When GM introduced front disc brakes on many of its passenger cars in 1967, they were a huge improvement over the drum brakes that were, for the most part, barely up to the task of stopping a 3,500- to 4,000-pound hunk of steel.
Nearly 50 years later, the old discs are certainly still suitable for a stocker, or a runner of occasional errands. But if you’ve made some mods to upgrade your ride’s power output, or have enhanced its lateral acceleration, chances are you can use a rear disc-brake upgrade as well.
Besides being a much simpler design with fewer moving parts, other benefits derived from such a swap include reduced fade after heavy use and easier pad replacement versus brake shoes; plus discs are virtually unaffected by water in the event of submersion. And, for you aggressive drivers out there, the braking force is much more linear with disc brakes and easier to modulate than that of drums, which are self-energizing by design and more difficult to manage
As you may know the car came with a very poor quality hydraulic brake conversion, to rectify this I gathered the parts to convert the system to the superior 46-48 single adjuster system. I was however missing two grease boxes for the rear. Luckily I’ve managed to track down a pair on eBay from a nice gentleman called Al for a very reasonable cost. Hopefully these will be winging across the pond shortly!
The hydraulic brake conversion done previously is a bit of a mess as you will have seen from previous posts. The backing plates had not been reworked for the Model A and are quite corroded. Via an advert in the Ford Barn I’ve managed to track down an unmolested full set of 42 -48 backing plates. These are far more preferable due to the simplified brake adjustment. The combined centre and heel adjustment of the earlier system is a real pain to adjust.
Just need them to arrive from across the pond and we can get cracking, in the meantime I’ll need to track down someone to reline my existing shoes as the rears are badly worn.
When I bought my car it already had the 16″ wires with V8 hubcaps, and a fairly badly done hydraulic brake conversion.
I’ve found a page on the excellent Model A Ford Garage website, which describes a good method to identify the wheels and brake drums. Weather permitting I’ll see how I get on with the identification this weekend.
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