Please don’t break the brakes!

I made a quick list of things that the car required to get on the road.

Water, and brakes.

I made quick work of flushing the coolant system and making sure the hoses at least somewhat held water.  Check.

I then got under the car and reached for the brake master cylinder.  I grabbed at the push rod that goes from the pedal to the hydraulic system.  It fell out in my hand, along with what remained of a piece of rubber.

Broken Pushrod and 'rubber' seal

Broken Pushrod and ‘rubber’ seal

A complete tear down of the master cylinder was always one of my plans, it was even more obvious right then.  What I soon learned was that the push rod was not a part easily found in stores, nor was it repairable.  Thank goodness for Within 12 hours a nice gentleman in the metro area told me he had the part, that I could stop by any time to pick it up.

The cabin of the car, sans access panel, carpeting and front seat.  Spacious!

The cabin of the car, sans access panel, carpeting and front seat.

Here the Master Cylinder mimics his favorite scene from Return of the Jedi.

Here the Master Cylinder mimics his favorite scene from Return of the Jedi.

After about 10 hours in the garage(intermixed with a great visit from the Sister and Nephew and a rad car show) and a lot more tear down than I really wanted to do, I rebuilt the cylinder and had it back in the car.

Monday.  2:30 pm.

I start the car, let it warm up for a minute, press the brake pedal to make sure it still has some pressure.  It does. Barely.

I slide the car into gear and proceed to inch out of the garage.  And then I stop the car.  It stopped! After pumping the brake about five times, that is.

I drove the car around the block, each turn pumping the brakes about five times.  Wow, this is amazing!  This car is actually going down the road.  It drives!  This igloo cooler I turned into a seat isn’t really making me confident in the road worthiness, and these brakes are subpar at best, but I am actually driving this car!

I decided to bleed the brake system and inspect the brake shoes, starting with the driver side.  This is where it gets interesting.  I have never serviced drum brakes.  This could take awhile.

And it did.  Two nights in the garage and I got one wheel done.  Only problem is I left the old shoes in, as I didn’t have the proper hardware to mount the new(20 year old) shoes that my Uncle Marvin had purchased for the car.  Oh well, I’m a pro at front wheels now.  This will only take 9 hours next time.

I bled the brakes and pumped away.  It stopped, it felt good… but I still have 3 wheels to go.  That didn’t stop me from pumping the brakes until I sprung another leak though.

Oh well.  Time to learn how to do rear brakes on a 1947 Dodge.

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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