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  • #46
    Originally posted by YellowRose View Post
    In all the discussions we have had regarding converting to disc brakes, I remember a post saying that you could use certain 14" rims IF they were stamped with certain letters by the stem hole...
    Ray, it also depends on what calipers you use; some are taller, some are wider. Some have multiple pistons, mine are single. Yet, some guys grind off the top of their calipers to fit. Not me, I figure if they stop a 4WD S-10 truck at highway speeds, that's good enough for the Galaxie. Some setups use spacers to pull the wheel away from the caliper (and hub). My setup uses NO wheel spacers. If your 14" wheels use rivets, they stick out too far.

    Talk with Lance (he's close to you). He installs them on Thunderbirds.
    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


    • #47
      Disk Brake Conversion Discussion

      Thanks for the info, Dave. When I do get around to doing disc brakes, I will probably stay away from calipers that are on the front and go with those that go on the rear side. I also want to stay away from changing spindles as there is where the problem lies, if I understand it, when it comes to trying to align your front end on these old birds. I did try to call Lance a bit ago, but caught him on the showroom floor with a customer. Howard Prout told me that the email on his website is not working. Lance's wife told me that the email address there is under construction. She said in the meantime we can use this one. lance@thunderbirdsouthwest.com He will call me back when he is free.

      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


      • #48
        Stainless Steel Brakes will clear stock 14" wheels and for a master cylinder you can use a 67 and up Mustang dual master cylinder and some people have adapted the Corvette C4 master to their Fords.
        sigpic
        Jim

        protourbird

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by protourbird View Post
          Stainless Steel Brakes will clear stock 14" wheels and for a master cylinder you can use a 67 and up Mustang dual master cylinder and some people have adapted the Corvette C4 master to their Fords.

          I went to StainlessSteelBrakeCompany and I looked up a kit for a '59 Thunderbird. There are two choices:
          A152 ($995.00 )
          A152-1 ($1,349.00 )

          Both say (quote):

          * Stock wheels will not clear.
          * Will not fit cars with factory sway bar.

          Huh? Am I missing something, here? Where is the Power Booster? The calipers are 4-piston aluminum starting at $1,000 for the low-end kit. I paid half that for power, and my only 'used' parts were my proportioning valve and wheel bearings. I think there are kits available for ~$600.

          Another consideration is, how available and costly are consumable replacement parts? I get S-10 parts everywhere I look, with a choice of three different grades of pads. - 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


          • #50
            I have the SSBC kit. Orig 14" TB whls (WON'T) work. The 14-6's or 14-7's will. You may need to run a (thin) spacer (1/8").

            The stock sway bar (or the hvy/duty) won't work!!! The calipers hit the links.

            The newer kits out there use the stck spdls and mnt the calipers to the rear.

            I will (at some point) install the rear discs too. I have good brakes now . . . but I wan't REALLY good brakes. The rear kit uses 10" rotors, so whl clearance isn't an issue.
            John Byers
            1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
            sigpic

            Comment


            • #51
              John, do you have POWER disk brakes?

              You may not be impressed with the difference in performance of rear disk brakes. Since rear wheels do 15% of the stopping, drums lock up the rear wheels the same as disk brakes. (Like a bike with front and rear hand brakes.) That's why so many modern cars still use rear drum brakes and front disks. Shoes are simple to set-up for the emergency brake, too. - 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


              • #52
                Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                Dealers are in tough competition with their pricing. I mentioned, I bought from “Oldirishdave” on eBay. Pirate Jack also has great prices for many of the same components. There are others. Mind you, no core deposit because they only sell NEW parts. They are not rebuilders.

                Scarebird (on eBay) sells bolt-on disk brake brackets for your '58-'60 Thunderbird spindles.

                So to marry all these parts together, you might buy parts from a few vendors, or to be more 'safe' (if there is such a thing), you could buy from one dealer who puts a kit together for you. Maybe he can save on multiple shipping costs. - Dave Dare
                Thanks for all the helpful comments, Dave. I can wrench almost anything if I have the right parts. You seem to have the insight of knowing which parts will work together and where to source them - I don't. I have no problem with the bracket kit, rotors, calipers, wheels, etc. Where I run into problems is whether or not I need a new booster and master cylinder as the opinions on this appear to differ widely, and if I do, which ones to get. Should the booster be single or double? 7", 8", 9"? Pirate Jack offers a combination unit for late '50s Ford "family sedans" - is it appropriate? Will it fit? Then there is the question of proportional valves and residual valves. Some proportional valves are adjustable and others are not - which is best? I think it would be most helpful if you provide a detailed breakdown of the parts you used.

                My inclination is to source as many parts locally as possible to avoid freight charges. For example, the shipping costs for DropNStop's kit to New York is $125 . The shipping cost for Scarebird's brackets is $14. That difference goes a long way toward buying the other parts which are readily available locally.

                BTW, I did some scouting around and found that new 14" x 6" Ford pattern (5 on 4.5") steel wheels are readily available for mid 90's Ranger but they do not have the dog ears for hub caps. I contacted several wrecking yards and found one that thinks he has some late 70's Granada and LTDs. He is going to try to put together a set of five 14" x 6" rims from these for me. There are a few web sites that have used 14" x 6" and 14" x 7" wheels but they seem to be more expensive than new ones! Try www.detroitwheelandtire.com, www.classicchambered.com, www.wheels-and-rims.com and www.akhwheels.com.
                Last edited by Howard Prout; October 29th, 2009, 06:52 PM. Reason: Update
                sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Howard Prout View Post
                  ...Should the booster be single or double? 7", 8", 9"?...
                  My picture shows a 7" two-stage booster. Most boosters are single-stage, and they look like a big pancake. With my Y-Block exhaust manifolds (that rise up so high), a single stage wouldn't fit. The solution is to use a smaller diameter booster and angle it up and away from the manifolds. The 7" is plenty big enough to stop my Galaxie. I bought an 8" two-stage for my Customline because I'm using a 351Windsor with no upswept exhaust. Quite honestly, there isn't any difference in performance. The 7" is much more popular.


                  Originally posted by Howard Prout View Post
                  ...Pirate Jack offers a combination unit for late '50s Ford "family sedans" - is it appropriate? Will it fit? Then there is the question of proportional valves and residual valves. Some proportional valves are adjustable and others are not - ...
                  Disk brakes require MUCH more pressure to operate. Without a proportioning valve, your back brakes will lock up before the fronts stop the car. Some guys want full proportioning control. They have cars that are hotrods, t-buckets, deuce coupes, etc. For them, an adjustable proportioning valve is the answer. If you want the back brakes to hit a little harder in summer, and a little lighter in winter,- adjustable proportioning valve. I used a combination valve from a '90 Mustang. In addition to proportioning, 'combination' means it has an indicator (contact closure) for if you ever lose brake pressure. I have it connected to a self-flashing 12-volt LED on my dash, like the "BRAKES" warning light in modern cars. Let's say you bust a brake hose. The dual M/C will maintain full brakes to the side that is not broken, and the proportioning valve spools all the way over to one side, which closes an electrical contact. My Mustang valve is not adjustable, but works just fine. Oh, it was free. Summit has adjustables starting at $40.

                  A residual valve is for NON self-adjusting brakes. It keeps your shoes close to the drums (kinda like how disk pads work), which keeps your brake pedal at the top. Front pads never really retract (there are no springs), but shoes do.

                  They sell a residual valve for disk brakes but I never use them. I only use the 10# valve for drum brakes.

                  As far as fitment, I go to OldIrishDave. He sells combo units and has a much wider scope than I do. I remember asking DKHeld for brake pedal measurements in a picture for his Thunderbird, but he never came up with one.

                  Howard, will you kindly take a picture of your brake pedal support with a ruler (or something), to show a good relationship of where the pedal pivots are, and where the rod exits the firewall/pedal support? OldIrishDave will let us know exactly what you need, as he did for my Galaxie. - Dave Dare
                  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


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                    Howard, will you kindly take a picture of your brake pedal support with a ruler (or something), to show a good relationship of where the pedal pivots are, and where the rod exits the firewall/pedal support? OldIrishDave will let us know exactly what you need, as he did for my Galaxie. - Dave Dare
                    It may be a while before I get to taking the pictures I want. to do so I have to disconnect both auxillary panels of gauges and the filler panel below the dash. However I did take a couple of pictures of the M/C area and copied the illustration of the pedal system from the manual. If you blow the pictures up you an read the numbers on the scale. Note how close the M/C is to the A/C plenum. Hope this helps.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by Howard Prout; October 29th, 2009, 08:01 PM. Reason: additions
                    sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      I know we're talking front brakes here. However, for the rear brakes you can add a self adjuster. Wagner part number is F98374S. Dorman part number is HW2544. At Rockauto.com the kits are around $ 9.00 each. I have a friend who has installed them on a '59 Thunderbird and a '59 Skyliner. Discs up front and self adjusting rear makes a great combination.

                      Leonard
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                        John, do you have POWER disk brakes?

                        You may not be impressed with the difference in performance of rear disk brakes. Since rear wheels do 15% of the stopping, drums lock up the rear wheels the same as disk brakes. (Like a bike with front and rear hand brakes.) That's why so many modern cars still use rear drum brakes and front disks. Shoes are simple to set-up for the emergency brake, too. - Dave

                        I do have Pwr/Brakes.
                        Good example. A 1999 Chev Tahoe (rr/drum) vs 2000 Tahoe (rr/disc)
                        Night and day diff. The 04 Tahoe we had stopped like a Winston Cup Car. More of a 60/40% ratio rather than the 85/15% w/drums. Don't get me wrong, my brakes are fine. I need a new axle housing anyway. It's going to be a few years til I can do it.
                        Here's my set-up
                        Attached Files
                        John Byers
                        1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by byersmtrco View Post
                          I do have Pwr/Brakes.
                          Good example. A 1999 Chev Tahoe (rr/drum) vs 2000 Tahoe (rr/disc)
                          Night and day diff. The 04 Tahoe we had stopped like a Winston Cup Car. More of a 60/40% ratio rather than the 85/15% w/drums...
                          Depends on the severity of the stop. Even under moderate braking, natural weight transfer reduces weight on the rear tires and moves the weight to the front. This unloads the rear tires, which makes it much easier to lock up the rear brakes in hard braking. Once the rear brakes are locked, the tires skid, which immediately causes loss of control. I realize all wheels locked = no control but, the goal is to lock the fronts before the rear so the back end doesn't come around.

                          My Galaxie's rear shoes are 1/2" narrower than the fronts, but they last twice as long. It is tall compared to a Winston Cup car, and my suspension is soft which causes it to dive in hard stops. Maybe I could get 20% out of my rear brakes, but that's a stretch (in expressway driving).

                          Now, we're substituting front calipers that require hundreds of PSI more than the shoes they replaced. The power unit has no problem delivering, but those rear brakes must be tamed a LOT.

                          BTW, I like your power booster setup. You did it right: the large portion of the M/C goes to the front brakes, and your rear brakes' proportioning valve is close to your M/C. - 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


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Yellowbird View Post
                            I know we're talking front brakes here. However, for the rear brakes you can add a self adjuster. Wagner part number is F98374S. Dorman part number is HW2544...
                            Thanks, Leonard! I'm going to get a pair for my Galaxie. Might be spring before I get them in, but I'll buy them now.

                            Originally posted by Howard Prout View Post
                            ...Note how close the M/C is to the A/C plenum. Hope this helps.
                            Howard, note John Byers's picture. There's plenty of room for your A/C and a single stage power booster because of the bracket mounted on the firewall. It's a nice job. BTW, your brake pedal and support bracket is nearly identical to mine. - 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


                            • #59
                              Disk Brake Conversion Discussion

                              I have been talking with Lance at SW TBirds about disk brake conversions. Here is some of the things he told me. For those of us who want to continue using our 14" rims and tires, look for 14" rims off of 1977-1979 Lincoln Versailles, Granada's, or Ford LTD 2 cars with disk brakes. He also said that if you can find rims off those cars above with disk brakes (and it was my understanding that those cars cited above only had disk brakes on them) you will not have to worry about offsets or backspacing as the rims will work as is. He has not used late '70's Torino or Ranchero rims, but John Draxler suggests them also. Lance said using the rims above you can use your original spindles. He also said that he is finding 14" rims harder to locate because many cars and car parts are being crushed these days and the supply is quickly disappearing. Here is what else he had to say about the disk brakes setup they have made for them.

                              The costs for units that we have made for us include:

                              1. Bolt on disc brake kit that uses your ORIGINAL spindles. Comes with 11"-rotors, calipers, mounting brakets, bearings, seals, dust caps, everything to do the job correctly.

                              2. Dual diaphram power brake booster upgrade. Using a 9-inch dual diaphragm power brake booster that mounts in the stock location of your manual master cylinder. Features a adjustible rod to adjust your pedal height. If the car has factory A/C, comes with a "spacer" to work around a/c box.

                              3. Comes with a proportioning valve (for manual rear brakes)

                              4. Has the front FLEX lines (will require some local inexpensive hard brake lines to be purchased locally)

                              5. Although this is a relatively simple installation, we recommend that you have someone qualified in brake work to over see a "novice's" work.

                              6. Our price is for a unit that works! If you go out and search "junk and auto salvage yards", locate what you think will work, have the components rebuilt, purchase other items that you "think" MIGHT work............you might save a few dollars and you might not! This system is NEW, CLEAN and PROVEN TO WORK.

                              7. IF, you wish to use a 14" wheel, you WILL need to locate a 14" disc rim such as a 77-79 Lincoln, Granada or early 1977-80' Ford that uses a disc brake. OR, you can use a 15" disc wheel with no problems.

                              Price $1,195 + shipping.

                              ALSO..........................................DO NOT FORGET that we are the company that designed, developed, inventory and ship the extra h.d. FRONT and REAR anti-sway bars for: 1955-1966 THUNDERBIRDS and 1954-1961 FORD passenger cars. THE FRONT BARS ARE 1-1/8" AND REAR ARE ONE INCH! Your original front bar is only 3/4"! We also have developed fan shrouds for 1958-60' THUNDERBIRDS as well as 1955-1959 full size FORD passenger cars.

                              If you need to email him, do so at lance@thunderbirdsouthwest.com This is the correct email addy now.
                              Last edited by YellowRose; October 31st, 2009, 01:55 AM. Reason: Additional Info

                              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


                              • #60
                                I have a lot of respect for Lance Herrington. He's a good businessman and he stands by his work. I purchased a sway bar set from him, and I am happy. His business must also make a profit (or it won't be around long).

                                Ray, the info you gleaned is great! Lance warns about using bone yard parts, then recommends finding junk yard rims. What's up with that?

                                For $1,200 + shipping, I read that his system works. It should! That brings me back to the Scarebird/(GM) S-10 bracket & OldIrishDave booster combo setup for about $500. Shipping Mustang rotors, bearings, calipers, pads, etc., isn't worth it when I can buy them new at my local discount store.

                                Whoever does this conversion will also make brake lines for the proportioning valve and new M/C. Restorers who have tools to bend brake lines should also know how to install and bleed brake systems. - 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

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