Dave Stribling
February 13, 2019

Drum Brake Assembly
I took my rear drum brakes apart for a rebuild on my ’70 hardtop and now I don’t know which spring goes on first. Can you share a picture of how they go back together?
Jacob Hutson
Greencastle, Indiana

The first thing my father taught me about brakes is to do one side at a time—that way you always have something to look at while rebuilding them. We have the advantage of digital photography on our phones today. Take pictures before you take anything apart on your car, and you will save yourself from headaches.

To answer your question, it probably doesn’t matter, and here is why. The Ford shop manual (in this case, the 1969 manual) says that the primary shoe anchor spring goes on first in the step-by-step instructions. The same book shows in “Fig. 8” the exact opposite; the secondary shoe spring is on first! Yay, Ford!

What is more important is to make sure that the springs clear the wheel cylinder. They are bent to go around the cylinder and may even fit either side, but make sure they clear the wheel cylinder. Some aftermarket kits come with new springs that are all the same color, so you have to figure out which one fits where. The way I stack the anchor pin is: the shoe guide (the little diamond-shaped piece), the self-adjuster cable eyelet (point it toward the cable guide), the primary shoe spring, and then the secondary shoe spring. Next time take pictures!

The Ford “Fig. 8” diagram shows the anchor pin stack backwards from the actual step-by-step instructions from the same manual.
Whichever spring you put on first, it will be closer to the wheel cylinder, so make sure the spring does not contact the wheel cylinder for proper operation.

Wrinkled Right
Got any tips on how to get the correct wrinkle finish on my 1965 Rally-Pac? I can’t get it to wrinkle up evenly. Thanks.
D. Clendening
Via the Internet

Recoating the outside of the Rally-Pac is frustrating. Where items like Cobra valve covers may be slightly easier, the Rally-Pac wrinkle is very fine and difficult to duplicate properly. Getting the wrinkle consistent really depends on getting the paint to lay evenly, which is difficult with rattle-can paints. The original manufacturer didn’t use rattle-can paint, and I am guessing the reproduction manufacturers don’t use them either.

I have had good success with the wrinkle paint from National Parts Depot (PN AP-EWA) for the correct-size wrinkle. I went out and bought a secondhand toaster oven and I pre-warm my parts to about 150 degrees for about 10 minutes before I spray them. Again, the key is an even coating—the paint will tend to run down and stop at the edge, and then the edges won’t wrinkle. Pre-warming helps with this a little bit. Keep the can as parallel to the surface as you can. There are a lot of curves and corners that make this hard to do. Then, I return it to the toaster oven for 30 minutes or so, and most of the time I get a good result. It doesn’t always work due to the nature of a handheld spray can and human error.

Since I don’t do it very often, I always spray a test piece or two before going after the pieces I want to shoot. This will help you get the feel for the right thickness of the coats. If someone else has a good tip for this, please let us all know!

This Rally-Pac was refinished on the outside, but the owner wanted the faces left kind of dingy to show that it was an original. Getting the wrinkle just right takes some practice.

Photography by Dave Stribling