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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

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Old 12-29-2013, 06:50 PM
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Time to think about brakes

Getting to the point of putting parts back on . I am leaving the stock axel and steering on the 56 F250 . It has a 272 V8 with 4 speed . First , I want to change the rear gear from the stock 4-56 to a more highway friendly 3-73 or there about . So ring and pinion or whole different rear end ? What rear end and what will it have for brakes ? Then what to do for front brakes ? Upgrade to disk and power booster, or stay with drum? I will change to a dual master what ever I do . Also do I keep the master under the floor or mount on fire wall . I understand doing the brakes right is a must , But anything other than stock is big $$$$ . What are your opinions ?
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:31 PM
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The first question to ask is; do you want to stay with the 8 lug wheels? or is a 5 lug conversion in your future? 5 lugs opens up your world to easier and cheaper options, but isn't necessary. (9" Ford 1/2 ton rear) A later 3/4 ton Dana 60 with the higher gears you're looking for may be easier and cheaper than swapping out the guts of your existing setup. 5 lug front disc kits are readily available that will fit your truck. But someone here also knows of an 8 lug set up that will work, too. Moving the master from under floor to firewall will depend on how much work you want to do. It means custom fabbing pedals under the dash. Do you want to go that far? Have I made more questions than I have provided answers?
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:02 PM
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Do the brakes on the truck work, or could they with minimal work? I'd try them out first to see if an upgrade is really needed.
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:15 PM
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Well Ross , That is what I am wondering , I know bob was not happy with his brakes on the trip to Doc's . I am not sure if a 49 F2 and a 56 F250 are comparable . I wonder if I put a power booster with the stock drums , how much different it would be . right now the frame is clear and it would be much easier to get the brakes set before the cab and body go on .
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:19 PM
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Just depends if you are going to be driving at highway speeds in rush-hour traffic, or it will be a leisure truck. I've got no complaints with my truck's stock brakes, even on the hills of KY. I had to make a near-panic stop in Okla. City during rush hour, again no complaints. Your truck weighs a couple hundred lbs. more, brakes are probably essentially the same as mine.
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:07 AM
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What you got for master cylinder . and what rear gears
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:30 AM
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All of my first vehicle's had 4 wheel drum brakes , I see no problem with them as long as they are properly maintained . Dual master cylinders are a must I think .
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:31 AM
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FWIW, Missy Green, the '56 F350 has decent stock brakes. The entire brake system has been rebuilt, wheel cylinders, hoses, lines, and linings. She has a tare weight of 5.800+ and I've had her grossed at 12,100. (Gravel pit loader error) She stopped well even with the overload. Of course, I would not have been comfortable running at road speed in bumper to bumper traffic, just my survival instinct.

I rebuilt the front end brakes on Blue, the '49 F-4 and installed a Dana 70 in back. On my gravel driveway, I can lock all four wheels. I am expecting it to have good brakes on pavement at road speeds. If not, I'll re engineer the brakes, then.

I think we've become brainwashed to believe that power disk brakes and power steering are the only way to go. Admitted, disks brakes are probably much better and power steering enables women to drive. AFAIK, over the road trucks are still running drum brakes quite successfully. IMO, drum brakes are good, they just can not be abused.

A split braking system is certainly a nice thing to have. Necessary with a new stock system? Not in my book. A good working emergency brake system necessary? YES. I like that big old handle sticking up out of the floor.

I would think a Dana 60 would offer some ratios that would offer a compromise between road speed and power for the old 272 Y block.

Dave, you must be having fun.

Edit: I was probably 30+ YO before I owned a car with disk brakes.

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Old 12-30-2013, 10:35 AM
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A lot of it will depend on what you're used to, and what you're expecting the truck to drive like. A power booster won't make the truck stop any better. It will reduce the effort you have to put out to make it stop, though. If you're used to driving modern cars, that might be a benefit for you. Especially if it's just a part time driver. Keep in mind Ross drives his truck pretty much daily, and has for years. He's used to the manual drum brakes and knows what to expect from it when he needs to use them hard. You may not have the same experience. Just saying. Stock brakes can work, but will definitely react differently from modern vehicles.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:10 AM
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I put disk all the way around on the F3 because I am running a 5.0 EFI engine. I think it was a waste of time and effort for the rears to be done. The dual master is always good. After reading a number of post on here I would not do it again unless the original system was totally shot. Have fun
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR Smith View Post
What you got for master cylinder . and what rear gears
My brakes are completely stock. Running a 9" with 3.50 gears on 28" diameter tires. I may do a dual MC this winter.
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:04 PM
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Dave
I would think your 3/4 ton would have quite a bit more brake surface than a 1/2 and be slightly heaver. The stock brakes in good working order will lock all four wheels up on dry pavement. Once you can do that no matter the brake system it's not gonna stop any faster. One of my dump trucks had manual drum brakes and stops fine. I would vote for the dual master cyl.
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