1948 KB5 Railway Express


The place to put your K or KB "Build Off" story.

Yard Art
Yard Art

Posts: 90

Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:22 pm

Post Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:44 pm

Re: 1948 KB5 Railway Express

REAR BRAKES: Part 1

Pulled apart the rear brakes. I bought a 4-ton jack for the job as my 1 1/2-ton car jack had to struggle way too much to get the truck lifted. I got the truck up in the air easily with the 4-ton jack and blocked it up using solid (not hollow) cement blocks under the rear bumper.

Pic #1 & #2 - The truck has dual wheels, so first removed the outer wheel nuts & wheel, then the inner Budd type lug nuts (using a special Budd type socket) which secures the inside wheel and then removed wheel. Drivers side is left handed threads, so loosen by turning to the right. The drum is now accessible. The rear axles get pulled next by unbolting the nuts that hold it to the Budd drum.

Pic #3 - Next is the axle lock nut - this is the one on the outside (there are 2 axle nuts). This nut also has a channel machined into the outside of it that holds a felt seal which rests up against the inside of the axle flange to keep gear oil from spilling out of the axle tube and onto the brakes. The outer lock nut is secured by a flat like washer that has "ears" which are folded over onto the lock nut to keep it from backing off. Look for them as they are there. Flatten or break off the ears with a small chisel and remove the outer lock nut. I learned that the axle nuts unscrew as any nut does, and were not left handed threads like the lug nuts. Slide out the securing washer and remove the inner axle nut which holds the bearings/drum in place. Then the drum/bearings are free to be pulled off.

Pic #4 - Upon removal of the driver's side brake drum, the front brake shoe was in three pieces. The problem here is that the brake shoes are cast iron with the brake lining riveted on. Good luck on finding a "new", let alone good used, set of brake shoes. As old as these are, I don't trust the cast iron. My guess is the brake shoe was at some point frozen to the adjustment pin at the bottom and when the brake was applied, the pressure from the wheel cylinder was great enough to bust the cast iron. More on this later in another post.

Pic #5 - Everything was frozen up from sitting so long. The "Hi-Tork" wheel cylinders, sometimes called "mountain brakes," were frozen solid and the aluminum pistons corroded away in some spots. Thought about having them sleeved and rebuilt, but when I broke one of the cylinders trying to free up the piston inside, I purchased a new reproduction set from an Ebay seller. The reproductions are a match & complete. They come with attachment bolts and lock washers, copper O-ring gaskets & banjo screw for the factory banjo brake cylinder fitting that gets reused.

Pic #6 shows the lower section of the brakes with the screw expander which pushes off the front shoe to adjust the bottom of the rear shoe. The lower section of the front shoe uses a cam adjuster seen to the left of the screw expander and moves the shoe in or out to get the correct air gap between the shoe lining and drum. The screw expander has a star wheel like most drum brakes, but this one is broken in half and can be seen jammed at the top of the screw expander. I'll fabricate a new one.

Pic #7 & #8 - Got all the brakes apart & off. You can see the three brake shoe adjusting cams, 2- round and the 1-triangle. These get removed, freed up, and reinstalled. With everything disassembled, I cleaned up the backing plates and painted them. Then I installed the new Hi-Tork wheel cylinders. I painted them to protect and used a silver paint so they would show up better in my photos.

Pic #9 - I wanted to change the rear axle gear oil and at the same time, look inside at the gears to check their condition. I removed the steel brake lines and the rubber brake hose attached to the rear axle cover. Drained the rear end gear oil and unbolted the cover and removed it. No metal of any kind found in the bottom of the case and everything looked good inside. I stripped the rear end cover to bare metal and repainted.

I did not have, nor used or made, a cork gasket for the rear cover. Instead I went with Permatex RTV Gear Oil Gasket Maker, #81182. It is supposed to be specifically used on transmissions and rear axles having gear oil. I cleaned both mating surfaces, put a bead on the rear end housing and a thin layer on the cover. Then bolted it together getting the bolts snug enough to watch the RTV squeeze out along the edge cover. It says to let it set like this for 24 hours, then torque down the bolts.

The original steel brake lines were rotted and the rubber brake hose shot. The hose itself measured about 17" having a female end at the frame which was attached to a bracket on the frame and a male end that went into a brass "T" block which then bolted onto the rear end cover. The left & right steel brake lines on the rear end screw into the block. Total length from fitting to bracket was just a little over 19".

Rather than locate another straight hose, and to eliminate a potential leak using the original "T" block, I found that a 1971-72 Chevy Suburban rear axle hose was 18" long and had the brake line fitting for the steel lines as part of the hose. The Suburban hose uses a horseshoe clip to hold it in place on its frame, while the International hose had a threaded end and used a large nut holding it to the bracket bolted to the frame rail. I removed the horseshoe clip from the Suburban hose, did a little grinding to reshape the hose end so it would pass through the International bracket, and then reinstalled the horseshoe clip to secure.

The bolt hole on the Suburban's T-fitting end which secures the hose to the rear end cover was smaller than the original International bolt hole on the "T" block. The Suburban fitting did not have enough material to drill oversize, so I fabricated a short length of 1/8" flat stock having a small hole on one end to bolt up to the hose and a larger hole to pass the bolt through used on the International's rear end cover. I removed the top left rear end cover bolt and attached the bracket with brake hose at that point.

Pic #10 - I torqued all my bolts to 40 ft lbs. I could not find any torque numbers for this. 30 seemed not enough, so I went with 40 ft lbs. The top left bolt on the rear end cover has a hole drilled through it and makes up the rear end breather. It was plugged up at the outgoing steel cap. I pulled the steel cap off and added a breather tube using 1/4" brake line bent 90 degrees downward and a joining section of rubber gas line hose and hose clamps.
I purchased two 4-foot lengths of steel 1/4" brake line to make the rear axle brake lines. I formed each line around the cover and out to the backing plate and into the banjo brake fittings that screw into the wheel cylinders. I reused the factory clips attached to the rear leaf springs to run the lines through and had to fashion another length of 1/8" flat stock to create a bracket to hold the brake line secure from vibration/movement on the right side. I cut to length & flared each brake line once I had the correct length of line going up and into the banjo fitting. Not factory perfect, but pretty good in my book while laying on your back in the dirt.
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Yard Art
Yard Art

Posts: 90

Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:22 pm

Post Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:15 pm

Re: 1948 KB5 Railway Express

Just an update. Dropped off a set of the cast iron rear brake shoes to my local fabrication shop. They have a CadCam engineer who thought he could create a program that would allow their computerized laser cutter to create a pair of shoes in 1/4" metal plate. I explained what I wanted to do, 1 plate having all the mounting holes and the other being a curved plate (they have the machine to shape the curve of the 1/4" plate) that would get welded to the mounting plate and then accept the brake lining riveted to it. I work in a truck-trailer shop and all the trailer brake shoes are 1/4" steel plate shaped'/formed for their specific application.

Apparently the CadCam engineer felt he could not draw a program that would be exact enough to work given the various shapes found on the casting and the need to get all the tolerances exact. So I am going to pick up all my parts that I provided, and will create my own templates using plexiglass. I worked assembling helicopters for a couple years and I learned to create/use lexan templates to get accurate rivet patterns used in joining parts together. I had hoped the fab shop could have saved me the time it'll take to make these up. But, once I have an accurate template, I can then bring these to the fab shop and have them laser cut & shape the flat plates I will need to make the brake shoes.

Until then, I have hit a brick wall and the KB5 is stalled in its tracks. Cold weather has set in so I won't be working on it until spring when it warms up again. I will be working on getting the front sheet metal chemically stripped and then have it primed & painted by the painter at our trailer shop so it will be ready for installation in the spring as well.

Meanwhile, I went to the NC Transportation Museum in Spencer, North Carolina where they have a restored 1939 Chevrolet truck used by the Railway Express Agency. The custom box body was very similar to my '48 but was manufactured by the Ward Motor Vehicle Company of Mount Vernon, New York. Attached a couple photos of it.
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Golden Jubilee
Golden Jubilee

Posts: 4176

Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:28 pm

Location: Lyman, IA

Post Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:55 pm

Re: 1948 KB5 Railway Express

with the other side for a pattern, it wouldn't seam an impossible task to make a shoe. One note, not that it makes a difference "Mountain Brakes" are slightly oversized brakes. either bigger diameter or wider than the "stock" brake. So for a truck 16.5 x 8" would be the mountain brake for the std 16.5 x 7 brake.
The Hi Tork was the mfg name for the arraignment and design of the brakes them selves.
There was an equipment mfg that used those type of cyl and brakes long after the truck market stopped using them. I don't remember the name, but they made all terrain forklifts.

Yard Art
Yard Art

Posts: 90

Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:22 pm

Post Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:58 am

Re: 1948 KB5 Railway Express

cornbinder89 wrote:with the other side for a pattern, it wouldn't seam an impossible task to make a shoe. One note, not that it makes a difference "Mountain Brakes" are slightly oversized brakes. either bigger diameter or wider than the "stock" brake. So for a truck 16.5 x 8" would be the mountain brake for the std 16.5 x 7 brake.
The Hi Tork was the mfg name for the arraignment and design of the brakes them selves.
There was an equipment mfg that used those type of cyl and brakes long after the truck market stopped using them. I don't remember the name, but they made all terrain forklifts.


Not questioning you as I am only going by info I have found in a period era brake parts manual and the Service Manual. Time has a way of adding confusion to what is truth. These are what seem to be called the Hi Tork brakes (although I didn't find them called this anywhere in the manual) using wheel cylinders FD6122 & FD6123 having the larger bore size being 1 3/8" and the smaller "dog leg" cylinder bore of 11/16". The drums are 14 1/8" diameter Budd drums for duel wheels. Shoe brake lining is 3" wide, 3/8" thick, and 14 7/8" in length. I purchased a set of brake linings that fit the 1956-57 Divco delivery van/truck. 14 1/8" drum diameter, 3" wide, 3/8" thick, but about 13 1/2" in length as I recall.

Looking at the Service Manual Specs for KB5, the std rear brakes are the same as above with the "Increased Capacity" (maybe what are the "Mountain Brakes"?) rear brakes shoes being 15"x4"x3/8" - so a 15"x4" drum. But, the rear brakes both share the same wheel cylinder dimensions - 1 3/8" & 11/16" as std and "special wheel cylinder." Then when I go to the actual brake shoe adjustment section in the manual, it only lists the 14 1/8" size shoe for the KB5 and the 15"x4 is found under the KB6 section.

The rear shoes being cast have specific contours and raised bosses where they are machined to tolerance to fit over the adjusting pins on the backing plate and the front shoe has the "ear" at the top that fits into the push pin on the wheel cylinder while the rear shoe does not as the "dog leg" side pushed on the bracket which acts like a fulcrum to apply pressure to the rear brake. Very odd set-up. All those holes have to be exact or the shoes won't fit to the backing plate pins and of course, won't fit correctly within the drum. I feel I can make a template to create a steel shoe, but I know it is going to be a lot of work testing & fitting. Casting new shoes is really not an option as I don't want a casting and am sure the costs are not inexpensive. I am doing a little research into computer designed reverse engineering using laser scanners. There are companies online that seem to offer services that might fit what I need to make a CadCam program that my local fab shop could use for their laser cutter and cut the flat plates needed to make up the brake shoes.

I will eventually figure it out and will have a set of steel brake shoes fabricated one way or the other. LOL

Golden Jubilee
Golden Jubilee

Posts: 4176

Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:28 pm

Location: Lyman, IA

Post Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:59 am

Re: 1948 KB5 Railway Express

I am quite familiar with the Hi Tork brakes as I have two K-7's. In the early years of the K model the GVW varied a bit and the brake size with it, all in the same "model". One of my -7 has a GVW of 16K where the other is 21K. Same axle and drivetrain, but the rear brakes are different.
I have to say its been a while since I was "inside" and I don't remember if the shoes were cast or not on the -7's I have.
As i said before, there was an equipment mfg that used those style brakes long after trucks stopped using them, but the name escapes me, Hi Tork was the mfg name for the style,
The bottom pivot pins are adjustable, they move in the backing plate to align the shoe in the drum when you install the brake (called major adjustment in the manual). While it does take some degree of accuracy, in the mfg of the shoes, it should be doable. As long as you have one good shoe to use as a pattern.

Golden Jubilee
Golden Jubilee

Posts: 7718

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:45 pm

Location: Canada's left Coast

Post Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:04 pm

Re: 1948 KB5 Railway Express

In Burnaby, BC, there was/is a company, Patrick Equipment Ltd, Forklifts & Trucks, Parts & Supls, listed under "Forklifts & Trucks, Parts & Supls" category, is located at 2625 Douglas Rd Burnaby BC, V5C 5B5, Canada and can be reached by 604 299-7571 phone number.
I wonder if this is the company CB89 is referring to . Patrick Equipment built custom fork trucks and many were all wheel drive. If I remember, much of what they used was recycled or NOS truck parts. While I do not know if the fork trucks used the brakes the OP refers to, I am inclined to think there is a possibility. I used to by NOS IHC steering wheels for L&R IHC trucks from them.
Patrick Equipment was known for repurposing retired military machinery.
The original facility remains and there seems to be some activity in and around the building.
I would rather have tools I do not need than to need tools I do not have
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
Mark Twain

Yard Art
Yard Art

Posts: 90

Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:22 pm

Post Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:51 pm

Re: 1948 KB5 Railway Express

Well here is an update and where I am at with the rear shoes.

I picked up all my rear brake shoe parts at my local fab shop. I did an internet search and found a company based out of California, with other branches of the company across the country, that offered 3D scanning of any item. The company is called Arrival3D (arrival3d.com) They do anything - tiny to complete cities. Then they can create a 3D picture, model, or blueprint as needed. I needed a Cadcam program that could be used for my fab shop's 2D laser cutter. They said they could do that. They just had to see a photo of the part to quote me a price.

I sandblasted a set of rear shoes. Pics are included. In pic#4 you can see the lower adjustment hole has been brazed. I suspect what happens is these cast iron shoes do not have the brass/bronze hole insert like the front shoes have. The diameter of the hole is a fairly tight fit on the adjustment cam/pin. If the truck sits for an extended time, rust probably gets in and seizes the shoe to the pin. Hit the brake and the hydraulic action of the wheel cylinder has enough pressure to expand the shoe, except the shoe at the bottom sticks and the force is great enough to crack or brake the cast iron shoe. I believe this is why my other rear shoe broke in 3 pieces - something has gotta give.

Got my quote, not inexpensive, but not crazy, and I packaged them up and shipped them to their location in Oklahoma City. They had a question as to how I wanted the brake shoe designed. I plan on a 2-piece design that I can weld, what I call the main body with all the dimension holes, and the outer curved shoe that the brake lining will be riveted to - my fab company has a roll/bender that they can shape the arced plate for the lining attachment. So the 3D company will design a program for the laser cutter that will enable me to do this. I enclosed the picture they emailed me so all can see what this looks like in its basic form.

Hopefully this will get me to where I want to be and have a new set of steel brake shoes that will get the new linings I have.
Attachments
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03  Front Shoe.JPG
04  Rear Shoe.JPG
05  Rear Shoe.JPG
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Golden Jubilee
Golden Jubilee

Posts: 4176

Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:28 pm

Location: Lyman, IA

Post Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:00 pm

Re: 1948 KB5 Railway Express

I think the forklift company was Pettibone, but I could be wrong, That name finely jump to the front of my brain.

Yard Art
Yard Art

Posts: 90

Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:22 pm

Post Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:46 pm

Re: 1948 KB5 Railway Express

Here is a Pettibone. My brother uses it on his railroad. LOL
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