School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Includes handbrake, cylinders, shoes, discs, rims and rubber.

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Harv
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School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by Harv » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:08 am

Did Christmas with the family, and recovered the FB for the annual camping trip with the kids up near Taree. Number 1 Son's VL can now have a rest for 6 months while he learns to drive a manual in Sydney traffic. Methinks I will be replacing the clutch in the FB in the next 6 months :shock: .

Drove the FB from Tamworth across to Taree, with the box trailer full of camping gear plus all the kid's ballast. Weather turned to crap between Nowendoc and Barrington... just in time for the heavy hills. Brakes got a fair workout despite compression braking. Looks like I have cooked the hell out of the passenger front brake shoes. Linings let get a fortnight later as we returned to Sydney, and managed to limp it home. Drum is heavily scored too. To top it off, I broke my thongs whilst pulling it apart yesterday. Not happy, Jan. :lol: .

So I need to replace the front shoes, and at least one brake drum. Hoping to keep the FB mobile whilst the brakes are repaired. I'm more than happy fitting and adjusting brakes, but have not had much experience mixing and matching early bits. I could cannabalise the brakes from Grace's ute, though am trying to avoid that.

The spare parts department has a full ball joint front end. Of course it's under the house, so had to spend time pulling half the house siding apart to get at it (with no thongs :oops: :lol: ). Its a kingpin front end, but not sure if it is FE/FC or FB/EK. It does have the round bump stops (not cone ones) though, so probably FE/FC. It is fairly unmolested... still sitting on Olympic Airride tyres. Any hints on how to positively identify the spare front end appreciated.

The brake shoes on the spare front end look identical to the FB ones (and Grace's EK ute ones too) - are there any significant differences between the early model front brake shoes?

The drums on the spare front end look waaaay different to the FB ones. The FB ones are ribbed on the outside, whilst the spare front end are smooth on the outside. The drums on Grace's EK ute are smooth too, but have a little "tab" cut into the drum face (if it was pressed steel you could put a screwdriver into the "tab" and bend a bit out, if that makes sense). What are the differences in early model drums?

Cheers,
Harv
Building an EK wagon (327 chev, TH350, Commodore diff/wheels/brakes, NSW rego), driving an original FB sedan, rebuilding an EK ute for Number 1 Daughter.

fraze
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Re: School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by fraze » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:26 am

I went thru all of this recently. FE FC brakes (shoes and drums) are about 6.5 mm narrower than FB EK, and the backing plates are different. FE FC drums are ribbed, as are FB drums(but the FB drums are 6.5 mm wider). EK drums are the same width as FB but are plain, no ribs. EH drums, which you can buy new, slip straight on to FB EKs.
Width is the giveaway - the FE FC drums/shoes are 1.5 inch (38mm) and FB EK are 1.750 inch (44.5mm)
Hope this helps, Fraze

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Errol62
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Re: School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by Errol62 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:55 am

What Fraze says is as I recall the conversation as well Harv. It is all down to the width as far as compatibility goes. Swapping to EJ EH drums (retaining FB EK shoes) should not cause wheel choice issues as FE to EH (apart from the HD braked last run of commercials) are essentially identical.


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ardiesse
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Re: School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by ardiesse » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:34 am

Harv,

FE-FC brake shoes are 1-1/2" wide; FB-EK brakes shoes are 1-3/4" wide.

The ribbed-versus-plain brake drum issue is a live one - the family's EK had ribbed drums on the front and plain drums on the rear. I remember that the front drums also had the little "tang" on them to locate in a counterbored hole in the hub. The drums on my FC do not have the "tang".
Now, I kept all the standard suspension components from the EK when I did a disc brake conversion. The car's long gone, but I still have the front suspension and rear axle.

FE-FCs have the round bump and rebound stops, the EK has the conical ones . . . and I thought some of the FBs had the round rubbers.

FB-EK front crossmembers are just about rectangular in cross-section under the motor, whereas the top part of the FE-FC front crossmembers slopes down toward the rear (you may be able to drop the sump in an FE-FC with the engine in place, but you can't in an FB-EK).
FE-FC front shock absorbers have a threaded stud at the bottom, and an adaptor plate which bolts into the lower control arm; FB-EK and later front shocks have the eye and the press-fitted pin, with two mounting bolts in the lower control arm.
In FE-FC, the eye for the sway bar mount is spot-welded onto the lower control arm; in FB onwards, it's an integral part of the control arm.
FB-HD king pins are larger in diameter than FX-FC, but you're not going to that level of disassembly.

Hopefully this will give you enough info to go by. Let me check at home for surplus FB-EK drums and shoes (other than the leftovers from the EK, but I could be persuaded on those . . .)

Rob

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Harv
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Re: School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by Harv » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:47 am

Thanks gents - appreciated.

Crossmember has the flat top, so is most likely FB/EK despite the round bump stops. Brake shoes are 1-3/4" too - FB/EK, and ready to swap into the FB. Happy days. For anyone wanting to measure a stray FB/EK drum, they are near enough to 2" wide across the rubbing surface (where the 1-3/4" of shoe sits).

Got serious with the FB, and found the brake hose had a rub mark. Also found that the slave cylinder was very sticky on the front piston. This is why the lining burnt out - piston stuck out, brake constantly rubbing, burnt lining. Sent Number 1 Son off on pushbike to Rares, returned with new slave cylinder and hose. Slave cylinder is IBS, though came in wrong box (marked rear, not front). Hmmm. Definitely a front one though and correct side.

Installed new hose and slave, only to find fluid dripping past new slave cups (no brake pressure... just hydrostatic head from the brake fluid reservoir. Not good. Pulled new slave out, checked cups - all looks OK. Back together again, looks OK (no drips). Bled system, left it sitting overnight to double check... three drops of fluid out overnight. Not happy Jan. Suspect either the cups are undersized, or bore is oversized. The "wrong box" and leaky cylinder make me wonder about quality control at IBS, though have used their gear for quite some time with no dramas. Will check with Rares today, and probably throw another cylinder at it.

In good news, managed to buy another pair of thongs. At least something went right yesterday :roll: .

Cheers,
Harv
Building an EK wagon (327 chev, TH350, Commodore diff/wheels/brakes, NSW rego), driving an original FB sedan, rebuilding an EK ute for Number 1 Daughter.

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Errol62
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Re: School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by Errol62 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:10 am

Harv I thought all four corners had the same wheel cylinder. I’ve heard of an issue with under size cups in new cylinders previously. They often have the size in raised lettering on one of the cup faces. Your front end must be early fb same as the standard sedan I pulled apart last year. I have parts if needed but freight from Adelaide?


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Harv
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Re: School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by Harv » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:46 am

Thanks mate. Should be OK for parts, though will talk to Rob later (once I'm mobile again) about the drums and shoes... need to cobble together a rebonded set, and give both sides of the FB a birthday.

Front slaves are larger bore than rears, and are mirrored (left and right). Rear slaves are not mirrored (i.e. can swap rears left-to-right, but not fronts).

Cheers,
Harv
Building an EK wagon (327 chev, TH350, Commodore diff/wheels/brakes, NSW rego), driving an original FB sedan, rebuilding an EK ute for Number 1 Daughter.

ardiesse
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Re: School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by ardiesse » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:08 am

Harv,

You've just learned by experience why I prefer stainless-sleeved hydraulic components - the poor FB probably wasn't too happy sitting idle for a few months at Tamworth, and the wheel cylinder pistons started to corrode and stick in the bores. Once I changed over to stainless-sleeved wheel cylinders, I've had no problems with sticking pistons. And considering the quality issues of the replacement cylinders, maybe I could suggest getting yours re-sleeved. It takes some time, though.

Rob

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Harv
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Re: School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by Harv » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:17 am

Agree... early Holden brakes are OK if used regularly, but do not like sitting idle. The FB used to sit for a month while I was at work, then get driven for a month whilst I was home with no dramas. It didn't like the recent 12 months of sitting up in Tamworth, even though Dad gave it a few quick runs over that time. I'm figuring rebonded shoes and sleeved cylinders as part of the birthday.

I swapped the rear shoes over whilst in Tamworth (linings were thin) with a good 2nd hand set. The old rear shoes are in getting rebonded as we speak. Need to cobble together a set of front shoes and do the same. Not sure if the front shoe that I burnt out is recoverable, as the backing copped a moderate pasting (grinding) when the lining finally fell out.

Managed to extract Number 1 Son from bed (with a crowbar), and biked over to Rares to swap the cylinders. No dramas on that part, good interaction with the guys from Rares. All back together and bled... no leaks so far. Letting it sit for a little while before adjusting and test running - praying for no leaks.

Cheers,
Harv
Building an EK wagon (327 chev, TH350, Commodore diff/wheels/brakes, NSW rego), driving an original FB sedan, rebuilding an EK ute for Number 1 Daughter.

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Errol62
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Re: School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by Errol62 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:31 pm

I see where I got confused here. The rears are interchangeable side to side while the fronts are unique. I replaced them all together with the master cylinder and linings on Elle’s FC back in about 1990. They worked very well with the addition of a VH40 booster. That car had excellent road manners with lowered front springs, six and seven by thirteen chromies and low profile tyres.


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In the Shed
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Re: School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by In the Shed » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:58 pm

ardiesse wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:08 am
Harv,

You've just learned by experience why I prefer stainless-sleeved hydraulic components - the poor FB probably wasn't too happy sitting idle for a few months at Tamworth, and the wheel cylinder pistons started to corrode and stick in the bores. Once I changed over to stainless-sleeved wheel cylinders, I've had no problems with sticking pistons. And considering the quality issues of the replacement cylinders, maybe I could suggest getting yours re-sleeved. It takes some time, though.

Rob
Hey Guys,
Agree with Rob's experience and resleeved all my wheel cyclinders, slave & masters on the FB 30 yrs ago. Whenever I have had to replace cups a simple wipe clean and they are ready for new cups. I used Power Brakes here in SA who can post, so might be an option for you Harv?

https://www.powerbrakes.com.au/shop/ind ... c/offset/0?

Regards
Stephen
A day in the shed beats a day at work!

fraze
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Re: School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by fraze » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:19 am

Things are not all sweetness and light with sleeved brake cylinders either. I have used sleeved cylinders on a large number of brake reco jobs over the years and have experienced instances where brake fluid has squeezed between the cyl body and back of the sleeve when hot. Obviously a quality control problem at the machine shop but how can you tell without going through the pain of installing, bleeding the system then having to do it all again. My latest instance was only very recently with my FC. I had the wheel cylinders sleeved only to have one leak as described above. Fraze

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Harv
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Re: School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by Harv » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:30 am

Managed to get the FB back on the road, so some time now to think about rebonded front shoes. Will take the burnt FB ones, and the other "under the house" ones over to Burt Brothers. Hoping the burnt ones are recoverable, otherwise have to hunt down a spare set. Will see how it goes. Should be able to use both "under the house" drums. Looking through the spares department yesterday was a little sad... I've replaced waaay too many slave cylinders over the years, and the stockpile of dead cylinders is embarrassing. Time to move to sleeving as standard practice, so will take some of the dead cylinders to Burt Brothers too.

To add insult to injury, Grace's ute brakes decided to crap out yesterday. We replaced the brakes cylinders last year, but didn't touch the master. Looks like the master is leaking from the cup, and piddling back along the pushrod. This then drips off inside the car, and puddles near the accelerator pedal. A little puddle, but enough. Never a dull moment at my house. Kinda glad it did this while the floors are still bare though... there is Dynamat and a nice Knox carpet to go in shortly that would not have liked the brake fluid. Looks like a set of cups is needed whilst at Burt Brothers.

Cheers,
Harv
Building an EK wagon (327 chev, TH350, Commodore diff/wheels/brakes, NSW rego), driving an original FB sedan, rebuilding an EK ute for Number 1 Daughter.

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Errol62
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Re: School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by Errol62 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:38 am

The smell of brake fluid in the morning........... reminds me of failure. Feeling your pain but you’ll get there Harv.


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rosco
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Re: School me - FE-EK drums and shoes

Post by rosco » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:22 am

Harv, I share your grief.... I've been down that wheel cylinder road quite a few times - and the "rivetted" linings trip too.
I lost a lining on the front going down Bulahdelah towing a caravan in 1977.... not a lot of fun.... well, actually - it was very "entertaining".

Wheel cylinders - yep, been there too.... at the time, PBR were still stocking them and I replaced all four.... only to find that the master cylinder wasn't happy about the new relations and decided it wanted to go the same route as the original wheel cylinders.. I drove home from work after night shift just on the handbrake and engine - a distance of some 30 miles - very glad it was around 04:00 at a time well prior to nightclubs and the associated blasted taxis that service them...

I fitted HR discs and a PBR VH40L, plus "disc compatible" rear wheel cylinders when I did the big conversion to a red and 4 speed... along with an EH rear axle.

At the time, silicone brake fluid was "cutting edge".. and, because I replaced everything in the brake system - I could use it.
This magic fluid has now been in the old bus for some 35 years - it has been bled a few times due to having to remove parts of it to gain access to others - but in all that time, I have not had to replace cups.
I had the front calipers fully reconditioned 10 years back, which should have been done when I fitted the HD disc front end - so now the entire hydraulic system has been fluid new. The pistons in the calipers were pitted from factory brake fluid - I knew this, as they would start to cause me grief when pads wore down to about half-life... they'd jam and release at their convenience - not mine.

I also had to replace the VH40L about two years back... the rear seal was damaged and fluid would leak from the rear of the cylinder and into the vacuum chamber. I tried to find a brake specialist who could recondition the unit - without success... there are not many around now who have knowledge or resources in "servo" units.... almost everything now being dual circuit and mainstream "assisted" units.

I managed to track down a new VH40L on the internet - it cost me an awful lot more than the one I fitted from PBR in 1983 - but, at least it was still available. If I can find a kit for the original PRB unit, I'll have a go at reconditioning it myself... it's only the rear seal to the vacuum chamber which is leaking (very slightly).. I have never dismantled on of these before, but willing to tempt fate....

One huge word of warning about silicone brake fluid.... you cannot use it with anything which has been exposed to standard brake fluid - it will turn the rubber cups and any of the rubbers into marshmallow like.... they are not compatible fluids.
The other downside is the cost of the stuff..... it's like bitcoins.... but, it affords a virtual service free option to vehicles which do a lot of sitting around for very long spells.... and, it won't hurt you paintwork one jot - you can pour it over the most expensive and exquisite paint job and simply wipe it off and detail....

Fortunately, it is still available - because Harley Davidson use it.... and Peter Stevens motorcycles retail it... but, it is terribly expensive and you have to carry reserves of it around with you whenever you travel..... you cannot mix ordinary brake fluid with it - one top up and the entire system will need to be flushed and the rubbers replaced.....

frats,
Rosco

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