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Old 03-19-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
SevenYearFamine
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Default ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

Have a few questions on the easiest way to make everything work. Brake stay, axle adjusters, brake arm & spring... all the stuff that needs to move or not is getting in the way of something else.
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made a quick video to explain in detail. Any help on one or all would be great. I'm sure I'll have to do some fab work, just can't decide which route to take. Maybe some of you can offer advise of what or what not to do.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

take a pic of what it looks like when the brake stop is in the correct position

my brake lever is very close to my axle adjusters also but I have enough room to get a wrench in there
I basically moved my wheel all the way forward (towards the front of the bike) in the axle plates and set my chain at that length
its a little tight but like I said its enough to get a wrench in there to tighten it down
and allow for a little bit of adjustment in the axle
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

if the arm fits behind the adjuster (in its right position) it should be fine. remember when you tighten the adjuster the arm will move back with it, always keeping the same clearance. sometimes you have to do without the extra locking nut though. seems most logical to me.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

can't you make a new slot for the stay similar to this and just rotate the drum a little?? you'll get some rotation in the drum when adjusting but seeing your brake lever i don't think it's a problem

//janne

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Old 03-20-2012, 06:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

looking at the plate makes me wonde if it's upside down as the holes look like they would line up if it where that way
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

Ralphie and Rebel got it right, the brake stay needs to go in that slot, in line with the axle slot, or you won't be able to adjust the axle. The adjusters are really close to the brake arm on mine but will never get any closer since they are tied together on the brake plate/ axle. I can't see the whole hardtail but I'm guessing it's stretched, so you need to make a longer brake rod, or add to the middle of that one. Here's a photo of mine so you can see:

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Old 03-20-2012, 10:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

I put it back in the correct position and snapped some pics:


Thanks guys. Of course the arm moves with the wheel when adjusted, duh I didn't think of that. Although the adjuster is touching the spring behind the brake arm, I'm still able to tighten it & it should work this way.

I guess I was thinking I needed to start in the most forward position of the axle plates to allow the most room for tightening. I guess I could get another 3/8" if I took one of the locking nuts off. So as is, looks like I have about 1/2" of (tightening) adjustment. Is this enough for chain stretch, or will I need to find a way to utilize the empty axle space towards the front?
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

Quote:
Originally Posted by SevenYearFamine View Post
I put it back in the correct position and snapped some pics:


Thanks guys. Of course the arm moves with the wheel when adjusted, duh I didn't think of that. Although the adjuster is touching the spring behind the brake arm, I'm still able to tighten it & it should work this way.

I guess I was thinking I needed to start in the most forward position of the axle plates to allow the most room for tightening. I guess I could get another 3/8" if I took one of the locking nuts off. So as is, looks like I have about 1/2" of (tightening) adjustment. Is this enough for chain stretch, or will I need to find a way to utilize the empty axle space towards the front?
try and get the axel as far forward as you can and then set your chain and adjust from there
you can also take off one of the nuts and just run some loctite on that side and a single nut
its a super tight fit but I think its like that for everyones hardtails
I know mine is just as tight
also Im not running that spring on mine
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

Why is there a spring on the brake arm?
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

That spring is off a later model sportster, I believe they had them on the 75/6 sportsters, when they went to the cable. Ditch it. The internal springs on the brake shoes will return the brake arm. I never run the double nuts, I use a poly lock nut. Loctite will fight the adjustment. You can also remove links as the chain wears, and if you need to just remove a half link, get a half link to add back. You can get them anywhere you get chain. Also, if you decide to run the rod on the bottom, you will need to reramp the brake camshaft. Or it will be hard to have any braking control. The cam is ramped in one direction and square on the other side. when you flip the brake arm, it pulls in the opposite direction, pulling the square side of the cam to actuate the brake shoes. When you get it apart, look, you will see it easily.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

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Originally Posted by shovithead View Post
That spring is off a later model sportster, I believe they had them on the 75/6 sportsters, when they went to the cable. Ditch it. The internal springs on the brake shoes will return the brake arm. I never run the double nuts, I use a poly lock nut. Loctite will fight the adjustment. You can also remove links as the chain wears, and if you need to just remove a half link, get a half link to add back. You can get them anywhere you get chain. Also, if you decide to run the rod on the bottom, you will need to reramp the brake camshaft. Or it will be hard to have any braking control. The cam is ramped in one direction and square on the other side. when you flip the brake arm, it pulls in the opposite direction, pulling the square side of the cam to actuate the brake shoes. When you get it apart, look, you will see it easily.
He's running a rod and not a cable and the backing plate has no provision for the cable so that spring is useless. Like you said, the shoe springs are more than enough.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

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Originally Posted by shovithead View Post
That spring is off a later model sportster, I believe they had them on the 75/6 sportsters, when they went to the cable. Ditch it. The internal springs on the brake shoes will return the brake arm. I never run the double nuts, I use a poly lock nut. Loctite will fight the adjustment. You can also remove links as the chain wears, and if you need to just remove a half link, get a half link to add back. You can get them anywhere you get chain. Also, if you decide to run the rod on the bottom, you will need to reramp the brake camshaft. Or it will be hard to have any braking control. The cam is ramped in one direction and square on the other side. when you flip the brake arm, it pulls in the opposite direction, pulling the square side of the cam to actuate the brake shoes. When you get it apart, look, you will see it easily.
Ok, sweet. I'll ditch the spring and go to one nylon lock nut on each side. Never heard of half links, but just looked them up.

So I took the cam out and see what youre saying.


Doesn't look like I can take it apart and reverse it so what do you mean by reramping it? Just grind down the square edges to match the round? It doesn't need the opposite side square to act as a stop?
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:26 AM   #13
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Default Re: ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

You can get thin nuts if ya wanna run the double nut setup. About half the thickness of a standard nut.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

If you are picky, you can grind the square side, and weld up the original side and grind back to square. I have done this many times, never welded up the original side and they work just like stock. But you only need to do this, if you are flipping the brake arm from stock position, to the down under position.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:03 PM   #15
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Default Re: ironhead hardtail drum brake setup, help

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Originally Posted by shovithead View Post
If you are picky, you can grind the square side, and weld up the original side and grind back to square. I have done this many times, never welded up the original side and they work just like stock. But you only need to do this, if you are flipping the brake arm from stock position, to the down under position.
Gotcha. I kinda like the the look of it flipped, and I think it'll be less tweaking on the brake rod to line it up under the frame, so some grinding will probably be in my future.
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