’32 Brake adjustment procedure?

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    Hey Folks:

    I’m a visual kinda guy – you know pictures, scribbles, crayon drawings. The procedure in PASB 72-2, page 9 may was well be written in Swahili. Can someone help me out with a intelligible procedure with perhaps a photo or two, maybe a video? Or a Crayola sketch?

    Man, what I wouldn’t give for an +actual+ service manual?





    Two other PASBs you might check are 1974-5 and 1977-3. One is on the 3 shoe brakes the other on the 2 shoe. I am not sure what yours has. The 74-5 issue has lots of pictures. Do you know which type of brakes you have?



    Hi @David White,

    Thanks for the tip – super helpful. The 74-5 PASB drawings make all the difference. I guess it’s time to pull the wheels and drums to inspect and see if these are two or three shoe setups. The car stops amazingly well. The handbrake needs adjustment, I think.

    I just now note that the little brake inspection covers on the drums are missing on my car. Yet another tell-tale indicator of the prior owner’s +tractor mechanic+ “he can fix anything’” friend having had his hands in there.



    I am told yours should be 2 shoe.  I don’t know enough about the 8 cyl cars to know which you have.  Let me know what you find out, it might be time for an update on the subject in the PASB.



    In late 1930, Pierce switched from the three shoe rod actuated Bendix system to the cable actuated two shoe system, called the Bendix Duo Servo.  Your 1932 model would have this later system.  The adjustment procedure is noted on the PASB bulletin and although it sounds complicated, it’s really a quite straightforward procedure, especially if you are only preforming an adjustment and not a complete brake shoe change.  Follow instructions carefully, and you will have very good preforming brakes.  Best of luck.

    Tom Barrett


    Adam, the Chilton Interchange Parts Handbook 1927-1935 shows all 4 years PA’s using the Bendix “Duo Servo” type brake system.  The 29 & 30 cars used the 3 shoe, 15 inch drum size.  The 1931 models are listed as 15″ drum diameter and 2-1/4″ wide, but with 2 shoes. The 1932 models are shown to be 16″ diameter and 2-1/4″ wide, also with 2 shoes.  You can verify the number of shoes in your car by jacking up the front and using a small flashlight to look into the drum inspection hole, counting the shoes as you revolve the drum. The drum inspection hole is very useful observing and setting the toe and heel shoe gap using a feeler gauge.  My favorite brake reference book is “Vintage Veteran BRAKE Repair Manual” by Mr. C. Perham; (printed 1980)  still having a limited availability on Amazon and should be priced about $30.  Regards.


    Two-shoe it is. This’d be a good topic for the PASB, since the procedure hasn’t been covered for over 40 years, now.

    Thanks @Tom – the process doesn’t sound too crazy.

    @Herb, thanks for the info. That brake manual isn’t available on Amazon at present. There was one on eBay recently; I’ll keep a look out for it.



    When you get done with the process, send me any updates you think should be added, and I’ll re-print the process. Thanks.


    Will do,@Dave.

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