Atention Bug fans - did early bugs have scrub brakes?

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Terry Sullivan
Posts: 257
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:36 am
Vintage Karting items owned: 4 Bugs, including the Wasp bought by my Dad in 1959. Many Clintons and a few Macs
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Location: Cumming, GA

Atention Bug fans - did early bugs have scrub brakes?

Post by Terry Sullivan » Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:27 am

Did really early Bugs ever have scrub brakes?
Our first Bug was was 1958 (I think) and it had expanding shoe 'barely brakes' on one wheel.
It is the one behind me in this picture with a Power Products engine.
The one I'm sitting on is probably a Custom Bug with DUAL 'barely brakes'!
Me on the old bug.JPG

ted johnson
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:59 am

Re: Atention Bug fans - did early bugs have scrub brakes?

Post by ted johnson » Fri Dec 04, 2020 8:10 pm

Terry, no scrub-on-tire brakes to the best of my knowledge. They actually DID have scrub brakes if you count the first production Bugs with the "scrub-on-sprocket" brake. My fairly early '58 had a piece of lining riveted onto a flat square piece of steel, welded to a piece of about 1/2" square steel stock that ran inside a piece of square tubing that was welded to the bottom side of the axle tube. It had slots in the front and back of the square tube. There was a wedge-shaped piece of flat stock through the two slots, and the small end of the wedge connected to the brake rod. The wedge forced the square pusher and the lining against the sprocket, which was covered in chain oil. You can imagine how effective this single brake was! Pop's dual A400 Bug came along a few weeks later. It didn't have shoe brakes, but an expanding internal band brake like the one in your picture. There was a brake on each rear wheel of the dual engine Bug. They did not work much better than my scrub-on-sprocket brake! I added Moon discs to my steel wheels like the ones in your photo. I had a dual like Pop's only with twin blazing hot Deluxe E-65's. Deluxe meant diaphragm carbs instead of the standard model's Carter float units. With the super loud megaphones, direct drive and all, it wasn't significantly faster than Pop's dual A400 Bug. The REAL revolution came in later '59, when Pop's very early Wasp showed up with a single Mc10 and the revolution of the Palmini disc brake. The Palmini brake actually stopped the kart pretty well, though it was a bit "grabby". I was holding my Palmini in my hand, bleeding it when it squirted brake fluid right in my eye! I had to wear a black eye patch to school for about two weeks, and the girls thought I looked cool-for the first and ONLY time in my life! ;) Ted

johnny rocket
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Re: Atention Bug fans - did early bugs have scrub brakes?

Post by johnny rocket » Sat Dec 05, 2020 8:30 am

I am not sure about the brake- but I am looking for a steering wheel just like the one in the pic

REAR
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:19 am

Re: Atention Bug fans - did early bugs have scrub brakes?

Post by REAR » Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:26 pm

Thats a really cool picture. How old were you Terry ?

R.E.A.R.

Terry Sullivan
Posts: 257
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:36 am
Vintage Karting items owned: 4 Bugs, including the Wasp bought by my Dad in 1959. Many Clintons and a few Macs
User Agreement: Yes
Location: Cumming, GA

Re: Atention Bug fans - did early bugs have scrub brakes?

Post by Terry Sullivan » Sun Dec 06, 2020 10:47 am

Uhhh, 12 maybe?
I'm only 14 now (mentally!) :lol:

ted johnson
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:59 am

Re: Atention Bug fans - did early bugs have scrub brakes?

Post by ted johnson » Sun Dec 06, 2020 11:12 am

Terry, except for the drum brakes, and the fact that my first Bug had no sissy rails, that kart is like mine. Mine had the simple steering wheel. Bug was not offering sissy rails when mine was built. When Pop's dual A400 kart came in, it had the 6" steel rear wheels like all dual Bugs had then, but it also had the three spoke dished steering wheel with spokes made of rod. It looked like they had held them in place by hand while they tacked them. They weren't perfectly even. The old tapered pin holding the wheel on was a bad idea. Charlie had the pin vibrate out of his while he was going down the back straight of the Eau Gallie Speedway. He had a very early AH-58 on the kart by then, and the pin just vibrated out. Charlie was holding the wheel above his head when he went over the end of the track and down into the pond and briar patch. He had put on an old Hellcat wheel, and it was so flimsy that it would bend. I remember that he had added three little gussets to the back of the spokes to try to prevent it bending. Ted

Terry Sullivan
Posts: 257
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:36 am
Vintage Karting items owned: 4 Bugs, including the Wasp bought by my Dad in 1959. Many Clintons and a few Macs
User Agreement: Yes
Location: Cumming, GA

Re: Atention Bug fans - did early bugs have scrub brakes?

Post by Terry Sullivan » Mon Dec 07, 2020 12:34 pm

Ted,
Yeah, I wish we still had those karts. How about those moon hubcaps!
We sold those bugs and kept a 59 Wasp - took it to Germany when dad was assigned there.
Raced the wasp over there and brought it back. It lives in Ohio now with my great nephew Jack.

ted johnson
Posts: 1546
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:59 am

Re: Atention Bug fans - did early bugs have scrub brakes?

Post by ted johnson » Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:22 pm

Terry, all Bugs had steel wheels when we bought ours. We had a stock of Moon Discs, so I put them on both my and Pop's karts. They were very easy to dent and scratch. Pop had Tom Pierson send two more singles for our dealership, both no paint or upholstery along with mine, which was black and had the black rolled upholstery with the big white piping at the edges. The poor kid who bought one of the unupholstered ones kept sliding out of the seat. I remember him sliding out on his butt and pulling the kart over on top of him. A week or so later, he spun in the North turn and hit Pop's dual. He always drove with the tip of his tongue sticking out, and when he hit Pop's tire, he bit right through his tongue. His "rather large" mother ran out to help him, since blood was dripping out of his mouth. I couldn't stop, so I whacked her in her ankles with my tie rods. She ended up all cut and bruised, and poor Charles had to live for the rest of his life with a scarred tongue. That little retired quarter midget oval saw a lot of action. When Pop got the Scorpion/dual Mc6's in in '61, we took it to the oval just to try it out. I spun in the South turn, and just got out and walked back to the pit area. When Pop and I went to pick up the Scorp, we picked up two big pieces of asphalt that had welded themselves to the back tires. We cut the asphalt off the tires with a putty knife and used the propane torch to melt the plugs back into the track. That is the same Scorpion Charlie Craibe still has now. Ted
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