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Self-Energizing Brakes

by Dave on April 15, 2015

John Walsh wanted traditional looking brakes, but with serious stopping power. Could ’40 Ford backing plates be modified to mount ’58 Buick self-energizing, Bendix-style brakes, along with wider (2.5 inch versus the ’40 Ford 1.75 inch) brake shoes? Here’s how it was done…


A stock ’40 backing plate. The area between the recess and the outer edge of the backing plate is not wide enough to accommodate the Buick brake shoes. The area had to be widened ¼ inch.

The area was cut out (don’t lose that logo!)…

…then sectioned and welded back in. A curved filler piece would eventually fill the gap.

Ford’s original shoe pivots would no longer be needed, but they’d have to be moved to make room for the Buick star adjuster slot.

To maintain the look, dummy pivots went back on the backing plates Their backsides had to be clearanced so they wouldn’t interfere with the Buick hardware.

The original Ford adjusters are dummies, too. Note how the position of the slave cylinder had to be lowered.

The difference inside.

The finished brakes.

From → Past Projects

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