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  • #31
    Tires and Brakes

    You might know that one of my rims says 48H and another one says 23 K or something like that. I pulled two of them so far. They both say 3 by the stem hole. I did not find any other numbers on them. Certainly not that 22 I was looking for. So it looks like my rims will not be candidates for disc brakes! Thanks for all the information that is being posted.

    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


    • #32
      WoW! Eric, you've been through the mill on your brake conversion. I give you all the credit due, for seeing your project to the end; a true sign of a serious restorer.

      I just got home from a real long day, but please allow me to comment on some of your points:

      Originally posted by DKheld View Post
      ...the master cyl recommended hangs off 2 of the 4 studs...
      Originally posted by DKheld View Post
      ...The guy that sold me my first spindles (which turned out to be 77 Tbird not Granada) ...77 Tbird spindles were inches out at the top even with all the shims removed the 77 Tbird/Torino spindles don’t work on the Squarebirds
      Sounds like a 'bait and switch' to me. I wonder why he didn't use a real Granada spindle??? Life for both of you would have been much easier if he used the right parts.

      Originally posted by DKheld View Post
      ......boosters would fit but that's where I was 5 or 6 years ago –
      Originally posted by DKheld View Post
      ...problem was all solved when I found the original booster could be modified to accept a modern disc/drum master.
      I found out, the original Ford boosters only worked for a few years because they didn't use neoprene.
      Originally posted by DKheld View Post
      ......The Tbird has close tolerances between the brake pedal and bracket – thus it uses a flat pedal rod and special offset bolt with a plastic washer. Not sure an adjustable universal round pedal rod would work on the Tbird because of the clearances – how do the Galaxies connect at the pedal and what did you use?

      I believe ALL Fords used that rod with the offset shoulder bolt and the big hole in the rod. That's how they adjusted the brake pedal rod in the old days. Both my '55 and '59 had that setup. It doesn't need to be that complicated. Trash the adjustment bolt, nylon ring, and replace with a simple 5/16" SAE Fine bolt and nylock nut. The new booster comes with a threaded output shaft and a jam nut. Screw on the new rod, adjust and tighten the jam nut, and attach it to the original brake pedal hole with a bolt and nut.

      Originally posted by DKheld View Post
      ......I like the pedal height of the original system and wanted to stay with that height

      I never changed my pedal height. My brake pedal and support are as they came from the factory.

      Originally posted by DKheld View Post
      ......Using an off the shelf standard bracket may not work because it would put the master cyl very close to if not hitting the manifold.

      That's correct. The solution is to angle the booster just a few degrees up and away from the exhaust manifold. Look at the pictures on my site, and notice the 'angle bracket' attached to my firewall/brake pedal support. Y-Block manifolds are the worst.

      Originally posted by DKheld View Post
      ......I’ve heard of machining the rotor hubs but I can see that would work.

      Your OEM front wheel hubs were plenty strong enough at the size they came with. Machining a newer hub to that dimension (or a little larger) will certainly be as strong, then they will accept stock wheels.

      Originally posted by DKheld View Post
      ......I did have someone suggest using a cutting torch on the original wheels (oh yea – I had lots of great suggestions).
      Torch your spiders? C'mon...


      Originally posted by DKheld View Post
      ......How does the Galaxie brake light switch work?

      I had those pressure switches on both of my classic Fords. My Harley-Davidson has one, and my cousin's Amphicar, too. Those switches fail miserably. Notice, NONE of the big3 use them now. Like drum front brakes, they changed to a much better system and never went back. I wrote a thread about that change, in Full Sized Fords:
      Click here to see the new brake pedal switch.

      Originally posted by DKheld View Post
      ......I have 2 separate new hard lines to each front wheel from the prop valve ...
      That’s typical. My Mustang proportioning valve offers two front ports and one rear which eliminates extra tees.


      I spoke with Oldirishdave yesterday. (He sells MBM booster/MC combo's on eBay, and I bought two.) He gave me a lot of insight about the history and progression of the classic car power disk brake systems. I asked him about the '60 T-bird application. He said there isn't a combo, per se, but if you take some pictures of your brake pedal support and your booster/MC, he may have the parts to make one up as a complete kit. Take your pictures (I always include a ruler in the photo) and send them to shamrock_dave@yahoo.com (There is an underscore between shamrock and dave.)
      Oldirishdave makes up combinations of parts that fit our applications: The 'angle bracket' that works so well for my Galaxie booster, is actually manufactured by Chevrolet (not MBM). That's why if you go to MBM's site, you may not see kits that dave sells on eBay. If you call dave, he can give you dimensions or advice on any part: (575) 494-5119.

      Getting back to Granada retrofit: this is laid-out in full detail in the PDF file that came with my spindles. If you are serious about using '75-'80 Granada or '68-'73 Mustang spindles (they are identical), download and save this file. The author refers to changing a Mustang over to disk brakes, but never mentions the fact that they work on our cars.
      Somehow, everyone doesn't know that these spindles will fit Fords from 1954 to 1962! AND, if you ever happen to find Lincoln Versailles spindles, they directly bolt right on with NO machining.
      - Dave Dare
      Last edited by simplyconnected; September 3rd, 2009, 02:00 AM. Reason: I forgot something, and may remember more later.
      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


      • #33
        Lots of great info Dave - thanks again. I know I'm probably being too long winded on these posts but I'm just trying to relate my conversion nightmare in hopes that no one else here has to go through the same problems.

        The bait and switch theory on the spindle is probably right but I guess I could give him the benefit of the doubt and say he may not have known either - God will sort that out for me and its over the bridge now so I'm moving forward.

        The spindle info was one of my main problems. I had never seen a set of Granada spindles so I didn't know what they were supposed to look like and being the honest person I am I took his word for it. Finally found a set of Granada spindles at a reputable junkyard that put in writing that I could bring them back if they were not what I wanted - I still didn't actually see them come off the Granada but when I took them to have them machined the folks at Fat Man Fab said they were definately Granada. I wondered why the other spindles fit without machining but just guessed the work had already been done (another problem that should have tipped me off to the fact the first spindles were not Granada)

        I live in one of the largest cities in my state and it still took some time to find a set of Granada spindles - so at least here (southeast) anyway they are not as plentiful as you may think. I would probably never be able to find a Versailles. I'd love to change mine to the original spindle setup with the scarebird bracket but I've got too much money in a great working system to change now.

        Maybe I was lucky (at least in this aspect) but my original unrestored booster was working fine when removed and the new one was rebuilt and guaranteed for 1 year. That was 5 or 6 years ago - still working fine. No plans to change mine so maybe someone else will remove thiers and send the info to MBM for future conversions.

        I have replaced 2 pressure switches over the past 20 years but that's not enough motivation for me to convert my brakelight switch.

        Not sure about pedal the sholder bolt being an adjustment point. It must be tightened in all the way to stay in place (no lock nut or jam nut) so to me it appears to be offset more for pedal rod to booster alignment purposes. (I could be wrong though - will check the manual this evening to see if it mentions adjustment). The stock bracket eliminated all that worry - finally something went right - Hurray!

        Your right that individual lines to the front wheels are typical now. On the Tbird there is a T for the front lines so one could block off a port on thier new porp valve and run a single output through this T to the old front lines - defeating the purpose of the saftey feature on the new prop valve and basically having a single line front system. (that would only be for a combo valve with the line shuttle inside like I bought from Master Power) What I was meaning was that I "removed the common failure point on the Tbird" and ran new individual lines to each front wheel from the prop valve.

        I appreciate you sending that Mustang conversion article - had someone tell me the same thing about 10" or 11" Granada rotors - found the same info he did (only able to find that they had 11"). Not so keen on his advice about the source for the prop valve though - he said "I used one from an early 1980s model Mustang". Don't know why you would use a 30 year old prop valve on a new system when a new one is only about $140. It appears the stock Mustang booster already has (2) 5/16 bolts on the old "fruit jar" master and adapts easier to the later style disc/drum master. Unfortunately the stock Tbird has the (4) 1/4 inch bolts so the master cyl info doesn't work on a stock Tbird booster - just little things to keep in mind but overall a great article with great pics of the Granada spindles, tools needed and work to be done.

        Eric

        Oh - someone asked about my username DKheld
        DK = Denmark and held is "luck" in Danish.

        This picture is 4 or 5 years after the conversion. Those are the wheels with the 43M below the script and stock hubcaps on the front - sorry it's not a closer pic.


        This pic is just to give you an idea of the ride height after the conversion if you can tell from looking. I'm going to measure it this weekend and post the measurements.
        Last edited by DKheld; September 3rd, 2009, 09:12 AM. Reason: added info on username, added images

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by DKheld View Post
          ...I know I'm probably being too long winded on these posts but I'm just trying to relate my conversion nightmare in hopes that no one else here has to go through the same problems...
          Me too. I asked if you could take a few pictures for the benefit of the next restorer, so he may use our information. My brakes are done and they work just fine. I'm not here to toot my own horn, (God knows, I don't even own a Thunderbird) but to help our fellow Ford restorers however I can. In the big picture, there have been fabulous restorers who came before me; I've learned so much from them. After we are gone someone else must carry the baton. In gratitude, let's make the very most of this for all restorers, as Alexander tried his hardest to do.

          Here is a picture of your brake related parts:

          All of my info includes specific part numbers, and in some cases, where to buy them. It also includes warnings about what to avoid.

          I completed my '59 & '55 conversions for under $400/each. My Granada spindles came from an eBay'er in Florida. They looked to be about five Michigan-years old. BTW, I do all of my own work. Being a tradesman, I sometimes trade work with other tradesmen (like machinists and electroplaters). We help each other out because we're all in the same boat. - 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


          • #35
            Hey Dave,
            You keep right on posting you post. We appreciate the information you are willing to share with us. Your cars may not be Thunderbirds but they are Fords!!!
            Richard D. Hord
            sigpic'60 Thunderbird "Christine"
            Registry #33436

            Comment


            • #36
              For people looking at all this and considering the used Ford spindle route, to reinforce what has been said, it appears that Granada spindles have considerable advantages over other 70s Ford spindles. I would encourage people to read page 4 of the thread from last year:

              http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...3+7%2F8&page=4

              where one of the key measurements of the other Ford spindles had considerable variation despite appearing to be the same part. Please feel free to correct my comments if I am wrong!

              John
              1958 Hardtop
              #8452 TBird Registry
              http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


              photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
              history:
              http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

              Comment


              • #37
                Dave - you were right on about the sholder bolt being for adjustment and it does have a jamb bolt - manual describes pedal adjustment with that setup and I verified by eyeballing mine - guess I was thinking of my old E-150 that I modified the brake pedal on or something else. Hopefully someone will have a chance to try the adjustable pedal rod method you suggested on a Tbird and give us the results.

                As for the ride height - I measured mine from the garage floor to the bottom lip of the parking light opening directly in front of the bumper bolt. My height measurent at that point on both sides is 14 1/4 inches. My A-arms and springs are original - replaced bushings and spindles. Original style bushings - Granada spindles. Hope enough folks are still following this thread to get a ride height comparison on an original car - I'm very courios to see how much it was lowered.

                Eric
                Last edited by DKheld; September 5th, 2009, 10:38 AM. Reason: I can't say spell much less do it

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by DKheld View Post
                  ...I measured mine from the garage floor to the bottom lip of the parking light opening ...
                  Eric, we usually measure using the spindle as the intersect point. Measure from the floor to the bottom lip of your fender (straight up from the spindle with the wheels straight). That way, if the back is raised or lowered, your measurement will still be true.

                  Thank You for looking into the brake pedal adjustment. The illustration below doesn't give very good detail, but your shop manual described it well.

                  In the course of this conversation, I bought another set of booster brackets from oldirishdave. I will post the measurements as soon as I can. These are the brackets that angle the booster up and away from your manifolds (and they're made by Chevy).

                  Today, I'm busy gapping a moly ring set and stuffing pistons in my 312 Y-Block. Ran out of time last night because I forgot the pistons and rods weren't assembled, yet. Now, they're all balanced and ready to go.
                  - 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


                  • #39
                    Dave - I see what you mean about the rear end height making a difference in the measurement I took. Ill get the spindle centered measurement and post it Monday. It was just easy to get to the front of my car because I'm working on an XJS V12 at the moment and it's hoging all my garage space.

                    XJS - what a pain - you have to take the whole front of these cars apart (hood, grille,radiator,fan shroud, a/c cond. and trans, cooler) just to change the water pump. Makes the 352 water pump seem simple (both hoods open the same way but I've never had to take my Tbird hood off to change the w/p ).

                    Good luck on that 312

                    Eric

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Granada spindle ride height

                      Ride height measured from the center of the spindle to the bottom edge of the fender is 14 inches both sides. 27 1/2 from the foor to the bottom edge of the fender w/spindle as center line. The last measurement may not be accurate because I realized different size wheels and tires as well as tire pressure would affect the outcome (I have non stock wheels and Diamond Back tires). Figured from the center of the spindle to the bottom edge of the fender would not change no matter what the size of the tires or wheels.
                      352 non-a/c car, original springs, new bushings in original A-arms and new ball joints.

                      Not sure anyone is still following this thread so I'll start a new one if no one responds with a measurement from a stock car.

                      Eric

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Hey Eric,
                        On Christine, center line of spindle is 12 3/4". From floor to top of wheel opening is 26 7/8" She is original, never had anything done to front suspension stock tires and rims!
                        Richard D. Hord
                        sigpic'60 Thunderbird "Christine"
                        Registry #33436

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Thanks for taking the measurements Richard. That's a real surprise to me - I had always read and heard that the Granada spindles lowered the Tbird but in this case it appears that my car is taller than your original. Wish I had measured mine before I started but was told it was only about a 3/4 inch difference so I didn't really care - just needed the discs to pull a trailer for my son's wheelchair.

                          I'm happy with my ride height - hopefully someone else doing a Granada conversion will take some before and after measurements.

                          Eric

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Hey Eric,
                            I also hope someone else with a original Thunderbird will take some measurements so we can compare.
                            Now Christine has never had any front end work done on her, tires are properly inflated, but I know front end has allot of wear and age.
                            Richard D. Hord
                            sigpic'60 Thunderbird "Christine"
                            Registry #33436

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Is the spring sag also providing some variation in the measurements? The Tbird seems to sit high in the front, especially compared to Mustangs and Cougars.
                              sigpic

                              CLICK HERE for Jim's web site

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Some Information from 2007 on Ride Height

                                In 2007 we took Ride Height measurements from inputs from as many members as we could get for the 59 and 60.

                                The measurements for the front were taken from the center of the hub cap (spindle center) to the bottom of the wheel well opening. This eliminated the tire size factor when measuring from the floor.

                                The measurements for the rear were taken from the center of the hub cap to the bottom of the wheel well opening (without the skirt).

                                From a search on "Ride Height" here is what we got -- hope it helps.


                                Front: 59-60

                                From what we got, 14" to 14.5" from the Center of Hub Cap to bottom of Wheel well lip should be close to the original front measurement.

                                Rear: 59-60

                                It looks like 7" to 7.5" from the Center of Hub Cap to top of skirt should be close to the original rear measurement with 6 leaf springs (standard equipment).

                                Optional factory heavy duty rear suspension with 7 leaf springs should be about 8" to 8.5"
                                Bart
                                1960 Hard Top/430
                                Thunderbird Registry Number 1231

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