Well Howdy Folks
--- Still wrangling with the front disk brakes. After scrounging all over the planet to assemble a set of new bearings & grease seals that are either no longer made or priced beyond reason, I was finally able to do a test fit to see if the wheels would clear the mongo Ford 350 brake calipers.
Of course not.
Problem being that when I started this brake swap way back when, I was still hoping to keep the original 20" wheels. They were changed to 19.5" rims when it was determined a new rear axle was the only way to reach anything close to highway speed. You wouldn't think a half-inch would make that much difference. It does. The brake kit was designed around the old style factory rims which, while only a smidgeon larger in diameter...are laid out entirely differently. The old rims go straight in along the outer surface and the new ones go in at an angle which creates the conflict.
Something had to give.
Since there are really few options, I checked with a trusted master mechanic friend about removing some metal from the calipers. He looked'em over and declared they were so overbuilt that grinding away along the trouble area should leave more than adequate metal. Being a bit shy about grinding away at something like a brake caliper, I took the conservative route. That means...grind a little...test the fit...grind a little...test the fit. It must have taken about twenty rounds of playing on-and-off with the 140 pound wheel before getting close. I won't have to go to the gym for a month.
After the first one was done, the second was relatively easy. Just match the first as close as possible. Thank God for seven-inch angle grinders and 36 grit flap wheels.
Anyhow, they both now fit inside the rims with just enough clearance to (hopefully) allow for any wheel flex (many thanks to Ol' Trunt for that heads up).
Here is what they look like now...
Ya...there is a fair amount of metal taken off but I did discover that this is actually a pretty common fix among racers and such, so let's hope for the best.
Oh...and speaking of "the best", below is what a brand new set of grease seals looks like. Or, at least what the package looked like...about 1952.
Always amazed at some of the NOS stuff that still shows up. The seals looked flawless...and yeah...I'm gonna keep the box.
Plenty more to do, so...