Squarebirds, Rocketbirds, and Fifties/Sixties Ford Discussion Forum

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-   1958 To 1960 Squarebirds - General Technical Discussion (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=14)
-   -   Three Inch Drums (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=388)

1960Bird 12-21-2004 09:11 PM

Three Inch Drums
Does anyone know if the front brakes, (3" shoes,drums and pistons etc.) from the Bulletbirds will fit on the squarebird front spindles?


1960 HT 390, Edelbrock Performer RPM Intake, Shorty Headers, 2-1/2" Exhaust and 3.70 Rear Gears

1rancher 12-22-2004 07:18 AM

RE: Three Inch Drums
I read an article about the 1959 thunderbird nascar entry about 5 or more years ago where one of the modifications holoman / moody had done was to use spindles and brakes off a lincoln which had the 3 inch brakes. So as a guess i would say yes and that might be where the bullet birds get their brakes, (ford saving money). If anyone on this site has a list of the mods done to these cars i would sure enjoy seeing it posted. I have searched the net in the past but could not find a detailed list of the mods. I also read in the same article that durring that year one of the thunderbirds came out of the race due to frontend problems.
good luck
mark...1960 thunderbird conv.

flynbrian48 12-23-2004 08:14 AM

RE: Three Inch Drums
Hi Steve,

As easy and cheap as it was to put the late 70's spindles/disk brakes on my '59, I'd think that'd be a better swap than the drums. Given that it seems the ball joints seem to be the same on all these, you could probably, if you have them, simply swap out the spindles and all if you're set on using the 3" drums.

How does your modified 390 pull the 'Bird? I was a bit dissapointed with the 5.0 HO I put in mine. It's a bit lacking in the torque department. I guess I discounted the add'l weight of the 'Bird as opposed to the 87 Mustang GT the engine originally powered! I didn't think it'd be that much heavier, but, it's still probably almost half a ton more. Steeper gears would help me, as I have the AOD trans.

I'd originally planned on a supercharger for the 5.0, but other projects have sidelined hot rodding this engine.

1rancher 12-23-2004 09:07 AM

RE: Three Inch Drums
Brian, what kind of milage are you getting with that transmission?

1960Bird 12-23-2004 10:18 AM

RE: Three Inch Drums
The car pulls pretty good, if it is running good, I have some carb issues yet to be corrected) The engine is a a 1961 block and heads, it also has a mild cam along with the rest of the stuff I have listed. She will spin the tires pretty easily, although, if I had a C-6 rather then my old "Cruise O" it would be a lot better, I really need about a 2200 RPM torque converter to get the power down. As they used to say "HP sells cars...torque wins races" The big blocks have the torque that is for sure. I would guess that my new engine has about 325 actual HP and around 425 ft. lbs torque.

As for the brake switch over...I already have everything to do a 11 inch Granada disc switch, except a good proportioning valve. Being very lazy...I thought if I could just go to the bigger drums/shoes it would be a lot easier job. I estimated that I would pick up about 20% more front brake shoe surface area. If the 3' brakes stopped the 4400 pound Bulletbirds OK they should stop my old Squarebird on a dime.


1960 HT 390, Edelbrock Performer RPM Intake, Shorty Headers, 2-1/2" Exhaust and 3.70 Rear Gears

1960Bird 12-23-2004 11:51 AM

RE: Brian Three Inch Drums
I got to thinking about your car after my last post. Assuming that you are looking for more performance.
Since you have a 302 with AOD why not switch your rear end to a 4.11. That would give you some get up and go plus take advantage of you 302 engines higher RPM's capabilities. With the AOD you would still be OK for highway driving. JMHO


1960 HT 390, Edelbrock Performer RPM Intake, Shorty Headers, 2-1/2" Exhaust and 3.70 Rear Gears

flynbrian48 12-23-2004 12:06 PM

RE: Three Inch Drums
Hi guys,

As lazy mans swaps go, the disk brake spindle swap is super easy. The only snag I ran into changing to the T'Bird/Cougar disks wasn't the spindles at all, but the power brake booster I had didn't fit! Thanks to some great advice here, I'm now the owner of a Granada booster/master, and I'm home free. It's a no brainer to swap the spindles, however I will have to have the front end aligned, which it needed anyway.

I get 15-18 mpg with the 5.0 and AOD. I'm hoping to improve that since I elimated the catalyic converters from the H pipe. I'm running the Mustang dual exhaust, stainless steel, from the donor car complete with VERY quiet mufflers, and those too are headed for the scrap bin. I have had several Fox bodied Mustang 5.0 cars, and they all would get low 20's mpg. I am blaming the 'Birds extra weight for that too. Not that I really care what kind of milage it gets, but it's too quiet, and it might feel a little quicker.

I'm a big fan of the Edelbrock carb. I'm running a 750 cfm, elec. choke one on a built 455 in my '68 Pontiac Catlina convert, and a 650 in my Chris Craft runabout with a 327. Both ran GREAT right out of the box, look good, and have provided 3 seasons of instant starts and trouble free performance in both. They are less expensive than having a stock, 40 year old carb rebuilt. I've never had good luck rebuilding a carb, these seem to be idiot proof. The Catalina, by the way, with that heavily modified, big cammed, ported head 455 gets 26 mpg on the highway, and will flatten your eyeballs in their sockets! Wicked good fun!

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