After wading in my 1956 88-inch, the brakes remain inefficient for a long time. I know they’ll be wet, but they seem to take a long time to dry. Any suggestions?
P Roylance, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
The brakes will be saturated after full immersion. Advice from motoring organisations in the 1950s (when there were many fords on minor roads) was to drive very cautiously with brakes lightly applied for a while, and to keep checking braking efficiency until satisfied.
This technique requires left-foot braking while the right foot controls the accelerator pedal – perhaps okay in the ’50s, but probably not advisable on today’s busy roads. Instead, brake often (where it’s safe to do so) with gentle pressure to warm up the drums. Brakes should dry quite quickly.
I would guess your brakes aren’t fully efficient even when dry – perhaps the drums are scored or the linings greasy. Check that the drum’s drain holes aren’t blocked.
This workshop advice appeared in the January 2016 issue of LRO. Back issues are available to download on digital devices here.