Original Wheel Cylinders

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tnswt12
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Original Wheel Cylinders

Post by tnswt12 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:05 am

Anyone know the name brand of the wheel cylinders the 57 TBird shipped with from the factory?

Oldmics
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Re: Original Wheel Cylinders

Post by Oldmics » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:45 am

In my books ,I found that the actual shoes were manufactured by Bendix. I would assume Bendix would only guarantee those shoes if they supplied the adjacent wheel cylinders.

There is a an ID size for those cylinders

Fronts - 1.125
Rears - .9375

Hows that "E" Bird a runnin ?

Are you going to Sarasota for the CTCI event?

Oldmics

tnswt12
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Re: Original Wheel Cylinders

Post by tnswt12 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:08 am

Mr. Gil suggested the wheel cylinders may have been Bendix since that was also the brand of the master cylinder. However, along that same line of thinking, the power brake booster was Midland. I quizzed several senior TBird owners and most came up with either Bendix or Wagner Lockheed. Since the master cylinder and shoes were Bendix it is a good possibility the wheel cylinders were also Bendix. The bottom line, no one seems certain though.

The E-Code is not running so well presently because I have it jacked and sitting on four blocks. The car developed a severe pull to the right when I applied the brakes so I pulled the wheels several days ago. I've never seen four wheel cylinders gunked in such a mess of sludge and corrosion. It's obvious the previous owner didn't like to do brake maintenance. Shortly after purchasing the car, I flushed the brake lines but didn't have the intuition to pull the wheel cylinders and inspect them because at the time I didn't have a braking issue.

I salvaged the rear wheel cylinder casings and rebuilt them; however, the front wheel cylinder walls were too far gone so I replaced with new Wagner cylinders, still USA made. Before installing the brake lines to the fresh wheel cylinders, I capped off the brake lines, and one at the time, I flushed each line while my helper worked the brake pedal. Once about 12 ounces of fresh brake fluid was added through the master cylinder we had clear fluid exiting the lines at each wheel. My plans are to finish the brake work tomorrow. No brake shoes are needed at this time. I've attached a picture. By the way, the correct bore for the front cylinders is 1 1/8" while the rear bore is 15/16", as you stated. I believe the 55 TBird has a different size interior diameter cylinder on the rear. I do plan to do Sarasota; I hope to see you there John. Possibly you can bring that paperwork that we talked about in the past? I haven't forgotten!

I hope this mention of replacing wheel cylinders helps someone else down the road.
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Last edited by tnswt12 on Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

T-Bird Bob
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Re: Original Wheel Cylinders

Post by T-Bird Bob » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:23 am

Hello TSNWT12,
If I were you, I would still change all shoes and hardware on your brake job. You stated that the maintenance history of the brake system is unknown, but neglect is obvious - so that sounds like a never ending nightmare of brake jobs.
Believe me, I went through an entire box of cotter pins! I can do drum brakes now in my sleep.
Here are some funny things that I discovered on "unknown" brake systems:
-brown sludge coming out of wheel cylinders when trying to bleed (i.e. not bled in years)
-undercoating blocking off bleeder screw (i.e. not bled in years)
-one weak return spring leading to a pull
-rear shoes gotten wet with brake fluid, but not changed (on a job where somebody changed wheel cylinders, but not the shoes) - so the rear axle locked up.
-slight differences in hold-down-spring pressure also creating a pull (front axle).
And I have only two cars!

Due to the self-energizing design of the drum brakes, even a small change in friction or forces ( i.e. springs) will influence brake force dramatically. If it is different left to right, you get a pull (front wheels only, differences in rear brakes hardly pull...).

I recommend to always change all hardware when your encounter an unknown braking system! It saves you days in the shop and fearful moments on the road!

Have fun,

Bob

Joe Johnston
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Re: Original Wheel Cylinders

Post by Joe Johnston » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:23 am

I would also like to add: While y'all are working on drum brakes, check the areas where the shoes rub on the backing plates. Often a groove is worn in which causes the shoe to hang up or catch. Normally a bit of grinding will smooth out the ridge and wiping with grease will let the shoe slide smoothly. If severely worn, the depression will have to be filled with weld and then ground smooth. Its always the little things that cause big problems.
Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. J F K

55-57 VTCI Forum Moderator
57 Inca Gold-Colonial White
63SR Silver Mink

tnswt12
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Re: Original Wheel Cylinders

Post by tnswt12 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:10 am

All ~

Very good points indeed. I did verify the rub platforms on the wheel plates. Those areas seemed to be fine. And I did Lubriplate.

Springs! In the one photo I posted you will see there are now four springs installed on the two front brake hubs. The horizontal spring was missing in these areas. I added them back thinking there must be a good purpose for them on the '57 model. I received a blood blister on one of my fingers trying to install the darn things with a pair of pliers. After failing, I reconsidered and found that installing the horizontal spring between the two shoes while the shoe assembly is on the floor is helpful. That and the adjusting spring at the bottom too. When taking the shoes to the wheel plate, I installed the left shoe, leaving the right shoe to dangle so to speak. Once the left shoe was fastened using the twist cap and small spring, I was able to grasp the top of the right shoe and with that additional leverage, install the right shoe to the wheel cylinder arm and position it into place. The horizontal spring was very cooperative using this method of install.

I have new front and rear shoes in my parts stash, but decided I would clean the shoes on the car with brake cleaner and see if I could get a few more miles from them, after all, they have so few miles on them. Believe me, this area of the car is not an area that is going to be ignored going forward. After this experience, I am now a firm believer that regular brake maintenance is a must, especially if one resides in a high humidity area as I do.

Like many that have taken the challenge and competed their own brake work it really turns out not to be such a tough job, just daunting in the beginning. I too feel like I could do it with eyes closed now. But I guess I should wait until after I have the first test drive before sticking my foot in mouth.

Daddio
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Re: Original Wheel Cylinders

Post by Daddio » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:42 am

I've had so many brake issues over the years (I guess I don't drive my classic cars enough) that now I make it a habit to bleed my brakes every spring before even moving the cars.
I bought one of those bleeder devices that works off my compressor, making it really easy ... now it's a one Old Guy job.
Ounce of prevention, pound of cure.
Mike
1956 TBird
1959 Cadillac Biarritz
Massey Ferguson 165
2005 Lincoln LS
2014 GMC Yukon

tnswt12
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Re: Original Wheel Cylinders

Post by tnswt12 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:12 pm

Today the brake system was bled and the car test driven. After a few more adjustments, and more test drives, I figure I'm good to go for now.

The bleeding process took longer than I wanted it to due to the fact my helper was not around today. During the final test drive the car stopped straight when I took my hands off the steering wheel and pressed down hard on the brake pedal. That feat in itself is rewarding because of the terrible right hand pull that alerted me to all this necessary brake work in the first place.

I hope this information helps someone else down the road.

T-Bird Bob
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:00 pm

Re: Original Wheel Cylinders

Post by T-Bird Bob » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:50 am

Hello All,
Since this is an educational thread, I want to add something.
I bought the drum brake tool set from harbour freight for $13 and it was totally worth it! But if you are stingy, I bet you can borrow that also from your car parts shop.
Here is what it is:
https://www.harborfreight.com/Drum-Brak ... 63640.html

Best description of drum brake work is in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5j3sKgNoEs

I am not sure if it is described in the video, but the hook-end of the pliers lets you pull the lower connecting spring in place. I also used it to install the springs on the soft top swing bar.

Have fun doing brakes yourself! It s not magic! Just watch out that you don't push on one side of the wheel cylinder when the shoes are off - it will pop and you have to bleed. It is always recommended to bleed after brake work anyways.

Good luck!

Bob

tnswt12
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Re: Original Wheel Cylinders

Post by tnswt12 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:05 pm

This post original started with the question of the brand name of the wheel cylinders on the '57 Tbird.

The other day I was fortunate enough to purchase from an online auction two (still sealed) FoMoCo front end wheel cylinders. Part numbers AD 2062 A and AD 2061 A. I am going on the assumption these cylinders are original to the boxes as the boxes were sealed.

I opened the boxes last night and would anyone care to guess the name brand of the wheel cylinders I found inside?
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CSavaglio
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Re: Original Wheel Cylinders

Post by CSavaglio » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:07 pm

I hate to possibly throw a monkey wrench into this and it may or may not make a difference...

First, I think it's awesome folks are out there researching these cars to this level.

So, a large manufacturer like Ford needed to keep the assembly lines running. Any delay was a major loss of money and would be avoided. With all the old cars I've worked on, owned, and pulled parts from, I have found that with things coming from outside suppliers, they would use what was cost and time effective. Meaning that, to keep the line going, if a supplier couldn't keep up with the demand or had a delay, a different supplier would be sourced. Or, multiple suppliers could be used at different or even within the same factories. Multiple suppliers could have been contracted from the outset. Ford didn't purchase and stockpile all the parts they needed for the duration of the model year at the beginning of production. Parts flowed in every day from all over. There were a lot of variables and parts supplied to the parts counter adds another.

That all said, I'm curious what brand is in the NOS boxes...

Chris

Joe Johnston
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Re: Original Wheel Cylinders

Post by Joe Johnston » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:24 pm

Absolutely true. I worked at a GM foundry and we made some castings for Ford, Chrysler, Bendix, Dexter, Detroit Diesel, American Motors, Kelsey Hayes or any other company that had the need and the money. Often several smaller suppliers were used when production demand exceeded capacity. To complicate things, although we made the castings, they had the appropriate trademarks or logos on them not ours.
Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. J F K

55-57 VTCI Forum Moderator
57 Inca Gold-Colonial White
63SR Silver Mink

Daddio
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Re: Original Wheel Cylinders

Post by Daddio » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:40 pm

Dammit tnswt12 tell us!!!
OK I'll play along ... WAGNER
Mike
1956 TBird
1959 Cadillac Biarritz
Massey Ferguson 165
2005 Lincoln LS
2014 GMC Yukon

tnswt12
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Re: Original Wheel Cylinders

Post by tnswt12 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:57 pm

Chris you and Joe popped my balloon!

Of course, this being an aftermarket part is in no way indicative of the actual brand name part supplied on the car when manufactured. I get that, and intended to say just that when I revealed the brand name found in the box.

You guys got ahead of my game. I just don’t know if I can ever forgive you two :)

By the way the brand name is Wagner Lockheed found in the boxes I photographed. I've also seen Bendix come out of the box too. So, it remains up in the air as to what may have been installed on the car at the time of manufacture.

Interestingly enough, the condition of the two cylinders is surprisingly good considering the length of time they have been packaged. The exterior has some surface rust; however, the bores are in excellent condition and certainly the preservative oils applied during assembly has protected the interior. The storage environment has had an impact on the found exterior condition too.
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