66 Mustang Drum Brake Help - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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66 Mustang Drum Brake Help

I recently got my car back on the road after a little over a year. I've always been very happy with the way it stopped with the drums all around with single bowl master cylinder with bootster. Since it's been back from the shop it just doesn't feel the same. Reading threads on here has given me a lot of ideas. I know I need to, at a minimum, go to a duel master cylinder. I'm now also considering a front disk conversion when I can afford it. Either way, I plan to ditch the booster. Also, the E-Brake has never worked so I would like to get that fixed as well.

Short term I want to just get everything working. I have no brake experience but with the right tools (I'm currently stalking CL HARD for a good floor jack) and a YouTube video or two I think I can get it down. I started by pulling the wheels off to see what I have. This is the right rear. Do these pads look like they have some life left in them? What about the drums? I didn't see any cracks or anything that jumped out at me.
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1966 Coupe "The Blue Falcon"
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Now the Concerns

I get to the front. Here's what I see. I haven't seen front brakes that look like this before. It looks more like a rear drum to me. What gives? I apologize for you having to tile your head to 9 o'clock to see the pics. I can't figure that out.
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1966 Coupe "The Blue Falcon"
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 12:51 PM
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Your rear brake looks like it might good condition with plenty of lining on the shoes. Your front brake looks like it has a leaking wheel cylinder. The front brakes will need new shoes along with new wheel cylinder(s). Once brake linings are contaminated with brake fluid they must be replaced.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cougar70 View Post
Your rear brake looks like it might good condition with plenty of lining on the shoes. Your front brake looks like it has a leaking wheel cylinder. The front brakes will need new shoes along with new wheel cylinder(s). Once brake linings are contaminated with brake fluid they must be replaced.
I agree that the shoes look like they should be good. I had sprayed everything with brake cleaner before taking the pics so that may be giving the impression of a leak.

My real concern and question is that the front brakes look like rear brakes. They have a spring running between the shoes (under the cylinder) and the cable & bracket that I thought was part of the E-Brake.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 01:47 PM
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Your front brakes look normal. I think the cable on the front you see is for the self adjuster. In the rear, I don't see a good photo of it but there is a lever that attaches to both the back side of the shoe and the e brake cable.

Edit: the e brake lever is attached to the shoe with the horseshoe clip in pic 2


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Last edited by New2me; 08-30-2019 at 01:50 PM.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 02:17 PM
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Drum brakes are very similar front or rear. You need a good diagram before re-assembling. It best to do one side at a time. That way you can look at the other side and picture a mirror image in your brain. Your front brake shoes look glazed and cracked. Pull back the rubber boot of the wheel cylinder- it should be dry. The dark greasy grimy hardware looks so typical of a leaking wheel cylinder as well as the brake lining condition.

You can see the horse-shoe shaped parking brake cable retaining clip near the yellow spring in your picture. And the bar that goes between the shoes is part of what makes the parking brake function. This is where the rear is different from the front. It looks OK in your picture. You need to check the entire cable system under the car and the parking brake pedal and adjustments.


Last edited by cougar70; 08-30-2019 at 02:22 PM.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 09:52 PM
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You need to also pull the wheel cylinder dust boots and look for evidence of leakage and check that the pistons move smoothly in the bores. Poor braking performance can be due to rust-seized wheel cylinder pistons.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 10:37 PM
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A little tip from personal experience. Small block V8's used a 2.25" wide shoe. Big blocks used a 2.50" wide shoe. Those finned drums are used in both applications. Knowing that I installed big block 2.50" wide shoes and spring hold down kit on my 66 years ago. Made for a very effective brake set up!

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your replies. I decided to start by trying to bleed the brakes. Finally caught my daughter at home so I had someone to work the pedal for me. I feel like it improved a little but not very much. While bleeding I did see quite a few bubbles especially in the two rears. A couple of more questions also came up.


1. The fluid is pretty nasty looking. I'm thinking of replacing it. Will it make a difference in brake performance? Approximately how much fluid would I need?
2. I though it was funny that the bleeder valves were not the same size. One in the rear was 10mm the other I can't recall, but I think it was 7/16. The two up front were both 1/4. Is this cause for concern at all?


Thanks again,


-Steven

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huskinhano View Post
A little tip from personal experience. Small block V8's used a 2.25" wide shoe. Big blocks used a 2.50" wide shoe. Those finned drums are used in both applications. Knowing that I installed big block 2.50" wide shoes and spring hold down kit on my 66 years ago. Made for a very effective brake set up!

Thanks for the tip. I will definitely do that if I replace the shoes. This only applies to the front since the rear drums are smaller correct?

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 09:35 AM
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1) yes ! New fluid helps with brake fade (heat) and getting ALL the air out helps dramatically because air compresses but fluid does not.
2) 10mm is about the same size as 3/8" but either way, not an issue. The rear shoes for V8 are 10" drum x 2" shoe area

Bonus : new brake hoses will help because they flex and even leak when they deteriorate. I recommend stainless braided hoses and you can shoot a little flat black paint on them if you want the stock look.

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 10:09 AM
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Thanks for the tip. I will definitely do that if I replace the shoes. This only applies to the front since the rear drums are smaller correct?
Pretty much. Ford did use the 2.5" in the rear but they were used basically on station wagons and Rancheros. However theses wide finned front drums will fit on the rear. You won't be able to run the wide shoes as the backing plate is different. It's the location of the wheel cylinder to accommodate the wider shoe. Anyway with the front drum on the rear even with the stock rear shoes, what you are gaining is more mass and fins for better cooling as I see it.

Another improvement you can do on the front is to radially drill the drums for better cooling. This was done in all types of racing before disc brakes. I was going to post this link the last time



Drilled Brake Drums

Another link


https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/...-drums.165001/

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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I had a chance to take apart the left rear this weekend. It gave me a hard time getting the drum off. I ended up pounding on it quite a bit with a hammer and loosening up the pads via the adjuster to get it free. It was pretty bad as the cylinder was leaking and what it was leaking looked pretty nasty (rusty). I noticed that the adjuster cable was not routed around the cable guide. It may have slipped off when I loosened it but I'm not sure. Funny thing is when I put it back on and was adjusting for drag it got stuck right back on. I decided to fight that fight another day.
This has convinced me to go ahead and replace all of my cylinders and shoes. I'm working on ordering the parts now. I was looking at Rock Auto to find a good price.


Question: Is Raybestos a good company to buy cylinder and shoes from? I always thought so but I'm seeing that their prices are lower than others. They're daily driver quality parts and the shoes are riveted. I like to save a buck but I also like to save my own *** in a emergency braking situation. Can anyone offer feedback on them?


-Steve

1966 Coupe "The Blue Falcon"
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dzhoser View Post
I had a chance to take apart the left rear this weekend. It gave me a hard time getting the drum off. I ended up pounding on it quite a bit with a hammer and loosening up the pads via the adjuster to get it free. It was pretty bad as the cylinder was leaking and what it was leaking looked pretty nasty (rusty). I noticed that the adjuster cable was not routed around the cable guide. It may have slipped off when I loosened it but I'm not sure. Funny thing is when I put it back on and was adjusting for drag it got stuck right back on. I decided to fight that fight another day.
This has convinced me to go ahead and replace all of my cylinders and shoes. I'm working on ordering the parts now. I was looking at Rock Auto to find a good price.


Question: Is Raybestos a good company to buy cylinder and shoes from? I always thought so but I'm seeing that their prices are lower than others. They're daily driver quality parts and the shoes are riveted. I like to save a buck but I also like to save my own *** in a emergency braking situation. Can anyone offer feedback on them?


-Steve

Never ran them on a Mustang but I have run tons of Raybestos stuff on many other vehicles. I always found them to be a reasonably good quality company.

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 09:37 PM
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I upgraded to the dual pot master cylinder a few years ago. I replaced the metal brake lines and the rubber ones as well. New wheel cylinders and other parts. Mine has about 140k miles and I still like the drum brakes. My Dad bought it new in '66 and used it as a daily driver until about '77, when I started driving it daily until about '90.


Anyway, I say rebuild everything and keep rocking the drum brakes.
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