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Old 07-25-2019, 09:49 AM   #1
mcgarrett
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Default Converting 1940 Ford backing plates to self-energizing brakes

Checking around to see if anyone has ever tried to convert 1940 Ford Lockheed style brake backing plates to the Bendix style self-energizing brake setup. I know there are kits available from Speedway, but they're a bit pricey. There are some modification/fabrication work to be done to make the hardware work, but I wanted to know if anyone has tried to do it and how well did it work. If I don't get any responses, I'm going to try it anyway and see how it goes.
Thanks for any and all feedback.
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:00 AM   #2
svm99
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Default Re: Converting 1940 Ford backing plates to self-energizing brakes

Yes there is a guy in Dallas, Brian Bass of Bass Custom. He has done numerous sets for customers, excellent quality work.

Good luck with it, Paul J.
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:00 AM   #3
Russ/40
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Default Re: Converting 1940 Ford backing plates to self-energizing brakes

It's been done, but requires heroic measures. I can't recall who did it, but in my opinion not worth the effort.
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:48 AM   #4
philipswanson
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Default Re: Converting 1940 Ford backing plates to self-energizing brakes

Converted to Lincolns on the front only. Not hard at all. Buy the kit and don't go cheap on this one or not at all. I also got mine at Speedway which ended up cheaper than the guy in CA because I saved the taxes and got free shipping. Well worth it.
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:51 AM   #5
drolston
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Default Re: Converting 1940 Ford backing plates to self-energizing brakes

At about $400, the M/T kit for the front brakes is way worth it. I kept Lockheed brakes on the rear of my '41, and get good stopping power.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:34 PM   #6
51woodie
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Default Re: Converting 1940 Ford backing plates to self-energizing brakes

I did front and rear on my '46. I had to do a bit of grinding on the front spindle castings to get the backing plate to seat. Other than that, all went well. The kits are available from Speedway or Boling Brothers. BB has tech info on their site that may help in making your decision.
http://www.bolingbrothers.com/brake-kits-1937-1948/
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:03 PM   #7
rich b
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Default Re: Converting 1940 Ford backing plates to self-energizing brakes

Not rocket science to convert them; but unless you can do the work yourself, the Lincoln repops are probably more economical. If you are going to buy, tough to beat Speedway's deal on the MT brakes.

Of course in some cases, people want to retain the "look" of early Ford brakes.

Others may prefer the appearance of "real" Lincoln brakes as compared to the unaesthetic appearance of the Lincoln repop's backing plate stamping.
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Old 07-25-2019, 04:47 PM   #8
bobH
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Default Re: Converting 1940 Ford backing plates to self-energizing brakes

I've seen a writeup on how the guy in Dallas did it. With enough searching, you should be able to find it. For him to do it, it was posted as very pricey. But, if you find the article, there is enough info for DIY. In any event, it's been done, and you should be able to figure it out.
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Old 07-25-2019, 04:53 PM   #9
RalphM
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Default Re: Converting 1940 Ford backing plates to self-energizing brakes

Fronts, or rears?
If fronts, then why not use F-1, or F-100 brakes? This is what I’m doing on my 35( with 39 suspension).
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Old 07-25-2019, 04:56 PM   #10
Jack E/NJ
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Default Re: Converting 1940 Ford backing plates to self-energizing brakes

Many of us are anxiously waiting for FlatheadTed to get done testing his pre-production Lockheed floater conversions. Jack E/NJ
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Old 07-25-2019, 05:02 PM   #11
Andy
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Default Re: Converting 1940 Ford backing plates to self-energizing brakes

The 42-48 plates are better suited. I did a set way back when. If I did it again, I would use later model wheel cylinders that have the tab that the anchor bolt goes thru. That will set the vertical ind axial relationship to the shoes. It would be wise to use shoes from the same application as the cylinders. That way the shoes and wheel cylinders match.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:57 AM   #12
mcgarrett
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Default Re: Converting 1940 Ford backing plates to self-energizing brakes

Hey Rich,
I think you nailed it! Your backing plate modification is exactly what I was looking for. Do you have any more photos or details of how you modified the backing plates and what brake hardware you used? I was hoping to avoid the $1,000 price tag of the Speedway kits. It didn't look like it would be too hard to adapt the stock plates to use the Bendix setup. I wanted to retain the stock look of the factory backing plates while doing away with the hassle of the original brake adjustment.
Thanks for your reply and any other info you might have.
Mike G.
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