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Technical Buick backing plates and round back spindles

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by vtwhead, May 1, 2016.

  1. Picking up a set of Buick drums and backing plates and wondered what is involved in mating the backing plate to the early spindles? Is there a post on this? I searched and could not find any reference to that particular conversion. Tons of threads and posts on finned drums etc and some reference to using the backing plates but no info that I could locate on what machine work is required. Can someone point me in the right direction????
     
  2. Duke
    Joined: Mar 21, 2001
    Posts: 625

    Duke
    Member

    Hot rod works used to make an adapter. You need the 4 hole backing plates. Someone on the HAMB used to make adapters as well. I think I had to bore out the hole in the backing plates and redrill the mounting holes. There was a little clearance grinding required on the spindle as well. Not a bad job if you can find the adapters or the plans.
     
  3. Here is a pic of the backing plates. Apparently, Buick backing plates come in different versions depending on the year???? I have pm'd Sanfordsotherson as he had been making the spindle bearing adapters but have not heard back from him yet. Due to the narrow recess in these backing plates it appears that a bit of machining must be done to fit the round back spindles. Wondered if there is a better solution. Perhaps, a different backing plate? Very hard to find anything in Buick in the NE as most of all the older stuff has been sent to the crusher. Hoping to hear from someone that has done this conversion with this type of plate or someone that can tell me if I am heading in the wrong direction. I do not have these here yet so I do not have the advantage of seeing them first hand. It looks from the pic as if there is a recess for the Buick spindle??? My old eyes just can't make it out.
    buickdrums.jpg
     
  4. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,043

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    Why am I thinking it's just the drum that gets used? Add a Ford hub and...? I've never done it, can't see me doing it, was I told wrong?
     
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  5. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,247

    oj
    Member

    I use the '56ish Buick backing plate, very deep and you'll get the widest brake shoes. The bolt holes get welded shut and new holes drilled for the Ford spindle; the round hole (register) in the middle has to be machined; you'll have to use a squareback spindle and relieve it at the top and the top of the kingpin removed.
    Other than that it's a bolt-on upgrade.
    I've done it and if I ever get the notion to do it again I'll get the package from Wilson Welding
     
  6. bgbdlinc
    Joined: Jan 11, 2002
    Posts: 522

    bgbdlinc
    Member

    Why am I thinking it's just the drum that gets used? Add a Ford hub and...? I've never done it, can't see me doing it, was I told wrong?

    ....you were told right. Here is a link to a build I'm having done in which Buick drums, Ford backing plates and internals (Speedway), and wide 5 Ford wheels are all used. (Scroll down to #164)...
    http://www.canadianrodder.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18488&highlight=drums&page=17
     
  7. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,043

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    Thanks Big Bad Lincoln, I was feeling less than informed for a moment.
     
  8. woodhawg
    Joined: Apr 11, 2009
    Posts: 1,017

    woodhawg
    Member
    1. S.F.C.C.

    Member here a long time ago, around 2010, named 29rat made adapters to fit Buick drums to 40 Ford spindles. I got a set and used them on my ride. Do a search and I think you will find some else has the same thing. Worked perfectly.
     
  9. doliak
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 166

    doliak
    Member

    Buick drums, f1 hub, f250 backing plates. F1 hub gets turned down in diameter to fit recess in Buick drum the drill drum to Ford pattern. I've got pics some where and I've got the bearing part #'s at home

    Sent from my SM-G935V using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  10. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,247

    oj
    Member

    I tried it with the spacer and the problem I could see was the Ford backing plate wasn't deep enough. You have to cut the outer ring off the backing plate and the drum went over it, the shoe had to be narrow. I just mocked it up and didn't go further with it. A good friend uses the Wilson kit and claims he gets 2 or 2 1/2" wide shoe. When I tried to mate the wide5 to the Buick I got help from Dick Spadaro.
     
  11. The most common way that it gets done is to use a 12" Lincoln backing plate and the Buick 12" drum. I don't see any reason that the Buick backing plate could not be used just by redrilling the backing plate, it may need to be spaced out to work with the Ford hub or perhaps the Buick hub can also be adapted.

    the reason for using everything FoMOCO with the exception of the drum is to make it more of a bolt on. Easy squeezy is the name of the game as a rule. I am one to adapt what I got but I am an oddball.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  12. Mr cheater
    Joined: Aug 18, 2010
    Posts: 459

    Mr cheater
    Member

    In order to use Buick backing plates on ford spindles you need to use 58 to 59 Buick backing plates and enlarge the center hole and use a adapter that spaces the backing plate out. I got my spacer from Karris Customs .
     
  13. Duke
    Joined: Mar 21, 2001
    Posts: 625

    Duke
    Member

    I used the Buick backing plate as well. It was a set of 1959s I think. Used an aluminum spacer.
     
  14. Johnny99
    Joined: Nov 5, 2006
    Posts: 780

    Johnny99
    Member

    Buick backing plate 1958, 1959, and 1960, . Hot Rod Works in Idaho used to make the adapter/spacer ring, don't know if they are around anymore. I think the print for these things was floating around on this site,


    John

    my 34 front.JPG
     
  15. the issue I have at the moment is trying to find the 58-60 backing plates. In addition to that I do not know what the plate looks like from the back. There are quite a few sets available around the west but there is little info on the years involved. Most sellers don't have the info or can't recall the year. Does anyone have a 58-60 plate that they can post a pic of. It would be helpful for sure.
    Thanks for all the input. This is my first early build so I am faced with learning a lot that most of you fellas learned a long time ago:):)
     
  16. Looking in the classifieds I found an older add with these plates which are different than the ones shown above in my earlier post. Are these the 58-60 units that I need? They sure seem to allow an easier retro with the larger recess.
    IMG_1194.JPG
     
  17. Wooster
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 88

    Wooster
    Member
    from Soso, MS

    Yes these appear to be the 58 to 60 Buick backing plates like I am using. I welded the four mounting holes up and ground smooth and ordered a set of 58 to 60 Buick backing plate to Ford round back spindle adapters from Karas Kustoms for 90 dollars. The center hole in the backing plate is to small so take them and the adapter to a machine shop and they will chuck up the backing plate and enlarge the center hole to fit the adapter. Then put round back spindle, adapter and backing plate together and drill new holes to match spindles for mounting. Then you need 46 to 48 Ford hubs and they mount outside the drum. There is an article online from an old edition of Street Rodder I believe that covers all this. Try Googling it if you get a chance.
     
  18. Wooster
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 88

    Wooster
    Member
    from Soso, MS

    [​IMG]
    Karas Kustoms adapter
     
  19. Duke
    Joined: Mar 21, 2001
    Posts: 625

    Duke
    Member

    I think I could not find new shoes or hardware so I had to reline the old ones. You might want to consider the backing plates from Wilson Weding.
     
  20. Mr cheater
    Joined: Aug 18, 2010
    Posts: 459

    Mr cheater
    Member

    Yep those are the ones you need. I got all of my rebuild parts for my 58 Buick brakes from Kanter auto parts
     
  21. russell7088
    Joined: Mar 10, 2014
    Posts: 9

    russell7088
    Member

    Well that karas kustoms seems to make ink pens now, any clue how to find those adapters again?

    Sent from my SM-G920P using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  22. russell7088 likes this.
  23. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Sanfordandson's adaptors allow the Buick hubs to mate with the ford spindles, then you use the Ford backing plates. I have a set, and I believe Tuck did the same thing on his "Star Destroyer" coupe, and has pics of everything all together on his build thread. I am using them on a T-bucket. with '39/'41 backing plates (they look the best), haven't decided on the spindles yet, I have both round backs and square backs to choose from.
     
    russell7088 likes this.
  24. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    russell7088 likes this.
  25. micshotrodgarage
    Joined: Sep 20, 2012
    Posts: 51

    micshotrodgarage
    Member
    from colorado

    I too am in the process of adapting buick drums to my model A. My drums are the 90 fin type year unknown. I recently picked up a pair of the buick backing plates on the add board, They look like some in the pictures that have been posted here. So I'm thinking; as stated they are 58-60. and like you I'm hopeful I can find A pair of the adapters now! Brake hardware ect,"as my plates came bare". Might be The hardest part of this setup when using the buick backing plates. fo.mo.co. hardware is just a vendors call away. and the ford type backing plates are very common. One source that I found that covered Buick drum to Ford backing plates and spindles and hubs. Also There is a page discussing the buick backing plates. The book is Tex Smiths..."how to build hot rod chassis" don't know if it is still published, but more then likely could be found on Amazon. Hope this is helpful I know that the comments from this post have helped me. Thanks...Mike
     
  26. slug
    Joined: Sep 1, 2007
    Posts: 154

    slug
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. West Virginia Mountaineers

    Wooster has it right. I have done two sets this way. Work great. Slug
     
    Wooster likes this.
  27. it appears that Rock Auto is still carrying parts for the 58-60 Buick brake system fwiw
     
  28. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,437

    flynbrian48
    Member

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1486642717.199330.jpg
    I have Wilson Welding backing plates for my '34.
     
    biggeorge likes this.
  29. ^^nothing finer for sure. Great looking setup.
     
  30. hotrodlane
    Joined: Oct 18, 2009
    Posts: 131

    hotrodlane
    Member

    Just stumbled onto this old thread, And wanted to let everyone know that you can indeed use the early buick backing plates Like the crusty ones pictured above. And you do not need any adapters. It is as simple as welding a 3/16 plate into the rectangle hole, Indexing center and cutting the center hole to fit the ford spindles. I have done it and it works great! Those 12" X 2.5 Brakes will stop a hot rod on a dime. But I am not going to take credit for it as it was not my idea, I copied it from Joe Engelman of Engelman Engineering here in Independence MO as far as I know he is the first one to do it this way as I have never seen them on any car anywhere but the few around town, Anyone who knows Joe! Knows his talent as a builder. Him and his son also built a closed drive model A using a 4x4 T5 before crazydaddyo did.
     
    biggeorge likes this.

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