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Technical Tech Week - Re-bushing the Obsolete '39 Ford Brake Pedal Assembly

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Inthemitten, May 13, 2021.

  1. Inthemitten
    Joined: Jun 13, 2014
    Posts: 35

    Inthemitten
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    While going through the process of tightening up the '39 pedal assembly in my roadster build, I came to the unfortunate realization that a guy is more likely to find where they buried Hoffa than getting his hands on a brass bushing for the brake pedal arm.

    It's an obsolete part.

    [​IMG]

    With some researching and reading posts over at Ford Barn here on the HAMB that were helpful, but lacked the photos and direct specs, I figured maybe this process will help some others. No offense to Dick Spadaro, I really didn't want to use plumbing parts. With some notes scratched down from a post on Early Ford, I jumped over to the Amazon speedshop and ordered a bushing and got after it.

    Anybody with access to a mill or a lathe will be far more accurate and efficient than what I'm describing. But... for the rest of us, this can be done in an evening with some basic items.

    Parts & Tools Used
    • Bronze Bushing (full specs below) - Bunting Bearings p/n:
      CB182016A1 - it measures out at 1-1/8" I.D. and 1-1/4" OD x 2" overall length. I paid all of $8.41 for it...

    • Straight edge, adjustable reamer (borrowed a set from a fellow local hot rodder). You can pick a set up for around $100 if need be and you'll find countless uses for them anyways. Select the size that's right.
    [​IMG]

    Step One (removal):
    Remove the old bushing from the brake pedal arm. Using a hacksaw blade, I cut a slot in the brass, using caution to not go too deep into any of the pedal arm material. I did this a few degrees out from the original crush slot in the bushing to then knock out the piece with a drift punch. This allows the old bushing to spring loose and you can follow suit with your drift punch to remove the rest of the bushing.

    Run some emery cloth or fine grit sandpaper to help clean up any nicks you might have put in it when removing the bushing.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Step Two (measure & inspect):
    Measure and inspect everything. Inspect the pivot shaft that the brake pedal rides on for any excessive wear. This is the one that the cross shaft for the clutch slides through and ties the unit together. Mine wasn't terrible, but I had one on hand from Third Gen Auto that I actually used the bushings out of for the clutch side.

    Measure the O.D. of the pivot shaft. This is going to give you a target measurement for the I.D. you'll need to ream the bushing for.
    [​IMG]

    Measure the I.D. of your brake pedal opening. I did this due to my own degrees of OCD and needing to know that the $8.41 bushing I was attempting to jam into an 82 year old piece of steel was going to fit...

    Bushing spec'd out at an O.D. of 1.23" and an I.D. of 1.11" and darn near 2" long

    Step Three (assemble):
    The O.D. of the bushing measured out 1.23" and pressed in nice and smooth with a shop press. I think that if you didn't have a shop press, a block of wood and a deadblow would have done the job too. Note: this bushing is really what they call a "sleeve bearing" so it doesn't have the cut half way through.. meaning you won't get it out of alignment if you use a hammer.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Step Four (time to ream):

    And ream you will... (insert your own jokes). Each pedal might be slightly different, which is why I suggest you go off of what your dial calipers say the pivot shaft measures and then adjust to fit. I of course didn't write it down but want to say I ended up opening it up to darn near 1.17" - meaning I removed a LOT of material.

    I found it easiest to chuck the reamer up in my bench vise and then use the pedal arm down over top of it.

    [​IMG]

    On the adjustable reamers, I opened them up just until they provided drag on the I.D. of the bushing, then kept opening them up in "full turn" increments until I got closer, then I crept up on it at "half turn" increments. Exercise caution here cause if you go too far, then it's sloppy and you're back to Amazon ordering another one along with a bunch of other useless crap you don't need. Ask me how I know...

    [​IMG]

    Step Five (fit up):

    I made mine snug, but not overly tight. That's the secret with the reamers is you just need to creep up on it and keep checking it. When it starts to get snug, adjust for the best fitment. Mine have a nice pedal swing, it's not sloppy, but won't "stick" either.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Grind off the excess brass sticking out from the side of the pedal arm and viola... assemble and get like new juice brakes in your car!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps others out there and maybe sparks an independent to spool up and make a few of these bushings again. Cheers!
     

    Attached Files:

    Helge71, fauj, charleyw and 5 others like this.
  2. Curt Six
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 907

    Curt Six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great tech post!
     
    Inthemitten likes this.
  3. F-head
    Joined: Oct 20, 2007
    Posts: 697

    F-head
    Member

    Fred Wilner in Minnesota has NOS 39 bushing sets available for a reasonable price
     
    Inthemitten and kidcampbell71 like this.
  4. Inthemitten
    Joined: Jun 13, 2014
    Posts: 35

    Inthemitten
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good to know! Everybody says they have them but they're missing the brake side completely. Will have to check with Fred.
    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    fauj likes this.

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