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Disc Brake Bolt-On???
#1
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BigKev
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I thought I at one time there was a discussion about some brake parts vendor that was looking at creating a bolt on kit for the 51-56 Packards. Has anyone heard anymore on this?

I would be interested in putting that on my Clipper due the kind of traffic I deal with here in So. Calif.

I has talked to the guy here in So. Calif that made the brackets that Craig used on his conversion and he makes them to order, and it basically cost around $1,000 for the his kit.

There is a custom caliper bracket made, and your existing spindles are machined to take 70's GM truck bearing and disc setup. Also I think the where the tie-rod connects to the spindle arm is machine to provide clearance for the disc.

When I talked to him he gave me the impression that he will make one if the money is right and someone really wants it, but as each one is custom made, so its not something he advertises as it's not his main business.

I would be nice if a vendor was to create a new spindle assemble that would bolt in and replace the OEM one. So that way the OEM assembly didn't have to be modified. The vendor then could just sell the new spindle assemble and the caliper bracket, and you go buy everything else, and they could also sell the complete kit with the calipers, discs, bolts, lines, etc.

I figure between the 51-56 models there must be at least 15,000+ cars still out there, and this conversion may also work on earlier models.


Are you listening Vendors???? Hint Hint Hint

On that note I think it would be interesting to hear what other pieces Packard owners would like to see reproduced.

For me, I would like to see some rust repair panels made. If we take the 51-54 models. The same repair panel would work across all those years on most models. I see that the 51-56 rocker panels are produced and show up on ebay. But things like floor pans, and wheel well patch panels would be great. I think if more or these type of repair panels were made, we would start seeing more of the Post-War Packard get back on the road. Right now we have to either get a piece custom made, or hack another car up to get a panel. Which effectively takes another car off the road forever.

Now I know everyone cringes when people think of Street-Roding one of our Packards, but I must admit the Street-Rod crowd has created a demand in the market place that has caused vendors to create these type of repair parts for models that didn't have a market before. If the street-rod types ever started looking at the Packards as the new different thing to work on, perhaps a silver lining to come out of it may be a demand that causes vendors to create new parts for the Packard, that the Non-Rodders among us can benefit from. It's a bit of a double-edge sword I know, but just a thought.

Enough of my rambling....

Posted on: 2007/2/16 12:34
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Re: Disc Brake Bolt-On???
#2
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PackardV8
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I see no point in creating a new steering knuckle. The best bet would be to find someone that wants to produce Craigs set up. This is definatly something that requires further study and anayalsis to create a conversion kit that would require NO mods to the knuckel.

Any reproduction steering knuckle would have retain the EXACT angles and dimensions of the original. The steering knuckle is a FORGING (NOT JUST A CASTING) which ads to the expense. Possibly, one could have them cast from steel thus bypassing the forge but i'm not sure.

U are SO RIGHT about rodders creating demand for replacement parts.

Posted on: 2007/2/16 21:00
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Re: Disc Brake Bolt-On???
#3
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PackardV8
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I'm beginning work on a caster alignment checking tool for the 55 and 56's. Mite work on the 51 to 54's too if they are the same as 55-56.
I need to know if the TWO FRONT MOST bolt bosses for the backing plate are PARALLEL to the centre line of the steering knuckle.
I believe that the cars would drive alot better (tho maybe require more effort at the steering wheel) if + caster were set rather than negative caster as recommended.
BUT, i need a good way to measure it. That's what i'm working on.

Posted on: 2007/2/16 21:07
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Re: Disc Brake Bolt-On???
#4
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Eric Boyle
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When things warm up I may have a solution to this that is cheap and uses easily available junkyard parts.

Paul down in Las Vegas used the front spindles off of a 79 and back Ford F150 (twin I beam 2WD model) that worked really well. The modifications that were involved were rather intense, and I think I may have a workaround, but I won't know for sure until it gets warmer. My plan is to use E150 van front spindles instead of the pickup ones. They are different, and maybe that difference will be the solution to a complete bolt on that's inexpensive and easy to do. And, if it fits a '56, it should work for all years back to at least '51. If the spindles are the same part # for all years from '56 back, then this may work. I'll keep you all posted as time goes by.

Like I said before, this is going to be an exciting year for Packards!

Eric

Posted on: 2007/2/16 22:05
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Re: Disc Brake Bolt-On???
#5
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PackardV8
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What year range of E150 van spindles????

Posted on: 2007/2/16 22:13
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Re: Disc Brake Bolt-On???
#6
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BigKev
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Well Craig's setup (or at least one of his setups) did require the machining of the original knuckle to to provide clearance for the disc, and also the spindle machined. Perhaps is a disc was found rode farther out on the spindle, then it might not have the clearance issue.

I always thought the best solution would be to create an entire new setup that had new upper and lower control arms that bolted in the stock location that used ball joints and a new steering knuckle that maintained the correct alignment and placement and uses the stock tie rod. This is perhaps a pipe-dream. But that has got to be easier that doing a subframe swap or something like that.

So that why I thought if you could just get a new steering knuckle designed, that would be they easiest solution.

Posted on: 2007/2/16 22:26
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Re: Disc Brake Bolt-On???
#7
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Eric Boyle
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The year range for the E150 should be 1982 and earlier, to about 73 or 74, whenever they first got disc brakes.

Paul's setup included machining the steering arm, and going with a different type of steering linkage, namely one with a bigger tie rod end. Since E150 and F150 tie rods are different, I'm hoping that the stock Packard tie rod will fit the E150 steering arm. Otherwise, you'd either have to do what Paul did and change out the entire steering linkage and box, or have the steering arm welded up and drilled to fit. Neither prospect is promising to be easy.

I want to find a bolt on arrangement that's simple and can be done in one day, without expensive machining involved.

Also, changing out the upper and lower control arms is really difficult with Torsion Level, so much so that I'm not even going to attempt it.

Eric

Posted on: 2007/2/16 23:46
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Re: Disc Brake Bolt-On???
#8
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BigKev
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I never thought about the Torsion Level differences.

So Paul's setup uses the modified truck steering knuckle, and Craig's setup uses the machined Packard knuckle correct?

I always get that confused.

Posted on: 2007/2/16 23:52
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Re: Disc Brake Bolt-On???
#9
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Eric Boyle
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Yes, you are correct. I figure that if what I do bolts onto the '56, I can always try the same on my '53 Clipper, and then you'd know for sure it will work on your '54. I still feel that as long as the spindles are the same for all the years, then this will work. Or actually, if the kingpins are the same then it will work, as you're discarding the original Packard spindles all together.

Posted on: 2007/2/16 23:58
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Re: Disc Brake Bolt-On???
#10
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Peter Packard
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Hi all, I happened to see this thread and it reminded me that in Australia, the 70's, 80's Ford Falcon discs have the same stud pattern as the post 53 Packards. Prior to this Packard stud pattern was the same as some of the Chrysler products. I have often thought about disc brakes on a Packard, to the extent that I have some 1980's Ford Falcon discs under the bench for this purpose. I just haven't had the time to actually fit the bits. I would have imagined that it would be a simple case of finding the correct bearings to match the Packard spindle/ Ford caliper. Anchoring the disc would be via the original backing plate attachment and the original hose should go close to fitting. In Australia this set-up would require an Engineers Report to obtain registration but it could be done. It may exclude the car from Historic registration but if you wanted an everyday driver with less brake fade, then hey, why not!. Peter Toet

Posted on: 2007/3/18 5:31
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