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Q: How to add Parking brake to disc brake conversion?

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  • Q: How to add Parking brake to disc brake conversion?

    My 1960 had already been converted to disc brakes when I purchased it, but the conversion did not include a parking brake. Per comments from YellowRose, who knows what he's talking about, it essential to have a parking brake, so was looking for suggestions.

    I've seen calipers that can be closed manually by cable, but not sure I can find one that will bolt up to the existing backing plate and routing a cable could be difficult.

    I've also found a manual disc brake that installs on the drive shaft just in front of the differential. Might work, but am concerned about clearances with underside of the body during rear suspension movement.

    Anyone have any brilliant ideas that have worked for you?

  • #2
    Do you know what make/type of calipers you have on the rear brakes. Most of the disc conversion kits available are only for the front brakes. If they are off the shelf rear calipers there's most likely a parking brake kit for them.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

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    • #3
      Q: How to add Parking brake to disc brake conversion?

      Brad brings up a good point. I do not remember when I saw his Tbird last if it had disc brakes on all fours or just the front. Like Kirsten's '60, she does not have a working parking brake either. I think she told me that the PO said there was disc brakes on the car, but I am not sure if they are front only or all the way around. I sent John a pic of what I could see of the rear left wheel. It looks like a drum brake to me. But John might be able to tell from the pic. But she needs to ask the PO if it has disc brakes only in the front, on all four, or has drums.. She knows one of the first things she needs fixed is the parking brake...

      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

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      • #4
        I've owned cars with both types of parking-emergency brakes. There are cable actuated caliper type acting on the disc, or "mini" drum type housed inside the rear rotor. My guess is the way to go is the former since we are not talking 18 inch units on the rear. There might be an add-on kit assuming 4 wheel discs, but I've never seen it.

        Dean

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Rancherman View Post
          My 1960 had already been converted to disc brakes when I purchased it, but the conversion did not include a parking brake. Per comments from YellowRose, who knows what he's talking about, it essential to have a parking brake, so was looking for suggestions.

          I've seen calipers that can be closed manually by cable, but not sure I can find one that will bolt up to the existing backing plate and routing a cable could be difficult.

          I've also found a manual disc brake that installs on the drive shaft just in front of the differential. Might work, but am concerned about clearances with underside of the body during rear suspension movement.

          Anyone have any brilliant ideas that have worked for you?
          I'd first figure out what type of disc setup was used in the rear. Some kits don't include a parking brake option which makes them much cheaper.

          I've always thought, what about adding a line lock to the system. It's not as reliable as a cable type system, since if you have a leak in the system after the lock you will loose pressure and therefore your locked brakes won't be locked. But I suppose you would also have other big issues as well?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rancherman View Post
            ...Anyone have any brilliant ideas that have worked for you?
            Originally posted by jopizz View Post
            ...Most of the disc conversion kits available are only for the front brakes...
            Originally posted by RustyNCa View Post
            ...Some kits don't include a parking brake option which makes them much cheaper.

            I've always thought, what about adding a line lock to the system. It's not as reliable as a cable type system, since if you have a leak in the system after the lock you will loose pressure and therefore your locked brakes won't be locked...
            Robin's 2010 Escape came from the factory with drum brakes in the rear. They work just fine, just like Squarebird rear drum brakes, because rear brakes only do about 20% of the braking. Emergency brakes (or parking brakes) only hold the wheels from turning which requires less pressure (than stopping a moving car). So, IMHO, I see no reason to change rear brakes from 'stock'. Drums will lock up the rear wheels, which is all you can ask of a brake so why change them? I've never heard a single complaint regarding the stock setup.

            Other than the 'cool' factor, rear discs are not my choice. I use rear drums in my retrofits, without any issues or regrets.

            Line lock might be ok if used with some sort of accumulator with a heavy spring to keep constant pressure on rear drums. I have never heard of a hydraulic system for long-term operation, probably because mechanical brakes are simply proven for over 100 years.

            We rarely depend on hydraulic brakes for more than a few minutes in normal operation. After days of constant pressure, I am worried that they would not return or that the seals would embed into the cylinders. I don't have any historical example to prove this either way. - 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

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            • #7
              Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
              I've never heard a single complaint regarding the stock setup.

              Other than the 'cool' factor, rear discs are not my choice. I use rear drums in my retrofits, without any issues or regrets.

              Line lock might be ok if used with some sort of accumulator with a heavy spring to keep constant pressure on rear drums. I have never heard of a hydraulic system for long-term operation, probably because mechanical brakes are simply proven for over 100 years.

              We rarely depend on hydraulic brakes for more than a few minutes in normal operation. After days of constant pressure, I am worried that they would not return or that the seals would embed into the cylinders. I don't have any historical example to prove this either way. - Dave
              Good point about the long term effect of leaving the system fully pressurized. I hadn't thought about that, but I don't leave my vehicles sitting in the garage with the parking brake set, I only really use the e brake when out and about. I guess another way one could go is with the fancy parking brake I use on my Model A. It's a section of square bar stock I use to chock the wheel when I park it and then throw back in the "trunk" when I'm not using it.

              I want to switch the rear on my 58 to Disc more to make it easier to get the wheels on and off the car more than anything. The drums are the big obstacle to getting the wheels off. As it currently is, you can't change a tire without jack stands, lowering the rear end, removing the passenger side shock, etc. Or I suppose I could toss the stock 58 rear end and fab in a four link or something?

              Wilwood does have a rear brake kit that does include a parking brake in it, so someday when I get where I'm ready to tackle the rear brakes that's my planned route.

              Cheers
              RustyNCA

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              • #8
                I have to assume your wheels are either 14" (made for calipers) or they are 15". Stock wheels have a hard time with calipers unless the rotors are small.

                Did your Model A come with an emergency brake???
                I know the shoes are 'cam action' that work rather well. - 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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                  I have to assume your wheels are either 14" (made for calipers) or they are 15". Stock wheels have a hard time with calipers unless the rotors are small.

                  Did your Model A come with an emergency brake???
                  I know the shoes are 'cam action' that work rather well. - Dave
                  No, I'm running 17" wheels on the TBird with 275x45 tires, they are just to wide to fit in there unless I go to extra lengths to squeeze them in. It might not be a problem on the leaf spring tbirds, that type of rear end might have more flex to it?

                  On my Model A, it's 100% custom chassis, etc., the only thing Model A is the body at this point. Rear end is a Dana 44 from an International I think, I've never spent the time to see if I could even put a parking brake on it.

                  And yeah, I have no complaint about a vehicle having drums, they can just be a pain to deal with the shoes and with my Model A, keep adjusted properly.

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                  • #10
                    Most of the late model veh's that (come with)
                    rear disc have a small drum cast into the back side
                    of the rear rotor. They use an expanding rear band.

                    I agree though with the rear drum statement.
                    The trick is having the correct proportioning valve
                    to be SURE the front & rear are getting the correct amnt
                    of hyd pressure

                    There are TRICK 4 whl disc set ups out there ($$$!!!)
                    Most all of those will req a 15" or larger wheel.
                    John Byers
                    1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      The 275 tires do not go on much easier on a leaf spring rear end. Since I am replumbing all my brakes anyway, I am changing to disks in the rear for extra clearance to get the tires on and off.
                      There are several different places that seem an emergency brake that does on the driveshaft, most of the time these are on off road trucks. Don’t know why they wouldn’t work on a squarebird.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by byersmtrco View Post
                        Most of the late model veh's that (come with)
                        rear disc have a small drum cast into the back side
                        of the rear rotor. They use an expanding rear band.

                        I agree though with the rear drum statement.
                        The trick is having the correct proportioning valve
                        to be SURE the front & rear are getting the correct amnt
                        of hyd pressure

                        There are TRICK 4 whl disc set ups out there ($$$!!!)
                        Most all of those will req a 15" or larger wheel.
                        The Lincoln ' versailles ' ( '77 to '80 ) had disc brakes front and rear . ( We had a '80 versailles and wish I still had it ) . Can't remember the wheel size .

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                        • #13
                          Q: How to add Parking brake to disc brake conversion?

                          According to Automotive Mile Posts, the 1980 Lincoln Versailles had 14" rims on it...

                          http://automotivemileposts.com/linco...ersailles.html

                          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


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by OUR5T8BIRD View Post
                            The Lincoln ' versailles ' ( '77 to '80 ) had disc brakes front and rear...
                            Yes, and the rear rotors were 10-3/4" diameter.
                            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


                            • #15
                              x2 with Bryan.
                              Figure out what brake system you have on the rear - may be an e-brake type system and all you will need are the parts to make it function.
                              Probably want to find out anyway because you may need calipers or pads and will need to know what to ask for.

                              Example - Ford rear disc e-brake



                              Line Lock - would need to run power and do some plumbing. I'm guessing it's set up so that power releases the lock otherwise it would kill the battery?? - probably like the electric trailer break-away systems. Not sure I'd like it - would take some time for me to "trust" it on the car. Have it on a trailer but that's just dragging behind me - I could still steer if it malfunctioned. Guess you could install on just the rear system to fix that problem. Humm - talking myself into this option -but like Dave mentions - pressure on the system all the time. Probably have to use ceramic pads to keep them from sticking to the rotors for times the car sits (winters, rainy days etc). Seems pretty good though if you don't have some type of e-brake on the current set-up.



                              Drive shaft type - modify drive shaft - add caliper bracket - ehh - might be my second choice.



                              Of course there is the economical way.........

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