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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Ford rear disc brakes

I'm getting a ford 8.8" rear end out of a newer explorer this week for dirt cheap, and I need to start looking at the brakes. I'm going to have Moser engineering shorten the axle to my desired width, and supply new axle shafts with the proper bolt pattern. Next I need to look at brakes. I don't know if I need to have explorer rotors redrilled to the mgb bolt pattern, or I can just use rotors from a 1980-1988 thunderbird. Additionally I need to do something about the calipers. Has anyone successfully used ford calipers on the rear end? I'm not necessarily trying to improve braking performance (but if that coincidentally happens I won't complain) I just want a setup that will work without turning into a science fair project.

Any suggestions?

Moser can plug the five studs and put in the
equivalent to the MGB four stud pattern.
On the calipers, be careful that parking brake
return spring always clears the leaf spring. I
revolved the calipers down to clear the body
sheetmetal. Moser also did this for me. My installation is not complete yet so I can't give
you more details. My rear axle width is 51.75 to where the wheels mount which is why the parking brake
spring overlaps the rear axle leaf spring.
Regards, Jack
John Renaud

Thae ford 4 bolt pattern does not match the MGB one. So no matter what, if you want to use MGB wheels you will have to have the axles redrilled, so keep the shafts you have and just get the ends and rotors redrilled.
Larry Embrey

But using the 4 on 4 1/4 Pcd Ford does allow redrilling without plugging.
George B.

Ok thanks for the info. I plan on going 53" from mounting face to mounting face (ultra high offset wheels) so should that be sufficient to clear the parking brake springs? It's only about $150.00 more for brand new axles made to my specs, as opposed to shortening the existing axles, and redrilling. I haven't decided if I'll spend the money or not. Will there be a necessity for a proportioning valve, or any other modifications to keep the rear brakes effective?

Anyone ever figured out how to put mgb rear drum brakes on a ford 8.8" axle or is that not possible?

Thanks again,

I have MGB brakes on my Ford 9". This may have caused some bearing problems because the bearing was moved to a different part of the axle (can't remember the measurements but I have the original drawing). Not sure if there wasn't as much hardening in the new location but the bearing ate into the shaft and started to rattle. I have run the axle for 6 years.
Martyn Harvey

The B drums can be used if the ends of the B axle are grafted onto/into Ford's to use the B's axle flanges. Conveniently, the B axle tube slides nicely into the Ford after a bit of skimming-- so it's Ford in the middle and B at the ends with the beefy half shafts. Glen Towery used to sell units ready to install, perhaps he still dose. In an old video of his, he explains the procedure and describes the easily made jig.


Wasn't that an 8 inch rather that an 8.8?
George B.

The hybrid Ford/MGB rear axle only works with the old 8" Ford, not the newer 8.8.

This combo does not lend itself to rear disk brakes, not to say it is impossible, but the real point of doing it is that no brake mods are required, the emergency brake setup is unchanged. This eliminates a lot of extra expense & work & makes a proportioning valve unnecessary.

If you are determined to have rear disk brakes for whatever reason, stay with a narrowed 8 or 8.8 Ford without the MGB ends.Beyond the G-Whiz factor, I see no real reason to spend the time & money for rear disks, but everyone's needs are different.
Jim Stuart

Wonder if that trick would work with the 9" ford? Somebody claimed the 9" was only 4 lbs heavier than the 8" and near the same weight as the stock salisbury axle. I may go 9" and use Mitsubishi brakes.

Jim Blackwood

You can get an aluminum center section for the nine inch to make it lighter than the 8 inch. I haven't heard of aluminum 8's, which is the way I would rather go since they are available with the MG PCD.
George B.

I weighed the rear axle out of a 68 MGBGT, and got a weight of 165 pounds. That's with brakes and drums, but no shocks, springs, etc.

I weighed a Ford 9", in the same configuration except with a Trutrac posi, and it weighed 241 pounds. I have been told that the 9" I have is one of the heaviest versions available.
Dan Masters

Like I said, I'm getting the 8.8" on the cheap & easy. I have no special love or connection to disc brakes, they're just there, so I'm thinking "may as well". If it's just a matter of connecting them up, then great I'll do it. If I have to convert to ford drum brakes, great I'll do that too. I don't really care at this point. I just want a game plan before I start cutting, welding, and buying new toys.

Jim, what's the appeal to Mitsubishi brakes?


Justin: For most, nothing. However I have a 5 on 4-1/2 lug pattern and it matches. Also, the pads and calipers are suitably sized to be a reasonable match with my front brakes. Finally, when replacing rear pads it is extremely easy to reset the pistons. No small consideration, the rear calipers on our Continental are horrible in that respect.

Dan: That's a big difference. I ran into a ford guy today who thinks he has a 9" the right size, wants about $150 for it. MGB's are 52" drum to drum right? I seem to remember you saying a 9" with the aluminum center weighs less than an 8", but would that be as light as an MGB axle? Sort of planning for the future here.
Jim Blackwood

Just some added info. Early to mid-80's Mustang SVO's (turbocharged 4 cyl. - 200 hp) came with rear discs.
Patrick Kaye

This thread was discussed between 09/11/2002 and 23/11/2002

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