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Question about brakes
#1347172 Wed Feb 19 2020 05:12 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 78
D
Shop Shark
Hello everyone. I haven't been on here in a while. My '49 3100 has been running pretty good until recently. Battery went bad back in late November, so with winter coming on, I thought I would wait until warmer weather to invest in a new battery. Bought a new battery Monday and got her fired up. Was going to run a short errand and when I started out of the shop and hit the brakes, the pedal went to the floor. I replaced the master cylinder with a new one about 18 months ago, bled and adjusted the brakes and had a good full pedal when the truck was parked back in November. I checked the master cylinder, and sure enough, bone dry empty. I checked around all the wheels, but I couldn't see any signs of wheel cylinder leakage. I did see what looked to be a little brake fluid on the left front tire on the inside. I'm thinking the wheel cylinder is probably bad on at least that wheel.

I've never changed a wheel cylinder before on one of these old trucks, but I guess it's time to learn how. Can anyone direct me to a resource that will walk me through the process? Also, should I go ahead and bite the bullet and replace all four wheel cylinders while I'm at it? Where's the best place to buy new wheel cylinders?

Thanks in advance,
Darrell

Re: Question about brakes
Darrell Day #1347176 Wed Feb 19 2020 05:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 239
B
Shop Shark
If you don't have a manual, that's a good place to start. The '48 - '51 manual is available online here at the Old Car Manual Project.

Take pictures before you disassemble. John Milliman posted a reminder sheet for brake adjustments a few weeks back (can't find it right now - apologies).

You suggest that one of the fronts is leaking, it would be wise to pull the drums off all four wheels and make certain that the one you suspect is leaking before you replace it, and that no others are leaking.

Others will chime in and offer more advice.

Have fun.

Bill


1947 3100 Advanced Design

Never, never, never, never give up. - Churchill
Re: Question about brakes
Darrell Day #1347190 Wed Feb 19 2020 08:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 8,950
Master Gabster
I would suggest doing all the wheel cylinders and the three rubber lines. I would also look at the hard lines very carefully. You will need a tool for installing the brake springs. Also it would be a good idea to leave one side together until the other side is done. That way you can compare the two.


1951 GMC 1 Ton Flatbed -- It is finally on the road and what a great time I have driving it!
1951 1 Ton Completed


My Chevy Master 4 Door is on the Road!
Re: Question about brakes
Darrell Day #1347213 Thu Feb 20 2020 12:15 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 783
Shop Shark
Here's the Huck brake adjustment guide that Bill referenced.

BTW, you just received some excellent advice from Bill and truckernix.

Attached Files
Huck-Adjustment-Guide.jpg (54.79 KB, 277 downloads)

Andy

His: 1947 Chevrolet 3100
Hers: 2008 American Saddlebred

"A Jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one." - Benjamin Franklin
Re: Question about brakes
Darrell Day #1347258 Thu Feb 20 2020 01:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 78
D
Shop Shark
Thanks guys. I appreciate the help. I'm going to attempt to tackle the project this weekend, or at least get started on it. I may have more questions as I get into it.

Darrell

Re: Question about brakes
Darrell Day #1347336 Fri Feb 21 2020 01:26 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 78
D
Shop Shark
I dove into the project last night. Got the two front hubs off. Figured I would do them first. As I suspected, the driver's side front had a problem. When I got the hub off, the brake shoes fell outward. The brake return spring was broken. There was brake fluid all over the brake shoes. Looks like the wheel cylinder is bad. I plan on replacing all four wheel cylinders and brake return springs, brake shoes and the two front brake hoses.

I'm not exactly sure what extra things I need to purchase to complete the job correctly. Can anyone help me out here?

Re: Question about brakes
truckernix #1347342 Fri Feb 21 2020 02:14 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 783
Shop Shark
Originally Posted by truckernix
I would suggest doing all the wheel cylinders and the three rubber lines. I would also look at the hard lines very carefully. You will need a tool for installing the brake springs. Also it would be a good idea to leave one side together until the other side is done. That way you can compare the two.


Darrell,

I think truckernix nailed it. A complete inspection of your brake system is in order. If you replaced the master cylinder a while back it should be fine. The rubber hoses fail from the inside to the outside and they're inexpensive. I'd replace all three of them. If the hard lines are in rough shape, replace them too. You might be able to find some at your FLAPS or you could purchase a pre-made brake line kit from one of our vendors. Another approach is to buy the hard line and fittings from your FLAPS to make your own brake lines. You will need a flaring tool and and a quality one in order to produce brake fittings that don't leak. Since the LF shoes are soaked with brake fluid, you might as well get all new brake shoes while your at it. Examine the locks on the pins. If they've been used several times they may be thin or break when removed. Review the manual: brake spring tool, brake fluid, a length of 1/4" tubing, a container for holding the brake fluid that you bled out of the system, etc.

Remember, your life is riding on the brake system and that's the last place you want to take the cheap way out.


Andy

His: 1947 Chevrolet 3100
Hers: 2008 American Saddlebred

"A Jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one." - Benjamin Franklin
Re: Question about brakes
Darrell Day #1347345 Fri Feb 21 2020 02:47 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 78
D
Shop Shark
Thanks Andy. You're exactly right about not going cheap. I've done minor brake work on newer autos, but never done extensive brake work on an old truck like this. I almost wish I had someone to walk me through it the first time.

The truck had a pretty nice restoration on it some time ago. I bought the truck from a place out in Kansas and brought it back to Tennessee. Somewhere between me and the restoration, someone didn't take very good care of it, so it's really in need of another restoration. I bought it mainly to be an occasional driver and not a hanger queen, so it doesn't have to be perfect cosmetically. I would like it to be as good as can be mechanically, though.

Re: Question about brakes
Darrell Day #1347353 Fri Feb 21 2020 03:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 783
Shop Shark
You bet! PM sent.


Andy

His: 1947 Chevrolet 3100
Hers: 2008 American Saddlebred

"A Jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one." - Benjamin Franklin
Re: Question about brakes
Darrell Day #1347371 Fri Feb 21 2020 05:51 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,900
H
Boltergeist
Darrel, I live about 50 miles from Estill Springs, just off US Hwy. 64 between Pulaski and Fayetteville. Drop me a PM and let's get together. I spent 30+ years teaching auto mechanics before I retired in 2011.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
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