Modern Stopping Power for ’76-’79 F-250
Dana 44 & 60 Axles 4x4s

We have a highboy, and we want better brakes. That is what started the crew at PRD Design down the path of developing a brake upgrade kit. Overall, the current brake upgrade market for ’67-’79 F-250 4x4s is primarily made up of part swaps for later-model OEM axles, like the disc brake Dana 44s from 1976-’79 F-250 trucks. There are also options to swap in late-model Super Duty axles. 

While these options work, they either require a fair amount of chassis and suspension modifications or, even if they bolt in like the 1976-’79 Dana 44s, still leave you with 1970s technology, leaving many owners wishing they could go the next step to modern brakes.

We faced this dilemma for a customer and his 1969 F-250 4×4 receiving a new Coyote swap and several other upgrades. We opted for a 1976 Dana 44 factory disc brake axle to provide upgraded brakes for the extra horsepower but were still unsatisfied. The original calipers needed replacing; the only real options were remanufactured parts of unknown origin. That still leaves you with big, chunky, heavy parts that still scream of 1970s engineering.

There must be something else available. We couldn’t find it, so we decided to make it. Utilizing proven caliper technology from Wilwood Engineering, we set out to make a kit that would fit over a stock-size brake rotor inside a 16-inch Ford steel wheel to keep that classic 4×4 look. After R&D and a few sets of prototype brackets, our brake kit was complete.

01. Disassemble the original front brakes: Raise the front wheels off the ground and support the front suspension according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the front wheels and completely disassemble the stock brake system to the bare knuckle. The wheel studs will need to be pressed out of the OEM hub. Now is the time to inspect and replace any worn axle shaft components, ball joints, bearings, and spindle mounting studs. At this time, clean and de-grease the spindle and knuckle mounting surfaces.

02. Install the flat mount bracket as shown, install the OEM spindle over the bracket, and secure it temporarily with OEM nuts. Inspect that the bracket fits squarely against the mounting surface of the knuckle and is free from interference from casting irregularities, machining ridges, burrs, etc. Remove the nuts one at a time, apply red Loctite 271 to the bolt threads, and torque nuts to OEM specification.


03. Install the new brake rotor onto the OEM hub according to the OEM specifications. (Note: New wheel studs are recommended.) Install the hub and rotor assembly onto the spindle following OEM specifications and torque specs. Now is also a great time to install new wheel bearings and seals.

04. Install the caliper mount bracket with clean, dry threads on the mounting bolts initially. Orient the bracket as shown, and install using the socket head mounting bolts and 3/8ths washers. Place two 0.035-inch-thick shims between the flat and caliper brackets on each bolt. Align and temporarily tighten the mounting bolts. Later, after the caliper alignment has been checked, the mount bolts will be secured using red Loctite 271.



05. This kit contains distinct right- and left-hand calipers that must be mounted in the specific direction to the front of the truck, as noted by the arrows machined into the outside of the caliper. Place one 0.035-inch-thick shim on each stud, as shown. Mount the caliper onto the bracket using lock nuts and washers. Temporarily tighten the lock nuts. Ensure that the caliper is mounted so the largest pistons are at the rotor exit end of the caliper in relation to the direction of the rotor. View the rotor through the top opening of the caliper. The rotor should be centered in the caliper (Photo 7). If not, adjust by adding or subtracting shims, 0.016-inch or 0.035-inch, between the spindle bracket and caliper bracket. Always use the same amount of shims on each of the four mounting bolts. Once the caliper alignment is correct, remove the bracket mounting bolts one at a time, apply red Loctite 271 to the threads, and torque to 35 lb-ft. Install the brake pads into the caliper by removing the caliper center bridge pad retainer bolt, nut, and tube. Insert the brake pads into the caliper, with the friction material facing the rotor. Check that the top of the brake pad is flush with the outside diameter of the rotor. If not, adjust by adding or subtracting shims between the caliper and the bracket. After setting the caliper pad height, torque the caliper lock nuts (15) to 30 lb-ft. Secure the brake pads in place with the center bridge pad retainer tube, bolt, and locknut. The locknut should be snug without play in the bolt or tube. Be cautious not to over-tighten.




06. OEM rubber brake hoses cannot be adapted to the calipers. The caliper inlet fitting is a 1/8-27 NPT. Use PTFE tape on pipe threads to seal the caliper properly. Install the stainless steel braided flex line hose kit. The installer is responsible for proper routing and ensuring adequate clearance and retention for brake hose components.


07. The completed kit in its final form.




Here is what the kit includes:

  • PRD Design two-piece caliper brackets
  • Two stock OEM spec replacement rotors
  • Two Wilwood 6 piston calipers (right- and left specific)
  • Wilwood BP-10 brake pads
  • Two stainless steel braided brake hoses
  • All necessary assembly hardware