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1948 Ford F4 build thread

Discussion in 'The Antiquated' started by Hivolt5.0, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Hivolt, I have about a weekend worth of work to finish off my e-brake bracket, then I'll post some pics and show the results. I've encountered a problem with the new master cylinder and booster, however. If I try to install it inline with the brake pedal, it is too long and will interfere with the trans crossmember. Time to do more hotrod engineering! I'm thinking either a reeeeeal long brake rod between the brake pedal and the booster/master, or angling the combo beneath the driver's seat and actuating with a bell crank.

    I just love your setup, and can't wait to see these F-2 guys' builds, too. Here's to heavy-duty hotrodding. Here's an early shot, before I fabricated the bracket. E-brake on Rockwell ham.jpg
    farmer12 likes this.
  2. Osage, first off, great looking e-brake bracket!! That's impressive. I can hardly wait to see the finished product.

    Secondly, I had a similar problem with a buddy's '50 F1 when installing power brakes on his truck. the original transmission cross member was cut (leaving just enough of the original cross member in place to mount the master cylinder in the factory location) and a new trans cross member was installed. What I ended up doing was cutting a section out of the new trans cross member and welding in a bracket that would go under the power booster. These pictures should make more sense.

    The new cross member was tubular all the way across. You can see how I modified the left section.

    Similar to what I used on the F4, this bracket allows me to attach the 4 bolt brake booster to the factory 3 bolt MC location.

    Kind of hard to see, but you can tell how an unmodified trans cross member and the booster wanted to occupy the same space and how my modification solved the problem. This keeps the brake pedal rod length to a minimum, although I did install an adjustable one between the booster and brake pedal.

    The other problem I had to over come was getting a good pedal feel. What I discovered was sense the original cross member was cut, it was flexing when the brake pedal was pushed. The end of the MC was actually moving up and down about an inch! So I made a small bracket that bolted to the modified new trans cross member and to the back of the brake booster mounting bracket. Problem solved.

    farmer12 likes this.
  3. 213.JPG 214.JPG 215.JPG 216.JPG
    As you can see, the m/c and booster slant backwards slightly. Potentially a problem?
  4. Oops. Somehow I dropped a paragraph before the last note. I mounted the m/c and booster on the crossmember just behind the trans support. You can see in the photos that the shaft just barely (an eighth of an inch clearance) misses the trans mount, but the new shaft from the brake pedal to the booster will have to be about 22 inches instead of that 6-inch shaft shown to illustrate clearance at the trans mount. Also, the m/c and booster slant slightly downward. Potential problem? I can shim it, but would prefer not to. Also will have to cut a hole in the floor at the back of the cab to access m/c reservoir. Don't see that as a problem.
  5. Also, here are some shots of the finished e-brake. Decided not to make the "ears" at the back of the differential housing. Instead using three straps. All they really do is hold the bracket with the star cutout tightly into the web ribs of the differential housing, so no need to be quarter-inch steel plate, just strong enough to hold the "star" bracket in place. 210.JPG 211.JPG

    Attached Files:

    • 212.JPG
      File size:
      1.9 MB
  6. Hey Osage, the work is looking good! Now I see what you mean about not having clearance for the MC/Booster and I think your solution is as good as any unless you do away with the power booster. As for the slight tilt, I don't think it will be a problem. I actually encountered a similar situation when mounting the MC/Booster on the F4. In order for the booster to clear the frame rail I had to tilt it toward the center.
    IMG_1020.JPG IMG_1118.jpg IMG_1119.JPG

    Once everything was mounted I "cycled" the brake pedal to watch the actuation of the rod on the booster to make sure it didn't bind and it all works smoothly on mine. That being said, once you get the pedal rod to length cycle it through the motion and see how well it works. That's my $.02.

    Now, for filling the MC, have you thought about a remote reservoir? With your fab skills, make a new lid for the MC with a fitting (or two) to fill the chambers. You could use the rubber gasket from the stock MC lid with your fabricated one. On my buddies F1, since the MC is a standard Chevy MC, he bought a lid that is used with a remote reservoir and then I converted an oil canister to be the remote reservoir. One thing I did learn is to make a bleeding port on the MC lid in order bleed the air from the line between the reservoir and the MC. I had to loosen the lid to get the air out.


    For the e-brake, you'll have to start marketing that fixture! I like it a lot. I like how you've used the third member and made your brackets to work with it. Looks like either the "ears" or the "tabs" would work well. I wouldn't think there'd be a lot of stress on it since it is "just" an e-brake; meaning it isn't having to endure the forces a brake would when trying to stop a moving vehicle. Great job!
    tomkelly88 and farmer12 like this.
  7. I like the looks of that remote reservoir. Has an era-correct look of the late '50s. That's probably the route I'll take. Very clever. Also, thanks for the photos of the proportioning valve and how its mounted. I'll put it inline on the rear brakes, just south of the m/c. After that, I think the brake switch, then the residual valve before going back to the rear.

    Now off to my local metal place to get some 5/8" bar stock for the brake rod. I'll have to get that drilled and threaded by a machinist, since my drill press and vise aren't going to be precise enough for this task. I'm thinking that it should probably be stainless, ensuring it is harder and less prone to flex. Thanks again, for your ideas and support.
  8. Good luck Osage!
  9. Well, it's been awhile but I finally have an update!!! WoHoo! After my sabbatical from working on cars I finally got back to the '48. The past few weeks I've been working on getting everything that's attached to the engine installed before the body goes back on. I figure I have lots of unhindered access at the moment so might as well make the best of it. Anyway, here are a few progress pictures.




    farmer12 and Olson like this.
  10. HOTFR8
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 2,082


    I have been wondering what has been happening with this project. Nice to see an update.
  11. It feels good to be working on it again. Just doing the little things to get the chassis ready for the cab once it is painted.
  12. HOTFR8
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 2,082


    I am sure it does feel good. Working on any project and seeing progress is a great feeling.
  13. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,588

    from Denmark

    I liked it before, and I apparently still do.

    Three 97 on that one, makes it something of a bad @ss truck, on top of all the other things.
  14. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,445


    Looking great Dave! Nice work.
  15. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,038

    from Hawaii

    Its good to see you're back at it Dave. That motor looks good! What kind of fuel manifold is that?
  16. Great to see you back at it. You're running ahead of me, but I'll catch up pretty soon. I think that triple 97s are just hotrod perfect. Wish there was a manifold for a 351. What's next on your agenda?
    volvobrynk likes this.
  17. Thanks volvobrynk. I love those 3 deuces too. Every time I look at them I smile. I think they'll be the icing on the cake so to speak. A fairly stock looking F4 with a surprise under the hood.

    Thank you BrerHair. I'm enjoying putting the finishing touches on the engine, putting pieces back on for the last time and such. Just need to light a fire under the guy who has the body to finish it up!

    Thank you Eli. The manifold is Weiand 4 barrel manifold with a three deuce to four barrel adapter. It was purchased from '' and man the quality is top notch. Unfortunately, the fuel lines got bent in shipping so I'll have to remake those and I want to change the direction of the fuel line. Currently the fuel input is facing forwards but I want to change it to facing backwards. There's just not much room to run a fuel line nicely with the AC bracketry.

    Thank you osage. As I mentioned above the manifold is a standard four barrel manifold with an adapter on it so you could always go that route too for three deuces. The only problem I have at the moment is with the distributor. This is a duraspark distributor that was in the motor when I got the truck but it is all rusty from sitting. As you can see, with the newer style distributor cap it won't let the adapter mount as it should.
    So I put a one inch spacer on the manifold and it allows the adapter to "fit" but it hits the distributor.

    I ordered a new distributor, the older smaller cap style, which came in yesterday so I plan on putting it in to see how much room I have. If it works then all I'll need to do is swap the distributor gear from cast iron to steel or bronze in order to be compatible with the roller cam.
    farmer12 likes this.
  18. cowboyinachair
    Joined: Nov 17, 2010
    Posts: 352

    from colorado

    just put the new small cap and rotor on the dist thats in the motor
  19. Okay, now I'm excited! I had been hoping someone would build a three-deuce manifold for the 351, and this looks like it does the job! I had understood you could put a regular cap and rotor on top of a duraspark, but some folks have experienced crossfiring or misfire. Mix and match. That's what hotrodding is all about.
  20. cowboyinachair
    Joined: Nov 17, 2010
    Posts: 352

    from colorado

    i have never had any troubles but dont go crazy with the coil output
  21. Osage, Cowboy: your comment about putting the smaller cap/rotor on the distributor I already had would definitely work but as you can see in the pic above the vacuum advance is all rusted up as are some of the components in the distributor, plus the drive gear is cast iron which wouldn't work with the roller cam and the cost of changing just the vacuum advance and distro gear was almost as much as getting a brand new distributor with the correct gear so that's what I did. Oh, and the smaller cap provides the needed space just as you suggested. I worked at installing the new distributor last night but for the life of me I can't get the oil pump drive shaft to line up with the distributor such that the rotor is pointing in the right direction. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong but I fiddled with that thing for 2 hours last night and it either wouldn't seat down at all or the rotor would end up in the wrong spot.

    As for the coil, I picked up a chrome MSD coil from an auto parts store so I wouldn't think it's output would be too crazy.
  22. cowboyinachair
    Joined: Nov 17, 2010
    Posts: 352

    from colorado

    what is thte coil output voltage as for getting the oil drive lined up make sure you have the rotor pointed to the right spot and just bump the starter as you push down on the dist.
  23. Got the distributor fully seated last night. I ended up using a socket on a long extension and turned the oil pump shaft a little bit. Put the distributor in and it dropped right down where it was supposed to be.

    IMG_2242.JPG IMG_2244.JPG
    volvobrynk and farmer12 like this.
  24. farmer12
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 7,718


    Great pics David, looking good as always!!!
  25. Yutan Flash
    Joined: Aug 6, 2008
    Posts: 693

    Yutan Flash
    from Gretna, NE

    Subscribed. Buddy of mine is redoing his grandfather's-from-new 1344.JPG '51 F3 flatbed farm truck with 65K miles on the cheap - kept the flathead V8, punched out a frozen piston then replaced with new pistons/rings/bearings, not doing much more than redoing mechanicals (brakes), cleaning up, repainting/refinishing. Runs straight pipes up through flatbed behind the cab, trying to talk him into building low-profile open stakebed sides to replace the stock rack box that it was wearing. He's patiently looking for a cheap set of wheels to replace the 17-inch widow-makers. So what are the rims you're running off of so that I can put him on the right direction?
  26. Yutan, your friend's F3 looks great and I wish him the best of luck with it. Great story behind it too being that his Grandfather bought it new. I'd be more than happy to share any lessons learned. As for the widow makers, this web site provided me with some great info on replacement rims for the F4.
    As for the 17" widow makers, I'm not sure what to tell you. The 17" rims are 8 lug right? The F4 uses 5 lug rims. I'm running the 19.5" one piece rims from an RV to replace the 20" widow makers.
  27. Thank you Eric. Your car is looking really good as well. I can't wait to see it painted!
  28. Oh, yeah, multiple problems fixed by a new dizzy that goes to the heart of the issue. Makes everything right.
  29. Amen Brother!
  30. I finished up the coil mount bracket last night, though I do need to paint it now. Anyway, the engine was fuel injected originally so it had one of those Ford square coils mounted off of the AC bracket. Since I'm going to be using a 'normal' cylindrical coil I decided to see if I could modify the stock coil mount. This is what I came up with. It isn't too pretty and my welding is more functional and not art like some of you guys who can 'dime stack' your welds. I have to admit, the bracket has been hot rodded as it's been chopped, sectioned and channeled! haha

    side view of the original square coil bracket. Sorry I didn't get a front view.

    At this point I've laid down the part where to original coil mounted and cut half of it off. Also, I've marked where I'm gong to section the bracket.
    Sectioning complete.
    New side view.

    Sorry the pic us upside down, but here the new coil is mounted to the bracket.

    And mounted on the AC bracket.
    I need to shave a little bit of metal off between the heater hose and bracket but for the most part I think it will work fine.

    Oops, got one out of order, here's the other side of the modified bracket.

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