Restoration Of The Brakes

When it was discovered that the boiler would need replacement the time would now be available to have hydraulic brakes retrofitted to the car.   In order to provide hydraulic braking both brake drums along with their matching sheetmetal brake drum covers were sent for conversion.  The hydraulic brake retrofit would provide greater braking capability to the car to the point that if really “stood on” the rear wheels would now lock (not advisable considering the potential for the tires to slide on the rim and cause the inner-tube’s valve stem to shear). 

The hydraulic conversion retained the outer service brake bands on the exterior of the drums but now used them for the handbrake allowing the car to appear original.  The original hand brake shoes and expansion mechanism inside the brake drum is replaced with modern brake shoes activated by a hydraulic cylinder.  The only tell-tale of hydraulic conversion is the brake hose running from the car’s frame to the rear cover plate of each rear wheel’s brake drum.

As part of the retrofit both brake drums were turned in a lathe to true their shape.  Cast iron rings an inch thick were custom machined to slip inside the drums.  The drums were heated and the cast iron rings pressed into each drum.  When cool the drums and rings were drilled and pinned to insure the rings would never slide inside the drums under severe braking conditions.  The cast iron rings reduces the inside diameter of the drums from 14” to 12” so that modern 12” brake shoes could be used.

A pair of 3/8” thick steel disks was fabricated using the sheet metal brake covers as templates for mounting hole locations and diameters.  To each disk a hydraulic wheel cylinder as well as the attachment points for a pair of modern brake shoes was made.  The steel disks that included the mounted wheel cylinder and brake shoes were slipped on their designated ends of the rear axle housing and the mounting bolts installed in the existing holes.  The wheel hub with the brake drum attached was mounted and secured.

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