1957 - 1960 F100 & Larger F-Series TrucksDiscuss the Box Style Ford Trucks
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Speedway sells a reasonably priced kit. Seen some kits on eBay also. You will need to feel comfortable installing the front wheel bearing and bending new brake lines to install one of these kits. You should install a dual reservoir brake cylinder when you do the upgrade also. Good Luck. Jim
82.5% of all statistics are made up.
For someone with reasonable mechanical skills it is about a 4 on the scale you mention. No welding, but you need to be able to bleed the brakes when finished. There are other things you should consider at the same time.
I would check out the steering condition. Tie rod ends, drag link and the king pins when you do the work, no better time to change them and they go a long way to improve steering and safety.
King pins are likely the hardest, but doing it now only makes sense if they are bad, you are removing everything except the spindle to install the discs. We can help on how to do it. May need a torch to get the old one's out.
It find out if they are bad, raise the truck and grab the top and bottom of the tire and wiggle. If the king pins are bad, there will be movement (play) when you try to move it back and forth. If no movement, they are fine.
It's funny, I had the local mechanic put a new clutch in my truck instead of me in my driveway. We changed a few other things like the rear end pinion seal and the driveshaft u-joint but I had him do it all so I wasn't sitting there in my driveway with a mess. The three-four hours labor he charged was worth it.
I believe I can do the brakes and if I got stuck anywhere it would probably be brake lines and bleeding them out for optimum performance.
You mentioned king pins and a "wobbly" wheel. While I was planning my brakes, I was also gonna go in and change all the spring pins (they are worn!) and such but never thought to change the king pins. And I hear torch to remove and that's the other dilemma. If it costs me a $100-$200 in tools or three hours labor to do it right with someone that has the tools, I am gonna pay the right person with the tools. My mechanic said I needed new wheel bearings and I figured I would do that with the brakes but I questioned him because we did that a year ago! Now I definitely thing I need king pins.
My drums work fine. I just want to stop for the deers! I believe they have been done in the last 5 years because of all the "nuts and bolts" under the truck, the brake lines are the shiniest. When I step on the pedal it stops so... I have had the truck three years and the previous owner was in restoration mode (new interior, paint, wheels, etc.) but he had not made it to the suspension, drivetrain or much else as I later found out (blew radiator first hot day, no thermostat...). He did upgrade the distributor, added the alternator and installed a brand new heating system. I am just doing the nice, daily driver 3rd car thing...
I have a $1000 to spend and I think this time around I am going to wait on the brakes for 6 months and maybe get under and replace all the nuts, bushings and what not in the steering. I'll dedicate the big spend to new leaves.
Here is something to think about. If you are gonna remove the springs and the brakes, if you disconnect the shocks and the drag link from the steering box, you can remove the entire front axle / spring assemble and refresh everything on the work bench.
This first picture was a joke at the time, but you can see the assembly. Bolt on the spring and it it ready to reinstall.
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