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-   1958 To 1960 Squarebirds - General Technical Discussion (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=14)
-   -   Disk Brake Conversion Discussion (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=5023)

tbird430 07-28-2008 09:07 AM

I like my drum brakes. I just always try to over anticipate what might happen in front of me. I allow more space and time to react. I do hate the fact that from time to time my Bird will pull left/right slightly.... :o

I though someone on here said they used 14" steel wheels off a 1999-ish Ford Ranger? They bolted right on, cleared calipers, held the stock hubcaps, & were plentiful in the salvage yards.... :confused:

bcomo 07-28-2008 10:17 AM


Mine pulls very slightly to the right. Even though I rebuilt the entire brake system, drums, brake shoes, cylinders, master cylinders, and all lines. I tried tightening the left brake shoes a little tighter than the right, and that helped somewhat.

If you ever figure that one out, let me know.

tbirds8 07-28-2008 06:55 PM

Yes 15,s will fit. But from a 65 up. If you want to stick with 14,s a 98 ford ranger has the wheel that will work with disc brakes and your hub cap will cover it. A 74-76 mustang master cyl. will work or probably a granada would be the same. These brakes were a little lacking for the weight of these things and now people can stop a whole lot faster (and i'm comin through) What we have now is the junk yards a EMPTY with the price of scrap. I'm on ebay for a granada and I'll pull everthing off and see what works. then sell the scrap...............................

RustyNCa 07-28-2008 06:59 PM


Originally Posted by fomoco59 (Post 23835)
I wonder if a set of 15" wheels from a '65-66 (disk brake) TBird would fit on a conversion kit for a 58-60?

Well, if you want some measurements from a 65 wheel I have four laying in the weeds by my shed, tell me how you want them measured.

And fwiw, I tried the 17x8 bulliets on my 58 on the 65 once, they bolted right on and cleared without any drama or clearance problems at all.

The disc brake kit I went with requires at least 16" inch wheels, well, I think 16 would clear, when I moved the 15x7 wheels over from the 65 they were bound on the calipers of the 58.

But I do have 13.5" rotors with 4 piston calipers, the car does stop now.

tbirds8 07-28-2008 07:27 PM

Hey Rusty My 66 will out stop my 03 f-150 and my 71 mark and just about every thing else. Gota love those 4 piston disc's

dgs 07-29-2008 12:22 AM

I'm happy with my drums. I think I can lock up the wheels (even with the 9" wide tires) so more braking power isn't going to help. I do not like the dance it does when I throw out the anchor, but stopping power isn't a problem.

If I was going to do a conversion, I wouldn't do anything that wasn't engineered to work as a kit. No junkyard parts kit building. Just because they bolt together doesn't mean they will safely work together. You can end up with calipers or hoses that are under-matched to the pressure output of the master cylinder. That's one reason I stick with the drums, I know they are designed for the car and to work together.

It's not well understood that drum brakes actually produce more power than equally sized discs. The real problems with drums are the dance the car does when you stop hard and heat dissipation. Headed downhill, drum brakes can easily overheat while discs better shed heat.

Overheated brakes = no brakes.

byersmtrco 07-29-2008 02:30 AM

Mine was a "kit". I was in uncharted waters. Drum vs Disc. No comparison. Now I've had newer cars w/drum brakes that were ok. The drums on a 60 are too small. As prev stated the same as a 57. Almost 1000 lbs lighter.

All I know is, I can stop in 1/2 the distance, safely, no wheels locking, no steering wheel pull, no nuthin. I have driven down steep grades. As we know with a cruise-o-Anchor, you can't drop her in 2nd to slow you down (only low) so ya gotta ride em. I got to the bottom of Hwy 9 ( a road in the Santa Cruz Mountains for all you non Calif folks) It's a fairly steep road. I stopped in Saratoga and my brakes weren't hot. They were warm, but not hot. Before, you'd come off that hill and those drums would be smokin!!! You could light a cigarette on one of the rear hubcaps.

fomoco59 07-29-2008 07:57 AM

"Headed downhill, drum brakes can easily overheat while discs better shed heat.

Overheated brakes = no brakes."

BEEN THERE !!... Scarey

skyd 07-29-2008 10:26 AM

I went with the conversion from http://www.abspowerbrake.com/

They knew the squaresbirds, they sell a rear disc conversion kit, but they recommended not go go with it if you have the stock offset and skirts.

I had 16" wheels already so I don't recall the min. wheel size require, if any.

What convinced me to upgrade was more of the fact that my rear wheel cylinder went and lost all brakes. not close to home and late at night made it fun driving home!!!

Not that I needed disc, but going to a dual master cylinder made me feel a little safer, knowing the at the there are 2 systems now stopping the bird.

just my 2cents

tbird430 07-29-2008 11:40 AM

$550 isn't bad for a bolt on front disc kit (w/o booster or master cylinder). :cool:

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