You shouldn't have to push the pedal too far before you feel some braking effort. By half way down you should be stopped. I would expect you to be able to lock up the brakes, or darn close, by standing on the pedal hard, panic stop style. From your question, it sounds like you may have a problem?? Just like with newer vehicles, long throw (too close to the floor) or spongy pedal means you have defective parts still or air in the lines. Or, you could just need to adjust the shoes tighter.