

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Joe Johnston
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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by Joe Johnston » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:55 am

I have a lathe and made up arbors to machine the drums front and rear. all I want now is to find a radius machine and I will be able to radius the new shoes.
I retired from a large machine shop and if you have access to a lathe with enough swing over the bed, you could fabricate a fixture to hold new brake shoes in the desired position while machining the lining off the OD. Not as easy as having the proper brake shop equipment but possible if a large lathe is available. Not my idea, but we did it in our shop occasionally for some of the factory equipment.
Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. J F K

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Karl
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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by Karl » Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:24 pm

Geoff,
I will have a look at that, If I can swing the drums than I surely will be able to swing the shoes. just need to have a plate to hold them.
Karl.
1963 Thunderbird Hardtop

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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by Joe Johnston » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:16 pm

If I can swing the drums than I surely will be able to swing the shoes.
That's how I was thinking! Even something made of thick plywood will hold the shoes because your tool bit will only be cutting lining material and nothing metal. Build and try the fixture with old shoes and then the new ones will be easy!!
Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. J F K

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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by Karl » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:35 pm

G'day Allan.
How did you get on with the front brakes and the adjusters?
Karl.
1963 Thunderbird Hardtop

hemicharger69
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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by hemicharger69 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:29 pm

Karl,

The brake shudder seems to have gone away for now. But, it could still be self-adjusting so could be too early to tell. The grease that I accidentally applied with dirty fingers seems to have burned off because the brake shoes are grabbing. The car pulls to one side slightly but I think that's because the brakes are still self-adjusting. I will know more in a few days.

Bottom line, the root cause was brake shoes were over-adjusting which lead to brake shoes coming in contact with drum. The contact to the drum resulted in hot spots which caused uneven braking and excessive wear on shoe lining.

The resolution for me was filing down the edge of the self adjusting lever until the lever engagement was approx 3/16" above adjuster bolt centerline. I had the long style brake shoes with shorter 10 15/16" adjusting cable. I did not machine the drum or reline the shoes.

The information you provided was essential to my fix. Without your assistance and this forum, I would have probably tossed out the whole system and done a disc brake conversion. Thank you!
1963 Ford Thunderbird, 390ci 4-bbl, 134K odo, purchased from original family owner Aug 2015.

hemicharger69
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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by hemicharger69 » Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:43 pm

I've driven 100-200 miles over past few weeks.

The brakes could still be over-adjusting or the shoes are not the same radius or not centered. I jacked up the front end and the wheels spin and rub >50% of the revolution. I know I should have turned the rotors and re-arced the brake shoe linings. Won't the shoes mate to the drum over time?

I'm weighing the cost of 'doing it right' versus reduced gas mileage until the shoes and drum become friends. Is this completely silly? I have a host of other issues I'm chasing with this old bird so it's not just the brakes.

The shudder has gone away. The grease on the shoes has ceased to be an issue and brakes have enough bite.

If a weeks go by and brakes begin to shudder again, I will suspect brakes are over-adjusting again and I will play with the self-adjuster 3/16" above center-line to 1/4"

What a pain (and joy)
1963 Ford Thunderbird, 390ci 4-bbl, 134K odo, purchased from original family owner Aug 2015.

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Karl
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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by Karl » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:47 am

Yes it is a pain and a Joy.
You say that the rotors should be machined, I take it you meant the drums?

I don't know but I suspect that if the shoes are not arced to the drums they will never bed themselves in properly. Like the tyres, if they are worn on one side and you have a wheel alignment done they will never correct the bad wear pattern but keep wearing uneven. I don't know.
With the 50% rubbing noise, if your drums are not turning on the same axis as per the hub this may cause the drum to run eccentric on the shoes. In the day when you purchased a new drum you received a new hub that was riveted to the drum. This is so it would run true. Today you only get the drum and when you place it on the hub over the wheel studs, it may be slightly out. I have heard that people have loosened the wheel nuts and have somebody stand on the brake pedal to centralize the drum but I have never done that. You could try this and see if it makes it better. But how would you do this if you changed the tyre and you are on your own?

From my experience when it comes down to the brakes the best way that I have found is to bite the bullet and do the lot at the same time on the left and right side of the car.

If you do go down this road you could purchase all the parts before taking anything of the car, that way you can still drive the car. If you do go that way try and get the shoes that are longer, that way the generic adjuster will work. I do have some short cables that I made up to solve my problem, if you need some I would gladly send you some.

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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by Karl » Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:30 pm

Here is some more food for thought.
Over the decades with all the parts that have been made for the brakes and various owners adding bits and pieces the way I look at it now is you have to work backwards.
According to the manual the brakes are 11" in dia.
I purchased a "new" set of brake drums for the front and they are made in China. They look very well made and I suspect that they will do the job well. I purchased these drums as spares for my car.
I haven't got the correct verniers to measure the inside dia of the drum but by using inside calipers and a steel rule I can get pretty close. Now the inside dia of the drums are 181mm, which equates to 11.062". One would think that the drums are worn out to begin with. However on the outside of the drum the maximum dia that the drums can be machined out to is 283.2mm, which is 11.149". This is way past the max dia specified in the manual but the drum is larger to begin with so therefore you can machine them. I suspect!!!

If I were to use these drums and have them machined out to the max dia, and the linings on the shoes were worn out then the adjuster will have to be longer to accommodate for the larger distance between the bottom of the two shoes.

what you have to be aware of is that it doesn't matter what the dia of the brake drum is "So to Speak". What ever size the drum is, if you place the shoes on the backing plate they have to be the same size at "A".

Image

Now the linings should be concentric with the drum and axle on the backing plate however the metal part of the shoes will not be concentric. This is because the secondary shoe has a greater thickness of material to accommodate for the self energising effect of the shoes. (The rear (secondary) shoe wears more than the front shoe (Primary). You can easily place the shoes on the backing plate and have them concentric by measuring the distance from the friction material to the outer edge of the backing plate at the center.
Now if the shoes are on the backing plate at the correct distance, the socket end of the adjuster should position the star wheel somewhere in the middle of the hole in the backing plate for adjustment.
The nut of the adjuster should be wound up close to the star wheel "B". This will allow for lining wear and future adjustment.
Dimensions "C" & "D" are for the nut and socket.

As far as all the self adjusting parts go, it doesn't matter what they are so long as the end result has the edge of the lever at 3/16" from the center of the adjuster. As you can appreciate, the further you have the shoes out the greater the effect this will have on the self adjusting components.

I my mind because the parts these days are not really the same, you have to think backwards to come up with the result that you want.
I hope this helps
Karl
1963 Thunderbird Hardtop

hemicharger69
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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by hemicharger69 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:20 pm

Thank you Karl. Very helpful pictures and explanation. Much appreciated!
1963 Ford Thunderbird, 390ci 4-bbl, 134K odo, purchased from original family owner Aug 2015.

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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by hemicharger69 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:11 pm

Karl,

The brakes started shuddering again. I would like to take you up on your offer for those shortened self-adjust cables. Please PM me with pay details and I will provide my address.

Thanks,

Allen
1963 Ford Thunderbird, 390ci 4-bbl, 134K odo, purchased from original family owner Aug 2015.

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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by Karl » Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:11 pm

G'day Allen.
I sent you a private message, did you receive it?
Karl.
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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by hemicharger69 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:16 am

Hi yall,

Sorry to bring up this old thread again.

But, the front shudder has not gone away in all these years.

It has gotten worse. And I replaced with more parts since original post.

At higher speeds coming to stop, the entire front end shudders like crazy. No shudder without braking any speeds. No shudder low speeds. Seems to be more towards the passenger side.

1. new passenger front spindle
2. new passenger upper/lower ball joints. upper and lower control arm bushings were not metal on metal when checked unloaded.
3. new passenger inner/outer tie rod end
4. new passenger front drum
5. new passenger brake shoes. Front driver was alright
6. new wheel cylinder
7. new adjuster tension cable and expander (thanks Karl!)
8. new tires
9. new front wheel bearings
10. tested rocking back and forth holding front tires at 3 and 9 oclock off the ground seems pretty tight

Wife/kids afraid to get in the car. I'm saddened by this.

Next thing will try in order:
1. Idler arm tightness
2. Strut bushings
3. Karl mentioned loading the bearing. Will try shaving inner bearing thickness but wheel seems no play
3. Front passenger hub. didn't seem to run eccentric.
4. steering gearbox

Need help from T-Bird wizards!
1963 Ford Thunderbird, 390ci 4-bbl, 134K odo, purchased from original family owner Aug 2015.

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Karl
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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by Karl » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:15 am

G'day hemicharger69.
Sorry to hear about your brakes.
I can understand how you are going to try your strut rods and other parts but I really think these are not your problem.
You say that you have replaced the passenger side brake drum? If you replaced just one side this is not a good practice. I believe that with the brakes if you do something to one side you should do the same to the other. However I don't think that this is your problem just something to keep in mind.

Your first images that you posted, the photo of the drum it looked like the drum was fixed to the hub. Is this correct? because you now say the you replaced the passenger side drum. Is it fixed to the hub or is it a new one that just sits over the wheel studs and the wheel holds the drum in position?

Can you post some more images?
Karl.
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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by hemicharger69 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:59 am

Karl,

Good question.

When I replaced the front drum, I had the hub removed from the old drum. SO now the new drum is detached from the old hub.

I did not replace anything on the driver side because it didn't seem like the shudder was coming from there.

If the hub was not true to the axle axis or eccentric rotating, wouldn't I feel bumpy ride at any speed and not just when I brake?
1963 Ford Thunderbird, 390ci 4-bbl, 134K odo, purchased from original family owner Aug 2015.

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Karl
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Re: Front end braking shudder

Post by Karl » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:13 pm

The hub is true to the axle because it is held in place with the bearings. It is the drum that is running out on the hub, and you won't feel anything until you brake that is when the shoes come into contact with the drum.

Try this,
Jack the car up on the passengers side, undo the wheel nuts until everything is loose, have somebody else apply pressure on the brake pedal and then do the wheel nuts up tight.
When the nuts are tight just check them again when the pressure is off the brake pedal.

No Guarantees see what this does.
My theory is that if the drum is out then when you put pressure on the brakes the shoes will center the drum-see what happens.
Karl.
P.S. if this works then whenever you change your wheels you will have to go through this process.
1963 Thunderbird Hardtop

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