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Customs 1955 ford brakes and steering

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 55customlinecowboy, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. My 55 ford is getting a transformation. I bought a 77 Lincoln Versailles. I'm using the spindles and aero star coils, and the disc brake 9" complete with park brake pedal. I'm not sure about the hydroboost. I'm thinking about using it also along with the steering box. I have thought about the cavalier rack and also the grand Cherokee box. Any thoughts? I'm also doing a new tank with all 6an lines and an aluminum radiator while its down. IMG_20170927_071130.jpg 00F0F_jG9uYsS15qC_1200x900.jpg
     
  2. Price those rear calipers out, the last time I bought one it was $150 bucks with the core charge for the old one. At that price, when the next caliper starts leaking because of the crap ass parking brake design, I'm switching to all drums on my Roadster.
     
  3. I own a '55 that my parents bought new. It's a Town Sedan (4 door Fairlane trim line), but I always thought Customlines were better looking than Fairlanes. My father worked at Ford's Atlanta assembly plant from '52-'82, so if it's an Atlanta-built car, he leaded the seams on it. Third character in the serial number indicates the assembly plant. A=Atlanta.
     
  4. That's cool, I'll check the vin tonight. I've always liked the customline the most. Everyone wants a fairlane or Vicky. I've always been a 210 over a Belair fan as well.
     
    Atwater Mike likes this.

  5. Installing a disc rear opens a few cans of worms. I'd stick with rear drums.
     
  6. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,215

    okiedokie
    Member
    from Ok

    Good social group is the "52-59 Ford" group.
     
  7. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,816

    62rebel
    Member

    Worst thing about the Versailles stuff is that Fomoco didn't put it in anything else. Limited production stuff for a premium priced Granada. IIRC the ball joints are an odd size as well, or the tie rods.
     
    Blue One and Atwater Mike like this.
  8. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,494

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Everybody went nuts over the Versailles rear end. Until they encountered the rear calipers/E-brake syndrome.
    If Cadillac was a 'friendlier install', they'd have encountered a similar nest of snakes.
     
    squirrel and Blue One like this.
  9. use the 9 inch out of it, but pull it apart and take the disks out of it. you can put Granada brakes from an 8 inch on it, or get a complete new rear drum set up from a bunch of different places for the same price as 2 new calipers, and rotors. And the parking brake on those disks doesn't work for shit either.
     
    RICH B and Blue One like this.
  10. Yep, the Versailles rear discs are way more trouble than they're worth.... Expensive parts, hard to work on, and considerably less than trouble-free. If you really want rear discs, get a late Explorer 8.8 rear end.
     
    Blue One likes this.
  11. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 8,521

    jimmy six
    Member

    I'm installing an 8.8 in my 56 Victoria and it has 11x2-1/4" drum brakes from a F150. Rear discs are over kill. If it works out I'll later install front discs from DropNStop or 4 piston caliper discs from Prestige Thunderbird. Good luck.
     
    Blue One likes this.
  12. And those front brakes aren't the best choice either. For some reason everybody uses these on the early Fords but the spindle geometry isn't the same. If you want one with the right geometry, look for a early '70s full-size Ford. I think the late '70s LTD, T-Bird and Montego full-frame cars use these too. You need to sleeve the lower ball joint hole with a tapered bushing (a simple fix if you have access to a lathe), but otherwise it's the same. Gets you bigger brakes too....

    Ford threw a lot of new-to-them tech onto the Versailles, and didn't really have all the bugs worked out.
     
    Blue One likes this.
  13. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,816

    62rebel
    Member

    Well, if those are the parts you have and want to use, roll with it. You can replace the expensive and hard to source stuff when it becomes necessary. The basic stuff is pretty simple Ford parts.
     
  14. miker98038
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 556

    miker98038
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    How low is too low is a matter of taste and driving conditions, but at least some of those who combined the Granada spindles with the Aerostar springs decided they were too low. There’s some later model mustang spacers that mig ht help that if needed. I don’t know about the Versailles.

    I’ve got a cavalier power rack in the ‘bird, and I wouldn’t do it again. The turning radius gets larger, and while its manageable with my short wheelbase, it would be more of a problem with the full size car. There’s also some bump steer issues depending on how you set it up. If the 3 tooth (sector?) box out of a late 56 will fit, or even a good rebuild of the 55 box that’s probably a better option. I pulled a good 57 box out of the bird and the rack didn’t improve anything at all. Save your money.

    What’s the engine and trans combo in the car now?
     
    Blue One likes this.
  15. The engine is a 302 and the trans is a C6. I bought the whole Lincoln for $500 running and driving. I'm going to use the E-brake set up from pedal to caliper. It all works well on the Lincoln now. I can get calipers for $60 if I need them remaned because of my discount at the parts house. I'm using the stock control arms with new bushings and ball joints. I have a pair if 1 inch machined aluminum coil spacers if I need them. Made them when I cut the stock springs to much. I can't decide on power or manual steering. The 55 box is tight but I had to modify the headers to clear it. Really big question is on the brake booster. Is the hydro boost to much trouble from the Lincoln? What kinda vacume booster and master is easily adaptable. I have a set of drums I can use. I've also thought about explorer adapter brackets if the calipers fail. Right now they are all good with lots of meat on the pads and rotors. I've toyed with using the column also, this will sound stupid but I can't figure out how to get it to tilt. I know it does because its tilted up. I see from what I've read that the rack is a bad idea. Anyone done the grand Cherokee box?
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  16. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Push the turn signal lever forward, toward the dash. It may be sticky if it hasn't been moved in a while.
     
  17. Thank you, I knew that once. I feel kinda dumb eight now. That just goes to show people, ask the ones that know.
     
  18. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    No problem, my 84 f250 has one, and it took me several years to notice.
     
  19. Actually, Ford did offer the same 4 wheel discs as an option on both the Granada and the Monarch, but not too many were built.

    Are you sure it's a C6? Ford to my knowledge never used the small block C6 in anything other than trucks/vans and a couple of years of hi-po Cleveland Mustangs. The C4 will have an aluminum case with a removable bell. The FMX will have a cast iron main case with a removable bell, and the C6 will have an aluminum case with an integral bell. And you really don't want to use a C6 unless you're planning on major power adders (supercharged or a big dose of nitrous) as it has about the three times the parasitic drag compared to a C4 or FMX.

    C6s are the main reason most late '60s/70s Ford trucks got such lousy fuel economy....
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  20. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    it has about the three times the parasitic drag compared to a C4 or FMX.[/QUOTE]
    I wonder how much of a reduction it would be to rollerize one?
     
  21. I'm sure its a C6. I built it myself. I have two with dual pattern bell housings out of vans. I may use the C4 out of the Lincoln. It has all the cooler lines, kick down, and so on. If it has less drag and will hold at least 500 HP built up it sounds good. I have a 150 shot of nitrous hooked up now but have not used it in this car. Probably won't. I have a brand new drive shaft with C4 yoke and the correct u joint for the 9". Still wondering about steering box and booster if anyone has any thoughts. I already have the spindles so I'm going to use them. I have a mill and lathe and have the bit to tapper the upper ball joint holes to 7 degrees. Going to use all the disc for now since they are good. If they fail I'll go with brackets and GM calipers in the front, and drums or explorer brackets and calipers in the back. Parking brake does not scare me since I have all the cables brackets and the pedal and it all works now.
     
  22. Still trying to decide on steering box and master/booster.
     
  23. That's what SHE said....
     
    54vicky likes this.
  24. I'm thinking Borgeson PS box conversion on my '59. You should join the 1952-1959 sub forum, lots of 1955 Ford owners there.
     
  25. chopndrop
    Joined: Feb 8, 2005
    Posts: 710

    chopndrop
    Member

    I put Granada disc spindles on my 1964 Galaxie, so I figured using the booster and master from the same car would be a good match. It works fine, but pedal is very soft. I prefer manual brakes for a firmer pedal.
     
  26. How do I find and join this forum?
     
  27. ffr1222k
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,162

    ffr1222k
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    At the top of the page next to the search button there is a symbol that looks like people. Drop down the menu and you will see a heading for social forums. Open social forums and then open Brands. The group is 52 to 59 Fords
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
  28. A master cylinder doesn't know or care whether it is boosted by a vacuum booster or mechanical leverage from a long pedal arm. Your '55 has a long pedal arm. BTW, what's the third character in the serial number on that C'line?
     
  29. I checked the vin the other day. I forget the third digit, I would have to check again. Not an Atlanta car though. Just don't remember with out looking again what it was.
     

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