We recently installed a dropped axle and juice brakes ("Lowered Expectations," May '05) on our restored '29 Model A Tudor, so it was only natural that we continue on from there with the installation of hydraulic brakes on the rear. Again we used a complete conversion kit from MT Car Products because for this project we really like the way Dave Wilton has designed his products to bolt up and upgrade an original Model A Ford with the least amount of fabrication and modification possible. In fact, beyond pulling the rear hubs and drilling a couple holes this is strictly a bolt-on affair.
MT Car Products offers different levels and options to its kits, and the one we'll be installing in this story is the complete "deluxe" rear kit using the 12-inch Bendix self-energizing full-contact brakes as were used as original equipment on prewar Lincoln automobiles. Hot rodders have long praised the great stopping power of the Lincoln-style brakes, and today the scarce units have been faithfully and 100-percent accurately reproduced for the discriminating enthusiast who requires that their vehicle be period correct with the best available new parts. Beyond the fully loaded and ready-to-install backing plates, the "deluxe" kit also includes new drums, reconditioned hubs, pre-formed brake lines, emergency brake cables, and all the necessary hardware required for installation.
Even though we were already familiar with the ease of the installation of the front-brake conversion, the rear kit went on even easier (perhaps because the designer Dave Wilton assisted us this time) than we ever imagined. In the first story we installed MT Car Products "basic" kit with '40 Ford-style backing plates and our own used drums. Since the back was now sportin' the Lincoln-style Bendix backing plates and fresh drums, we went ahead and upgraded the front with matching hardware. All the pieces mount up exactly the same and require no additional modifications. Another upgrade added was a set of MT Car Products wire wheel support rings to keep our Kelsey Hayes spoke wheels tightly mounted to the drums without damaging the wheels. Originally Fords that came equipped with wire wheels (up to 1935) had an inner support for the mounting surface of the original wire wheels cast into the original brake drums. The later drums originally designed for disc-style rims lacked this support and over time wire wheels mounted to the later drums will become damaged and lug nuts can loosen and various dangers can ensue from there.
By the time you are reading this MT Car Products will also be offering another great new safety product, brand-new Buick finned aluminum brake drums and new hubs which can be added to any of their 1928 to 1948 Ford brake packages or bolted on to your existing early Ford brakes with no modifications necessary. We already know of a few cars we can't wait to mount these on!