Brake Floaters the Ford Way


For the Model A there has always been the holy grail of brake floaters to get self energizing brakes.

There is some merit to this concept, but I will first note that properly restored original brakes do a pretty darn good job stopping. There is a misconception about the brakes on the Model A. Many believe there is no such thing a good mechanical brakes.

So first and foremost, you must have all the wear properly restored out of your brake system.

That said, lets move on to main subject.

The original Model A brake system has a stationary point at the adjusting wedge. The operating cam or wedge already has some movement in its mount point. If you wander through the V8 Service Bulletins you will see the progression of the mechanical brakes systems. By 1936 they had moved to an all wedge system with a lot of room for the operating wedge to move about. They had also changed to a sliding adjustable wedge and the shoes were no longer held to the adjusting shaft by a pin. They now used a slot to allow full motion of the shoes.

Keep in mind as you adjust the wedge so the shoes move out you are also changing the center point of shoes.

So essentially what is offered by Flathead Ted Floaters was already in service by 1936 in some form.

Now the reason why I bother to point this all out. If you look at the Flathead Ted design you will see the adjusting shaft is locked in place with an external lock nut. My thought is that it looks wrong and is not right for judging. On the other hand, if one were to use the later design floating adjuster then no one would know that you had floaters in your car. Since my brother is more in the V8's than I (he has a 36 convertible sedan) he also has some NOS V8 brake parts.

Here are pictures of a 78-2041 wedge and adjuster shaft. You will see the taper on the wedge is not even. One has more slope than the other so these have an orientation. I need to look up more on how they get installed, but I am not too concerned at this moment. I just thought I would get some pictures out so everyone gets the idea and could take the idea further if they wanted.

I did a little measurement on the amount of slide you get. There will be some inaccuracies as I just held my dial caliper in the hole by hand and measured the amount of movement. The total was about .070".

If anyone has more thoughts or experiences please share them with me.

This is a quick idea of how it works. The spring steel clip ratchets and provides the slide.
The earlier 68 prefixed method did not have the spring steel, it just had bumps on the bottom of the wedge.

Just a bottom shot of the wedge.

This is in my 31 front backing plate. Notice that the taper is uneven with one side having more of a slope.
There is also a flat spot on the bottom of the wedge (in this picture) used to make sure it is oriented properly.


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