1989 Ford F-250 Disc Brakes - Tech Stopping The Sterling
Disc Brakes For The Ford 10.25 Axle
Anyone who has owned an '84-'98 3/4- or 1-ton Ford knows they can be quirky. They can come loaded with the burliest components, but the most mundane and seemingly insignificant parts can develop issues and make a good thing seem bad. For example, our '89 F-250 has a really strong 460 and C6 drivetrain that hasn't given us a lick of problems, no matter how much heavy towing we put it through, but most of the electrical switches and motors don't last longer than a gimpy antelope at a watering hole full of hungry lions.
A case in point is the Ford Sterling 10.25 rear axle. With a big 10.25-inch ring gear and full-floating 35-spline axleshafts, it's right at home coping with big tires or a heavy trailer. However, we've noticed that the rear drums just don't want to stay in adjustment, despite a full rebuild with new shoes and adjuster hardware. It got so bad that we were contemplating a Dana 70 or GM 14-bolt swap for the rear just so our front tires wouldn't lock up during panic stops when the rear brakes weren't working.
Thankfully, TSM in Castle Rock, Colorado, put the wraps on its new disc-brake conversion kit for the Ford 10.25 axle before we got around to removing our rear axle, taking it to the desert, and blowing holes in it with a Barrett 0.50-cal. The company's kit (PN 2670) includes caliper brackets, spacers, hardware, and 12 3/4-inch vented rotors. You can either supply your own '79-'87 GM 4x4 calipers without parking brake or large GM calipers with parking brake, or buy new ones from TSM. We chose to go with all new parts from TSM. Read on for the install.