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  • Tires and Brakes

    I have P225 75's on my '58, and it looks like the top of the front tires is rubbing the upper arm. Is this a function of a worn front end, or are the tires too wide?

    I'm having trouble getting enough brake pedal after my brake rebuild. I put in new master cylinder, lines, wheel cylinders, and shoes. I have bled with a vacuum pump and again with the old-fashioned pump the brakes method. They seem to have gotten all the air out now, but pedal is way too low, especially with the power brake hose plugged into the engine. Any suggestions? Is the adjustment all it could be at this point?
    sigpic

    CLICK HERE for Jim's web site

  • #2
    Don't know about the tire issue you are having, but sounds like on the brakes maybe the shoes are adjusted too far away from the drums. '58s are not self adjusting units and you have to manually adjust every couple thousand miles. If you don't do the adjustments you get way too much peddle and very little brake. Follow the recommended procedure for 58 brake shoe manual adjustment and see what that does to tighten up your peddle.
    Best Birding,
    Jed Zimmerman
    '58HT and '48 Dodge Panel in MN
    Thunderbird Registry #3810 VTCI#7652
    sigpic

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Astrowing View Post
      I have P225 75's on my '58, and it looks like the top of the front tires is rubbing the upper arm. Is this a function of a worn front end, or are the tires too wide?

      I'm having trouble getting enough brake pedal after my brake rebuild. I put in new master cylinder, lines, wheel cylinders, and shoes. I have bled with a vacuum pump and again with the old-fashioned pump the brakes method. They seem to have gotten all the air out now, but pedal is way too low...?
      Did you buy a M/C with the same diameter piston?

      I didn't hear the magic words, "bench bled." Usually a vacuum (a REAL STRONG one) will do the job, but...

      You should bench bleed before you install a new/rebuilt M/C. When you do, it's easy to see the bubbles, brake fluid is conserved because it is recirculated, and you can definately see the end when it comes.

      If you haven't done it yet, I'm going to advocate for a disk brake conversion. It took me a leisurely Saturday afternoon to do the whole job. It would been much sooner, but I had to scrape a ton of grease/dirt off, that was packed on for fifty years. Click HERE to see how mine went.
      - 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
        I believe there are two different sized pistons on the stock TBird MCs, so it seems like anyone would want the larger one.

        Dave, nice job!! nice photos!!

        I would love to have disks. The stock brakes are a joke; barely adequate for the 2 seater TBird they are inherited from and certainly not for these cars.

        The part that discourages me is finding wheels. I do not think I have yet to hear anyone say they went to disks and were able to recycle the stock 14" wheels (if so, please holler!) Maybe Dropnstop ??

        So if I need different wheels, to be realistic, I need 5 of them. All the same and correct. I'm skeptical I can pull this off over a couple months in the winter (let alone Sat afternoon!). Changing wheel sizes and thus both scrapping some pretty low mileage Diamonback radials and buying new tires is at odds with my being a cheap New Englander.

        There are a ton of previous threads and posts on this which I am familiar with. If anyone has any new stuff, please post it.

        So.... disks brakes, Si! wheels.... dunno...
        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


        • #5
          Originally posted by JohnG View Post
          I believe there are two different sized pistons on the stock TBird MCs, so it seems like anyone would want the larger one.

          Dave, nice job!! nice photos!!

          I would love to have disks. The stock brakes are a joke; barely adequate for the 2 seater TBird they are inherited from and certainly not for these cars.

          The part that discourages me is finding wheels. I do not think I have yet to hear anyone say they went to disks and were able to recycle the stock 14" wheels (if so, please holler!) Maybe Dropnstop ??

          So if I need different wheels, to be realistic, I need 5 of them. All the same and correct. I'm skeptical I can pull this off over a couple months in the winter (let alone Sat afternoon!). Changing wheel sizes and thus both scrapping some pretty low mileage Diamonback radials and buying new tires is at odds with my being a cheap New Englander.

          There are a ton of previous threads and posts on this which I am familiar with. If anyone has any new stuff, please post it.

          So.... disks brakes, Si! wheels.... dunno...
          John,
          Stainless Steel Brakes A152-1 with four piston aluminum calipers will fit with a 14X7 wheel. They also have a somwhat less expensive unit with cast iron calipers. You will have to modify the sway bar to clear the calipers but this is not difficult. For the rear you need to go to their street rod section for 9" Ford rears. ssbrakes.com
          sigpic
          Jim

          protourbird

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          • #6
            Dave great pixs on the conversion and thanks for the post.
            Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
            Thunderbird Registry
            58HT #33317
            60 HT (Sold )

            Comment


            • #7
              + 1 for discs. The drum brakes on the 58-60 TB's are too small. They are the same size as the brakes on a 57 TB (1100 lb's lighter)

              I'm running 225 -75 - 14's on 7" wide rims w/no clearance issues.
              John Byers
              1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Never heard of bench bleeding the old style m/c - think that procedure came about with the split systems later.
                The original style m/c on the Tbird is a single cyl and as long as you keep the reservoir full there shouldn't be a problem. I never had a vac bleed system so I always had to use the "buddy" system.
                Get a buddy or the wife (the later will need to be taken out to dinner for her troubles) and have them press the pedal (car off - no vac pressure). Open each w/c bleed valve about 2 sec AFTER they start to press the pedal and close it about 2 sec BEFORE they let up on the pedal. My procedure was always that I would say "press it" - I would open the valve and bleed the line into a container then they would say "ok" when the pedal bottomed out. I would close the valve and say "ok' which meant it was time to release the pedal. If the pedal is released before the w/c valve is closed the m/c will just pull the air it pushed down the lines the back up again.
                Usualy have to do this 20 or more times (5 each wheel) while checking the fluid level in the reservoir. If the reservoir goes dry - start all over again. Bleed from the back first - then the front and again it will take about 5 times each wheel to get all the air out.
                After this you should have a pretty stiff pedal with the car off and no vac pressure.

                That disc conversion using the stock spindle is the way to go. No more trying to explain to the alignment shop about the Granada spindles. Who makes it - will it fit the Tbird? How much?

                I apparently went to the wrong auto parts stores because I finally wound up having to special order my banjo bolts from Calif. My calipers came with the stock Granada hoses that didn't fit (weeks of setbacks - you've probably read it). Make sure you have plenty of line, bending tools, flaring tools etc to install the new hard lines to the prop. and residual valves. Mine was all together in a combo valve but still needed new lines to it.
                I too had my spindles and calipers on quickly - about one afternoon (only to find they were Torino not Granda but I won't go there). Anyway after getting the right spindles as far as the Granada setup you CANNOT use the stock wheels. I bought a set of 14" LTD wheels. Was told they were off a late 70's disc brake car but I didn't see them being pulled. They were 14' and fit so I didn't care what they came from. Like you I had just invested in a set of Diamond Backs and wasn't going to buy new tires.
                Nothing had to be modified to make the parts fit except the bottom spindle hole and booster face. Swaybar, brake mounting points, pedal rods, pedal height - all stock - could go original tomorrow but never will be a drum brake car again as long as I own it.

                Eric
                registry 5347

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                • #9
                  Jim, I found the Stainless Steel Brake website and the A152 application for Squarebirds but it states "stock wheels will not clear" so I am still in the hunt...

                  john

                  http://www.ssbrakes.com/content/imag..._web_small.pdf
                  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


                  • #10
                    Hey Guys,
                    The buddy system is great if you can get some help! If not get you a piece of clear tubing that is about 16" long that will just fit over bleeder valve. Get you a clear jar and put some clean brake fluid in the bottom that covers the end of the hose. Slide wrench (that will fit bleeder) on tubing, slide tubing onto bleeder. Start with wheel that is furtherest away from master cylinder, right rear! Open bleeder till fluid starts running into tube. Now go and press brake pedal, keep checking fluid level in master cylinder. Press brake pedal, check fluid etc... (you do not want to run it dry) Once you keep doing this and fluid is clear move on to next wheel. In this order: Right rear, left rear, right front and left front!!!
                    Richard D. Hord
                    sigpic'60 Thunderbird "Christine"
                    Registry #33436

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I bought a manual vacuum bleeder at Harbor Freight It's only $15 and it worked great. Plus I didn't need to involve the wife (and aforementioned pay back dinner). Here's a link to see the unit:

                      http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=92474

                      Vern

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dan Leavens View Post
                        Dave great pixs on the conversion and thanks for the post.
                        Dan, I hope not too many pics, but I like to see as much detail as possible. Glad to help my fellow restorers.

                        Originally posted by DKheld View Post
                        Never heard of bench bleeding the old style m/c - think that procedure came about with the split systems later...
                        ... Usualy have to do this 20 or more times...
                        ...Who makes it - will it fit the Tbird? How much?
                        ...special order my banjo bolts from Calif. My calipers came with the stock Granada hoses...
                        ...Make sure you have plenty of line, bending tools, flaring tools etc to install the new hard lines to the prop. and residual valves.
                        Eric, bench bleeding is done with new or rebuilt (dry) M/C's. Most brake jobs start out using the OEM M/C that is not dry. Remember those 20 strokes? Bench bleeding takes the output line and puts it right back into the reservoir.
                        Just make sure the return lines are submerged in the fluid and it is level. Some places sell plastic kits, but you can bend old, short, brake lines.
                        You still pump the same 20 strokes (one inch at first, then full strokes), using a phillips screwdriver. It's easy to see when the bubbles stop. The fluid recycles so there is no waste and you don't need much fluid. Doesn't matter whether the M/C is single or dual. When done bench bleeding, the fluid remains in the reservoir, put the cap back on for mounting, then the same 'wife's foot' method can be followed, only it won't take 20 pumps to complete.

                        Who makes it? I found it on eBay, and I forget the brand, but they have a kit for T-birds. Because the bracket uses (GM) S-10 pickup parts, they are VERY available everywhere, including banjo bolts. I don't remember my Granada calipers (on the '55) having banjo bolts, the hoses simply screw into the back. You're right about having good tools. My auto parts store has line that won't rust with a high copper content. Fabulous stuff, but ~$2/ft. I plumbed both my classics with it.

                        Originally posted by JohnG View Post
                        I believe there are two different sized pistons on the stock TBird MCs, so it seems like anyone would want the larger one...
                        John, my concern is that he might have started with a larger-bore M/C, then bought a replacement with a smaller bore. This makes pedal pressure MUCH easier, but he won't get the volume to spread those shoes as far. If he uses a residual valve (and keeps his brakes adjusted), it will be fine, using the new M/C. I still can't rule out trapped air in the M/C until he bench-bleeds.
                        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


                        • #13
                          The problem I had with the brakes was the star adjuster/rod on the left rear had dropped out of position. I'm still not real happy with the pedal height, especially with the power brakes. It does stop now and we took it out for a 15 mile maiden voyage this evening.

                          I was not aware there were two master cylinders on the '58. I just ordered one that fit a '58 with power brakes. I assume that I got the right one.

                          I think the disk brake conversion is on the list of items to do. And I think I'll do it coincident with the front end rebuild which starts shortly. The wheel change was a problem I was aware of and one that makes it pretty expensive when it's all said. Do we have a list of every bit of hardware that is required somewhere?
                          sigpic

                          CLICK HERE for Jim's web site

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I did bleed multiple times with a vacuum bleeder, and then I came back and bled again multiple times with the wife pushing the brake pedal. I did not bench bleed the M/C because I've always gotten a good pedal eventually with multiple bleeds. Are you saying I won't ever get there without bench bleeding?
                            sigpic

                            CLICK HERE for Jim's web site

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It does sound like the tire rubbing issue is due to the very worn arm bushings and ball joints. Time for a rebuild!
                              sigpic

                              CLICK HERE for Jim's web site

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