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Front Brakes

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by banginona40, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. banginona40
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    banginona40 Member

    Can someone point me in the right direction. I have done some searching but have not found what I am looking for. I am using a '40 front axle and spindles on my '33 Ford pickup. I'd like to run 15" wheels on the front 5 X 5 1/2" b.p. and wonder what drum brake setup would be best. Thanks for any and all info.
  2. manyolcars
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    manyolcars Member
    1. The Little Pages Tech Archive

    53-56 Ford pickup front brakes
    be sure to add the self adjusting parts
  3. nwbhotrod
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    nwbhotrod
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    Why not use 40 Ford drums and Brakes
  4. banginona40
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    banginona40 Member

    Will the 40's work on 15" wheels? mine are 16". or were 15" also used on 1940 Fords
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  5. manyolcars
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    manyolcars Member
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    because they are Lockheed and are not self energizing
  6. Rehpotsirhcj
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    Rehpotsirhcj Member


    I'm not sure which year Ford switched to the Bendix self-energizing, but the later F1s (read 52) had them also. Backing plates, hubs, etc will work with your 40 spindles with a little different bearing setup.
  7. crminal
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    crminal
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    Having very good results with the '40 brakes on my model A. Non energized work well enough to lock the wheels at will. Just sayin'
  8. 19Fordy
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    19Fordy Member

    The early 50's Ford pick up truck wheels are 15 in. and have the 5 1/2 in. bolt pattern. They will fit and have the little "nubs" which accept the little Ford hubcaps. 49-51 in. Mercury wheels will also fit, but the little nubs are on the outside and will not accept the little early Ford hubcaps. As for brakes take a look at MT Products 1939 Lincoln (Bendix) brake kits. 49-51 Lincoln wheels are also 15 in and have the 5 1/2 in bolt pattern. They will fit the 40 spindles and are 1/2 in. wider than the 49-51 Merc wheels. They will not accept the little early Ford style hubcaps. If you are going to run radial tires many folks say you should run rims with the extra safety bead.
  9. tommy
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    tommy Member

    I have both. For open wheel cars, the 40 brakes are iconic. The T shape in the backing plate is classic. For fendered cars and trucks I much prefer my F-100 brakes. I drive my 34 P/U with the F-100 brakes in traffic and don't even think about it. I do allow more stopping room with my 40 brakes on the roadster. I'm not a tailgater. JMHO
  10. Deuce Roadster
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    Deuce Roadster Member Emeritus

  11. porknbeaner
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    porknbeaner Member

    This is excellent advise right here.
  12. Stu Padasso
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    Stu Padasso Member

    ECI sells a disc brake kit for this application for $450. Anyone had any experience with it?
  13. Smack021488
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    Smack021488 Member

    I have 40's fords on 15's and they work pretty good!
  14. Don's Hot Rods
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    Don's Hot Rods Member

    I've never understood the people who say to scrap the stock 40-48 brakes and switch to F100 brakes because the early ones are junk. All I have ever run are the earlier brakes, some with Buick drums, some with stock drums, and my cars stop just as well as my late model daily.

    My ex almost rearranged the rear of my 27 years ago when she was following me in her new car and I stopped short for a red light. My 27 stopped like right now, and she was hard on the 4 wheel discs trying to stop as quickly as I did. :eek:

    And yes, the early brakes fit into 15 inch wheels just fine, even with Buick drums, all I have ever used is 15 inchers myself.

    As for the disc conversions, they are ok, but I hate them for one other reason besides looking too new on a fenderless car.......they dust like mad. You are continually cleaning brake dust off the wheels and everything behind them on the car.

    Don
  15. 40FordGuy
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    40FordGuy Member

    Ford went to Bendix type brakes in '49. I would go that route, just to eliminate that "major brake adjustment" routine,...Necessary if you remove the 39 thru 48 shoes.

    4TTRUK
  16. 296 V8
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    296 V8 BANNED

    After doing up the 40 coupe for my dad w 40 brakes id never do it again.
    I took the thing out (brakes all new) on a test drive and wound her up to about 80 and climbed on the brakes …. I didn’t think it would ever stop.
    They grabbed good for about 50 feet and then sped up like I was off the brakes.
    If you cant see um ……… put discs on
    If you can see um ………. Truck or Lincoln drums
  17. Don's Hot Rods
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    Don's Hot Rods Member

    I have never experienced that. Mine stopped me time after time bringing the car down from 90+ mph in the 1/8 mile drags, with no fade at all. I only adjust mine maybe every 6 months or so and drive it a lot. Maybe the weight of the two cars is a factor, my 27 is lighter than a 40 Ford.

    The only little problem I have ever had is after washing the car or driving through a heavy downpour they are not as good as when dry, but they still work ok.

    Don
  18. Flatheadguy
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    Flatheadguy Member

    I'm 100% with Don's Hot Rod, post #15 above. I have had over five rods with 40 front brake set ups, actually front and rear on all. I never had a problem stopping. Are the self engergizing units better? Yes, they are a better design being that they are newer. Must be better, huh? And, disc brakes are even better. But, come on, guys, there is nothing wrong or unsafe running the early brakes. Of course, proper installation, adjustments and maintenance are required on all, even on the newest whiz-bang set ups.
  19. Deuce Roadster
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    Deuce Roadster Member Emeritus

    To me ... one of the advantages of the 53/56 F-100 setup is that ALL the wear parts are available new ... for cheap money. NAPA ( and others ) have new drums ... shoes and drums are the same 53 to 66 and a spring kits are available and cheap.

    :D
  20. 296 V8
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    296 V8 BANNED

    Yes im sure there fine in a light little fenderless car + there out in the wind.

    Here’s the bottom line for me …. If you cant stop as fast as the dumb ass in the late model in front of you your on barrowed time … I don’t care how careful and or how much you plan ahead.
  21. pasadenahotrod
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    pasadenahotrod Member

    Ford offered and used 15" wheels on 47-48 Mercury and many found their way onto 40-48 Fords as they were available from the dealers and junkyards. They accpet the 40-48 style hubcaps and beauty rings as well.
  22. Don's Hot Rods
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    Don's Hot Rods Member

    The correct answer seems to be that 40 ish brakes are acceptable, F100's are an improvement over that, and discs are probably the best in stop tests. I guess it all boils down to what a particular driver expects out of them. Just like bias plies vs radials..........some of us accept the oddities of bias plies and consider them just fine, others want the more modern radials for "better" handling.

    But if a person wants the very best brakes available, no question 4 wheel discs stop much better than drums or even disc/drum combinations. There is a reason the new Vettes and similar cars don't have drum brakes any more. :D

    Don
  23. Ghost of ElMirage
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    Ghost of ElMirage Member

    AMEN!!! Don is ABSOLUTELY correct and this should be to end of this thread and further more even if you're using earlier mechanical brakes as long as they are properly maintaned they will work fine just like Henry designed them too.
  24. Atwater Mike
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    Atwater Mike Member

    Just a note to 19Fordy's excellent coverage of wheels:

    If using '49-'50 (not sure about '51) Lincoln wheels, the hub cap nub placement looks identical to the Merc, which is 11" diameter. However, Lincoln is 11-1/8", which won't accept the '50 Merc "ash can" cap. Wheel Vintiques made me a pair...one was Lincoln...I had to send them an OEM Merc center.
    Should have reversed them myself. (trying to save Roadster building time)
  25. gasheat
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    gasheat Member

  26. banginona40
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    banginona40 Member

    Thanks everyone......really appreciate you all chiming in.
  27. 48bill
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    48bill Member

    Have used them on a 47 Ford pickup, a 48 Ford pickup and a 48 Chev convert. All have saved me in a least a couple of panic stops.
  28. tommy
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    tommy Member

    All brake shoes need to break in and wear to the drums. Brand new shoes will not stop as well as they do when they seat to the drums. The high spots on any shoe will take a little mileage to get the best stopping power when the entire surface area of the shoe is used.

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