Need direction on brake build

Vintage Don

Sharpest Tool
All-Star
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
497
Location
Medina, Ohio
First Name
Don
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1948
#1
I'm almost done with that crazy "Rebuild Front Axle Part 2" thread, I'm all the way out to the ends now, where the brakes live.

But now I've become puzzled looking for direction on what I'm doing, what I'm looking at, on this brake set-up.

This is a 1948 truck. It has 11" Bendix brakes. Got my new brake parts from Walcks today, and starting to look at what I have to deal with here. The Mechanics Manual apparently thinks we all already know everything there is to know about assembling the brake system, and its only worried about adjusting things... Wrong!

All the online videos I'm finding talk about having two removable anchor pins at the bottom. (Guessing this is a CJ set-up) - and a somewhat different type of eccentric, higher up. I don't have that, the bottom of my shoes are just fixed , no adjustment.

All I seem to have for adjustment is an eccentric going through the backing plate. And the videos think I have a lock-nut on it. But I don't seem to. Everything is round, no nut. I have managed to make them turn a little.

Here's what mine looked like at tear-down, below. Can anyone direct me to an on-line set of instructions, hopefully with some pictures and diagrams?-

 

scramboleer

Super Moderator
Staff member
All-Star
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
5,396
Location
San Francisco, California
First Name
Dan
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1964
#2
But now I've become puzzled...The Mechanics Manual apparently thinks we all already know everything there is to know about assembling the brake system, and its only worried about adjusting things... Wrong!
Ha! That’s how I often feel.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
899
Location
Midwest
First Name
Jim
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
#3
The only adjustment is the on the two eccentrics. Mine were very tight too but I have a lock nut on them. The bottom is fixed on my 1962 as well. It's a feel thing too. Adjust the eccentrics until the shoes touch the drum then back off slightly. I'm not aware of a video or youtube on the Willys wagon.... but here's one that may help.
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
1,080
Location
North Lawrence,Ohio
First Name
Frank
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1959
#4
Don, you have the picture you need. It looks like you're brakes were assembled correctly and if you duplicate what is in the pic you will be ok. You're adjusters do have a lock nut on them. The adjuster is two pieces although it may look like one. The stem prodrudes thru the lock nut. Look in a parts catalog for a clearer picture of the parts. If you have not already done so order new ones. You won't regret it. Good luck!

I found pics of the lock nut and the eccentric. When you assemble these use plenty of never seize.
IMG_1984.JPG IMG_1985.JPG
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
3,520
Location
Wrentham Ma.
First Name
Greg
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1963
#5
Vintage Don
You are wasting money on junk brakes. Get yourself some Bendix self adjusting brakes and start again. Return all your new parts and start with the later backing plates. And while you are at it install a dual master cylinder. People are surprised at how much better the selfies are, even going from 11" to 11".
Sorry to break the bad news to you. I've been telling people to do this for about 40 years now. They thank me when they take my advice.
diggerG
 

ndnile

Bigger Hammer
All-Star
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
183
Location
Northern CA
First Name
Doug
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1959
#6
Vintage Don
You are wasting money on junk brakes. Get yourself some Bendix self adjusting brakes and start again. Return all your new parts and start with the later backing plates. And while you are at it install a dual master cylinder. People are surprised at how much better the selfies are, even going from 11" to 11".
Sorry to break the bad news to you. I've been telling people to do this for about 40 years now. They thank me when they take my advice.
diggerG
Found this at: http://woodys4x4.com/brakes.htm . Is this what you're talking about Greg?

Capture.JPG
 

Vintage Don

Sharpest Tool
All-Star
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
497
Location
Medina, Ohio
First Name
Don
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1948
#8
Gentlemen -

Thank you - ALL - for these responses! Greg, Mickey, and Doug - I appreciate and fully understand what you are telling me, I get it. In my case, though, I'm keeping this old truck bone stock - it's who I am, it's what I do. I fully understand there have been improvements made through the years, and the old iron has some short-comings.

In fact, on Tuesday The Bride traded in her barely used Chevy and brought this home --



It's strictly HER Jeep, the way she wanted it. A 2019 with 285 HP V6, an 8 speed automatic, A/C, cruise, even heated seats and steering wheel! All the comforts of 2019.

So if we want or need the capabilities of a modern Jeep, we can now chose between her Wrangler or my Hemi-powered Grand Cherokee. We got that covered.



So my 1948 will stay all 1948.

Jfcroni and Big Dog Frank, you guys are on my path more. Thanks for the video links, I had watched Carl Walck's earlier. I'm gonna get to the Shop after lunch, and look a little harder at what I've got. It makes sense it has to be two pieces, if they put it together it'll come apart. I'll show you what I'm talking about with "all round" on my eccentric and why it confused me with no apparent lock nut and so on.
 
Last edited:

hames57

Bigger Hammer
All-Star
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
78
Location
Providence, ut
First Name
harry
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1951
#9
Ah, another stock guy. My tribe! (Only because I'm too old, too poor and too lazy to do a fancy shmancy mod). My Dodge Ram diesel handles the real work. But my stock 51 wagon, I hope, will handle the trip to the other side of town to get hardware and maybe a stop at the post office.
 

Vintage Don

Sharpest Tool
All-Star
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
497
Location
Medina, Ohio
First Name
Don
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1948
#10
My afternoon kinda blew up on me, so almost no shop time.... grumble, grumble...

(But I did do my running around in The Bride's new Wrangler shown above - that was fun!)

At least I got some photos here, to show what I'm talking about on these eccentrics. Mine have no hex area on the outer side at all - just a smooth, round body. There does appear to be more than one "layer" to the body, but it's unclear what I would grab hold of to lock or unlock the chosen position. They turn very hard (at least with a short wrench). Maybe they are just supposed to stay where you turn them too? Seems like an odd adjustment if that's the case, though.

All 4 are like this. It looks almost like the way they made them is to swage down the corners on that outer shaft, to lock it down. Then it's permanently on there. Maybe then it is just turn it to correct adjustment and it stays there. Here's the "outer" side, that you would adjust with -



and the "inner" side, that moves the brake show -

 
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
1,080
Location
North Lawrence,Ohio
First Name
Frank
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1959
#12
Found this at: http://woodys4x4.com/brakes.htm . Is this what you're talking about Greg?

View attachment 58151
Those are nice I quess but after owning 18 wheelers and tandem axle dump trucks with manually adjusted brakes on them for 30 plus years adjusting the brakes on four wheels on a pickup truck a couple of times a year is no big deal to me. Certainly not worth that kind of money to invest. Sorry Greg.
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
1,080
Location
North Lawrence,Ohio
First Name
Frank
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1959
#13
My afternoon kinda blew up on me, so almost no shop time.... grumble, grumble...

(But I did do my running around in The Bride's new Wrangler shown above - that was fun!)

At least I got some photos here, to show what I'm talking about on these eccentrics. Mine have no hex area on the outer side at all - just a smooth, round body. There does appear to be more than one "layer" to the body, but it's unclear what I would grab hold of to lock or unlock the chosen position. They turn very hard (at least with a short wrench). Maybe they are just supposed to stay where you turn them too? Seems like an odd adjustment if that's the case, though.

All 4 are like this. It looks almost like the way they made them is to swage down the corners on that outer shaft, to lock it down. Then it's permanently on there. Maybe then it is just turn it to correct adjustment and it stays there. Here's the "outer" side, that you would adjust with -



and the "inner" side, that moves the brake show -



Now that's different.
 

Vintage Don

Sharpest Tool
All-Star
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
497
Location
Medina, Ohio
First Name
Don
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1948
#16
Right gasoil, that's why I'm struggling here to understand the correct way to adjust this style - all the available info I'm finding is about CJ2A's, and it's different. Also I think you have 9" brakes where as these are 11".

So Big Dan - have you worked on them? How do you lock down an adjustment?
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
116
Location
Indiana
First Name
Chris
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1950
#19
Those are nice I quess but after owning 18 wheelers and tandem axle dump trucks with manually adjusted brakes on them for 30 plus years adjusting the brakes on four wheels on a pickup truck a couple of times a year is no big deal to me. Certainly not worth that kind of money to invest. Sorry Greg.
Those brakes do more than self adjust, they are also self energizing. Meaning, when the shoe contacts the drum, they cock slightly to wedge themselves into the drum, helping you stop faster with less pedal effort. In fact, not all self energizing brakes are self adjusting, my '49 Pontiac, for one. With the stock brakes, the brake shoes are anchored at the bottom, so the only braking force you have is what your leg can apply. The brakes on Willys products were almost obsolete when these trucks were designed.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
214
Location
Ontario
First Name
Ken
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1962
#20
X 3 on what Digger and Chris said. The original Willys brakes with the fixed pivot only effectively use one shoe in each direction. With the floating adjuster the brakes use BOTH shoes for double the effective brakes.

Look at the pictures Don and Doug posted and you can see the difference. Shoes only work in the direction of rotation, in the original Willys setup the fixed pivot at the bottom means the rotation of the wheel loads one shoe, unloads the other. Only one works going forward, the other backing up. The later self energizing brakes with the floating adjuster and the pivot above the wheel cylinder allows both shoes to apply and the load is transferred all the way around to the pin. Double the braking power, looks stock.

BTW many years ago I had an MG that had double leading wheel cylinders in the front drum brakes. The system worked pretty well driving forward. But it was almost impossible to stop backing up. You learned to really be careful backing into a driveway!

I went with the self adjusting setup on the Willys to keep the stock look but have something safer to drive.
 
Top