Ad-on brakes

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Jonah D'Avella
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Ad-on brakes

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:54 pm

I have recently come across rocky mountain brakes and add-on brakes for the first time and I was wondering what the differences between Rocky Mountain brakes and AC brakes were. Also, can you adapt AC TT truck brakes to a 1927 touring?
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Joe Bell » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:00 pm

I know some do not use the band inside the transmission, I would rather have it just in case!


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by HPetrino » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:52 pm

I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure the TT brake drums are larger in diameter as well as width, so I seriously doubt a set of outside TT brakes can reasonably be adapted to a touting car.

There were (are) a variety of outside brakes out there. They are all similar, but each is a little different. There have been a number of threads on this forum over the years that talk about the virtues and drawbacks at length. You should search them out and read them.

I respectfully disagree with with Joe B. Use of the transmission brake vs. outside auxiliary brakes should be an "either or" choice. It's virtually impossible to keep both in adjustment so that they are working together. After s a short time one ends up doing all the work and the other does nothing. In fact, for some of the brands of after market brakes, the designers engineered the transmission brake out of possible use by including a brake pedal assembly with the brake kit that was absent the cam needed to operate the transmission brake. If you properly installed the outside brakes the transmission brake was abandon. I have Bennett Brakes on mine and that's how they're designed. My transmission brake drum doesn't even have a band because there's no point in installing one.

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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by jsaylor » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:13 pm

The AC Brakes available today are only made for the small drum, 1925 and back. They work against the outside of the original small drum. The Rocky Mountain Brakes made today are available for both the small drum and the 26-27 large drum. The Small drum version includes a larger brake drum that fits over your existing small drum. The 26-7 version uses your existing brake drum.


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:14 pm

Thank you very much!
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:17 pm

Does anyone have any suggestions on other after market brakes that would work on my 1927 t with a large brake drum?
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by RajoRacer » Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:37 pm

I'm working on a friend's '26 Runabout and it has Snyder's accessory gizmo "equalizer" for utilizing the stock Fords brakes. Other than having a pressed steel brake drum, the lined bands are quite functional for stopping (skidding actually) - you're still going to hit something - just lessens the impact !!!


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Norman Kling » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:41 pm

If you use Auxiliary brakes, which I recommend, be sure to keep the transmission brake in working condition! You CAN keep the transmission brake, the parking brake and the auxiliary brake. If they do get out of adjustment, it is because one of the brakes has worn and should be adjusted anyway.
I know of a member who bought a car which had been parked in a Ford dealer's show room for many years. This car had Rocky Mountain brakes on it but the transmission brake band had been removed. This member didn't know the transmission band was missing, and he tried to ascend a steep hill. Unfortunately, the gas was too low and the engine stalled. He hit the brake and the car started to roll backward. He immediately tried to do a U turn in reverse and sideswiped a parked car with the right front of his car and hit the opposite curb with the rear wheel and had a lot of damage to his car.
You can adjust the transmission brake first, with the Rocky disconnected. Adjust so the brake locks about one inch above the floorboard. Then adjust the Rocky Mountain brake to lock with the pedal about one and 1/2 inches above the floorboard. This way, most of your braking will be done by the Rocky Mountain brake, but if you push hard, the transmission brake will also operate. The parking brake should be adjusted to lock first before the Rocky Mountain brake, then when you pull the lever one more notch, the Rocky Mountain brake will also work. This way if you apply the foot brake and it is not enough, you can pull on the parking brake and you will get all three brakes working together.
Some later AC brakes are identical to the presently offered Rocky Mountain brakes. At least the ones made for the 26-27 are.
Anyway, there are several types of after market brakes available, and I would recommend that you pick one type and install on your car, because it will make it much safer.
Norm


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:45 pm

Norm, do you have any suggestions of any after market brakes that are not Rocky Mountain brakes and will fit a large drum?
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:46 pm

Steve Tomaso, could you send me a picture of the system please?
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Divcoone » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:55 pm

Except for the appearance, hydraulic discs will get it done. You can keep the transmission brake in case of a failure. Every time I hear about Rocky Mountain Brakes not being adequate in reverse, I cringe.


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:58 pm

Divcoon, I hear that a similar product, AC brakes, work fine in reverse but don't fit 27 or 26 models.
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by CudaMan » Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:23 pm

The current reproduction Rocky Mountain brakes available from the vendors have the outer band anchor point located at one end of the band to provide more self-energizing braking power going forward than in reverse (self-energizing is when the motion of the drum pulls the band tighter against the drum).

https://www.modeltford.com/item/RMB2.aspx

Original and older reproduction Rocky Mountain brakes have the outer band anchor point located at the midpoint of the band (like the current AC brakes). This provides equal stopping power in forward and reverse since only half of the band is self-energizing at a time.
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by HPetrino » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:10 pm

Mark S.,

Thank you for your post. The fact of anchor location and braking capabilities is difficult to explain (at least for me and I've tried) and you did so with ease. I have period Bennetts on my TT. The bands are anchored at the midpoint and they work great in both directions.

I think all too often "truths" are established with only partial information. The whole discussion of Model T auxiliary brakes is a prime example.


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Norman Kling » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:16 pm

I have had good results with Rocky Mountain brakes when adjusted as I posted above and have them on all three of my Model T's. I have also installed them on cars for other members.
I have never installed the hydraulic brakes, but I have friends who have them and like them. So I guess it depends on whether you want the brake to look like a period accessory, or if a more modern look is OK with you. With hydraulic brakes you need to buy a drum with the brakes welded on So either type will cost you some money. With a 26 or 27, you can buy the shoes and other parts and they will fit on the original drums. Anyway you decide to go, the brakes will stop the rear wheels and they will slide if you apply them very hard. Best thing to do is to practice safe driving distance and always pay attention to other cars, pedestrians, bikes, and animals around you and be thinking what you would do if you have to stop suddenly.
Norm


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Bruce Compton » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:41 pm

I modified the original braking system to have the emergency brake function also as a service brake and they work very well. Read my post about 6-7 weeks ago on this forum. I am amazed at how well they work, and I still have the original transmission and emergency brake.


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Bruce Compton » Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:21 pm

Jonah: The posting was on July 08,2020. Bruce

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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Rosenfelder » Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:33 pm

I just added Rocky Mountain brakes on my '27. It is a fairly easy job to do. I feel a little safer now, but still drive like I have no brakes. The rear drums are bigger on the '26-'27, but they are pretty thin, unlike modern brake drums. I would strongly recommend the RM brakes. Several things in the drive line brakes can brake. Funny, in '28 Ford went to 4-wheel mechanical drum brakes.


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:52 pm

Mr. Compton, thanks for your suggestion, could you send me a simple drawing of your system please?
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:06 pm

Also, did you use a second parking brake bar as well? If so, I have plenty of those.
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Bruce Compton » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:28 pm

Yes, I used a second cross shaft with the handle removed. I'll email you some pics.


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Bruce Compton » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:38 pm

Sorry, can't send pics through the forum email. There are lots of pics on the July 08 posting. Right now it's on page 5.


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Norman Kling » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:05 pm

I would not recommend using the 26-27 parking brakes for service brakes unless you plan to do very little driving the car. The shoe is thin and the lining very thin. If you score the drums, you could have a problem replacing them. The hubs for wire wheels are scarce and expensive. If you use the handle, you will be pulling the car into neutral and all stopping must be done with the brakes. There is a reason those are called, "emergency brakes". They should only be used for parking or emergencies. I think the "equalizer" with a second cross shaft might cause you to apply those brakes while the car is still in gear, but you will have nowhere the durability of Rocky Mountain, AC, or hydraulic brakes. Another problem with internal brakes, is that if they overheat, the drum will expand and you will lose the braking. However with the external brake on the outside of the drum, if the drum expands, your brake will actually get tighter. I understand that Bud has developed a way to make the brakes work in reverse. Someone else might know more about this new development.
Norm


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:34 pm

Norman, I think that disk brakes are kind-of un-authentic and AC brakes do not fit my year. Rocky mountain brakes are good but are very expensive.
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:35 pm

Bruce, that is fine, I was also wondering what you thought of Normans post following yours?
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Original Smith » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:05 pm

Original Rocky Mountain Brakes are pictured above. I have them on all of my cars. The current Rocky Mountain Brakes are not Rocky Mountain at all, and I believe the outside diameter of the drum is less than the original. The bottom line is, if you are going to make a reproduction, do it correctly, or don't do it. The first issue brakes were close, but the owner of the company didn't do his research as I have, and used a Bennett brake equalizer, which works in the opposite direction than a true Rocky Mountain. It pays to do your homework when reproducing something, but many in this hobby don't do that!


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:31 pm

What exactly is a bennet equaliser?
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:31 pm

And what does it do that isn't good?
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by paddy1998 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:53 pm

Jonah D'Avella wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:34 pm
Norman, I think that disk brakes are kind-of un-authentic and AC brakes do not fit my year. Rocky mountain brakes are good but are very expensive.
Indeed they are.

They are also incredibly effective and reliable in just about any situation.

I installed the Sure-Stop hydraulic disc brake system ($1,125.00) last year because I live in a city with a lot of traffic, hills, and steep draw bridges.

The Model T has so many limitations in traffic on modern roads (acceleration, speed, suspension, steering) that removing the limitations associated with the brakes has allowed me to enjoy my Model T so much more than I otherwise would.

I considered both the disc brakes and Rocky Mountain brakes. Reliability was the clincher for me. The whole point of installing brakes was to reliably be able to stop and stay stopped on a flat road or incline. My research indicated Rocky Mountain brakes are questionable on an incline or in reverse, so that really left me with only one option.


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:55 pm

I hear that If you adjust RM brakes right, they work fine in reverse.
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by John Dow » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:22 pm

To be sure, disk brakes are not original equipment, no argument. But if you want the most reliable way to bring your T to a stop when needed there is nothing better. I added the Sure Stop brakes from Birdhaven to my '23 touring 4 years ago and have not regretted it for one second. The brakes merely bolt on with no modifications to the original. I wouldn't drive my T without them.


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Bruce Compton » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:25 pm

Norm makes some good points, and is certainly entitled to his opinion like all others on this great site. I see it a little different however starting right from the reason for your initial post. The original brakes will in fact stop the car, especially back in the 1920's, and even today if you're really "social distancing", on a little traveled road, are driving under 50 MPH, have excellent well adjusted original brakes, and are watching the road 1/4 mile ahead, ( and don't break a U-joint, a pinion gear, a pinion key, an axle key, or an axle). In today's traffic however, better stopping power is sure handy and in the case of Model T's probably the first "modification" most drivers attempt. My point in saying all this is to show that the intent is to have better stopping ability for emergency situations. Now having said that, I really dislike the idea of using the hand lever controlled emergency brake in a panic stop situation. In a panic situation, you need to remove your hand from the steering wheel, find the lever and apply the brakes while keeping control of the car with one hand, that now is actually in neutral so any attempt or need to accelerate in this panic situation means reversing the previous routine . BTW you have also removed any engine braking and placed 100% of the stopping ability on the transmission brake. As for wear, yes, using the emergency brake linings and drums as service brakes will certainly wear out those components quicker that using them only as a park brake, but I do recall reading that even Ford stated that they were good enough to have been made to use as a service brake. I question his concern for heat expansion as although they might expand, I think you would need a micrometer to measure the difference and even if they do expand you can just push the pedal a tad farther. Lets remember that we're talking Model T here that weighs maybe 1600 lbs. driving maybe 30-40 MPH, on skinny tires with a footprint of maybe 6 sq.in., not a 50's or 60's car that weighs 2-3 tons, driving at 60-70 MPH on tires with a footprint maybe 4-6 times that of a T. Add to that the fact that the two braking systems are now sharing the work almost equally and each one acting as a back-up for the other. As well, I wonder just how many miles most T guys put on their cars in a year vs. their concern about wearing out parts. Most guys I know don't drive their cars every day and use them as commute vehicles so put on anywhere from zero to maybe 1000 miles/yr., and I'm guessing that a new set of emergency brake linings and decent drums should last a few decades if not longer . Anyway, I'm more than happy with my simple conversion that basically doubled my braking ability for very little cost, some engineering fun, and a few hours of work and that I expect to last as long as I need to drive the car. On top of this, you need to crawl under the car to see any changes.


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Craig Leach » Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:12 am

Small bit of wisdom from Tony Bowker at past speedster runs. We all know that you can probubly lock the rear wheels. But locking the rear wheels will not necessarily stop the car. drive ahead of your self & pay attention. Sorry it sounds better with a english brogue.


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Original Smith » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:40 am

Bennett was an aftermarket brake company. Another is Master. I assume Bennett did use rods, as their brake pedal had an extension on the bottom just like the current repop does. All they did is remove Bennett from the pedal, and insert Rocky Mtn. Real Rocky Mountains are very simple, using a 3/16" cable and a pulley equalizer. They can be installed in an afternoon easily, with no modifications. AC used a system like Rocky Mountain, but used the smaller stock Ford drum.


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Norman Kling » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:57 am

I am not sure where Kingsport is, but from a picture you posted, it looks to be kind of rural and flat ground. If so, the auxiliary brakes are not quite as important as they are in a city or in hilly or mountainous country. The main reason for them is that if anything breaks between the universal joint and the wheels, you will be in free wheeling with the original Ford foot brake. However, the Emergency brake will stop you, especially if you are not on a steep hill, or heavy traffic. I don't know how soon you plan to start driving, or have someone else drive your car, but at your age, you probably have at least two years ahead to work on the car and get it into good running shape before driving. Auxiliary brakes can be installed in a few hours, so you can do that work later. Between now and then, you can concentrate on the more extensive work and perhaps do some part time work to earn enough money to buy a good set of auxiliary brakes. It will also give you time to decide which kind you want. Remembering, the lowest price, is not necessarily the best option, and one other thing to decide, is how they look on the car. Perhaps you can visit with some members of a local club and look at their cars, also discuss how they like the types of brakes they have. You might even find something at a swap meet which will serve your purpose. We have even had members in our club, who had good working parts for sale, such as Ruckstell Axles, engines, transmissions, etc. So take your time and enjoy working on your car.
Norm


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:51 pm

I live in a very hilly area and that is the reason I need auxiliary brakes. I am getting my driver's permit tomorrow so I can drive it with a parent. This project will take years to complete, so I want it driving while I work on it. I am considering a bennet equaliser because it is cheaper than RM and I plan to buy RMs later or if I find a good deal on them. A swap meet sounds like a great place to find what I need. Do you know of any near me?
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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Michael Peternell » Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:00 pm

Newbie question to add a twist. Rubber on the road when stopping. Not much there? Has to a point of diminishing returns.


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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Norman Kling » Sun Aug 23, 2020 11:11 am

It has been my experience, that except in stop and go traffic, when a T is driven at the best speed for the T, you will usually have good following distance from the cars ahead of you. So you can stop slowly and not slide the wheels. The biggest problem is the cars following me. They get impatient. It is best to pull over and let them pass whenever possible. Another problem is when going up a slight grade and you pull over into a slow moving vehicle lane to let them pass, they will sometimes slow down to take pictures of ask questions, and then when you come to the end of the passing area you will have to stop and when you pull back onto the road you are going slower than before you pulled over.
When there are only turnouts to let cars pass, I usually wait until I get to the top of the hill and then pull over. Then I can pick up speed faster after they pass.
Anyway, you will learn what the T can and cannot do, and drive accordingly.
Have fun.
Some people have installed front wheel brakes on their T. If you decide to do so, be sure to beef up the front suspension so that you won't lose your castor when you slam on the brakes, because it could cause you to lose control of the steering. I wouldn't recommend that as a do it yourself project. If you put them on the front, be sure to get someone knowledgeable to help you or do the work for you.

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Re: Ad-on brakes

Post by Mark Gregush » Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:06 pm

The current Rocky Mtn brakes ARE copies of the 1926-27 AC brakes. The 1926/27 AC brakes didn't use the center anchor point. While I still have 30X3-1/2 on the front of my 1921(still original steering ratio), I went with the big drum and Rocky Mtns on the rear with 21" wheels to get more rubber on the ground. Have 3 braking systems; parking, RM's and transmission. I made my own equalizer that works independent of the parking brake. I did use a set of original AC small drum brakes on the 21 before putting the big drum setup on for a while, they worked good. Those AC's cable activated brakes are now on a friends roadster, still working good. The 25 is getting a set of Bennett shoes as soon as I repair and reline them.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

1925 Cut down pickup
1920 Dodge touring
1948 Ford F2 pickup

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