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  • Question on using factory wheels.

    I hope Iím not rehashing everything here, but hereís my question.

    With he exception of a dual master cylinder under the hood, I want to retain a more or less stock appearance:

    1. Booster hidden under the instrument panel as per original, and

    2. Run factory 59 T-Bird wheels with factory wheel covers because I want to retain the factory look regarding wheel setback, etc.

    3. Retain factory suspension with factory spindles for proper steering geometry, etc.

    Iíve looked through the threads, stickys, and the various articles on the subject. Iím really not in the mood for much creative hot rodding on this one, Iíd just like to have an original look with the safety of dual path brakes and front discs.

    Has anyone figured out a magic combination for that, or am I going to need to give something up here?

  • #2
    You can't have usable disc brakes without having a booster under the hood. The under dash booster alone is not going to cut it. You also cannot use the factory wheels. They won't clear any disc brake caliper. There are 14" Ford rims that will work. You can retain the factory spindles using the Scarebird brackets.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

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

    Comment


    • #3
      To add to John's answer, once you cover the wheel with a full wheel cover, how would you know what is behind it? Full wheel covers like stock sunbursts cover everything.

      Ford cars and truck like Granada and Ranger came with 14" wheels AND disc brakes. Those wheels (and many others) work nicely on a Squarebird. I don't know of any modern wheels that are NOT made for disc brakes.

      The topic of 'disc brakes' boils down to a safety issue. All cars will stop. Turn the key off and it will stop by itself much the same as Henry's first quadracycle. It had no brakes so Henry stuck his foot out and dragged it on one of the front tires.

      Noting that all modern cars already have disc brakes, the question is, how fast do you want your car to stop? Would aftermarket wheels or booster placement prevent you from stopping within a safe distance? If your car lives in a garage or on a trailer it doesn't matter. On today's roads and in competition with modern cars, you bet I have power disc brakes on ALL my cars. - 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

      Comment


      • #4
        Agreed on the safety issue. that's why I want to use them. This car will be a driver, as in cruises, and family outings, not a trailer queen.
        My car has factory air, so there's definitely going to be some clearance issues there.
        As far as the wheels go, I don't car one bit about the original wheels, but I do care for a stock LOOK.
        Here's an extreme example: a guy clips a shoebox Ford and suddenly the wheels are bulging out the wheel openings. We've all seen them, IMHO that looks seriously corny. I'd like to avoid the Wide-Track look if I can. So does anyone know if the wheel distance from the mount on a Granada wheel matches the 'Bird?

        I know my question might have been answered a million times in the past, and again, I'm sorry for that.

        Comment


        • #5
          You might want to ask Ray down there in San Antonio. He's running power disk brakes with Granada wheels. I think he got them from one of your bone yards for cheap.

          Those wheels were used on a HOST of Ford cars and light trucks. Lincoln Versailes, Mustang, LTD, Granada, Monarch, etc. And, you're right, wheels and power disc brakes are extensively covered here. - 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

          Comment


          • #6
            Question on using factory wheels.

            Ernie, I found my 14" vented rims off a '70's Granada with disc brakes on it. These rims also had the nubs around the center part of the rim, so you could mount dog dish hubcaps on it if you did not want to go full wheel covers. I decided to paint my rims matching yellow of the car, after having them cleaned up, and painted black originally. I added 14" chrome wheel trim, and popped on FORD dog dish hubcaps.

            Since the Granada had disc brakes on the front, I grabbed all four rims off the car, and the spare in the trunk. I think they cost me about $10 each as I recall, about 8 years or so ago. It does not have to be a Granada. Any 70's Ford car with OEM 14" disc brake ready rims on it, will work. There is a list in the Members Conference as to what to look for. Here are some pix of my rims an dog dish hubcaps.
            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

            Comment


            • #7
              Ray, youíre killiní me here! Iím a traditionalist, and you KNOW poverty caps with trim rings are the ultimate eye candy to guys like me.

              Gorgeous car, and I love the look!

              Comment


              • #8
                Question on using factory wheels.

                Hi Ernie, thanks for the comments. After I had the guys who painted Tweety Bird, paint my rims to match, I thought, why would I want to slap on full sized wheel covers and hide the yellow paint? So I decided to go with FORD dog dish hubcaps that I had found on FeeBay, since I had the mounting points for them on the rims. Then I decided to add the chrome beauty rings to set it off. You could leave the rims black, slap on a set of OEM full sized wheel covers and call it done...

                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
                  My under dash booster seemed to be working fine, but my drums were really no
                  different with that booster connected up or not.

                  If you want to go through the trouble of changing pedal ratio,
                  you can do manual disks. My moms 77 Granada had them. I detest anything
                  more than 1/2 inch of brake pedal travel, so to me they would be horrible,
                  but plenty have done them in the past. Think you are supposed to be in the
                  7:1 range. I can dig into my notes on stock pedal ratio if you need it.
                  59-430-HT

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sure, I'd love to know, thanks!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Y-Blokkah View Post
                      Sure, I'd love to know, thanks!
                      Numbers I have are 13-1/4 and 2-1/8 or 6.23.
                      Practically man disk numbers already.
                      I guess Ford didn't think much of their underdash booster either..........

                      Couple pics of that disaster brake pedal. Good news is,
                      should be able to mod ratio easier since it comes apart in so
                      many pieces.

                      http://luxjo.supermotors.net/59%20T-...201_160008.jpg

                      http://luxjo.supermotors.net/59%20T-...201_160032.jpg

                      (the other brake pedal is one is from a 79 Bronco, for reference)
                      Last edited by OX1; October 10th, 2018, 03:10 PM.
                      59-430-HT

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks!
                        I'm blown away by the helpful folks here.

                        Feeling Blessed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I realize you want the look of stock but you may end up shooting yourself in the foot if your brakes aren't done right.

                          I pick a modern car of similar size/weight and ask, 'what do the automakers use?' That should be your goal, to stop just like a modern car.

                          Do they have manual disc or power disc and why. Power disc work much better and they meet or exceed federal standards.

                          Power boosters are variable, like a servo. The harder you push on the pedal the more assistance they deliver until they reach their maximum boost. This is different from re-locating a bolt hole on your brake pedal (which is NOT variable ratio). The trade-off is stroke. The closer you put your pedal bolt to the pivot, the farther your pedal must travel for the same hydraulic flow. Is it worth it? The auto manufacturers think not and believe me, they would LOVE to save $50/vehicle.

                          Buy a power disc brake booster/master/pedal linkage kit #9787 from ABS (on their page 95) if you have a Squarebird. They offer other kits for other T-birds and Ford Cars. Pirate Jack has attractive prices if you don't need that Squarebird firewall bracket. - 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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks!
                            Just be sure, that ABS setup will clear the factory a/c box?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Question on using factory wheels.

                              Yes, if you buy the ABS setup, make sure they know that your Tbird has AC on it, and you need to clear that AC box.. They have the model mounting bracket that fixes that problem. Unfortunately, we have found, over the years, that they will not sell you just that mounting bracket. They want you to buy the whole set up from them.....

                              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

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