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  #1  
Old 06-26-2008, 10:03 PM
andy2175m4 andy2175m4 is offline
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Default are disc brake conversions worth it ?

This is a thread for discussion not for a specific answer: I have a 63 hard top, stock, 155k miles, mostly original, and the stock brakes seemed marginal at best.

I looked at the drums, slave cylinders, and shoes, all was well. I looked at the master cylinder and brake booster, and both were a bit tired.

I found the brakes were acting like typical drum brakes...worked but did not inspire confidence, did not feel good drive the car fast.

I had seriously considered the disc brake conversion, but when all said and done it would require at least $1500, for all the brake parts and five replacement 15" rims and tires.

Preferring the cheap route initially, I removed the master and booster, rebuilt the master personally with a hone and a parts kit, and sent out the booster for a commercial rebuild.

Put it all back together and found the brakes were 100% better...no disc conversion required.

Am I hallucinating ? Or are the factory drum brakes under-rated due to a chronic lack of understanding of how to make them work well by the T-Bird driving community ?

I think back to my Honda motorcycle riding days, I rode many bikes with drum and some with disc brakes, and usually the difference was negligible...

The basic friction device is there (the drum and shoe) you have to do some work to get it to function well.

Some drum brakes just really suck from the get-go. My dad's 72 nova had 4 wheel drums that utterly sucked. Worst car ever made. Could not be rehabilitated not matter what.
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  #2  
Old 06-27-2008, 08:04 PM
byersmtrco's Avatar
byersmtrco byersmtrco is offline
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Absolutely !! The difference in my 60 is UN BEE LEEV-ABLE !!
__________________
John Byers
1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
Pic of car with my son Justin (15 Y/O 6'1")
Poss 3rd Gen T/B owner
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  #3  
Old 07-15-2008, 12:25 AM
sweetwillyp sweetwillyp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy2175m4 View Post
This is a thread for discussion not for a specific answer: I have a 63 hard top, stock, 155k miles, mostly original, and the stock brakes seemed marginal at best.

I looked at the drums, slave cylinders, and shoes, all was well. I looked at the master cylinder and brake booster, and both were a bit tired.

I found the brakes were acting like typical drum brakes...worked but did not inspire confidence, did not feel good drive the car fast.

I had seriously considered the disc brake conversion, but when all said and done it would require at least $1500, for all the brake parts and five replacement 15" rims and tires.

Preferring the cheap route initially, I removed the master and booster, rebuilt the master personally with a hone and a parts kit, and sent out the booster for a commercial rebuild.

Put it all back together and found the brakes were 100% better...no disc conversion required.

Am I hallucinating ? Or are the factory drum brakes under-rated due to a chronic lack of understanding of how to make them work well by the T-Bird driving community ?

I think back to my Honda motorcycle riding days, I rode many bikes with drum and some with disc brakes, and usually the difference was negligible...

The basic friction device is there (the drum and shoe) you have to do some work to get it to function well.

Some drum brakes just really suck from the get-go. My dad's 72 nova had 4 wheel drums that utterly sucked. Worst car ever made. Could not be rehabilitated not matter what.

I did a 65 front disc swap it cost me approx $450 and thats buying new lines and wheel cylinders and brakes for the rear. Best of all I cannot believe how well it stops. I had to do 2 panic stops and it felt like I was gonna get thrown into the windshield.
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  #4  
Old 07-16-2008, 05:58 PM
Hawkrod Hawkrod is offline
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I am with these guys, I did a 4 wheel disc conversion on my 62 as well as added some sway bars, traction bars, 3.50 traction lock and 31 spline axles and it is a totally different car! This one starts and stops! LOL Hawkrod
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  #5  
Old 07-16-2008, 06:03 PM
Petrolhead Petrolhead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkrod View Post
I am with these guys, I did a 4 wheel disc conversion on my 62 Hawkrod
Hawkrod, sorry, this may have ben covered elsewhere but what kit did you use on your '62? I've been thinking about disk braking my '62 and there's not a lot available down here in NZ. Thanks Alistair
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  #6  
Old 07-16-2008, 08:05 PM
Hawkrod Hawkrod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrolhead View Post
Hawkrod, sorry, this may have ben covered elsewhere but what kit did you use on your '62? I've been thinking about disk braking my '62 and there's not a lot available down here in NZ. Thanks Alistair
You gotta be kidding right? Your killing me here! LOL Kits are for sissies and pansy a$$e$! I did mine the manly way, nothing but used junkyard gold! Front spindles and brakes from a 65/66, rear brakes from a Lincoln Mark VII and I made my own brackets. Master cylinder is a 70 F100 for drum brakes with the residual pressure valves removed and I used a 66 shock tower to firewall brace and mated it to my 62 shock tower by cutting out the center and drilling the new mounting bolt pattern into it and using the old shock mount and cutting off the tab for the brace. The old mount is put on top of the 66 mount on the shock tower and the 66 arm gives plenty of room for the new dual chamber M/C. I also used the stock brake lines (I live in the desert, rust is not an issue) as well as the stock brake booster (which you just need to adjust the pushrod for the 1970 truck spec). It was easy and cheap. I did have to buy hoses and a couple of brake line fittings to split the existing system and I used a T to retain the stock brake light switch. Hawkrod







eBay gold, I have never seen another set, these were made for Tbirds!:








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  #7  
Old 07-16-2008, 08:42 PM
Petrolhead Petrolhead is offline
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[quote=Hawkrod;23443]You gotta be kidding right? Your killing me here! LOL Kits are for sissies and pansy a$$e$!

Nice job Hawkrod, or should that be McGyver?

Sadly we don't have wrecking yards full of Lincolns and F100s, or 65/66 Tbirds for that matter, more like old Nissans and Toyotas and rubbish like that.

the cost of sourcing parts ex USA and shipping them 'down under' would be prohibitive.Mind you, you've got me thinking, there might be some Aussie Falcon stuff that could work.

Really like those traction bars, even the packaging's way cool.

I've bagged the rear of mine and the chassis shop fabricated forward control arms, which helps locate the rear axle and controls rear spring wrap-up

Cheers

Alistair
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  #8  
Old 07-30-2008, 10:32 PM
andy2175m4 andy2175m4 is offline
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Rear spring wrap up ?? How heavy is your right foot ?
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