Want to save some money putting rear disc brakes on your old Ford
small bearing 8" or 9" rear end? Yes you do that's why you
This is not the Explorer Disc brake swap. That is for the
"large" bearing axles found in1974 on up cars and trucks.
BEARING HOUSING, SMALL DIAMETER HUBS - read
If you have a Mustang, Cougar, Falcon, Fairlane, Comet, or
- a small diameter wheel bearing (2.835")
- a rectangular flange bolt pattern of 2.00" by 3.33"
- 65 to 73 axles with a hub of 2.42"
- Or 1974+ axles with a hub of 2.78"
- a 5 on 4.5" wheel pattern
This is the setup you are looking for. Now, go back and read this
again, these are VERY important dimensions that you need to
confirm on your 8" or 9" inch housing and axle. Just because
you have one of the listed cars from the listed year does NOT mean
you have a small bearing housing. It is easy to swap a large
housing into these vehicles. So check BEFORE you start
What are you looking for in the salvage yard?
1992 to 1995 or 1996 to 2002 - Crown Victoria,
1992 to 1995 or 1996 to 2002 - Grand Marquis'
1991 to 1995 or to 1996 - 2002 - Lincoln Town Car
Note there are 2 different sets of years. The early (91,95)
years are a little less expensive when it comes to replacement
parts. The later (96,02) use a different caliper with
slightly different mounting points. So you can not mix the
Note no dust shields in 1991. 92-95 shield is
removable. 96-02' shield is
ALSO NOTE !!! For 64 to 66 cars the axle housing is
slightly shorter then 67 newer housings. So you are better
off using the 91 to 95 parts because of some clearance issues with
the springs. The caliper mounting bolts on 91 to 95 cars are
shorter giving just enough clearance.
You will need from the donor car
- Caliper backing plates/mounts
- brake calipers (easy and cheap to rebuild or for a core
- mounting bolts
- flexible rubber brake lines (keeps the fluid in the calipers
probably replace with new parts)
- wheel lug studs (or new ones if they wont let you take them
from the axle)
- e-brake cables (I'm still working on this one)
The rotors and pads I wouldn't worry with. They are cheap
to replace and most likely worn out unless you are lucky to have
found a wreck with good service. My local yards did not have
many of these cars available. The only one I could find was
a complete rear for $200. There are several sellers on ebay
offering good deals for the parts. They will save you time
in the yard. Some will offer to send new rotors and pads for
a few extra $.
Because of differences in the old and new parts, spacers are
needed in certain places to keep parts from moving around when
installing the brakes. You will also need to modify your
axle housing flanges so that the backing plates bolt up properly.
A bearing spacer must also be installed on your axles. If you
cannot do this yourself, plan on having new axle bearings
installed, along with the spacers by a professional shop.
You probably need new bearings anyway. Do NOT I repeat
do NOT attempt to press off your old bearings and then re-use
them. The bearing is what holds the axle in the
housing. They stretch when pressed on and will be loose if
you press them on a second time. This could result in
the axle sliding out of the housing. New bearings are cheap
compared the the hours and $ spent on your ride!!
Wheel clearance issues. You have dramatically changed your
rear end. Check ALL your clearances BEFORE you go for a
ride. You should be able to fit Ford 14" 1968+ stock steel
rims on this setup by using a 5mm or 3/16" wheel spacer. Without
it, the rim will rub on the caliper when new pads are
installed. Always make clearance checks with new pads
installed!!!! The 15" rims made for disc brakes and most 15"
aftermarket rims should fit with no clearance issues. Since
there are so many wheel options out there you must do the final
If all else fails you can simply bolt the Drum brakes back
on. You will make no modification that prevents this.
Here are some basic Pics of parts and modifications.
Here are a few pics of some of the parts. My rear had
the parking brake cables cut. So I will have to get
new ones or aftermarket. New ones run about $30 a side
last time I checked.
Look at the second pic. Note the use of a star drive
to remove the caliper bolts !!! So get one before you
head out to the yard.. :)
||Here is a pic of a modified axle housing flange. I
did mine with a cut off wheel and grinder.
|This is a pic of the axle slid into the housing without
the backing plate. Note the bearing sticks out of the
housing? That's NORMAL !!! This is important to
note because the bearing sticks out the same distance as the
thickness of the backing plate. The NEW disc backing
plates are THICKER then the drum plates. The bearing
retainer to the left of the pencil keeps the bearing in the
housing. Since the new plates are thicker it leaves a
gap between the bearing and the bearing retainer. This
gap can not be seen once it is all assembled but it IS
there. This gap would allow the axle to slide in and
out of the housing just a bit. That is BAD since axles
are not supposed to do that. It will shorten the life
of the bearing and possible cause a bearing failure letting
your axle slide out of the housing..
There is a spacer ring that MUST be installed BETWEEN the
bearing and the bearing retainer.. This is why you
need to press off the bearings and press on "NEW"
The OD of the spacer should be the same as the OD of the
bearing 2.835. The ID of the spacer should be larger
than the axle diameter 1.8" so it does not contact the
spinning axle or the inner bearing race. The thickness
should be 0.135" or about 1/8 inch is close
enough. You should check these measurements on
your specific parts. If you dont have access to a
lathe a machine shop can make these cheap. They are
also available online in some of the forums and ebay.
||Here is the rotor mounted on the axle. NOTE the gap
between the axle hub and rotor. This is where the HUB
spacer goes. This is needed to center your
rotor. Without it the rotor could run out of balance
The spacer ring has and ID of 2.42" and an OD of
2.78" and a thickness of 0.25"
1974 and newer AXLES do not need a spacer ring. The
axle hub is the correct size for the rotor.
||Parking brake routing. Still working on this one.
||Pic of the spacer parts needed. This is from an Ebay