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Front Drum to DISK Brakes Retrofit

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  • Front Drum to DISK Brakes Retrofit

    I'm done retrofitting my '59 Galaxie with front disk brakes, and thought you guys might want to see how it went.

    I don't sell any of these parts, but you can find them in different places. I bought most of my parts from eBay. The rest from my local discount auto parts store.

    This job depends on how much you want to do. You can have disk brakes without power-assist. My goal was to get good power disk brakes because the '59 Galaxie is my wife's car, and it's a very heavy Fordor. We take long trips in it, so we need the best brakes possible. The OEM system worked ok for me (I'm a big guy), but NOTHING like it does now.

    I used my stock spindles. <--That's a biggie because it means no machining or front-end suspension changes.

    I also kept the rear drums, since rear brakes don't do much stopping. Any time your car has disk AND drum brakes, a PROPORTIONING VALVE is used, since disk pads require much more pressure than shoes. If you don't use a proportioning valve, the back tires will skid in a modest stop. I used an old one from a Mustang. Junk yards throw them out daily. I find, the valve doesn't have much to do with the weight of the car. It divides the pressure proportionally. Some guys use an adjustable proportioning valve because hotrods are drastically different from stock cars.

    Since my '59 has no rear brake self-adjusters, I use a ten pound RESIDUAL VALVE ($5 on eBay), which keeps the shoes from retracting all the way when you let off the pedal. So, when I hit the brakes, I get immediate action with the pedal right at the top.

    I didn't go into showing the two-stage power booster and dual master cylinder on my site, but I got that combo on eBay for under $200. If you don't want power, that's ok. I did it for my wife.

    With this system, the brakes work the way you would expect. They will put you through the windshield, while the car steers straight.

    Check out my RETROFIT site by clicking HERE.

    - Dave Dare
    Last edited by simplyconnected; August 30th, 2009, 12:07 AM. Reason: I can't spell today.
    My latest project:
    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
    --Lee Iacocca

  • #2
    Nice Brake Job!

    Can I ask where you found the spacers and brackets? Are there part numbers for them? Looks like a very economical and very impressive setup. What year of Mustang rotor did you use?
    Last edited by Tmac60; September 3rd, 2009, 08:21 PM. Reason: Another question


    • #3
      Sure, Tmac60, I used Scarebird brackets.
      I wasn't a believer until I installed. Their web site (at first) was kinda vague, and it contradicted the installation instructions. I bought the brackets on eBay, and according to the listing, it required S-10 4WD calipers (so I ran out and bought all the hardware). When I received the box, the instructions called for 2WD S-10 calipers. I was hoppin' mad. Then, I realized both calipers will work just fine. So, the ones you see in my pictures are for (Chevy & GMC) S-10 4X4. I can't say enough about how well they stop my Galaxie.

      Presently, the brackets are available on eBay for $155 + $14s/h on eBay. HOWEVER, I went to and found them for $145.

      "These brackets use common and inexpensive rotors (1968 Mustang front) and calipers (1983-97 S10 2WD) available from your nearest NAPA, O'Reilly's, Autozone etc. or even your local boneyard." You can also get S-10 calipers and hardware from the bone yard and save some money by rebuilding them yourself.

      The Galaxie brackets are for: "1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 Galaxie XL 300 Custom 500 LTD Mercury Monterey Montclair"

      They also sell T-bird brackets for '57-'59. doesn't use part numbers, they just go by application.
      - Dave
      My latest project:
      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
      --Lee Iacocca


      • #4

        Great, there is a major swap meet coming up close to home next weekend, I will keep my eyes open for parts!