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-   1958 T0 1960 Squarebirds - Disc Brake Conversion (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=83)
-   -   Wheels for disc brakes (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=19924)

bpetska 12-31-2015 01:52 PM

Wheels for disc brakes
Hi Guys,
I am doing a disc brake conversion on my 60 bird with scarebird brackets, s-10 calipers and mustang rotors. I got wheels for a 1992 ranger that are 14" X 6" and they do not fit. They rub on the calipers. I thought about grinding some off of the calipers but decided against it.
So my question is what wheels actually work? I got the list from the technical library. Those of you that did this conversion with the scarebird brakets and used 14" wheels, what did you use?

jopizz 12-31-2015 03:33 PM


That's strange. I've used the Ranger wheels with discs before. I don't remember if they were the S10 calipers though. I remember someone else having to grind some metal off of those calipers. It wasn't a big deal. There's plenty of metal on those calipers.


simplyconnected 12-31-2015 04:12 PM

I agree with John. Either grind a bit off those castings or try a 1/2" spacer between your wheel and the hub. Tire stores that sell custom wheels should have them. I used them for over a decade on my Mustang. If they aren't for you, I'm sure they will take them back. So, call around.

It's awfully odd that your Ranger wheels don't fit because they were made for disk brakes. - Dave

Wudro 12-31-2015 05:24 PM

See Daleo56 thread on disc brakes for his "Snowbird". That's the one John is referring to. He posted a close up pic of the altered calipers. You might want to PM him to see how much he took off, if you want to go that route. He's a great mechanic and seems always willing to help.

lnoska 01-01-2016 12:46 PM

14" rims
I found 14" rims for my 1960 Thunderbird at a used rim supplier in Spokane, WA. This supplier must have had 2,000 rims in his yard. He supplied snow rims for WA, and ID.

I think the difference is in the off set. It's not much but just enough to clear the calipers. The disc brakes make all the difference in the world to stop the 1960 Thunderbird.

Is there some way to tell what car the rims came off of by the rim? When things warm up I can get some pictures of the back side of the spare tire, and try to post them with help from Dave Dare. There might be pictures on the TRL. of the off set.
I think the rims I found came off of a Mustang that came with disc brakes.

Time for Notre Dame football.

lexdownunder 01-01-2016 09:56 PM

Hi Bill

Looks like you are going the same route I did when I did the disc brake conversion. Good selection!!!

I have re-posted below the thread that I submitted after my conversion.
I know it won't help you much as to a wheel selection for your car but I had a similar case of the wheel rubbing the caliper. As you will see from my post, it required only a VERY small grind off the caliper to allow the wheels to fit perfectly.
As I said in the post, I only know that the wheels I got were marked as 14" Ford but did the job perfectly after the grind.

Good luck Bill

Hi Guys
Finally have the disc brake conversion completed & the bottom line is....it is just amazing the difference a decent brake system makes. I actually feel safe knowing I now have such improved stopping power.

Just to summarize the components I used:

ABS 8" booster & dual m/c (disc/drum) ABS Stock No 9787, Item No 270556931229.
This booster/m/c is designed for the '59 TBird with a/con. It comes complete with the bracket & is set to the correct angle so it clears the a/c unit etc. It also has the extended pedal rod so basically is a straight "bolt on" item.

Scarebird brackets Part No GXY.

Scarebird also supplied GM-S10 loaded calipers & brake hoses to suit

Rock Auto supplied '68 Mustang rotors. Part No 397 6006R.

By using the Scarebird brackets & Mustang rotors, I retained the OEM spindles & bearings.

As I said in an earlier thread, I was lucky & found suitable 14" disc brake ready rims at a local tyre fitting shop but I have no idea what vehicle they were off. They were just marked as Ford 14". The rims just touched the top of the caliper but a VERY small grind to the caliper fixed the problem. Rims fit perfect & I was able to have my existing tyres fitted to the new rims. Nice cost saver there!!

Had two pipes made for the new M/C & fitted a mechanical brake light switch to the pedal.

I can't take credit for any of this work. It was all done by my mechanic mate. He usually does Mustangs & has done many disc brake conversions on them but this was his first go with a Thunderbird.
An excellent job too!!!!

My thanks to all the members who have helped me with this conversion & given me priceless information that pointed me in the right direction.
I know there are many threads on this site re disc brake conversion & so many options & I hope that the info I have supplied here might be of assistance to other members.
Thanks again guys


jopizz 01-01-2016 10:59 PM


Thanks for reposting that. I know I had read about someone having to grind a bit off of the caliper. I was hoping I wasn't hallucinating again. Hopefully that's all Bill needs too fix his issue.


lexdownunder 01-02-2016 12:02 AM


Isn't it great when you realize that you aren't hallucinating after all.
I know that hallucinating feeling very well.
Last week, couldn't find my reading glasses anywhere.
Turned the house inside out.
Happened to glance in a mirror as I walked past.....there they were sitting on the top of my head.
Think it's got something to do with getting older!!!!!


bird 60 01-02-2016 01:02 AM

Hi Lex, regarding disk brakes. Is your T.BIRD Historic Registered & Left Hand Drive.? The Law must be different in Tassy, 'cause we can't convert to Disc brakes here in S.A. That's one thing that a lot of us want to do but we can't. Fill me in about the Rules & Regulations there.

Thank You

Chris.....From OZ.

lexdownunder 01-02-2016 01:43 AM

Hi Chris

My '59 TBird is LHD & has a full road license.

I had the disc brake conversion done when I was living in Western Australia in 2012. There was no problem in W.A. doing the conversion.
I had to supply an engineers report which wasn't a problem as the conversion was done by a registered restoration company.
I had a full road license in W.A. also.

In W.A. a concessional license is issued for a 12 month period after inspection but you are required to have further inspections done every 12 months after that.
I prefer a full road license then I can drive when I like & not have to keep log books every time the car is used.

I then had the vehicle shipped to Tassie in 2013 when I moved from W.A.
I had to undergo a vehicle inspection here but no problems except for a minor gearbox oil leak which I repaired.

I would have thought South Australia would accept an engineers report??????????????
I have heard before when I had my '23 TBucket that some of the inspection guys were a bit pedantic when it came to modifications. I think some of them like to show they have a bit of authority by giving rodders a hard time.

I always got on well with the licensing staff in W.A. & never had a problem even though there were strict rules.

Cheers Chris

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