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Thread: Brake issue

  1. #1
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    Brake issue

    I took my 53 pickup to the local Threshing Bee (about 8 miles) and when I got there the rear passengers side hub was smoking and very hot. I'm thinking it could be the emergency brake was not releasing all the way or it could be a brake issue. I'm going to take off the wheel and pop the drum off to take a look this weekend. Can anyone give me some advise?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    If you get a brake shoe that does not retract fully for whatever reason, it will get really hot and stink a lot! Had that happen more than once.

    If a brake drum has been turned out oversize, the wheel cylinder can overextend and you get a stuck brake.

    It's more of a nuisance to fix than anything else. Brake dust, grease, skinned knuckle,aw-pooh ...

  3. #3
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    Thanks Larr I'm actually looking forward to getting it figured out. Sick huh? I did fix the brake lights (brake light switch), fixed the horn (spring on the wrong side of the button), and located the leak from the master cylinder. Love working on a truck that is not all electronics and computers.
    PS I put pictures of my 53 in the truck section under John Moore. Also look for the Willys of the Week.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Sick? No way.

    That's why we have Jeeps. We like to work on things we understand.

    And, fixing the horn is not as simple as you make it sound. Sometime between 1948 and 1953 Willys changed the internal arrangement of how the horn button guts locked into the steering column. If you get an old horn button/new steering wheel mismatch, things just don't go together. I wanted to keep the original horn button, (flat with WO emblem) but I ended up with a later wheel. I ended up with pillar bedded threaded inserts in the wheel hub and three #8 screws through the button where I had them since about 1969 when I had to make the horn work for the Indiana safety inspection!

    It's not the most suave and debonair arangement, but it's what the truck is.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Willys of the Week (WOW)

    Quote Originally Posted by Onalaska53PU View Post
    Also look for the Willys of the Week.
    Wow!

    That is a find! And, only us old guys understand the critter in the decal.

    I dropped some comments in the WOW note section.

  6. #6
    That's funny about the screws from 69 or so and rigging to keep the button. I'm having the same brake issue on my 64 truck. It seems to be fine when cold, but after a few miles the thing almost brakes itself to a stop at lights, smells, etc. Sold to me as 'new brakes', and has observables like new master cylinder and a new line. I'm going to replace everything just to be sure. Then I can do the adjustment myself. But not knowing what I'm adjusting and unwilling to pull the drums, now it just seems wiser to make sure it's all new. Costs a ton but ...

  7. #7
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    I think LarrBeard has a good start. As the fluid warms it expands. Checking for overturned brake drums is a good start. Since you are hesitant to pull the drums, there is one very important thing about that master cylinder. There MUST be about 1/2" of "free travel" at the pedal. The push rod going into the master cylinder is threaded. It is important that the pedal has room to allow the fluid to grow as it gets warm. If there is no free play or not enough, the fluid will warm and the brakes will start to apply. Any easy check. Just like checking the clutch, there should be movement (1/2") of the brake pedal before it starts to apply the brakes.

  8. #8
    Member scoutingranch's Avatar
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    How old are the brake hoses. I lost count of the times I get in an old duffer that needs magic fingers to get it going again. First thing I do is look at the brake hoses. It seems like that item is in no mans land when it comes to maintence. Bad hoses are cheap and bad ones can cause a bundle of problems. Oh' they may look good on the outside but I have no idea what's going on inside.
    "Options are for girls"

  9. #9
    Thank you! That fluid expansion could be it. I will check back when I sort that. Yes, new lines, at least looking. Also yes, who knows if they cleaned, installed properly, adjusted, or just put a new cylinder, lines, and left the rest for later. Mechanic in the shop said he had a hell of a time getting the drum off, meaning nobody solved the whole thing, is why I'm not even trying. Let dudes with shop lifts and pullers do it, is what I'm thinking. I'll get in there after someone I trust assures me it is correct. Then I can maintain. It's a matter of skill (I don't have) not so much will. I do want to learn so will in time do it myself. Just not first time. Hope that makes sense.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Adjusting the Master Cylinder Rod

    An often overlooked step when replacing the master cylinder. Nine times out of ten it is OK. I have had to adjust a few. If there is no free play, the fluid will expand and apply the brakes. If your brake mechanic is familiar with old brake systems, this won't be the first time he has had to adjust one. I have attached a picture of the service manual page on the Master Cylinder. Note the adjustment at the bottom of the paragraph.

    Just a thought. Definitely should be checked.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bmorgil; 09-09-2019 at 07:54 AM.

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