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Story and Photos by Zac Parks
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Here we are in the final part of adding juice brakes to a Model A Ford. Adding the pedals! For me this is always the fun part, adding some life and feel to the car. This is where your options get even wider because we also step into changing the crossmember to accommodate for the V8 transmissions. You can use just about any passenger car pedals from 1936-1948, or 1948-1952 F series pedals, I've even used F7 pedals in a Model A.
The first thought in planning out your pedals is what transmission you are going to run. For me it's usually the three speed mated up to the back of a flathead. If this is your route, then everything I said above holds true since the clutch linkages are so similar in those years and models. What I have done in my recent Model As is add a K member off the Model As original crossmember. We call this the "Wired Customs K Member." This gives you a transmission mount and a mount for 1936-1948 passenger car pedals. If you're thinking that 1936-1938 pedals didn't have juice brakes then you're correct, but a couple correctly placed hines joints and steel rods will do the trick to compress a master cylinder.
I wouldn't be doing you justice if I didn't mention F1 pedals and crossmember. The 1948-1952 F1 is the prime vehicle to steal a crossmember from, but they have become a lot harder to find since those years are the cream of the crop for traditional hotrodders. This crossmember is easy to install into a Model A frame and gives you the perfect pedals and transmission mount for an Early Ford transmission.
If your idea of a traditional hotrod is a buick nailhead or early Y blocks then don't fret there are still some good options for you. Also we can't ignore new products on the market that make traditional hotrodding a little easier. For those Model As running automatics or hydraulic clutches Millworks Hot Rods and Supply has great under the floor options that will easily give you a split master cylinder. Check out MillWorksHotRod.com for more options for traditional Hotrodding.
Now let's face the facts, times have changed, road speeds are faster and traffic has become denser over the years. Stopping that expensive investment safely has to be a concern when upgrading the Model As brakes. Thanks to Old Yankee Speed Co, we can have a traditional set up and still have the safety of a modern split master cylinder. They make this easy to install kit that changes the three bolt master cylinder flange into a modern style 2 bolt flange, really giving you huge options for master cylinders. You can have a Wilwood master, or you could even go for a more affordable pinto master. If you're running Drum/Drum check out this master from Napa part number M1942.
I hope you guys learned something in this three part series! There are still more options I didn't even mention, I just wanted to share what I thought were your easiest options. Make sure to check in next week for more traditional hot rodding info! Now stop reading this article, get out into the garage and Get Your Shift Together!