I am beginning to drive our 1916 48B. Obviusly it has only brakes on the rear, but I think, could stop better. We took off the rear wheels to examine the brake shoes and they are somewhat slick and glazed.
Apparently they have been over tightened or were dragging at some time in the past. So the brakes do not work anywhere near our other two wheel brake cars (other makes). Even using the handbrake as well as the pedal on our PA, very hard to stop.
It would seem that better brake linings are needed. Who? What? Where? Should I be looking?
There is a thread about Stewart Warner brakes but it has a link to a lining supplier
Search “Brake linings Stewart Warner Power Brakes”” in this message board.”
I am in the process of switching my brake drums from steel to cast iron. Prior
foot brake use would reduce speed by 3 MPH. With keeping the old lining, I can
now lock up the brakes. The only damage so far, is to my wallet.
This is interesting as I found the brakes on my C-3 to be just fine.The linings are a woven lining put on shortly after I got the car.The internal shoes are the foot brake and the external shoes are the hand brake as original.I found the brakes on this very early Pierce Arrow to be better than some more way modern cars with hydraulic brakes.Again though the C-3 has very low mileage.I driven alot in Model T Fords and never had a problem in stopping.It is important that the brake linings have proper contact with the drums.I have been told that on these right hand drive Pierce Arrows that it is a good idea to to use both the hand brake and foot brake to stop the car.
My local brake shop – which has a lot of experience with antiques – usually assumes the woven material is used for relining antiques. I think it is softer and takes less force than the later molded linings that are used on cars with higher performance brakes such as the ’33-38’s with power assist.
I will search “Brake linings Stewart Warner Power Brakes”.
I have notes from George Teebay about setting clearances between the shoes for the handbrake and the foot brake. They now seem to be adjusted as per.
However, with maximum foot pressure and full handbrake, the car will not lock up the wheels. At a standstill, the handbrake will definitely stop the car. I accidently left it engaged when I started to drive. It holds the car, even on a steep grade, about 20%.
I think the problem is in the lining.
Cannot find “Brake linings Stewart Warner Power Brakes”” in this board with search. I also tried “”Brake linings Stewart Warner”” (without quotes)
Could you add a link in the “”Optional URL”””
Stewart Warner Power Brakes would post date the era of these RHD Pierce Arrows.You would want to use a good woven lining and be sure the contact of the lining to the drum is uniform.Moulded linings came in later.If your linings are worn or soaked with oil,they car will have stopping problems.You might want to check with a very good clutch and brake shop in your area on a good lining material but you need to make sure the shoes have proper contact to the drum.Besides my car I have driven other RHD Pierce Arrows plus other 2 wheel brake cars going back to 1906 and never had a problem stopping.
Here is the body of the message that lists a couple of sources for linings.
Joe at Industrial Friction Materials was most helpful and maybe he can help with the older linings.
“With the help of other members and some tech people, since my car (’33 836) has POWER BRAKES, I was able to source 15′ of Ferotec Friction Ltd. D3915 molded lining and 100 4-5 rivets, (I got the number off the rivet heads on the existing shoes).
I got them from Industrial Friction Materials Co in East Hampton, CT for under a kite flyer, including freight. Ask for Joe at 888-508-3794.
The material I got was .250 x 2.25″ and they need to be cut to 19″, holes drilled, countersunk and riveted to the shoe.
I talked to the tech guy at Ferotec and he said one critical thing is they have to be cured at 350-400 degrees F for 3 hours and either have to have the correct curvature or be mounted to the shoes as they cannot be flexed after they are cured.
If you have a shop that can reline yours, the spec sheets below may help
Spec sheets are available at
Again this is for the ’33 and later cars with Stewart Warner Power Brakes”
Bill Marsh: try this: use a fairly rough sandpaper, and scuff off the glazed hard surface of the brake shoes and outer contracting band lining..
Try to get down to the original un-glazed lining.
If the lining looks like a composite, molded product, it for sure is NOT correct for your car.
The lining should look like a very-large weave ‘burlap’ type woven material.
Your lining is likely to be 3-1/4″ wide for the outer contraction bands and 3″ wide for the inner brake shoes. I think that i the size for my 1919 Series 31 brakes.
With the glaze scuffed off, take the car out for a brake-test drive. You should be able to lock the wheels by using both the foot and hand brake.
Let us know what you find and how it drives / stops after ‘de-glazing’