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'40 Brake/rear axle upgrade

By Dusty

'55 Brakes & Rear for a '40   

    Since my '40 pickup is my shop hack and daily transport, the need for strength and reliability is high.

    To this end, a '55 pick up diff is fitted, giving me three benefits.

    What's this? Better brakes on the back?? What about the front? Right ! The front originals had a system which consisted of one leading shoe and one trailing shoe. The rear brakes are now 1955 and are twin leading shoes. These stop more efficiently than the earlier style !

    Great! But this gets really exciting in the wet or with a trailer on. My fix for this was to fit '54 front brakes, and the easiest way to do this, was to include the spindles and king pins.

    I had to machine the axle eye-ends to make the bigger king pins fit, but that's ok. The bigger pins are stronger. It would have been easier (read cheaper) to fit the '54 front axle assembly complete, but I was working with just the parts I had available.

    I hope this is easily understood and of interest to someone. In doing this change, I have been able to retain the original 15" artillery style rims that I so like and have fitted 700 R 15 steel radials for better handling.

    Oh yes, I now have an open drive shaft to. All of which is just fine. The 216 engine loves the new diff -- the 4 speed is still the non -syncro unit -- the rest of the truck is really fine.

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