Earlier today, I tried to post considerable information on the Combination and Proportional Valve but my browser went down before I could save what I had written. This time I am doing it in Word first. This will be a bit long, but I hope it will be helpful to you in finding your own Combination Valves. From what I have read and been told Adjustable Proportioning valves are not needed on our Tbirds that we are modifying for front disk and rear drum brakes. You want the Combination Valve. Several mechanics and others who have a lot of experience with restoring old classic cars have told me this. Also, the OEM’s did not put Proportional Valves on their cars at the plant when they built cars with front disk/rear drums. They installed Combination valves that included the Metering Valve and the Proportional Valve.
Over the last week and more, I have been in conversation with simplyconnected and others regarding the differences and confusion of the names for the Combination and Proportional Valves for use on our Squarebirds. Dave Dare has provided me with a lot of information regarding this subject. One of the first things I have learned is that everyone seems to call these valves a Proportional Valve, when they are actually a Combination Valve. Auto parts places and bone yards call them Proportional Valves even though the old Ford cars that were manufactured with a Valve in place to control braking on front disk brake/rear drum brake cars, had Combination Valves on them and not Proportional Valves. So I have read and been told. So for years people have incorrectly referred to this Combination Valve as a Proportional Valve. At the end of this, I will post what a Combination Valve with electrical connection and wiring looks like.
For further information regarding the various valves there are for this purpose, please refer to this website that Dave Dare sent to me. It explains the differences between the various valves. One thing you will see is that a Combination Valve contains both a Metering Valve and a Proportional Valve. Hence it is called a Combination Valve because it has more than one feature inside. Again, those cars that required a valve for disk brake or disk brake/drum brakes were manufactured with a Combination Valve in place, not a Proportioning Valve. Check out this website from MBM Brakes.
Here you will see the Adjustable Proportional Valve, the Non-Adjustable Proportional Valve, the Metering Valve, Residual Valve and the Combination Valve explained.
This week, I went to my local Pick-N-Pull to look for Combination Valves for myself and some others. Dave had sent me a picture of what the Combination Valve looks like, with the electrical Connector and wiring in place. He said I should get the version with the electrical connector block and wiring so that I could wire in a LED warning light. There is another version without the electrical connection. He also said that it was important to get “fresh” valves. Valves that were still on the cars and the master cylinder still had brake fluid in it, so that there would be brake fluid inside the valve. So off I went on an exciting new journey to the bone yard.
When I got there, I asked them what a Combination Valve would cost me. That drew a blank look, so I explained that often people know them as Proportional Valves. He knew what I was talking about then, as I explained to him that Ford and other car manufacturers put Combination Valves on their cars at the plants, that contained both Metering Valves and Proportional Valves, but people have been calling them by their wrong name for years. We found them listed on their parts board they have set up to give you an idea of what they charge for each part. “Proportional Valves" were listed for sale for $7.67 each! These valves are being sold for $50 or more used by others! $100 new! So off we went to the Ford section. It contains late 1970’s to early 2000 Ford cars. It is set up in sub-sections, with many regular Ford models grouped together. Also Mercury models are mixed in with them, as are Mustangs. Lincolns are kept in a different group.
Knowing that I was looking for Combination Valves off of Ford cars with front disk brakes and rear drum brakes, we went looking for early 80’s Mustangs, other Fords, LTD II’s, and Crown Victoria’s. We also looked at other Ford and Mercury models with front disk brakes, rear drums. Mostly we found these Combination Valves on the early 80’s Mustangs, one 1985 LTD II and two 1987 Crown Victoria’s. I think I have those years correct. Some of the Mustangs, and other Ford/Mercury models had non-electrical models in place, but we bypassed them.
Dave told me to make sure the valves were “fresh”, meaning that there was still brake fluid in them. Otherwise, they could be worn, and pitted inside and no good. I told the parts puller I was working with that when he cut the lines if they did not have fluid leaking from them I did not want them. Of the six we found and took off, he said all of them were leaking fluid when he cut them. In a couple of hours looking through just a part of the Ford section we had found the six I was looking for. I am sure there are more there.
So off we went to check out and pay for my valves. The parts puller and I had agreed on a $5 fee for each valve he pulled. He had the tools to get them off, and I did not have enough tools with me. Even then, he had a tough time getting some of them off the cars. The six valves cost me $66.66, plus $30 pulling fee, for a total of $96.66, or $16.11 each. That breaks down to $7.67 each, plus $2.15 for each pigtail/electrical socket, plus $2.95 environmental fee, plus $4.79 tax. Not bad!
When I got back, I told Dave what I had picked up. He wanted to know what the stock number or identifying numbers were on each unit. So I cleaned them up some and wrote down the numbers. I also wanted to know what they meant. Here is the breakout of the six valves.
SURF 076-6 E0ZC-2B328-AA
Under the 076-6 is an upside down F followed by a D on its back D under the E0ZC
SURF 347-4 EIDC-2B328-AA
Under the 347-4 is a dash followed by a G on is back G under the EIDC
SURF 302-5 E0ZC-2B328-AA
Under the 302-5 is a long dash followed by an A laying on its side under the E0ZC
SURF 210-4 E4AC-2B382-BA
Under the 210-4 is a long dash or indentation like above followed by a K laying on its side or back. This one I think came out of the Ford LTD II or the Crown Victoria, but I am not certain. Notice it is the only one that does not end in 2B328-AA
SURF D42-3 E0ZC-2B328-AA
There are no identifying marks under this
SURF 242-3 E0ZC-2B328-AA
Same as the one above. No identifying marks under this one either.
Notice that the first group of numbers are all different, but four out of six have the same E0ZC letters...
If I remember correctly, four of those came out of early to mid 80's Mustangs. One came out of a '85 Ford LTD II. I think the last one, which is on a support frame, came out of the 1989 Crown Victoria if I remember correctly. Yup, I know it did. !
Here is what I got back from Dave.
Let's pick this thing apart. Here is how we decode part numbers. http://www.classicmustang.com/decoding_part_numbers.htm We know Ford uses a basic 5-digit number for ALL the same parts. In this case, a production combination valve is a 2B328. The first two numbers of E0ZC indicate the decade & year: E= 198_, and E0 = 198_0._ The next letter indicates the car body. A_= Full sized Ford, Z_= Mustang, and S_=T-bird.
THE most popular parts ON THE NET are from a Granada/LTD. So, everyone advertises their parts come from a Granada (whether they do or not).
You actually have a part from a Granada. It is part number E1DC-2B328-AA (1981 DC, D=Falcon 1960-69; Maverick 1970-74; Granada 1975-82; LTD 1983-later). Yours falls within Granada 1975-82 (but it may appear on an LTD because it is the same part).
Some parts are used on many models like the one above. If a Torino uses a part that has already been used in a Mustang, there's no need to change the part number because it is a carryover. Some model year parts also get used on the next year's car if they are carried over.
I believe SURF (company) made the part, and the first letters are designations of shift number, manufacture date, etc., for quality control. All those upside down characters are from line workers' QC checks.
The E4AC-2B382-BA is the most recent (1984 Ford Body) and it has the latest engineering changes (BA), but otherwise the same part. Keep this one for Yellow Rose.
Bottom line is, all these valves are the same and will work just fine in anything from a Mustang to an LTD to a Crown Vic. Good job getting these, Ray. They are perfect. – Dave
Well, four of those Combination Valves are spoken for. However, if anyone needs one, the remaining two are for sale at $16.00 plus shipping. I will take each one, unscrew one of the lines and make sure that I have brake fluid flowing or seeping out of each unit. If not, I am going to consider them not to be of good quality.
I was not planning on doing my dual MC/Dual Power Booster, disk brake job until some six months or so down the road. Dave told me if that was going to be the case, to find a glass jar, or some container my valve would fit in and put it in it, and fill it up with brake fluid and seal it until I was ready to use it. This would protect the valve from drying out, pitting or ruining the neoprene seals inside it.
I hope this helps you better understand these valves. Thanks for all the input from Dave and others. Here is that picture of a Combination valve. You can see the electrical connection and wiring, the five lines, and the mounting bracket. It is my understanding that the end piece on the left hand side contains the metering valve. The Proportional Valve is inside the unit also.
Excellent post, Ray. The only addition I can offer is a picture showing where all the lines go, and the port sizes:
Ray, you're right about the business-end being on the left (for the rear brakes). Since the front brakes don't get a pressure or flow reduction, those three ports are open to each other.
The rear brakes pressures and flows are controlled on the left side of the combination valve. There is a spool valve in the middle that controls the electrical connection, and it is designed to prevent fluid from pouring out if one of the lines ruptures (or a wheel cylinder leaks). The spool slides over to one side (closing off fluid on the 'bad' side) and it closes an electrical contact, which connects to your warning light.
For simplicity, I use a "12-volt flashing LED". No resistors or other components are required. Just connect one side of the LED to +12, and run the other side to the proportioning valve switch. The other wire on the switch goes to chassis ground.
If anyone needs one of these LEDs, let me know. - Dave
Thanks for the additional comments, explanation and picture, Dave! Much appreciated. Yup, that big left side controls the "metering" part of the valve and does what Dave said. I also read this explanation somewhere but could not find it to add to my comments. Hopefully, we have a much better understanding of how the Combination Valve ("Proportional Valve") works now.
BTW, I have one valve left, but if we need more, I can always make a trip back to Pick-N-Pull and pull off some more. Also, keep this in mind... If you do not want to install the LED in your car that Dave talks about (I need an LED, Dave!), I can pull off some of the Combination Valves that did NOT have the electrical connection on them. I saw a good number of those on Mustangs and other Ford cars.
JohnG, can you grab this thread and put it in the TRL for future use by others?
got it , Ray! Good work!
Are these units adjustable?? or are they fixed at 70/30?
I am assuming they all came off cars with disk-front,drum - rear.
Hi John! Thanks! These are non-adjustable valves. It is my understanding, from my research, that adjustable valves are not required for the front disk brake/rear drum conversion we want to do. Only for other applications do you need an adjustable one. It is also my understanding that the metering device inside that left part of the unit controls the fixed 70/30 ratio. Dave can correct me if I am wrong. Yes, I only took these valves off Ford cars that were running front disk brakes and rear drums. Mostly, they came off of early 80's Mustangs.
I am told that the disk brakes off a Mustang would not directly convert to our Squarebirds. The spindles are different, for one thing and one would probably need a conversion kit. I want to use the original spindles on Rose, and my 14" rims. I think I want new disk brake equipment on Rose when I do this.
Truth is, a combination valve applies rear brakes first (I guess that would be a 1:0 or 100%). This is the 'metering valve' function that ensures stability to the car. With more foot pressure, the front brakes get the majority pressure through the range all the way up to lock-up.
I'm not sure if it is 70/30 but understand, the proportion changes with pedal pressure. THAT is the major difference between a combination valve and a proportioning valve. This also explains why you wouldn't manually adjust it.
In a hard stop, when the front dives (and the rear lifts), a massive amount of weight shifts to the front wheels which lightens the load on the rear wheels. This can be exagerated using the example of a pickup truck with an empty bed. The back wheels will simply skid when improperly proportioned.
The car manufacturers got it right. If we mimic their system by using OEM parts from a similarly proportioned car, our brakes will work the same. Notice I didn't say, 'similar weight' car. That doesn't matter (engine size doesn't either). Avoid using pickup truck valves for your Thunderbird as those vehicles are proportionaly NOT the same.
Disk brake SPINDLES from a Granada/Mustang will work on your Thunderbird. The bottom ball joint hole needs to be opened slightly, but many conversions from Thunderbird drums to Mustang disks have been done. That is exactly what Eric did for his 'bird. (Spindles have mounting provisions for the brakes.)
Fact is, those 'Mustang/Granada/Versailles' spindles are compatable with LOTS of Ford suspensions. I'm using the Granada setup on my '55 Ford Customline. It is every bit as hearty as the original spindles, and it works great! The bearings swap, which means the diameters are the same.
There are many ways to convert to disk brakes for your T-bird. All of them are a vast improvement over the original drum brakes. - Dave
Thanks for the additional comments, Dave! I went through each of those combination valves today, unscrewing the lines connected to them. They all look to be okay. I either had fluid dripping out, or saw fluid in the connector port or on the end of the flared line. So I think they are all okay.
In my correspondence and here on the Forum, the question is often asked as to how one mounts or installs a combination valve on their car. Some bolt it down. Others try different mounting procedures. While doing some research, I found how ABS mounts their combination valves to their master cylinders. I have pictures of two ways. The first one is the "hanging" version and works very well, but I like the second way much better. It is very neat and tidy and out of the way and tucked under the master cylinder. It is the way I would like to install mine, if I have enough room under the master cylinder. Here are the pix.
Where would you put your tee for the brake light pressure switch? You may need to change it some day... You need access to the 'brake failure' warning light connector, too.
Ford combination valves usually have a bracket with two 1/4"-20 studs. I drill two holes and use them with lock washers and nuts. Ford mounts them just below and beside the M/C. Where ever you mount is personal preference, but that's where I put mine. You're right Ray, there is plenty of space below the M/C. - Dave
Yup, there has to be a connection somewhere there for the T for the brake light pressure switch. I see they don't show that on their pictures. In the picture the "brake failure" warning light connector is in the middle, accessible and facing the drivers side of the car looking at it from the front of the car.
I think all the units that I got off those cars have that mounting bracket with the two threaded studs on them. So one could drill a couple of holes and mount them. Me, I am trying to keep from drilling more holes, so I liked the idea of tucking that sucker underneath and out of the way. Or just mounting it like they did in the first picture. Along side of it, and down some..
Ray, install the valve where it belongs (not in 'convenient' holes). Consider changing the brake switch if it goes bad. If you need holes, drill them in the proper places. Square the valve up and mount it before plumbing. Your valve will never move again, so make it look good.
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