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Hot Rods 9" ford brakes

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by nitro_rat, May 28, 2020.

  1. nitro_rat
    Joined: Aug 5, 2011
    Posts: 5

    from Texas

    I have a 9" Ford rear out of a '67 Ford F-100. I need to make it a '57-'59 Ford car width axle with 5x4.5" bolt pattern. Can I cut it down and use something like '67 Galaxie Wagon rear drums with the existing truck backing plates? I'm figuring I'll splurge on new axles with the correct bolt pattern, maybe there's a cheap cut to length set available that will work? Trying to do this as cheaply as possible...

    Sorry if this has been repeated before but I'm having trouble locating info on the brake stuff!!!
  2. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 3,450


    Changing drums wil not change the width of your axle, the shafts need to be made for the axle you need to narrow it, there is some slicing and dicing and welding to do.

    DO you not have a rearend for the '57-9 Car? Or looking to upgrade to a 9inch?
  3. nitro_rat
    Joined: Aug 5, 2011
    Posts: 5

    from Texas

    I am upgrading a car to a 9". I am well aware of the slicing and dicing necessary to alter the width of the axle. Just trying to figure out the cheapest way to make the brakes happen once I get there.

    If I can use the existing backing plates with some car drum that's already 5x4.5 with the correct brake offset then that's what I want to do. If not then I guess it's Big Torino housing ends and off the shelf brakes for $$$$$$$...
  4. irishsteve
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 721


    The f100 is about 61 inches as I recall.The 57 car about 58. You will either be buying new axles in which case you can get the car wheel pattern.If the axles can be shortened,and resplined you might as well pay them to redrill the drum,and axle flange to the car pattern. There are do it yourself redrill kits if you want to do that part yourself.
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  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,860


    I'm going to assume that there is no rear axle under your Ford. Stock rear axle should be a 28 spline 9 inch.
    You have to load another vehicle each time but on the O'Reilly's website they show the specs on most brake drums including the height as measured off the table.
    This is for a 67 Country squire with a 289.
    Overall height 3.046 inches. There may be more sizes depending on the engine and other options.
    67 F 100 showed a couple of different choices.
    There is probably a Ford Car drum the right ID and depth somewhere as it seems that Ford was hell bent on having totally different brake setups for different engine packages and other combinations. Having done brakes and front end for a number of years you never assumed what the brakes were on a Ford as you cold easily on a GM car or truck. You had to measure them and be sure of the engine size to find the correct size. That was from about 57 on.
    Personally if the car doesn't have a nine inch under it now I'd go out and hunt down a 57/59 car nine inch even if I had to pay a premium rather than paying to have the housing, and axles narrowed and paying to have the axles redrilled or buying new axles to fit the narrowed housing . I'm looking at about 700 to have one narrowed and set up for my 48 Chev pickup when all is said and done. That 67 F100 axle would fit right under it with the stock steelies I plan to run with just having the axles and drums drilled.
  6. The '67 F100 drum brakes were very narrow (1.75" in the rear IIRC) and were inadequate on the trucks. Ford varied the 'offset' on the backing plates to match the drum width generally. It's possible to mix-and-match parts, but you'll find it far easier to track down a complete rear drum set in the size you want for a big-bearing axle. There's also two different lengths of how far the axle extends out from the housing, you'll need to know that when ordering axles.

    A small bearing 9" is much easier to deal with if you don't need the heavy-duty big bearings and big brakes, then you can swap 8" brakes and axles from Fords smaller cars that have the width you need. You'll be limited to 28 spline axles though...
  7. nitro_rat
    Joined: Aug 5, 2011
    Posts: 5

    from Texas

    Well it looks like the 67 truck uses an oddball 1.75" wide brake setup and all the wagons with 11" drums used 12.25 or 12.5" drums. I guess it's back to the drawing board...
  8. irishsteve
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 721


    Take a look at Hells gate hot rods for a do it yourself bolt pattern kit.Use your stock drums.
  9. Gus68
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 398

    from Minnesota

    If your gonna use the truck backing plates and shoes and all. Why not just redrill the bolt pattern in the drums? I've done this before. It's not a big deal and doesn't have to be perfect, because the drum centers on the STUB in the center of the axle. You can even drill the holes a little oversize so the slip on nice.
  10. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,104


    Is there a "Best" brake drum for the Ford 9 inch, HAMB friendly or just not noticeable & hard to tell? Bob
  11. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 4,996

    from CO & WA

    Mr48Chev, the O'Reilly links you posted go to a page that says access denied, are you a sign in member or something???
    So I can not see anything.
  12. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,458

    seb fontana
    from ct

    Works ok for me.
  13. Wanderlust
    Joined: Oct 27, 2019
    Posts: 128


    If your looking for heavy duty bearings and brakes with a car bolt pattern, I’d be looking at late 60s to mid 70s full size wagons, probably even get a Trac lock to boot, meaty axels as well.
  14. I don't believe it being hub-centric is correct as you implied, I'm pretty sure they are stud-centric. Conical lug nuts.......correct?
    I'm confused by the op's statement that he's building a 9" rear to "upgrade" the 57-59 differential. 57 was the first year for the 9". Correction......that was Budget36's implied statement.
    If it's actually going under a '57, you may want to look into narrowing it 3/4" per side from oem width to allow for larger tires. I had mine narrowed, changed to 31 spline hd axels, Yukon 3:50 trac loc, big bearing later pattern(for disc brakes), hd tall yoke.........2 grand
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  15. Truthfully, if the OP is trying to do this on the cheap he'll very likely be money ahead to just pick up a Ranger/Explorer 8.8" rear axle. Lighter, more efficient, and nearly as strong as a 9". Move the spring pads and you're done.

    And redrilling the truck axles/brakes still leaves you with a much larger center hub than the cars which will probably limit wheel choices. You even have to be careful with the cars; in late '68, Ford started phasing in larger hub diameters (even on the smaller cars) so that by '71 the earlier OEM wheels would no longer fit as the center hole was too small.
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
    Just Gary, fiftyv8 and Texas57 like this.
  16. Steve, I agree, but I believe also, the Explorer rears have to have the long side exchanged with an additional short side from a 2nd vehicle to get it to a correct-enough width. Also trac-locs are a pretty common find on the added plus, and disc brakes.
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  17. deucendude
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 569

    from norcal

    Just used a Hells Gate kit and it worked out perfect ! I went from a 5.5 bolt pattern to a 4.5.
  18. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 3,746


    When I built my pro street Morris Minor I took my 73 Ford van 9 inch rear to Hudlow axle in Chatanooga and they narrowed the rear end resplines the axles and redrilled the axles and the brake drums allowing me to use the stock van brakes.
    Check with a 4x4 shop that does axle work. They should be able to help you out. Hudlow's charged me $ 175.00 for everything and did it in 4 days.
  19. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,422

    from Quincy, IL

    Explorer axles are 59.375/59.50 stock width. If you swap in a short side axle and narrow the long side, you lose right at 3”......56.50. That is little less than the 57”/58” range of the ‘57/‘59 car axle width. And, the Explorer is quite a heavy assembly with beefy center diff housing, axles shafts (31 spline) and axle tube. IMO, too heavy for some application.

    The Ranger 8.8” axles came in two widths, depending on model year spread...56.5 & 58.5. They are 28 spline and the diff housing is a little less beefy than the Explorer, but stouter than the Mustang 8.8” of the same era. The downside to the a Ranger is that not only is the pinion offset, so is the carrier section, compounding the offset. As for brakes, the Rangers have 5 x 4.5” bolt circle with either 9” or 10” drum brakes, depending on original application.

    Mustang 5.0 8.8”, 28 spline axle assemblies, ‘86 thru ‘93, are centered diff, both axle shafts same length, 59.5” width. Four lug axle flanges with 9” drum brakes. The long side axles of Ranger 56.5” axles is exactly the same length and other dimensions as the stock Mustang shaft but has the 5 x 4.5” bolt pattern. Ranger and Mustang housing flanges are the same, allowing use of 10” Ranger brakes.

    I know these things because my shop floor is littered with Explorer, Ranger and Mustang axles assemblies (disassemblies). Hope this info is useful.

    Last edited: May 29, 2020

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