TQ Midget Racer Build.
Installing the braking system
TQ Midget Project - The Stuchamp Special
Hello again !
In this segment of the TQ project we'll be installing the brake system. On
most TQ's, only the rear brakes are used and they are activated with a hand
lever. Our Crosley brakes are of the manual variety, although others may use
hydraulic or disc brakes.
Crosley's used manual 6 inch brakes until 1950 and then switched over to 9
inch hydraulic brakes. The 9" brakes are a direct replacement for the 6"
manual if one so desires. In 1949, Crosley also used Goodyear-Hawley
Hydra-Disc airplane type brakes on some of their cars.
For our project, we'll be using the 6" manual brakes. Our car came with
complete backing plates, but no shoes, lining, springs, etc. I couldn't
readily find original Crosley brake shoes, so we'll be substituting with 6
shoes from the Azuas Company which will require slight modifications to the
The first thing we need to change is the length of the cam shaft. This
required grinding off the cam lever and then placing a washer under the cam
to move it out farther on the backing plate. (see photos) This will allow
the heel of the Azusa shoes to align with the cam. Next we need to re-weld
the lever to the cam shaft. As luck would have it we still had enough of the
shaft coming through the plate to attach the lever and to weld it on. A
little tip, slip a feeler gauge under the new cam washer when welding the
lever. This will keep the lever from being to tight against the backing
plate and allow for freedom of movement.
Since both heels of the Azusa shoes are flat, the next step is to file a
notch in the shoe so that it will sit against the adjustable pivot bolt on
the backing plate. After this we drilled out the hold-down holes in the
shoes to 1/4 inch and the backing plate to 3/8 inch and then installed 1/4"
spring loaded bolts to hold the assembly in place. Next we installed an
Azusa return spring and then bolted the completed assembly to the midgets
rear axle and reinstalled the brake drums.
To operate the brakes, we need a cross shaft that will mount the hand lever
on one side and a pair of link levers on both sides. The shaft is cut from
3/4" d-bar stock and a link rod lever is welded to one end. We then drilled
3/4" holes into the lower belly pan strap support. We then slid the shaft
through and used a support bearing which is located beneath the driveshaft.
The cross shaft is the drilled and pinned to prevent any side to side
For the left side of the midget we drilled a 7/16" hole into a sleeve that
the hand lever rod will be welded into. Next we welded another link lever to
this sleeve. The sleeve is then attached to the cross shaft with set-screws.
Be sure to check the hand lever rod for clearance of the pitman arm and the
fuel pressure hand pump and bend accordingly.
For a little novelty, we added a small chrome piston shift knob from
Speedway Motors to the hand lever rod.
All that's needed to finish our brake project are the link rods and clevises
that attach from the cam levers to the cross shaft levers. We'll do this
later in the project after our new wheels and tires arrive. We don't want to
try installing them now in case the link rods need to be bent to clear the
To make sure everything was in working order, I did install temporary link
rods. The result, perfectly operating mechanical brakes !!! Yipeeee!!!!
Please stop back to see the next segment of this TQ midget project. There's
plenty more work to be done !
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