Tech Tips

Front Disc Brake Conversion

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The stock brakes on the 1956 Ford were four wheel drums with a single stage master cylinder. Aside from being notoriously spongy, they are not as safe as a dual master cylinder system.

There are several vendors who manufacture front disc brake kits for these cars. Most of them use spindles from '75-'80 Ford Granadas, since they are very similar to the stock spindles and require only a little machining to fit the stock ball joints. Most kits also use 11" vented rotors and Granada calipers. This gives you a very reliable brake system for which parts are readily available.

I decided to use a kit from Dick Cohen's DC Enterprises in Thousand Oaks, CA. I also purchased a dual master cylinder from him.

Installation was pretty straightforward. The old drums and spindles were removed and the new spindles were installed. Next, the rotors and calipers were installed and the installation is complete.

The only drawback to the DC Enterprises system is that the rotors have too large of a center hub to be used with the stock Ford 15" wheels. A solution is to either have your stock wheels center hole enlarged or to have the rotor hub turned down to fit the stock hole. I decided to buy an extra set of Granada rotors and have the hubs turned down.

Brake drum and backing plate removed from stock spindle

New 11" rotor installed

For information on the front disk brake kit, contact Dick Cohen at DC Enterprises,

Comparison of stock spindle (L) with Granada spindle (R).

Installation complete with new caliper attached

Granada spindle installed

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