Originally Posted by glacierrunne
Finished putting in a new axle on my 1980 Caravelle. Took it for a test run and the brakes are Not working
There is a noise coming from the brake drum when I put down the brake pedal, so it sounds like it is getting juice.I'll get the amp meter out in the morning. What should I look for? Need to have brakes for these mountain passes in Montana! Any help would be greatly appreciated! Don
Before you do anything, make sure the brake shoes are adjusted properly to the drum. Then make sure the brakes are getting power by pulling the break-away switch. You should hear the brake magnets engage. If so, set the gain on the brake controller to max. and drive slowly forward a few feet and press the brake pedal. With new brake shoes and drums you should feel a slight drag.
When I changed axles on my '67 Overlander with the new drums AND shoes I could barely sense the brakes were engaging at first even with max gain, but driving slowly for about 20 miles on back roads and applying the brakes often after accererating each time, I gradually got more brake action.
I don't know why but the new brake drums just don't seem quite as good as my old ones. I do have adequate stopping power with more gain on the controller. Just so you know, I use the vintage Kelsey-Hayes hydraulic/electric system.
BTW what kind of axle did you install? When I researched mine, I found that the stock axle to match original did not have the same diameter brakes. For some reason during the intervening years, axle mfrs changed from 12" to 10" brakes on the original size axle. According to my conversations with other vintage owners who had experience with them, 10" brakes have 10 to 20% less braking power compared to the original 12" brakes.