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"Tweety Bird" Gets Disc Brakes & More

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  • "Tweety Bird" Gets Disc Brakes & More

    Today the work on putting in a new dual MC and dual 8" power booster (both chromed from Old Irish Dave-OID for about $20 more over the regular price) started. My mechanic buddy of many years is doing the work for me. The plan was to get the MC and booster in under the hood, do the new brake lines with S.U.R.&R EZ Bend 3/16" tubing that I bought from Dave and do the disk brakes. I am using the Scarebird mounting pieces. Howard suggested that we do the MC and booster first because that was going to be the hardest part to do and would take some time to get it right.

    Right off the bat, he ran into a problem of getting the lower panel off the drivers side to get to the KH unit under the dash. It took awhile, but he got it off. Then he ran into a problem of detaching the clevis from the KH unit to the old MC. He could not get that apart because the bolt came up against the brake pedal. That delayed us for quite some time, but he finally was able to detach it after Howard told us how he got his lose. As it turns out, Dave said that had we removed the old MC first, it probably would have gone better and faster. By this time, we were about 2-3 hours behind our schedule.

    After we got the old MC out, he put in the new chromed mounting bracket that Howard Prout made for us, along with a rubber seal against the firewall, and a chromed mounting plate over it. It took awhile to get the new "hockey stick" that Howard made for himself (which is working great for him the last year or so) and myself, to attach to the KH clevis, but he got it. Like Howard, I had decided to leave the KH unit in place and hooked up. Leaving it has not caused any problems for Howard.

    After that, he made some alignment adjustments on the mounting bracket to make sure we had a smooth movement of the hockey stick between the bracket and through the hole in the firewall and that went well. We did some checking of the brake pedal to make sure we had good action there and we did. Nothing is getting hung up. He tightened down the washers and nuts on the mounting bracket and bolted the power booster booster to it. He mounted the MC to the booster, along with the chromed mounting bracket Howard made for us to hang the Combination valve on.

    Then we did some checking on the adjustment of the machine bolt that sticks out of the MC into the power booster. We found it was not long enough and by running it all the way out, it was still not long enough. Then off I went to Home Depot to get a couple of longer machine bolts, something about 1/2" and 3/4" longer than the one that came with the unit. As I recall, we used the one that was 3/4" of an inch longer, adjusted it and got a good setting on it. That machine bolt we used is a Metric hex bolt M6-1.0 x 30MM. So we bolted the two units together and hung the Combo valve on the mounting bracket to see what it was going to look like. It sits lower than the air cleaner and is also level. We did not have to use any washers to level it.

    It this point it was long into the afternoon and we had thought that we would have been doing the disc brake conversion by then, and would have been well into completing that. But earlier delays changed those plans. My buddy had received a phone call and had to leave to move some engines to another location. Since we were at a point where it was safe to stop and move the car, we decided to continue this project early in the morning and let him take care of other business.

    Very early in the morning we will start again and he will start flaring and bending tubing to install on the MC and Combo valves. We will only be doing the front brakes and lines. The lines to the rear were recently replaced last year. He will do bench bleeding and then we will hook everything up and see how it comes out. Once he is finished in the engine bay, he will start working on the disc brake system. I drove the car back into the garage for the night, without any brakes to speak of, using the emergency brake to stop. So tomorrow, hopefully, things will go much better because, as Howard said, we have the hard part behind us, getting the old MC out, the new equipment in and set up. After the new brake lines are in and that is done, he figures it will only take a couple of hours to do the disc brakes.

    I need to do some more wrapping or covering of wiring before we finish. Also, although the AC hoses stuck up quite a bit, when the booster was put in place, it pushed them down and out of the way. The bottom of the chromed mounting bracket just barely clears the steering wheel shaft, but it does. There is also several inches of spacing between the bottom of the power booster and the piece that sticks out of the steering column that connects to the tranny. Here are some pix that I took this morning and afternoon of what we have accomplished so far. Including one of everything sitting on my couch ready to be put to use!
    Attached Files

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
    "It's Hip To Be Square"
    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

  • #2
    I want some for my car too. Do you think Howard would be willing to make some more brackets and adjustable hockey sticks. My convertible has air and the Kelsey Hayes booster, so your setup would be just what I need. Could you possibly give us a list of parts and where you got them. Thank you for sharing your conversion with us.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the pictures Ray. I got that project to do also.
      Keith
      Sedalia, Mo.
      sigpic
      CLICK HERE for Keith's web site

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by lawyercalif View Post
        Do you think Howard would be willing to make some more brackets and adjustable hockey sticks.
        The answer is yes and no. I will gladly share the drawings for the parts and you can have someone make them for you. I had the parts made by a fellow that has a computer controlled laser cutting machine and a computer controlled press. I gave him the drawings in dxf format and fed them into his computer. He did the work for me as a favour - it cost me a fraction of what it would have at his standard rates. He is set up for a volume operation - a hundred sets would be in his league. It is the set-up time that is the killer. I cringe at the thought of what it might cost to get another single set of pieces made. Another issue is the bending of the brackets. Even with his computerized press, there was a fair amount of eyeballing. They turned out very good but it would be better if a jig was set up to control the bending. John Draxler has the drawings and may look into making the necessary brackets, etc. some time in the future.

        The problem Ray described as an issue with the clevis to the KH booster was actually related to the brake push rod from the brake pedal arm to the MC. There is a second arm along side the brake pedal arm and it interferes with getting the push rod off the brake pedal arm. However with some wiggling the two arms can be moved enough relative to each other to get the old push rod off and the new one on.

        Ray mentioned how close the brackets come to the steering column and he is absolutely right. The steering column is slightly to the left of the centre of the old master cylinder. This wasn't a problem with the original master cylinder set-up but it presents an inteference issue with the brackets for the new booster and MC. In order to get an appropriate leverage ratio on the pivot arm I had to lower the pivot point to a level below the top of the steering column. This was overcome by pinching the lower ends of the brackets closer together so that the lower end of the bracket is positioned alongside the steering column. As such, it is a close fit.

        Another problem Ray ran into was getting the lower right nut on the bracket at the firewall beside the AC plenum. I was able to get this nut on and tightened with an air rachet but it was a challenge.
        Last edited by Howard Prout; March 4th, 2012, 08:26 AM.
        sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

        Comment


        • #5
          Dear Ray; Keep every single reciept, partnumber and whatever more there might be, to the last detail, so I can copy your overhaulin later on. Not this year, as more than my budget will go tp paint & interior, but after that perhaps
          Those chromed pieces looks business!
          sigpic..."Lil darling Ruth"
          http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Howard Prout View Post
            The answer is yes and no. I will gladly share the drawings for the parts and you can have someone make them for you. I had the parts made by a fellow that has a computer controlled laser cutting machine and a computer controlled press. I gave him the drawings in dxf format and fed them into his computer. He did the work for me as a favour - it cost me a fraction of what it would have at his standard rates. He is set up for a volume operation - a hundred sets would be in his league. It is the set-up time that is the killer. I cringe at the thought of what it might cost to get another single set of pieces made. Another issue is the bending of the brackets. Even with his computerized press, there was a fair amount of eyeballing. They turned out very good but it would be better if a jig was set up to control the bending. John Draxler has the drawings and may look into making the necessary brackets, etc. some time in the future.

            The problem Ray described as an issue with the clevis to the KH booster was actually related to the brake push rod from the brake pedal arm to the MC. There is a second arm along side the brake pedal arm and it interferes with getting the push rold off the brake pedal arm. However with some wiggling the two arms can be moved enough relative to each other to get the old push rod off and the new one on.

            Ray mentioned how close the brackets come to the steering column and he is absolutely right. The steering column is slightly to the left of the centre of the old master cylinder. This wasn't a problem with the original master cylinder set-up but it presents an inteference issue with the new booster and MC. In order to get an appropriate leverage ratio on the pivot arm I had to lower the pivot point to a level below the top of the steering column. This was overcome by pinching the lower ends of the brackets closer together so that the lower end of the bracket is positioned alongside the steering column. As such, it is a close fit.

            Another problem Ray ran into was getting the lower right nut on the bracket at the firewall beside the AC plenum. I was able to get this nut on and tightened with an air rachet but it was a challenge.
            Drawings will be just perfect
            sigpic..."Lil darling Ruth"
            http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey Ray,
              Looking good!
              Richard D. Hord
              sigpic'60 Thunderbird "Christine"
              Registry #33436

              Comment


              • #8
                "Tweety Bird" Gets Disc Brakes & More

                I see Howard has posted a reply to the question regarding the mounting bracket and hockey stick. I will post the pix I took this afternoon of the disc brake conversion later on tonight. We are about 3/4's or more done. All we have left to do is to bleed the MC, flare the lines, run them and install them. After that we will be able to test drive the car to see how she brakes. She looks great with disc brakes in place, though you can't see them as you can on more modern cars. I was able to get her back in the garage again and we will finish this next Friday when my buddy is off again. The rims not being open, and my dog dish hubcaps hide them, but they are there.

                I have PM'ed the four of you, so check your PM's.

                Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                "It's Hip To Be Square"
                Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                Comment


                • #9
                  "Tweety Bird" Gets Disc Brakes & More

                  I have not had time to get the pictures up that I took yesterday as we did the disc brake conversion. But I will as soon as I can. Dave and I have been working on a special project so that has kept us busy.

                  As a reminder to our Paid Members, you should check out your own Members Conference Forum below, as there is important information available to you in your own dedicated Forum accessible to our Paid Members only....

                  Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                  '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                  "It's Hip To Be Square"
                  Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                  Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                  http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "Tweety Bird" Gets Disc Brakes & More

                    I have finally caught up a bit and will load some comments and pix of the disc brake conversion that we did yesterday. We are about 3/4ths finished. We have the plumbing left to do, the flairing, cutting, bending, and running of the various new cunifer brake lines. We were not able to finish that yesterday due to time constraints, but we will finish that next Friday. Then it will be time to test drive it and check it all out.

                    The pictures do not show a lot of the clean up of various pieces that he did. He scraped off old gunk, cleaned the surfaces well before putting new parts on. We used new hardware also. Here are the comments and pix. Thanks to Dave who helped with putting this together! We have a GREAT Webmaster!

                    Pictures IMGP5680.JPG through IMGP5686.JPG show the removal of the old brake shoes, back plate and spindle cleanup.














                    Picture IMGP5687.JPG shows fitting the LH Scarebird bracket onto the spindle.


                    Picture IMGP5688.JPG shows the bracket is bolted to the spindle, the caliper is fitted without pads (so it must be removed again for the rotor), and the hub spacer (donut) is in place. I think he was just checking to make sure the bolt holes would line up correctly with the caliper holes.


                    Picture IMGP5689.JPG shows the rotor is installed with bearings well greased and dust cap on, and the caliper installed.


                    Picture IMGP5692.JPG shows the parts removed from the drivers side.


                    Picture IMGP5695.JPG shows the LH wheel is in place but the brake lines are not installed, yet.


                    Since the Right Hand side is a duplicate of the Left Hand side, I did not take as many pictures.
                    Picture IMGP5693.JPG shows the RH side bracket is bolted to the spindle and the hub spacer is installed. The hub spacer slid right into place without any problems at all. Make sure the grooved side is facing in against the other ring, and not looking you in the face! You will not get a good seal if you put it on the wrong way.


                    Picture IMGP5694.JPG shows the RH hub with rotor is installed.


                    Picture IMGP5691.JPG shows the RH hub with rotor and calipers installed.
                    Last edited by YellowRose; March 6th, 2012, 12:30 AM.

                    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                    "It's Hip To Be Square"
                    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Does the Hub Spacer come with the Scarebird brackets?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "Tweety Bird" Gets Disc Brakes & More

                        Yup! They do! My hub spacers were wired to the Scarebird mounting brackets.
                        Last edited by YellowRose; March 5th, 2012, 12:38 AM.

                        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                        '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                        "It's Hip To Be Square"
                        Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                        http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You're going to love the disc's Ray - can't wait to hear your response. Great pictures - let's everyone see what's involved.

                          Like always happens with my projects I see you had problems you didn't expect.......typical with any modification.....

                          Eric

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "Tweety Bird" Gets Disc Brakes & More

                            The disc brake and dual MC/2 Stage Power Booster work continued again yesterday, after rain and cold weather delays. Unfortunately what we thought was going to to be a 2-3 hour job, turned into a 7 hour one... And the work is not finished yet... Rich took off the old lines up front (the line to the rear is fine). Then he started flaring a new line to the front right brake and installed it onto the brake and the combination valve. Then he did the same for the left front brake and hooked it up to the combo valve and then hooked up the rear brakes to the combo valve. This cunifer EZ Bend brake line tubing that I got from Dave Dare is the cats meow! It is easy to work with and bend. So is the flaring tool kit that Dave loaned me.

                            Then the fun began... We were missing an adapter to one side of the MC. It must have rolled off where we had it into the lawn and we could not find it. I bet my lawnmower finds it when I cut the grass next time! Sooo, off I went on a long trip to find a replacement and after visiting all the major auto parts places, and looking through a lot of parts bins, I finally found one an hour or so later. In the meantime, Rich was doing other work that he could do, like run the lines from the MC to the combo valve, hook up the T connector and vacuum tubing to the vacuum line and to the new 2 Stage booster, leaving the KH unit in the line as Howard did.

                            Along the way, he bench bled the master cylinder and that was looking good. Then the next disaster struck... and by this time it was well into the afternoon. While checking all the brake lines, flexible brake lines, etc., for leaks, we discovered that we had a leaking connection on one side of the MC. That took some doing, but he got it tightened up to the point where it stopped leaking. Then.... we discovered that the brake line to the right front brake was leaking like a sieve at the banjo bolt. He tried to tighten that up, put in new copper washers, but it still leaked, so he took it loose. That is when he said he saw that it had a defective connection... The top side that screws into the brake line was fine, but the other end was bad, an out of box failure.

                            So off I went looking for a new flexible hose, a Raybestos BH36646, but I did not know the actual part number until later on. I took the defective one with me, and was using the number on the brake line to reference. Well, I should have gone to the computer and checked the actual part number, because the guys at the various auto parts stores could not find that part number that was on the brake line. It was an incomplete part number. I should have also written down the years and makes of cars that line was used on. Mostly Buicks, a Caddy, and Chevys in the '71-'73, '77-'78 year range, but I did not remember that. So I was having no luck finding a replacement. I also learned it is not a good idea to throw away the box these parts came in until AFTER you have everything on, in place and working.

                            So I was not helping myself or the auto parts guys in my search for something that would be a good replacement. I found out, after the fact, that not one of the major auto parts stores stock this part. Only Pep Boys do, according to the Raybestos website, and they were out. I know that RockAuto does stock it because I think that was who I bought it from, and they have it listed on their website. So I will probably order another one from them.

                            By this time, it was late in the afternoon, and we stopped for the day, without a flexible brake hose on the right side. He put a short piece of tubing on that right side brake line, and crimped it to keep all the brake fluid from leaking out. Eventually, it got to the point were we could not do much more, and he had to leave to take care of other business. So after about 3-4 hours longer than we expected, we put her back on the ground and promptly found out I still did not have any brakes... But I was able to get her back in the garage safely, using the emergency brake to stop her, until the next time we can work on her, after I get a new brake line. Maybe the next time will be the charm.... I hope... The best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray....Here are some more pix...
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by YellowRose; March 18th, 2012, 01:49 AM.

                            Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                            '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                            "It's Hip To Be Square"
                            Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                            Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                            http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Nice bend job. Ray, where's your Brake Lights switch?
                              Remember, DOT-3 is Glycol-based, so plain water will wash it off your driveway.

                              The only improvement I can see would be a little engine paint on your calipers and a little on your hubs. The rest looks really good!

                              So, all you need now is a front hose, and your system bled.

                              BTW, the hose you need is for Buick- 86 vehicles, Cadillac-3 vehicles, Chevrolet-116 vehicles, GMC-6 vehicles, Oldsmobile-67 vehicles, Pontiac-117 vehicles:
                              OReilley's---$11.49--Part# BH73305 (8 stores in San Antonio)
                              Auto Zone--$21.98--Part# BH36646
                              NAPA--------$10.99--Part# BH36646
                              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

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