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  #1  
Old 12-19-2013, 06:59 PM
shopteacher47 shopteacher47 is offline
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Default 1959 Thunderbird brakes

I am planning to change the current under dash booster with a new firewall mounted booster and dual master cylinder. I know clearing the steering is an issue. What distance from the firewall does the booster need to be and what do I need to plan for in doing this conversion? The air conditioning unit has been removed.

Last edited by shopteacher47 : 12-19-2013 at 10:00 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2013, 08:04 PM
arizonajack arizonajack is offline
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There's a bunch of brake discussions here:

http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...earchid=701174

I thought I'd seen the question covered already but I can't put my finger on it.

Happy hunting.
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2013, 09:00 PM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default 1959 Thunderbird brakes

There is no need to take out the Kelsey-Hayes unit from under the dash. Myself, and Howard Prout and others have done this front disc/dual master/two stage 8" booster under the hood job in the past and left our KH unit hooked up and operational.
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Last edited by YellowRose : 12-20-2013 at 01:28 AM.
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2013, 09:16 PM
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DKheld DKheld is offline
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Main question is does you car have A/C - that will make a big difference.

Usually the cars with the booster under the dash have A/C.
If your car has A/C the standard (original) Bendix booster that came on the cars will not work without an additional 1 3/4 extension. There was a dealer kit ( COSZ-2A251-A) that moved the Bendix booster out when A/C was added to standard cars having A/C added at the dealer. Also the standard Bendix booster has 4 bolts and won't accept a modern style master cyl without modification. You can have Power Brake Booster Exchange modify it to accept the newer style master cyl but that doesn't help you with the evaporator box clearance if you have A/C.

There is a modern replacement dual action booster available (much better than original) but I don't think they clear the evap. box either - Dave? -

I made my own booster extender and also extended the pedal rod (which is actually flat and not a rod) when I modified my non A/C car to include A/C.

You may have to replace the pedal bracket if you want to eliminate the under dash booster all together or come up with a creative pedal rod. Some have just left them in place and added the external booster.

You'll have to do some plumbing to extend the lines out to the new master cyl location. Probably some wiring also when you move the brake light switch.

That's just what I can think of "off the cuff" - probably will come up with a few other things.

Eric


my home made extension to clear the factory style A/C evaporator box that I was adding


this is actually a disc/drum master cyl


modified original booster


edit - I see Ray beat me to the answers to some of the questions - Thanks Ray!
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2013, 11:37 PM
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jopizz jopizz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shopteacher47 View Post
I am planning to change the current under dash booster with a new firewall mounted booster and dual master cylinder. I know clearing the steering is an issue. What distance from the firewall does the booster need to be and what do I need to plan for in doing this conversion? The air conditioning unit has been removed.
You mentioned changing out the booster and master cylinder but you didn't say whether you were going to change over to disc brakes. That's the main reason why most go to the booster/dual master cylinder set up. If you are staying with drum brakes you won't get any better performance going to the under hood booster. I've had many squarebirds with both systems and they both work just fine if all the other components have been changed. If you want to go to a dual master cylinder for safety you can do that without going to an underhood booster.

John
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2013, 01:21 AM
cuul59 cuul59 is offline
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Cool Brakes

I am planning on doing the same over the holidays. I purchased a complete dual master cylinder/power booster from a company here in Southern California. it should easily fit up to the firewall under the hood as this is similar to the set-up used for the 1960 T-Birds. Please let me know if you need any help, I can let you know how it goes. My email is CUUL59@GMAIL.com.
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2013, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKheld View Post
...There is a modern replacement dual action booster available (much better than original) but I don't think they clear the evap. box either - Dave?..
Yes Eric I hear you knocking, my friend. Yesterday, Old Irish Dave (Dave McCabe) called me with a couple concerns. He sold brake components to Tom but he forgot about the firewall bracket requirements for Squarebirds.
Squarebirds are different from all other Ford Cars as their master sits very low on the firewall, close to the steering linkage. For a manual M/C setup there is plenty of room. For power brake setups, in late '59-1960 Ford upgraded from the treadlevac system to the vacuum booster in the engine bay. The 'new' vacuum booster is 8" in diameter which will not fit without a special firewall bracket. Sorry for the bad quality pic but this is an original power brake setup from a 1960 Thunderbird. Notice a few things: The center of the brake pedal rod is far below the center of the booster rod (peeking through the top hole) and the booster sits out from the firewall quite a bit. This factory setup was for drum brake Squarebirds without A/C. A/C equipped cars used an additional spacer that extended the booster even farther from the firewall, but 8" diameter fits.

I have a low opinion of front drum brakes. When everyone else had them, drivers kept a safe distance, which was ok. Drum brakes are marginal at best and new drivers have no clue or respect for heavy cars without disk brakes. If you pack your family in your classic car and drive on Interstate highways, you need disk brakes. Everyone on this forum has said, they will never go back to driving their Squarebird on drum brakes. The difference in stopping is that profound.

We use a two-stage 8" booster for disk brakes because caliper cylinders need hundreds of psi more than shoe cylinders. The diameter is the same as the old booster, so it fits our Squarebirds:

In this example, Grant used the 'extra spacer for A/C equipped' T-birds. Marcelo did the same for his setup:

If you make your own firewall bracket, all the necessary space can be incorporated into one bracket.
Howard Prout designed and made his bracket. He has a 1959 with 430 engine and A/C. His bracket lifts the two-stage 8" booster five inches and brings it out from the firewall another five inches. It works beautifully.
BTW, we use a Corvette-style, 1" bore, dual reservoir master cylinder. Any time you split the front/rear hydraulic systems you need a proportional valve. They are sold as drum/drum or disk/drum. I like the GM-style because it has two mounting holes in the body.

NYsquarebird58 (Marcelo) lives in the Ossining, NY region of the 'rust belt'. Look carefully at his pictures: CLICK HERE
He used all brass fittings and IFF nuts, and rust-proof brake line called, CUNIFER. CU=copper, NI=nickel, FE=iron. I use it on my cars as well. It's much easier to 'double-flare' than steel and lasts forever. - Dave
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2013, 04:10 PM
Astrowing Astrowing is offline
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Default AC equipped bracket

Does OID have any of the original brackets or spacers? I'm still in holding on my conversion
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  #9  
Old 12-24-2013, 03:47 PM
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Old Irish Dave never did sell brackets or spacers for Squarebirds. We get these components from Dave; master cylinders, two-stage boosters (with short clevis pins) and combination proportioning valves. He also has all the adapter fittings in brass (like for your Brake Light Switch).

The problem we have faced from the beginning is, only one vendor that I know of, sells a correct firewall bracket but he wants way too much money for it. We tried buying just the bracket but he wanted a minimum quantity of ten at a sky-high price.

1960 Squarebirds that came with (under hood) Power Brakes are very fortunate because that bracket can be used (with an additional spacer) on a modern two-stage 8" booster. All the hardware from the brake pedal to the bracket stays stock.

I believe all the old boosters are sorely inadequate for modern disk brakes and they must be removed. Even if you think the old treadlevac helps, in reality it takes more pedal pressure to operate than the boost it outputs. Howard Prout originally kept his in place, along with his new booster. Later, he removed his treadlevac and couldn't tell any difference in brake performance.

Many folks have used Howard Prout's plans to fabricate their own firewall bracket and brake pedal rod from 1/8" mild steel stock. Howard and Ray Clark are using this setup on their A/C equipped Squarebirds. Ray's is a 352 and Howard's is a 430 cu in. It needs no additional spacers, bolts right in and works well by raising the booster 5" and away from the firewall 5". This clears the steering/shifting mechanisms, the A/C plenum and the 430's air cleaner snorkel.

It seems some sellers advertise their system as something that works on Squarebirds but in fact, they don't. Be careful and ask lots of questions before laying cash down. - Dave
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  #10  
Old 12-24-2013, 07:27 PM
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Howard Prout Howard Prout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
I believe all the old boosters are sorely inadequate for modern disk brakes and they must be removed. Even if you think the old treadlevac helps, in reality it takes more pedal pressure to operate than the boost it outputs. Howard Prout originally kept his in place, along with his new booster. Later, he removed his treadlevac and couldn't tell any difference in brake performance.
Sorry Dave, I think you misunderstood what I did. I tested the braking with the vacuum to the KH unit disconnected and then connected and couldn't tell the difference so I left it in place and connected. Ray's setup is connected the same as mine.
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