Brakes Yet Again

March 2006

I went to roll the car back a couple of feet and the car refused to move. A little investigation revealed that the driver’s side front wheel would not turn. The brakes had frozen. This will never do!

When I first got the car running the driver’s side rear brake would not release so I pulled it apart and rebuilt the cylinder. The other three wheels looked fine so I left them alone. That was probably a mistake. I had my oldest daughter slowly press the brake pedal to push the piston out a little and this is what I saw. Ugly, eh? And only one piston would move. The other was frozen solid.
The local NAPA was able to get the rebuilding kits. NAPA also was able to get the three flexible brake hoses on the car so I ordered them too. This is what I found when I pulled the front brake cylinder apart. Really ugly. One piston is still stuck in the cylinder bore when I took this picture. I had to soak it with penetrating oil and beat on it with a brass rod to get it loose.
When I honed the cylinder there were pretty serious pits in the bore. A new cylinder was $60 from Steven Allen Studebaker but brakes are not worth taking risks with. I ordered a new one.
Next it was time for the brake hoses. The drivers side front is the biggest problem because of this junction. This sends pressure from the master cylinder to both front brakes. To get this apart I had to remove the wheel cylinder from the other end of the hose, remove both brake lines, pop off the clip holding the brake hose to the frame, then unscrew the flex hose from the fitting. Kind of a pain.By the way the cylindrical metal object with the bolt at the top of the picture is the front shock.
The old hoses were dated 1979 so they were probably due. However the new hoses were different from the old ones. There is a washer-like bit on the old hose that fits into a recess on the frame around the hole in the frame bracket shown above. The new hose has a clip-like thing with ears that will not fit in the recess.
So I cut the ears off. That will work.
There are three flexible brake hoses on the car. The nice thing is they are all identical. Here is the new hose installed at the rear axle.
When the new cylinder arrived I installed it and put the new hose in. Its all good. However before tightening all the brake lines I neglected to make sure the hose was out of the way. So now when the front suspension is extended the hose hits the upper control arm. I was too lazy to take it all apart again so I put a rubber guard around the hose. I will keep an eye on it.
Next came the other front wheel and the passenger’s rear wheel. First the drum came off.
Then I removed the parts from the cylinder, honed it, cleaned everything, and reassembled with all new rubber parts and springs. Two of the 6 pistons were stuck in the bores which I think means 2 brake shoes were doing little or nothing to help stop the car
Then put it all together. This goes pretty quickly but I took a really fuzzy picture here. Once all the brakes were back together I bled and adjusted the brakes. Strangely the brake pedal seems softer than it did before. That might be because more pistons are moving then I had before .

Comments

Brakes Yet Again — 1 Comment

  1. Great series of articles. I also have a 41 Studebaker Champion Coupe. I have enjoyed reading about your car and you have also provided some good sources that I was unaware of. I also live in Ohio so maybe I will see you at a cruise somewhere.

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