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*Tech Week*F2/F250 Brakes & Buick Drums*

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by chopt top kid, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. chopt top kid
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 959

    chopt top kid
    Member

    F2/F250 Brakes & Buick Drums

    There's quite a few threads on the H.A.M.B. that show you how to put those "purty" 45 Finned Buick Aluminum Drums on your hot rod. Most of them deal with how to adapt them to the '42-'48 Ford Lockheed hydraulic brakes and use the '42-'48 hub which wears it's flange on the outside of the drum.
    If you wanted to upgrade to the self energizing Bendix style brakes, you pretty much had to scrounge up a set of '39-'48 12" Lincoln brakes or swap out for a set of F100 brakes which are 11" and then give up on the idea of 12" buick drums. With the repop Lincoln brakes going for about four bills an axle and that don't include hubs and drums, let alone bearings, seals and all that other good stuff, the cost of Bendix brakes is gettin' right up there!!!​

    I'm not tryin' to re-invent the wheel here but I thought I might compile all the info that I found in one place.
    I got much of my information right here on the H.A.M.B. and the most of it came from right here:
    Buick Drums to Early Ford - Again.....Flat Ernie...2003
    F250 backing plates BUICK DRUMS again.....Tuck...2003
    and this one: Buick Brake Drum Tech.....gashog...2007​

    With a little help from my friends and much info from the H.A.M.B. I have managed to adapt a set of F2 Ford brakes with Buick 45 Finned drums to the front axle on my coupe. I am really happy with the way they turned out and I think they are definately worth the little bit of extra effort. Follow along and see how I did mine. I know that it's not the only way but this is how I did it...
    Originally I was gonna use the '40-'41 lockeed style brakes that I got with the coupe, I suppose that the original Ford juice brakes have stopped many a hot rod in their day. I read about the Bendix style F2/F250 brakes used with Buick 45 finned aluminum drums and all this fitted on '40-'41 ford hubs so I decided to give it a try.


    [​IMG]

    These are the '40-'41 Ford brakes that I got from Geoff when I bought my coupe. He knew that I was going to build a hot rod so he threw in a set of the the early style juicers to sweetin' the pot.

    [​IMG]

    This pic shows the '40-'41 style hubs that are needed when going with the F2/F250 Ford Bendix 12" brakes... The original drums and lugs are swaged on the hubs so special care must be used during disassembly. There is a special swage cutter that can be used or some use a small holesaw in a drill press to cut the swage away from the lugbolts.

    [​IMG]

    I chose to make a tool from a piece of tubing to support the back of the flange on the hub and then used my buddy's shop press to press out the lugs. Just a little heat around the hole in the drum and it fell off the hub...

    [​IMG]


    I put an add in the "Wanted" section of the H.A.M.B. classifieds and over at Fordbarn and the very next day this set of loaded backing plates from the rear axle of an F2 Ford truck were on their way to my garage in the back of a big brown truck. '48-'52 f2 and '53-'56 F250 will work, front or rear. I got these from Mr. 32Bill right here on the H.A.M.B...

    [​IMG]

    I scored this set of Buick 45 finned aluminum drums on the auction site and after a few days they showed up at my door.

    [​IMG]

    Here are the F2 backing plates after I cleaned them up in the blast box and sprayed some primer on them. I had to open up the center hole a few thousands with a half round file to get them to slip on the shoulder on the '37-'41 Ford spindles that I got from Racerdad right here on the H.A.M.B. I just put a little dykum on the the inner edge and filed all the way around until the dykum was all filed off, then repeated the process, about five times. I think this kept the hole pretty much in the center of the plate.
    Someone has already recommended that I take a camera class when I find the time...:rolleyes:

    [​IMG]

    The center hole in the Buick drums is quite a bit bigger than the front of the '40-'41 Ford hub. I got my buddy Butch to turn a couple of indexing rings from some 3 1/2" O.D. carbon steel tubing on his shop lathe...

    [​IMG]

    I turned down the overall diameter from 7 1/2" O.D. to 6 7/8" O.D. on Roy's brake lathe...
    By this time the hubs had already been blasted and primed...

    [​IMG]

    Here are the turned down hubs Here are the '40-'41 hubs with the indexing rings installed and after I turned down the overall diameter from 7 1/2" O.D. to 6 7/8" O.D. on Roy's brake lathe.

    [​IMG]

    The flat on the back side of the Buick drums only measured 6 5/8" dia. and the stock flange on the Ford hub measured 7 1/2". I opened the flat on the Buick drum up to 6 15/16" dia. and cut the flange on the Ford hub down to 6 7/8" dia. All this work was done on Roy's brake lathe. Most people just cut the flange down to fit the drums but This was my first time and I didn't want to cut into the heavy boss on the hubs for the lug bolts...

    [​IMG]

    Here are the Buick 45 finned aluminum drums all ready to locate and drill the holes for the new 1/2"-20 lug bolts that I got from Mac's... The 45 fin drums were available from '57 thru '64 or '65, dependin' on who you talk to. We used the Ford hubs for a template and used one of Butch's center quides and one of his fancy center punches to locate the new 5 on 5 1/2" lug pattern so it split the distance between the rivit holes and the orig. lug holes...

    [​IMG]

    This pic shows where we turned the inside of the Buick drum out to help clearance the '40-'41 Ford hub. The inside flat originally measured 6 5/8" and I took it out to 6 15/16" on the brake lathe. The other Buick 45 finned aluminum drum is shown with the hub and indexing ring fitted from the back side. The other hub is shown with the indexing ring and the new 1/2"-20 lug bolts that I got from Mac's. The new lugs have the flat on the head like the originals so they lock into the boss for the lugs and are a press in fit...

    [​IMG]

    Here's a pic of the Buick drum with the hub and indexing ring fitted before we drilled the holes for the 1/2"-20 lug bolts... We located the new hole exactly half way between the hole for the buick lug bolt and the hole where the buick hub was riveted to the drum. Then we used the Ford hub for a template to locate the rest of the lug holes. The lug holes were drilled to 19/32" so the boss on the lug bolt could fit into the back of the Buick drum...

    [​IMG]

    Here's the ever popular '37-'41 round back Ford spindle pinned to a 4" drop Model A axle that I got from Dave Mann at roadsters.com. The axle is an original Model A that was dropped to 4" by Okie Joe of Joe's Speed Shop... It's a real nice piece.
    Well let's see if this stuff's gonna fit...

    [​IMG]

    Okay, here's the F2 backing plate. I had to open up the center hole in the backing plate with a half round file to get the thing to slip over the shoulder on the spindle. It's secured with four 7/16" socket head cap screws and regular hex nuts. I'll be adding lock washers or locking nuts during final assembly. The Buick drum slipped right on with no clearancing of either the drum or the backing plate...Neat!!!

    [​IMG]

    And here it is with the hub mounted. This pic. shows the indexing ring, the new longer lug bolts from Mac's, and the turned down flange. You can see the double indexed hole for the wheel cylinder in the backing plate. The hole notched for a two bolt wheel cylinder indicates that this is a rear plate. Double piston wheel cylinders have two bolts as the single piston cylinders have only one. The F2/F250 front backing plate has a space for just one bolt as it had a single piston wheel cylinder so they need another notch for the second bolt. I plan to use the front wheel cylinder from a '53-'56 F100 but I've read that if you use the F2 double ended rear cylinder, it's almost like having power brakes...

    [​IMG]

    Here's the Buick 45 finned aluminum drum fitted to the '40-'41 Ford hub. You can see the indexing ring that holds the center hole of the drum tight to the hub. The new 1/2"-20 lug bolts from Mac's are plenty long to secure the wheels after passing thru the 5/16" thick Buick Aluminum drums...

    [​IMG]

    Here's the whole assembly, well almost, It hasn't got any guts in it yet, but I just wanted to see how everything fit together. I plan to use the 12"x2"wide F2/F250 shoes. They are available at either Mac's or your local NAPA Auto Parts. It turned out to be a little more work than I had anticipated but I'm satisfied with the result. I think they look pretty good, we'll have to wait a while to see how they perform...

    [​IMG]

    And this is what it's all about. You can see how the fin's on the Buick drums hang out on the inside of the 16X4" rims for just the "right look". The F2/F250 12"X2" brakes and Buick 45 fin drums provide good looks and great stopping power. That's about as traditional as it gets...
    Thank's fer lookin'...
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
    Lil'Alb and FlatJan like this.
  2. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,371

    brady1929
    Member

  3. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,627

    Andy
    Member

    You really should do a dimensional stack up of the parts to see how they fit. I have machined dozens of sets since 1990. You have to clearance the drum to get it to go in far enough so the shoes are in full contact with the drum. Your shoes are hanging out about 1/2" past the drum. I never like the part selection you came up with because the wheel is not supported on the OD. You don't have support for the big bolt pattern on the outside of the bolt circle. It is just like the wire wheels with no support rings. You need to find some 46-48 hubs and start over.
     
  4. chopt top kid
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 959

    chopt top kid
    Member

    Sorry Andy, I'm not using the '42-'48 Lockeed backing plates therefore i don't need the '42-'48 Ford hubs. The offset is much shallower on the F2/F250 brake backing plates therefore requiring the '40-'41 hubs with the drum on the outside of the flange which doesn't need as much offset as the '46-'48 hub provides. When the assembly is fully mounted on the spindle, the braking surface of the drum is offset 15/32" from the most rearward point of the drum, and the rub surface on the backing plate for the brake shoe is offset 5/8". That provides about 5/32" of surface on the drum past the inside surface of the brake shoe. The shoe fits perfect... Also the indexing ring between the hub and the drum provides full bearing support between the hub and the drum... Thank's for your concern...
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012

  5. what year F250 backing plates?
     
  6. chopt top kid
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 959

    chopt top kid
    Member

    '53 thru '56 F250 backing plates will work. The front plates have only one mounting notch for a single sided wheel cyl. so a second mounting notch must be added. The rear backing plates are already notched for a double ended wheel cyl. '48 thru '52 F2 work as well. All nine years take the same 12"X2" brake shoes, front and rear.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
    FlatJan likes this.
  7. Nice job. I never counted the spokes, but I'm pretty sure my '65 Riviera has 45 fins.
     
  8. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    I have found the 45 fin drums on cars as late as about '70 in the wrecking yards. Now that isn't to say that they didn't get put there at some time in the cars past because they do interchange.
     
  9. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Nah, I'm just saying rather than try to document when stuff came along, take a look at any pre '71 Buick you see, you could be in for a suprise. The 90 fin stuff is usually on the latest of the drum brakes Buicks, but, I have seen them on a '59 as well. I'm not entirely sure that somebody wasn't making the early style drums as aftermarket replacement while current either.
     
  10. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

  11. chopt top kid
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 959

    chopt top kid
    Member

  12. pbr40
    Joined: Aug 10, 2008
    Posts: 790

    pbr40
    Member
    from NW Indiana

    Looks like really nice craftsmanship! That's a lost thing these days!


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
    ne'erdowell likes this.
  13. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,536

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Nice work and a valuable tech article for many of us to put in our project file.
     
  14. dirt car
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 148

    dirt car
    Member
    from nebraska

    Seems the boys repopping the 5 on 5-1/2" Ford hubs missed an opportunity by not offering multi bolt patterns.....The most recent Pete & Jakes catalog lists new steel Buick hubs drilled to your choice of bolt patterns & sold with or without bearings sized to Ford spindles at around 300.00 pr. The 5 on 5" pattern would provide a direct fit of the Buick drums. Lincoln hubs in alum are also provided in the same options.
     
  15. neilswheels
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 816

    neilswheels
    Member
    from England

    Thanks, just what I needed, now, a parts list...
     
  16. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,627

    Andy
    Member

    I have done these conversions for years. I know what looks right and what will work. This is just not going to work. The drum surface is not covering the shoes and a lot of the shoes surface is doing nothing. It is fine if you want to run this but it is wrong to lull others into thinking it will work.
    I am the guy that did the conversion using the 46-48 backing plates converted to use the station wagon shoes and hard wear. I did a detailed dimensional analysis to see where everything had to be positioned for the conversion to work. I had done the same thing earlier to make sure the 46-48 backing plates and hubs would even work with the Buick drums. Even then, most of what was published was often wrong.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  17. I don't have a dog in this discussion; but I thought I would add a couple of pictures showing a better perspective on how these fit together. The pictures
    show an F-2/F-250 backing plate mounted on a round-back Ford spindle, with
    an 01A '40 hub and a 45 fin Buick drum. The 2" stock F-2/F-250 shoes have full contact with the drum. The overlap is about 1/8" as shown in the pictures.
    The junk drum has not had the inside machined to sit flat on the hub, if it had
    been cut their would be about another 1/16" inch overlap.

    If you use F-1 hubs instead of the '40 style in this set up the overlap will end
    up about 3/32" inch as the F-1 spindle will mount the drum slightly further out.

    Obviously there can be some variation in these parts; but I have never found
    enough to make any difference; let alone cause the drums to not fully cover the shoes.

    I also added a picture showing how the "white death" corrosion penetrates and separates the iron liner from the aluminum portion of the drum.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    I hate to dig up an old, (but damn well written!) thread, but in the year that has ensued since this was written, have you finalized what wheel cylinders you decided to run? I have the same set up with a pair of 90 fin drums but with front backing plates with the weird single cylinders. I really would like to go to double sided cylinders, but kinda confused about the remarks about F100 cylinders and F2 double sided rears. Any body run this set up with either type and have any feedback? Time to buy stuff this week.
     
    neilswheels likes this.
  19. rideordie
    Joined: Apr 28, 2012
    Posts: 31

    rideordie
    Member
    from Oregon

    good info would like to no more too!
     
  20. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Rich B contacted me via P.M. a bit earlier and recommended '53-'64 F-100 1 1/16: wheel cylinders. It sounds like I will have to make another notch in the wheel cylinder hole for the second screw, but damn they are inexpensive!
     
    Nailhead A-V8 likes this.
  21. Nailhead A-V8
    Joined: Jun 11, 2012
    Posts: 916

    Nailhead A-V8
    Member

    Does anyone have any info on using F2-3 spindles with this set up? I have a set of F3 spindles and backing plates as far as I know they are the same as the F1 spindles and the backing plates are the same as later F250 except the fronts don't have the extra bolt hole for dual piston wheel cylinders
     
  22. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    I've been reading a bunch of these threads, I haven't seen this done, but I am extrapolating from what I have read, and it seems like it will work. The goal is to get 12" self-energizing drums on the front of my '39. Can I do as follows;
    '42-'48 square back spindles
    '53-'56 F-250 backing plates
    '40 car hubs
    '40-'42 car drums
    Will all this mate up and work? Are the drums going to mate with the backing plates, or is the offset wrong?
     
  23. Will all this mate up and work? Are the drums going to mate with the backing plates, or is the offset wrong?

    Nope, the offset is wrong.
     
  24. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Rats. Ok, well, back to plan W...
     
  25. Or plan B*

    *Buick aluminum drum
     
  26. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    I am doing Plan B* on another car, but I don't want to use them on the '39, too "sixties". I was originally planning on "plan W" anyway, just started wondering if there may be a "plan F" that I had overlooked...:D
     
  27. 55willys
    Joined: Dec 7, 2012
    Posts: 1,604

    55willys
    Member

    The king pin size is wrong on the F350 not sure but I think the F250 as well.
     
  28. '48-'52 F-1, F-2, and F-3 spindles are the same and will work.
    Neither the '53-'56 F-100/F-250 spindles or the '53-'56 F-350 spindles will fit the earlier axles.
    The 12" Bendix backing plates are the same from '52-'56.
     
  29. Nailhead A-V8
    Joined: Jun 11, 2012
    Posts: 916

    Nailhead A-V8
    Member

    Rich b is the guru when it comes to early brakes if it can be done he done it if it cant be done he's tried it....'60's IHC travelall had a 12" 5 on 5.5 drum but good luck finding them.....speedway has a 12" drum don't know if it will fit your b/p's......you could weld up and redrill the f2-3 8 lug drums and use F1 hubs
     

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