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Thread: 1955 Willys Truck rear brake job-solved

  1. #1
    Junior Member pdudleystl's Avatar
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    1955 Willys Truck rear brake job-solved

    I installed new brake shoes (Wagner Z53) and wheel cyls. (Centric 13463005 & 006) on the rear axle (Dana 53) of a 55 Willys fire truck.
    I removed the swage from the original drum/hub (using Bosch HB063 5/8 In. Bi-Metal Hole Saw that fit perfectly) and mounted the hubs on the new drums (Raybestos 2306R). When I tried installing the new 11 x 2 brake drum/hubs I couldn’t get them to slide over the brake shoes.

    After many unsuccessful attempts I figured the parking brake strut wasn’t allowing the top of the shoes to retract far enough to allow the drum to fit.

    I removed the shoes and noticed both parking brake levers weren’t flush with their brake shoe web. I ground excess metal from the parking brake levers and both drum easily slid on.
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    Last edited by pdudleystl; 11-06-2019 at 11:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Good description of a problem and how you went about fixing it. The reference to the Bosch HB063 is a good thing to remember.

    Even good parts, made 65 years later don't always fit just like the originals. Wagner/Federal Mogul is a respected name, but I wonder where the brake shoes were actually made, and to whose drawing?

    Post us a picture of the fire truck - we've seen a couple in the last month.

  3. #3
    Junior Member pdudleystl's Avatar
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    The box was marked "made in USA". FMSI (Friction Materials Standard Institute) sets the standards (for lack of a better term) for brake shoes and friction material.
    What I don't understand is that I had to grind the original E brake levers, not the shoes. One would think it would be the other way around. Maybe the drum grew.

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    Last edited by pdudleystl; 11-06-2019 at 11:18 AM.

  4. #4
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    This sounds much like the problem I'm having with the rear brakes on my 53 Pickup. I'm using the original backing plate, parking brake levers and strut. When I try to put the new drum over the new assembled shoes it doesn't slide on. Now I'm going to check out the parking brake levers. Thanks for the heads up.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    I wonder if the new drum has a smaller inside diameter than the original?

  6. #6
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    OK, I checked and my brake lever was also about 1/4" too wide. I ground the lever down until it was flush and the drum fit right on and everything seems to work perfectly. Tomorrow I'm going to check the left back brake and grind that lever if needed. Thanks again for posting your story, it was very helpful.

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