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Suggested reading on this subject
The American Dirt Track
Dirt Track Auto Racing
Dirt Tracks To Glory ..
Outlaw Sprint Cars :Inside Look
History Midget Auto Racing
Quarter Midget Racing is for me
American Zoom Stockcar Racing
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Part 3 of the TQ Midget racing car build project

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 backing plate.

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 movement.

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 new tires.

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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