Good to know on the drums. I looked online for a brake drum specification, most are listed as an 11" drum. This REAR BRAKE DRUM from Chevs of the 40's calls out a maximum diameter of 281.7 mm or 11.090 inches. If you still need me to pull a drum and measure it, let me know. I should have some time Saturday afternoon.
I also want to point out the difference in brake drums for the 1947-50 (Huck) and 1951-55 (Bendix). They are not interchangeable as shown below.
Carl/Andy, Had to switch back to the forum from PM since PM does not allow pictures to be attached. Anyway, thanks Carl for your insights. To catch anyone else following this thread, based on everything that Andy and I have checked you think that the only two potential problem areas left are brake drums or brake shoes. Andy and I thought about the drums (in fact were hoping that my drums had been 'turned' to much). Not the case. I measured the inside diameter of my drums and they were 11". Andy found somewhere on line that new drums were 11.09" inside diameter. So we concluded the drums were not the problem. That leaves only the shoes. I will order a new set of rear shoes tonight from Classic Parts unless you or Andy have a better idea. I did receive a new rear wheel cylinder today from Classic Parts and it is the same size as the one that I have installed. I have attached a photo of my rear cylinder adjusted so that there is just a hint of a drag on the drums. As you can see the adjustment screws are 'way out' rather than close in as you would expect with good drums and new rear shoes.
If you have time, I would still like to know if you can 'manually' pull the PB cable and engage the lever/extension bar to move the forward brake shoe with the adjuster turned in. If you can activate the PB doing that, your brake shoes may be the culprit........
Andy, I will check it on Friday. Carl/Andy, I will also order a new set of rear shoes tomorrow. I'll let you know what happens. I Andy/Carl, just out of curiosity if either of you have new or near new rear shoes can you measure the thickness of pad material? Tkx
Andy, I am out of town for the next week or so. I will check your measurements when I return. I have to tell you I am not encouraged that the shoes will be the problem. I think the pads would need to be 3/8" thick to make a difference.