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Disc Brakes with Factory Wheels on a Ford F1

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In this Tech Tip, a customer asked about finding a set of disc brakes for his 1949 Ford F1 pickup, with one caveat. He wants to use the factory wheels.

“Hey I've been looking around for a front disc kit for a 1949 f1 ford. I would like to use the original rims on the truck, but from what I've read this is almost impossible to do. Most say the calipers hit. I see y'all offer an 11" rotor, but is there a smaller one available that would allow me to use the stock 5x5 1/2 rims?”

Hi, you inquired about a disc brake kit for your 1949 Ford F1 pickup in the original 5 on 5 1/2 bolt pattern and we do have this to offer under part number 91031964. You referenced caliper clearance issues with the original wheels and yes, this is a concern. Ford didn't make all their wheels and to make sure what the fit would be with your wheels there is a simple test. Lay the wheel with the back side facing up and put a ruler across the center with the 6 in the middle of the wheel. Measure down to the bolt surface and anything over 3/4" will require that much of a spacer. This is because the caliper sits within 3/4" of the bolt surface where the wheels will mount. We do have 1" spacers with the center support for use in these cases. Feel free to visit us on the web at or call 1-800-979-0122 with questions or to place an order.

  • John W.

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