1948-1952 F-2/F-3 Front Disc Conversion

This page has information on how to perform a front disc brake conversion on a 1948-1952 Ford F-2 /F-3 truck. Both models are basically the same truck. There are commercially made kits for the half ton F-1 model but I know of no company that makes a kit for the larger models.

The following information was provided by Paul Shesterniak. Paul was a member of the Ford Truck Enthusiasts' 1948-1960 discussion board, Oilyowl, and upgraded the brakes on his 1952 F-3. Paul sold his truck and no longer contributes to the board but was kind enough to give me permission to post his procedure and pictures:

Here are the parts that were used for the front brakes:

Disc rotors are from a 1974 dodge 1 ton dually.
-The rotors will have to be decreased in diameter by about .050 inch.

Calipers and mounts are for a 1977 ford 1 ton.
-Mounting holes had to be plugged, welded and then redrilled.

Pads are for a 77 ford 3/4 ton caliper.

The flex line mounts are off a 74 f-250 which are placed about a inch to the rear of the original location.

Wheel studs are 610-279 Doorman.
-The stock hubs are sandwiched between the rotors and wheels.

The shocks had to be moved to the back side of the axle, which entailed drilling new holes about 4 inches toward the back, for the upper shock mounts. The bottom mounts just bolt in from the otherside of the axle. -The inner fenders had to be trimmed for shock clearance.

The master cylinder and power booster came from a 1969 ford 3/4 ton truck.
-A mount will have to be fabricated.
-A pushrod was fabricated using stock 69 ford and 51 ford parts.

You will have to install check valves and a proportioning valve, Summit racing #'s WIL-260-1874/1876 SUM-G3905.
the proportioning valve is adjustable. You could use a stock one from any ford 3/4 ton truck with disc/drum brakes.

Paul went with aftermarket wheels due to the fact he felt the riveted stock wheels will not withstand the forces put on them by the upgraded brakes and radial tires.

Click on an image to bring up a larger version
Disc01 Disc02
Disc03 Disc04

Another FTE member, Kevin Laycraft, KJLYPW, also completed the conversion. His conversion was done in much the same way as Paul's with a few differences. Kevin used the calipers and mounting brackets, with some modification, from a 1975 F-250.
He used new discs and studs from 77 F-250 4X4.

The rotor only needed the center chamfer opened up by an extra 3/16 to accept the machined surface on the back side of the hub, about 5 min on a lathe.

The mounting plate center hole had to be opened by about 1/8 inch total overall diameter. He did by marking it with a felt pen and used a dye-grinder. The four mounting bolt holes hade to be relocated. He welded in plugs of 1/2 rod, pilot drill hole and again opened up with dye grinder (welded in section too hard to drill).

The 77 4x4discs are a bit fatter across than the 75, Kevin said had to shave a bit of material off of the caliper back frame, and shims between the piston body and the back frame. Also, as the original hub had the brake disc on the outer face, he had to reinstall the hub section cut out of the original drum as a wheel spacer to maintain clearance to the calipers.

His new 16.5 wheels and radial tires are also off the 75 F-250.

Click on an image to bring up a larger version
Disc01a Disc02a Disc03a
Disc04a Disc05a Disc06a
Disclaimer: The above descriptions and images are to be used only as reference. Actual parts may vary. Some parts substitutions and modifications may/will be necessary. I am not liable for improper installation of parts or materials.

Last updated on November 27, 2009