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  #11  
Old 03-16-2011, 09:26 PM
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There was an article in the Early Bird about adding self adjusters. I have a copy of this article and can email it to any one who wants it.

Regarding residual pressure valves. All brake systems should have these. These are standard equipment in all cars. All drum systems had them built in the master cylinder. With the advent of disc/drum systems. the residual pressure valves were part of the combination valve which also served as a proportioning valve. Residual pressure valves prevent the brake cylinder/caliper from retracting to far.

If you don't use a combination valve with a disc/drum system, you should use residual pressure valves (10lb for drums, 2 lb for discs) plus a proportioning valve. All are readily available in the aftermarket.
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Last edited by paul274854 : 03-16-2011 at 09:45 PM.
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2011, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
Paul, thanks for your post, but rear cylinders need to be much smaller, because front calipers require hundreds of psi more than drum brakes.

When that kind of pressure is applied (usually from a power booster), the rear drum brakes lock up before the fronts can do their job.

The solution is a combination proportioning/metering valve which is installed on ALL disk/drum systems regardless of brand.

You have the right idea, but front brakes do about 80% of the braking. Even with drum/drum systems, the rear brake shoe area is always smaller and so are the piston diameters. We don't want the rear-end to lock up and swing around to the front.

Can you cite a company who offers disk brakes for my '55 without changing spindles? You mentioned, 'suppliers'. Who are they? - Dave
Hill's, CASCO, Larry's and all the rest offer the kits. As far as the rear cylinders go, they are probably bigger to provide better rear braking to equalize with the better braking of the discs and so you don't need a separate proportioning valve.. But I am not sure which way the new cylinders go so you could be correct.
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  #13  
Old 03-29-2011, 06:04 AM
Jimz Bird Jimz Bird is offline
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I've been following the disc brake discussion on the 58-60 area and have been curious as to how the Caliper adapters attach on the older spindles and what type of bracket the "kits" have.

It appears that the spindles are different and the kits (both that I posted earlier) use a circular bracket (plate) with four holes to attach the caliper "carrier plate" to the spindle.

Attached are some captures from the 56 Shop Manual.

While the kits are substantially more expensive than acquiring the parts and changing the spindles, I am inclined to do so on this series of Birds. This is particularly so if you plan on doing a substantial amount of driving and be exposed on the highways.

My concern of swapping out the spindles since they are so much different is that it may affect the steering geometry and perhaps even cause alignment issues. I, like Dave and the others, believe this is a critical safety upgrade along with the dual master cylinder.

What are some thoughts on this arrangement?

Thanks and HTH
Attached Images
File Type: png Front Shoe Brakes.png (253.5 KB, 54 views)
File Type: png Front Spindle.png (285.9 KB, 54 views)
File Type: png Front Spindle close.png (43.3 KB, 53 views)
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  #14  
Old 03-29-2011, 01:04 PM
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Jim, you raise some good points.
Granada (Versailles, Mustang) spindles are made to hold calipers. That's hard to beat.

Some companies have taken this a step further for the hot rodders. They offer spindles that drop the front end two inches for the Mustang guys.

While lowering isn't my goal, I find the OEM Granada spindles do lower the front by about 1/2". That, I can easily live with. In fact, it's very hard to notice on my '55.

It's important to remember that Ford never offered a disk brake setup prior to their Granada, and Ford only authorizes parts specifly made for the intended application.

That leaves us 'hanging out to dry' if we want disk brakes on earlier Fords. Ford has no desire to engineer a system for Little Birds or Squarebirds even though Mustang/Granada parts work beautifully and they are every bit as beefy as our original equipment. (Mustang 11" rotors-w/hubs use the exact same bearings as Squarebird drums.)

Now here comes the hot rodders, to satisfy our disk brake needs with their new brackets and kits (at a nice profit). You know, they adapt as many 'production' parts as possible to keep costs down and availability up. Most won't disclose the parts list until you buy their kit.

I use Granada spindles on the '55, and Scarebird brackets/S-10 calipers on the '59. Performance-wise, I can't tell the difference because they both work so much better than drums, it isn't even a contest. I will NEVER go back to front drum brakes.

The Granada geometry is so close to the original, I cannot tell any difference in driving. So, brackets use the original spindles. Granada-type spindles are forged to hold disk brake calipers but are slightly different in ride height. The choice is yours. - Dave
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  #15  
Old 03-29-2011, 01:24 PM
Joe Johnston Joe Johnston is offline
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I used the CASCO kit with new rear wheel cylinders and new master cylinder. Also used all new lines and hoses so everything was new to replace the original 1957 parts. Installation was straight forward with instructions and I would expect similar results with any of our great suppliers complete kits. Sorry the picture shows the completed conversion but I didn't take any others at the time. It also allows the use of my existing 14" wire wheels with no problems.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:59 PM
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Nice 4-piston setup, Joe.

I have some thoughts and questions. A major consideration in this job is the parts list. Let's face it, if you ever need a new bearing, rotor or brake pads, what do you buy, and where can you get it? I try to use 'readily available' parts found in any parts store.

Joe, have your rotor snouts been cut down to accommodate 'regular' Ford wheel centers? (I did this on my Granada rotors, but not my Mustang rotors. I believe I see tooling marks in your picture.)

What diameter rotors are yours? This is a consideration in stopping power, and it may be the reason for your 4-piston calipers. Most 14" wheels have a hard time fitting 11" rotors, unless you have wheels like Howard showed. Mustangs and other new vehicles use much larger diameter rotors with huge wheels.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:28 PM
Joe Johnston Joe Johnston is offline
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Good questions to things I didn't think of, but thought if there were any parts I needed, I'd just order them. I can take some pictures tomorrow and also some measurements. Have no idea what they used for rotors but there was a very little bit of grinding needed to retain the stock steering knuckle/spindle assembly.

There is plenty of clearance and perhaps I can get that in a picture too. One of the major reasons I went this way was to retain the 14" repo wire wheels. I have seen a couple of Granada conversions and with stock wheels they seem to set out and inch or so, but that could be easily fixed with different wheels. Not really noticable, unless you are following one in traffic.
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:57 PM
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Hope you can see the clearance between the rotor and rim. The rotors appear to be very close to 11" dia, the nose on the hub is 2 13/32" dia, and the center wheel opening is about
3 5/32" creating a gap between the hub and the center. The wheels are "stud centric" as they do not locate by the center hole onto the hub.







Sorry, my car is very dirty & dusty since I have been sanding on it all winter, but its ready for paint as soon as the weather warms up a bit.
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  #19  
Old 03-30-2011, 04:16 PM
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Nice pictures, Joe. I wish mine were that clean. Your last picture shows tons of clearance between the caliper and rim; way more than the S-10 setup, but I don't know if you have 11" rotors.

Hey, did you ever find out what the bearing numbers are for your rotors? What diameter rotors are they?

I know CASCO sells pads, but I doubt they make the calipers or the pads. They are probably production parts, but I wonder, who's.

I'm raising these questions because typically, when you need a bearing, you need it now. You could probably wait a few days for a rotor or pads, or your local auto parts store may have them on the shelf.

I would like to hear your opinion on how well your Squarebird stops with disk brakes vs the old drums. - Dave
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:23 AM
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Makes sense to know what sources are available for replacement parts not just pads.

Great pics. I tried to blow up the detail on the caliper to read the number on it but could not make it out. I thought maybe that would give us a hint as to manufacturer. Any parts guys recognize the caliper?

@ Dave - It appears that the 55-56 front spindles are the same on passenger and tbird. Is that so? That is encouraging since you did your 55 to be able to get the parts instead of the kit to save some money and know what replacement parts to get.

Are the Cragar SSs on your 59 14 or 15 in? They really look great on it. Do they fit on your 55 OK? I want to get Mable some pretties like that for dress-up nights. At least two for the front and perhaps rear also to run without skirts. Want to get either black walls or redlines. (Diamondback Radials???)
What offset is needed on the Cragars to fit on the discs or is it the same as on the drums?

I don't really care if they have really wide tires - 6.70/205-75-15 stock - but maybe just to 215 if there is enough room for those. It is only about .4 inch wider and .55/.6 taller.

I mentioned that I was concerned about geometry and front end alignment. Well, as fortune would have it - Bob in the Squarebird area showed an alignment tool that allows us to do our own. Looks like a couple of alignments would pay for it. Here are a couple of links on Amazon for it and its big brother for a few bucks more that is digital.

http://www.amazon.com/Longacre-Magne...1573109&sr=8-4

http://www.amazon.com/Longacre-Digit...1573109&sr=8-5

I have hit on several topics in this one thread but it seems that they all inter-relate.
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