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Old 05-05-2004, 03:53 PM
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Question Help with steering and brakes on 1955 Ranch Wagon

My boyfriend has a 1955 ford ranch wagon, and he wants to change the steering to a rack and pinion and the brakes to disc brakes. if anybodys got any blueprints that they can e-mail me or Suggestions on what kind of parts to use and how to go about this we could really use the help...

Thanx
littletwitt@msn.com
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Old 05-05-2004, 04:31 PM
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Unfortunately the mid 50's fords have been left pretty much out of the loop for after market stuff. I have a 53 Ford sedan and it's a chore finding what I want also. Try P-S-T-.com ( performance Suspension Technology ) they list rear disk kits for 8" & 9" units and a front disk brake conversion for 1957-66. They may be able to help you out on your 55. I don't remember any big changes from 55-57 so maybe it will work, but they know best. Be ready to spend around $950 front and $750 rear. They do however have kits to upgrade the drum system that are more reasonably priced that work very well unless your going the Pro-Street direction. Speedwaymotors.com has a lot of stuff also. I've never seen rack and pinion offered for early Fords and don't know if it's even possible. If you need replacement parts for anything at all on your 55 try Macsautoparts.com. Just bought a new front turn signal lens! they have always had even the most hard to find parts. Good luck..

Last edited by Pony; 05-05-2004 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 05-06-2004, 12:01 AM
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As for the power steering unit. The origional can be found totally rebuilt. I don't have the web address right now but I can get it. The OEM unit is really quite nice and can be found for about $1000.00. I can't really tell a difference in preformance from a new R+P. I haven't yet found a manufactured bolt on modern power steering set up. I've heard that one of the R+P's used for '57's is a late '80's early '90's Taurus rack and pinion with a fabricated bolt on mount. The other one used is off a '78-'80 grenada with a fabricated mounting bracket.

As for brakes. http://www.fatmanfab.com/ has a pair of bolt on units. Both are modified Grenada spindles from an V8 grenada '76 to '79. One drops the front 2 inches. The V8's use an 11 inch rotor instead of the smaller 10 inch. Most of these have been recovered from the wrecking yeards by now do to the fact thet everyone with an old Mustang uses them also.

As for rear brakes I have heard that some kits use GM parts(yuck!) but most using new parts are using explorer rear disk set ups. I'm looking into a lincoln Mk7 setup.

For mounting a 302 into the car you'll need the mounts off of a '80 to '82 t-bird with a 1 inch spacer to center the motors fan onto the radiator. A trans mount will then have to modified and fabbed up to finish it off.

tee_bird products 1-800-423-3723
www.fordpartsstore.com
www.dropnstop.com
http://www.dennis-carpenter.com/ call and ask for a year specific catalog

Remember that the 55 though 56 are quite similar cars. many of the same parts are used on each. And ford has always been good at reusing old parts into newer cars. And almost everything for those cars can be bought brand new.

I'll try to write you with all the info I have before this weekend. Or write me. Pzatchok@netscape.net
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Old 05-06-2004, 02:06 AM
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Arrow

The easiest (and cheapest) way to convert an early FORD to rack and disc is with a partial or complete MUST II swap from -ROD & CUSTOM MOTORSPORTS-

This will give you a rack and pinion and front disc with a minimum of effort. The MUST II spindles will come setup for 9" rotors but they can be upgraded to 11" GRANADA rotors easily and the same company makes adaptors to use FOX calipers instead of the CHEV.

If he just wants front disc, the GRANADA or mid-seventies FORD intermediate changeover will be the least expensive (do a search here).
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Old 05-09-2004, 05:47 PM
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Hey all I have a 1985 ford f-150 and my steering box just started spewing power steering fluid out the bottom right above the pitman arm. If anyone can help me I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks all!
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Old 05-09-2004, 07:52 PM
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Sector shaft seal blown, most likely bushing and sector shaft also bad. Might want to price out a quality exchange unit.
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:54 AM
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-HERE- is a changeover kit that may interest you. You can upgrade to GRANADA discs with it also.
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Old 05-10-2004, 08:29 AM
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Ooh.. I like it! I'll have to look into that if I get money to burn for the '56.

Grenada/Montego front spindles bolt right on the '55/6 Ford/Mercury suspension. It works great, I've done it on my own '56 Mercury and I might see if I can get around to taking some pics tonight. I bought all new components for the whole thing at my local auto parts store except for the spindle, which I was able to get from a junk yard I found in Hemmings. I forget the years that work, but it's somewhere in the '70's.

It worked great for me since it results in a 1" drop too. I was going for 3" front and rear and I bought new springs & shocks.

If I might ask, though, why the steering rack? Is this to go with a spiffy new steering column or something?
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Old 05-10-2004, 02:34 PM
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thanks for the help kultulz! very much appreciated!
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Old 05-10-2004, 09:22 PM
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The granada spindles are from a '76 to '79 granada or it's varients.

The stock granada spindles do NOT bolt straight on. They need to be machined to match the top and bottom ball joint angles. Its a simple job of just reaming out the old ball joint holes on the granada spindles to a 7 deg. inclusive angle. After that they bolt on.
If your lucky enough to find the spindles in a yard Fatman reams them out for 60 bucks or you can buy the reamer for about 80 to 120 bucks.
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