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Disk Brake Conversion Discussion

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  • #16
    I'm happy with my drums. I think I can lock up the wheels (even with the 9" wide tires) so more braking power isn't going to help. I do not like the dance it does when I throw out the anchor, but stopping power isn't a problem.

    If I was going to do a conversion, I wouldn't do anything that wasn't engineered to work as a kit. No junkyard parts kit building. Just because they bolt together doesn't mean they will safely work together. You can end up with calipers or hoses that are under-matched to the pressure output of the master cylinder. That's one reason I stick with the drums, I know they are designed for the car and to work together.

    It's not well understood that drum brakes actually produce more power than equally sized discs. The real problems with drums are the dance the car does when you stop hard and heat dissipation. Headed downhill, drum brakes can easily overheat while discs better shed heat.

    Overheated brakes = no brakes.
    DGS (aka salguod)
    1960 Convertible - Raven Black, Red leather
    www.salguod.net

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    • #17
      Mine was a "kit". I was in uncharted waters. Drum vs Disc. No comparison. Now I've had newer cars w/drum brakes that were ok. The drums on a 60 are too small. As prev stated the same as a 57. Almost 1000 lbs lighter.

      All I know is, I can stop in 1/2 the distance, safely, no wheels locking, no steering wheel pull, no nuthin. I have driven down steep grades. As we know with a cruise-o-Anchor, you can't drop her in 2nd to slow you down (only low) so ya gotta ride em. I got to the bottom of Hwy 9 ( a road in the Santa Cruz Mountains for all you non Calif folks) It's a fairly steep road. I stopped in Saratoga and my brakes weren't hot. They were warm, but not hot. Before, you'd come off that hill and those drums would be smokin!!! You could light a cigarette on one of the rear hubcaps.
      John Byers
      1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
      sigpic

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      • #18
        "Headed downhill, drum brakes can easily overheat while discs better shed heat.

        Overheated brakes = no brakes."


        BEEN THERE !!... Scarey
        sigpic
        Mike Lemmon
        '59 Raven Black Hardtop

        http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=2461

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        • #19
          I went with the conversion from http://www.abspowerbrake.com/

          They knew the squaresbirds, they sell a rear disc conversion kit, but they recommended not go go with it if you have the stock offset and skirts.

          I had 16" wheels already so I don't recall the min. wheel size require, if any.

          What convinced me to upgrade was more of the fact that my rear wheel cylinder went and lost all brakes. not close to home and late at night made it fun driving home!!!

          Not that I needed disc, but going to a dual master cylinder made me feel a little safer, knowing the at the there are 2 systems now stopping the bird.

          just my 2cents

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          • #20
            $550 isn't bad for a bolt on front disc kit (w/o booster or master cylinder).
            sigpic
            The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

            VTCI Member#6287.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by tbirds8 View Post
              Hey Rusty My 66 will out stop my 03 f-150 and my 71 mark and just about every thing else. Gota love those 4 piston disc's
              Yeah, the brakes on my 65 are nothing short of amazing really, when ford decided to add the discs to the birds they went all out. But it does make it a challenge when you go playing with rims and the heavy overhang the calipers have.

              My only real complaint on the 65 is the single reservoir bothers me, at some point down the line I plan on swapping that out.

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              • #22
                Where is a supplier for 14x7's rims I will need these if I put dics brakes on the front of my 59.
                sigpic
                Bob M
                59 Bird
                72 Charger

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by tbird430 View Post
                  $550 isn't bad for a bolt on front disc kit (w/o booster or master cylinder).
                  not at all, compared to some of the others I have seen. I picked up the master for about $40 at napa/ bolt on. I have seen new booster/master cylinder prices around $100-140 roughly. That is my next step.

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                  • #24
                    Discs realy sounds like a good idea. My brakes realy sucks. They have faded quite dramaticly since spring. Canīt realy "Stop", but OK, she does "go down in speed" while pressing all I can....
                    Brake fluid is still full. Perhaps new drum shoes is needed?
                    But I might make her illegal by changing to modern brakes. Need to check that.
                    I guess original steel wheels, without venting holes is out of questions with disc brakes, as they require a lot of air flow. Like Skyd.
                    Anyone know the best brake shoes avalible?
                    sigpic..."Lil darling Ruth"
                    http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158

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                    • #25
                      Well I see that you looked into Drop N Stop, so I figured to give you my experience. I purchased the Drop N Stop conversion a while back and installed it myself. It was easy. I did replace the spindles, as per the conversion, which was probably the tuffest part. I did replace the ball joints along with other bushings while I was at it. I also purchased the dual master cylinder and powerbooster, a must! No regrets and Dick at Drop N Stop was helpful over the phone. The stock 14" rims did NOT fit over the rotors, but I had no problem with the 1 1/8th" sway bar.

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                      • #26
                        Just replaced Guapo's booster and master cylinder with a 74 Torino's.
                        It had a Midland but couldnt find one so I got a Bendix from my local parts store, Shucks.
                        Check Parts America for an online price and take that to a Shucks/Kragen.
                        It's cheaper to buy 'em sepratly. I think $110
                        sigpic
                        Keepin it square!
                        El Guapo out!

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                        • #27
                          Get the kit from Lance at Thunderbirds southwest. My 59 convertable was undriveable. (I have a 63 bird, a 63 galaxie and had a 63 comet.. all stopped and drove fine with the factory drums) something about that 59, but after replacing everything on the front end and brakes, it still drove horrible. it was no fun to drive and sat in my garage. The upgrade was the best thing i ever did. disc brakes , dual cylinder, sway bar. my car drives like new.

                          I shipped my car down to Texas to have him install it (but i have no mechanical skills) he sells the kit outright. Have had it 2 years now, several thousand miles, high speed driving, driving in the mountains, etc.. all conditions.. just perfect.

                          in fact, i now have my 58 edsel down there having the same front end swap. looks stock.. and frankly i don't care if it's gm parts, or anything else as long as i can safely drive my wife/ kids around with confidence. I believe it is all granada stuff anyway. can use the 14 inch wheels, but they need to be off a granada, or merc/ lincoln of the same era (76 thru 83??)

                          i think the kit is a couple grand depending on how many parts you want from him (I think you can source a lot on your own if you are so inclined) i was directed to him on this board for this very topic a few years back.. i am surprised no one has bought it up in this thread!

                          anyway, call him and he can set you up, or at least tell you what you need to know. nice guy, won't try and sell u anything if u don't want. I have no affiliation with him/ recieve no kickbacks or anything like that. He just one of the few nice guys out there to work with. I would have sold my bird if he did not hook me up. enjoy your car!!!! Tell him "Dr. Rick" sent ya!

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                          • #28
                            Yep!!! Lance @ TBSW is "Da Man"!!!!
                            I didn't have him do mine. Didn't know about him @ that time. He solved several problems for me on the phone. Hind sight 20-20, knowing what I know now, my TB would have been on a truck to Texas in a second.

                            My car stops great. I can be haulin a$$ and bring her right down to a halt. And w/HD swaybars frt & rr I can go around corners too

                            W'HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!
                            John Byers
                            1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
                            sigpic

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                            • #29
                              Completed disc conversion

                              http://www.dropshots.com/DKHeld#albums/Tbird%20discs

                              Eric

                              http://www.tbirdregistry.com/ft.asp
                              http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=5347
                              Last edited by YellowRose; July 2nd, 2012, 05:43 PM.

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                              • #30
                                When did big brother make the new car manufactures add the dual brake master cylinders anyway? Was it 1966 or 1967?

                                I figured you '65 Birders could do an easy swap off a '66 Bird if they had these dual master cylinders as OE equipment.
                                sigpic
                                The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

                                VTCI Member#6287.

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