Help needed, 404 front drum brakes.
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Help needed, 404 front drum brakes.

    I have a 404 sedan and a lot of money was spent on the brakes before I bought it....but when the brakes get hot the front shudders back through the pedal and steering wheel, I had the drums machined, with not much improvement. Any ideas.......Do 504 discs etc fit old 404's. Thanks Spike.

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 404 tragic View Post
    I have a 404 sedan and a lot of money was spent on the brakes before I bought it....but when the brakes get hot the front shudders back through the pedal and steering wheel, I had the drums machined, with not much improvement. Any ideas.......Do 504 discs etc fit old 404's. Thanks Spike.
    I would be inspecting the linings . Are they soaked with oil ? New bonded linings are less that $50 trade per axle.

    If you want to fit disks it's straight forward. But it would easiest to pull the parts from 69 or later 404 so you know exactly how things go back together.

    For the record you will need:

    • Front disks and hubs
    • Calipers, mounts, backing plates and bolts
    • Hoses
    • Master cylinder all front brake lines & brake tee fitting on front cross member. The line fore to aft under the car.
    • Brake booster and hoses, brackets
    • All the brakes lines, compensator and springs, brackets etc on the diff.


    504 disks are four stud so they don't make a good replacement.

    I would also check out the front suspension for wear. Worn bottom balls joints can cause vibration
    but only when hot is a bit of a mystery.

    Loose wheel bearings are also a known cause.
    The less one interacts with rude, ignorant, critical and argumentative members. The more peaceful life becomes.

  3. #3
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    Both 203 and 403 suffered front brake shudder. I don't know if this is relevant to the 404. It was caused by problems with the Australian made wheels. The mating surface betweeen the wheel and the brake drum was imperfect. When the wheel studs were tightened, the drum was pulled out of true. Gordon Milller wrote a piece on it. A test was to put a sheet of glass on the mating surface of the wheel rim. It showed up an uneven surface. The treatment was to have the wheel rims machined lightly to give a good surface. Not all cars would suffer from the problem. The 404 drum brakes had an excellent reputation and problems with shudder were never mentioned in local or overseas tests.

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Hall View Post
    Both 203 and 403 suffered front brake shudder. I don't know if this is relevant to the 404. It was caused by problems with the Australian made wheels. The mating surface betweeen the wheel and the brake drum was imperfect. When the wheel studs were tightened, the drum was pulled out of true. Gordon Milller wrote a piece on it. A test was to put a sheet of glass on the mating surface of the wheel rim. It showed up an uneven surface. The treatment was to have the wheel rims machined lightly to give a good surface. Not all cars would suffer from the problem. The 404 drum brakes had an excellent reputation and problems with shudder were never mentioned in local or overseas tests.
    I'd completely forgotten that! Thanks Russell.

    You could try rotating the wheels 120 degrees (1 stud hole) and then tighten the nuts by hand with a wheel brace.

    There is no need to tighten them with such force that rear wheels of the car lift off the ground nor with a rattle gun. Excessive torque can cause distortion on the wheel rims.
    The less one interacts with rude, ignorant, critical and argumentative members. The more peaceful life becomes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    I would be inspecting the linings . Are they soaked with oil ? New bonded linings are less that $50 trade per axle.

    If you want to fit disks it's straight forward. But it would easiest to pull the parts from 69 or later 404 so you know exactly how things go back together.

    For the record you will need:

    • Front disks and hubs
    • Calipers, mounts, backing plates and bolts
    • Hoses
    • Master cylinder all front brake lines & brake tee fitting on front cross member. The line fore to aft under the car.
    • Brake booster and hoses, brackets
    • All the brakes lines, compensator and springs, brackets etc on the diff.


    504 disks are four stud so they don't make a good replacement.

    I would also check out the front suspension for wear. Worn bottom balls joints can cause vibration
    but only when hot is a bit of a mystery.

    Loose wheel bearings are also a known cause.
    The cross member T-Piece contains a line pressure valve which you will need to maintain a residule pressure to the rear driums.
    You will need to pull the line pressure valve out of the drum brake master cylinder or you will have this pressure acting on the disc brakes causing drag.
    Also you will need to fit disc brake rear cylinders, these are smaller in diamter than the drum brake ones.
    I have a set of genuine Ferodo 4Z woven linings as fitted by the factory if you are interested.
    These are for 65 to 68 models.
    Graham

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Hall View Post
    Both 203 and 403 suffered front brake shudder. I don't know if this is relevant to the 404. It was caused by problems with the Australian made wheels. The mating surface betweeen the wheel and the brake drum was imperfect. When the wheel studs were tightened, the drum was pulled out of true. Gordon Milller wrote a piece on it. A test was to put a sheet of glass on the mating surface of the wheel rim. It showed up an uneven surface. The treatment was to have the wheel rims machined lightly to give a good surface. Not all cars would suffer from the problem. The 404 drum brakes had an excellent reputation and problems with shudder were never mentioned in local or overseas tests.
    You would probably find that if you fitted cross ply tyres the shudder would dissapear.
    I was always suspicious of this then it was confirmed when a mate fitted radials to his low mileage Mazda van.
    Straight away it started to shudder.
    Graham

  7. #7
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    I recall my '67 404 was susceptible to shudder. It's important to do up the wheel nuts to the correct torque which is surprisingly low.

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts Wildebeest's Avatar
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    Have the front brakes been correctly adjusted?
    Instructions in the 404 handbook.

  9. #9
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    Russell wrote:
    Both 203 and 403 suffered front brake shudder. I don't know if this is relevant to the 404. It was caused by problems with the Australian made wheels. The mating surface betweeen the wheel and the brake drum was imperfect. When the wheel studs were tightened, the drum was pulled out of true. Gordon Milller wrote a piece on it. A test was to put a sheet of glass on the mating surface of the wheel rim. It showed up an uneven surface. The treatment was to have the wheel rims machined lightly to give a good surface. Not all cars would suffer from the problem. The 404 drum brakes had an excellent reputation and problems with shudder were never mentioned in local or overseas tests.

    On the thread about 203s I wrote of the way we cured the problem with drums that had apparent small distortion, particularly after the wheels were over tightened, on my 203s and 403s. You need a piece of thin (usually) brass shim metal. Punch the holes for the wheel studs and the axle nut and then put it on the drum before the wheel (like a spacer. Tighten the wheel nuts with a torque wrench (45 psi for 203 and 403 but I am not sure for a 404) and then see how it feels when you apply the brakes.
    I always check the wheel nut tensions about 5 to 6 days later but have never found it has decreased (or increased) and have never had a problem with brake shuddder on the 203 or 403 since adopting this. A small washer of shim brass on each wheel nut also works but I have always used sheet (I bought a heap of shim brass on a pallet of bits at an auction years ago for next to nothing so I can be a bit extravagant without feeling guilty).
    Another thing to look at is the wheels. If the wheels have been done up or painted look for paint runs on the wheel where it faces onto the drum. I have seen the same problem the with paint runs because they do not allow the wheel sit evenly on the drum.
    FLASH

  10. #10
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    Yes but didn't the 404 come out with French wheels, I used to take the wheel hub and drum in to have them machined as a torque set together. This was the only fix that seem to work!

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash Car 76 View Post
    Russell wrote:
    Both 203 and 403 suffered front brake shudder. I don't know if this is relevant to the 404. It was caused by problems with the Australian made wheels. The mating surface betweeen the wheel and the brake drum was imperfect. When the wheel studs were tightened, the drum was pulled out of true. Gordon Milller wrote a piece on it. A test was to put a sheet of glass on the mating surface of the wheel rim. It showed up an uneven surface. The treatment was to have the wheel rims machined lightly to give a good surface. Not all cars would suffer from the problem. The 404 drum brakes had an excellent reputation and problems with shudder were never mentioned in local or overseas tests.

    On the thread about 203s I wrote of the way we cured the problem with drums that had apparent small distortion, particularly after the wheels were over tightened, on my 203s and 403s. You need a piece of thin (usually) brass shim metal. Punch the holes for the wheel studs and the axle nut and then put it on the drum before the wheel (like a spacer. Tighten the wheel nuts with a torque wrench (45 psi for 203 and 403 but I am not sure for a 404) and then see how it feels when you apply the brakes.
    I always check the wheel nut tensions about 5 to 6 days later but have never found it has decreased (or increased) and have never had a problem with brake shuddder on the 203 or 403 since adopting this. A small washer of shim brass on each wheel nut also works but I have always used sheet (I bought a heap of shim brass on a pallet of bits at an auction years ago for next to nothing so I can be a bit extravagant without feeling guilty).
    Another thing to look at is the wheels. If the wheels have been done up or painted look for paint runs on the wheel where it faces onto the drum. I have seen the same problem the with paint runs because they do not allow the wheel sit evenly on the drum.
    FLASH
    403 & 203 use a conical, taper seated wheel nut.

    404s use a half oval clamping arrangement to increase the clamping surface area.
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  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Sorry didn't know about the 404 wheel nuts as I never owned a 404 sedan, looked too much like an Austin Freeway for me. Did have share ina 404 wagon that we drove most places together.
    FLASH

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash Car 76 View Post
    Sorry didn't know about the 404 wheel nuts as I never owned a 404 sedan, looked too much like an Austin Freeway for me. Did have share ina 404 wagon that we drove most places together.
    FLASH
    Didn't need any apology! Simply sharing what I know.

    BMC PF designed cars have different bright trim layout. This makes them look different. I far prefer the way the 404 lines are accentuated by the trim
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  14. #14
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    The question of brake vibration was never mentioned in any road tests. Autocar would do ten stops from 70 mph. The first 404 tested in 1960 lost its brakes to fade in the Alps but didn't vibrate. The Which 10,000 mile test of the 403 where the brakes were deliberately abused didn't show any trouble. So it seems to have been an Australian problem. We had a 1960 sedan that suffered badly from rumble. An experienced Peugeot garage was not able to fix it although one of the mechanics thought it was to do with the wheels being over tightened. He recalled that was the problem they had with 203 wagons and brake vibration. All they could suggest was to machine the drums.

  15. #15
    Tadpole
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    Default 404 brakes

    thanks for your help....Wayne

  16. #16
    Tadpole
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    Default 404 brakes

    thanks for your help....wayne

  17. #17
    Tadpole
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    Default 404 help

    thanks for your reply....Wayne

  18. #18
    Tadpole
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    Default 404 brakes

    Thanks for that I'll try it....wayne

  19. #19
    Tadpole
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    Default 404 brakes

    thank you for your help...Wayne

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