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  #21  
Old 09-01-2009, 11:33 AM
RustyNCa RustyNCa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
hi Jim

thanks! That helps! But... what specific wheels would I need?? Is there an identifying number or anything else?? Is this a salvage yard search or can you buy new equivalents?

any specific information that ended up with me finding the right wheels on the first try I consider invaluable...

John
Go to a good local wheel shop that deals with Wheel Vintiques and have them help you get a set of bare rims for you. That is what I did with my 65 Special. I ordered a set of custom offset rims and they still only ran just over 100 a rim. But the real reason I went that route is I wanted to run bigger tires than stock and needed the wider rim width.

I ended up running 15x7 rims up front and 15x8 in the rear with 245's up front and 255's in the rear.

http://www.wheelvintiques.com/

I test fit them on my 58 once. Here is one cell phone photo of them on my 58 and a link to more if you're interested(They aren't very good photos ).



http://s103.photobucket.com/albums/m...8TBird/WWalls/
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  #22  
Old 09-01-2009, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKheld View Post
...Bench bleeding is just a phrase anyway for pre bleeding the master cyl. - it doesn't really need to be done on the bench...
Many sites beg to differ. If you could do this on the car in every case, 'bench bleeding' wouldn't exist. The closest you can come is to set the car so the master cylinder is level, then start wasting brake fluid for a minimum of 20 pumps until the air finally stops. Anyone who has actually done this will agree. Some M/C's won't put anything out until they are primed, regardless of how much is in the reservoir.

Google, 'bench bleeding' and see what everyone recommends:

Bench Bleeding of a master cylinder saves a lot of time and problems

Bench Bleeding the Master Cylinder
"...It's almost impossible to completely "prime" the master cylinder in the car, and any trace of air left in it will produce unusual and unexpected problems with your braking system..."

PART 3 - "Bench-bleeding" the Master Cylinder

How To Bench Bleed A Master Cylinder
"...If the cylinder isn't level, not all the air will be able to be removed from the master cylinder..."

Vintage Triumph Register - VTR
"...Pump the cylinder until the tubing contains no more air bubbles and no new ones emerge from the MC on the down stroke. On my MC this took about 15 strokes some may require more, some less. Keep going until the air stops as this will make the task of bleeding the brakes in the car much simpler..."

This operation is NOT just a term. There is no point in wasting brake fluid by trying this on a car. As the VW guy said, "The school of hard knocks is alive and well!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by DKheld View Post
...Kanter front bushing kit fit right - wasn't the cheapest but it was right.
Who offers better prices for a bushing kit? I still have to do my '59 Galaxie, and havn't found anyone cheaper, yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DKheld View Post
...there are no complete kits - don't expect to do a good conversion in an afternoon or even one weekend.
There are LOTS of complete kits, now. I think two members mentioned this site:

Complete Performance Disc Brake Conversion and Upgrade Kits
But we don't just sell calipers - we sell complete front and rear performance disc brake kits.


When you have all the parts needed, one Saturday afternoon should be plenty of time to do a brake conversion.

Most guys, however, do more than just the brakes. When I did my '55, I changed coil springs, bushings, bumpers, shocks, ball joints, sway bars, and did the brake conversion. (Some T-bird guys work on their power steering leaks, during that time.) The job took me two afternoons to do because of extensive cleanup and paint. I still had it done in one weekend, right in my driveway.

The key is, have all your parts and proper tools available.
- Dave
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  #23  
Old 09-01-2009, 06:14 PM
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I look at it as your either your pushing the cyl in with the factory push rod and drawing fluid from the reservoir when the master cyl is in the car or your pushing the cyl in with somethig you make up or buy for the bench - same thing - the cyl gets pushed in and the master cyl is filled with fluid - think about it.

I said "You COULD actually do the "bench" bleeding with the m/c installed in the car and the brake line rerouted to the reservoir" Ok - so that's assuming the ground that the car is on is as flat as the bench that the master cyl is on when bled. I'm sure there are exceptions to not being able to do this with the master cyl in the car but this is a Tbird forum and I thought we were talking about a Tbird brake master cyl.

Actually if you want to be sure you get all the air out of the master cyl when "bench bleeding" you should NEVER reroute the bleed line back to the reservoir. You would have air and factory build particles in the cyl that would be rerouted back into the reservoir. Using that method you would never get all the air out of the master cyl and the factory particles would be returned to the reservoir thus shortening the life of the seals. You should have a seperate container and a check valve if your master cyl does not have one to do a proper "bench bleed".

"Who offers better prices for a bushing kit? I still have to do my '59 Galaxie, and havn't found anyone cheaper, yet."

This is for a Tbird not Galaxie. If you only need the bushings NAPA (no shipping charge) and O'Riley can get them through Rare Parts (no shipping charge). JC Whitney - this was 5 or 6 years ago so the prices may have changed.

"There are LOTS of complete kits, now. I think two members mentioned this site:"

I stand by my statement that there are no complete power brake kits for the Tbird but I will calrify that it is a non a/c 352 1960 Tbird. Sure I guess you could order a non power kit from Stainless and add a remote power booster but it's not listed as a kit plus you have to toss your factory sway bar and figure out how to add the booster to the non power kit.

From the SS Brake web site:

Thunderbird
58-60 A152 4-piston; drum to disc; *****non-power****; bolts to 14”x7”stock spindles; stock wheels will not clear;
will not fit cars with factory sway bar

Thunderbird
58-60 A152-1 Drum to disc; 11.25” rotors; ****non-power****; bolts to 14”x7”stock spindles; stock wheels will not clear;will not fit cars with factory sway bar

I'll calrify my statement that there are no complete power brake kits for the non a/c 1960 352 Tbird. It can be done with many parts from different sources. You will have a fabrication issue again to get parts to work with different suppliers. My goal on my car was to have it as original as possible and not drill extra holes in the firewall to accomodate an aftermarket booster assembly.

On that Galaxie - the pics shown are incomplete. The easy part of spindle replacement was shown but the flex lines were open. What happened with the master cyl? Brake lights? New hard lines? Proportioning valve? All part of the conversion in my opinion - I thought you got it all done in one afternoon?

Master Power Brakes makes a booster and bracket for the galaxie and probably other sources. I'd really appreciate a link to a site that has a bolt in Tbird booster bracket like the galaxie that doesn't require drilling extra holes in your firewall. (BTW the galaxie bracket from Master Power will fit the Tbird but you have to buy their smaller 7 " booster) It sticks way out in the engine compartment - I know because I had it on my car as a test fit for the nice folks at Master Power who were interested in seeing if parts they had would combine to make a kit they could sell. They are close by and we worked together on my car to try different in stock parts. Didn't work out - also the galaxie bracket or the Tbird firewall has to have 2 new holes drilled, custom pedal bracket, etc with the galaxie bracket in the Tbird.

"When you have all the parts needed, one Saturday afternoon should be plenty of time to do a brake conversion."

And that's my point exactly - all the parts for a power brake conversion on a non a/c 352 Tbird are not available as a kit. If I had my modified booster in hand, Granada spindles machined or Scarebird bracket, combo valve, block to adapt the brakelight switch, lines, bushings, etc - it would be close and that's only because I have done it so I know what is involved. Oh and that's if the machine shop would drop everything when I walked in the door with my A-arms and pressed my bushings in for me - no way - get in line - they will be ready next thursday. So it might be possible without doing the bushings or ball joints. (remember the original ball joints are riveted on the Tbird A-arm and will need to be drilled or ground out - more time)

So Dave - not trying to offend you or make you mad just as info - all this talk about how easy it would be to convert a Tbird to disc brakes have you ever converted a non a/c 352 Tbird to disc brakes?
BTW - I'm driving mine that I converted to power disc brakes.
http://www.dropshots.com/DKHeld#albums/Tbird%20discs

Eric
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Last edited by DKheld : 09-01-2009 at 09:37 PM.
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  #24  
Old 09-01-2009, 07:08 PM
protourbird protourbird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byersmtrco View Post
Which sway bar(s) are you running? You have SSBC brks too?

I'd love to see pics of that AOD !!!
I am REALLY curious how this is going to turn out.
I am using the stock sway bar with the SSBC brakes. When I get the car back I'll post pictures of the sway bar and the AOD. I'm out of town at this time but I believe the tech working on the car was going to bolt the sway bar under the A arm instead of on top of it.
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  #25  
Old 09-01-2009, 09:31 PM
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Checked my wheels this evening. They have the FORD script in the center area near the bolt holes with the numbers 43M below the script. There is a 22 on another lobe of the center and a 3 next to the valve stem. If you know someone that can tranlate those numbers to a particular car I guess you would know what wheels fit the Granada conversion - I was told they were off a mid 70's LTD.

The original wheels looked as if they would clear the calipers on my conversion but the problem was the center hole was too small for the Granada disc rotor hub end to pass through the center of the orignal wheel.

I'm running 215 75 14 Daimond Backs on those wheels - no rubbing problems.

I cross refrenced the Granada rotor with the rotor required for the scarebird disc conversion and they are different part numbers so not sure these wheels would fit the scarebird conversion. (More info for your files)

Eric
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  #26  
Old 09-01-2009, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKheld View Post
...So Dave - not trying to offend you or make you mad just as info - all this talk about how easy it would be to convert a Tbird to disc brakes have you ever converted a non a/c 352 Tbird to disc brakes?
BTW - I'm driving mine that I converted to power disc brakes...
No offense taken! On the contrary, I love a good discussion regarding our labors of love. If I had a '60 T-bird FE, I would do the exact same as I did with my Galaxie.

I drilled no new holes in my firewall. My power booster was made here in the USA, and it bolted right onto my brake pedal support because it was made for it. The power booster is a two-stage 7” (8” fits too) that neatly sits right next to my new electric windshield wiper motor.

Check out my newest project, and you will see that I've been driving on my brake conversion for many weeks.

The reason for the MBM booster is because 292 (& 312) Y-Block engines use exhaust manifolds that are raised high and are called, ‘ram’s horn’. Single stage boosters have a problem with clearance, these don’t. Early T-birds used the 292 and 312 cu in. engines. In fact, Ford Cars and Thunderbirds share many parts (like the same ‘A’ arm bushings). Trucks use common parts too. Alexander recognized the commonality with Ford Cars and T-birds on this Squarebirds site. That’s why there is a Full Sized Ford category.

When I took those brake pictures, I hadn’t plumbed the whole car, but I did later that day. In fact, I drove with the new disk brakes and power booster in the Woodward Dream Cruise (Aug. 15, 2009). Four of us were all over Woodward that whole week prior to 'Cruise Saturday'.

Right now, I am changing engines to another newly overhauled 292 and adding power rack and pinion steering.

BTW, my '55 Customline with Granada spindles uses the same 1985 Mustang 11" rotors as the '59's Scarebird setup. You may find many different numbers for the same rotors. I bought mine at Murray's Discount Auto Parts for $12.95/ea, just before O'Riley's took over.

Both brake conversions were easy to install and I would do another in a heartbeat because they work so well. Sorry you had so much problems with yours. - Dave Dare
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"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
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  #27  
Old 09-02-2009, 03:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKheld View Post
...The original wheels looked as if they would clear the calipers on my conversion but the problem was the center hole was too small for the Granada disc rotor hub end to pass through the center of the orignal wheel...
When you do the Granada/Mustang/Versailes/Torino conversion, you're supposed to machine the rotor snout to match your original hub dimensions.

I converted my '55 and had the rotor snouts turned. The original wheels fit just fine, but they are factory 15" wheels. Fairlane's came with 16".

When you did your conversion, who did the work?
Is this your proportioning valve?

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CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

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  #28  
Old 09-02-2009, 01:12 PM
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Dave - thanks for the info - wish I had found someone as knowledgeable as you on the conversion when I did mine 5 or 6 years ago. I had lots of information from different sources but was mainly going by the Squarebirds info that noted "It is an easy swap". What they don't tell you is that the master cyl recommended hangs off 2 of the 4 studs on the original booster and looks like it might last 3 stops. So although I had all the parts recommended - common sense told me to revise the design (i.e. – my lawyer is good but not that good).

I've since learned all you need to ask is “ Have you actually done a conversion”. The guy that sold me my first spindles (which turned out to be 77 Tbird not Granada) had lots of advice and said he converted “a few” but never sent any pics ( that should have been the tip off). When I took the car to be aligned and the shop said there was no way - I emailed and asked for the alignment specs or any other owners of a conversion that he had done to find out how they had their cars aligned - never heard from the guy again and he never would reply to any emails. He had my money - that's all he cared about. The 77 Tbird spindles were inches out at the top even with all the shims removed the 77 Tbird/Torino spindles don’t work on the Squarebirds although I’ve been told they work on the Galaxie – maybe there is more upper A-arm adjustment?

Checked MBM's webiste and they do not list anything for the Tbird or give their hole spacing for the booster mounting brackets. Maybe one of their universal boosters would fit but that's where I was 5 or 6 years ago – maybe it will fit. Guess I would just have to send my bolt spacing to MBM and see what they could do. For me that problem was all solved when I found the original booster could be modified to accept a modern disc/drum master. This solved quite a few problems. The Tbird has close tolerances between the brake pedal and bracket – thus it uses a flat pedal rod and special offset bolt with a plastic washer. Not sure an adjustable universal round pedal rod would work on the Tbird because of the clearances – how do the Galaxies connect at the pedal and what did you use? Only thing I see close on the MBM website is the Ford truck bracket (Part # -- FT5772BPR). I like the pedal height of the original system and wanted to stay with that height - not something up around chin level so the original booster mod solved that too – pedal height is original since the bracket is original. Which reminds me - another problem on the Tbird is that the pedal bracket is special in that it raises the booster/master cyl assembly up about 4 inches from the pedal rod hole in the firewall. Using an off the shelf standard bracket may not work because it would put the master cyl very close to if not hitting the manifold. Any replacement would need to raise the system up like original ( you can get an idea of the height rise in that pic).


First I’ve heard of machining the rotor hubs but I can see that would work. The hubs already look small enough for the Tbird’s weight so I personally wouldn’t go that direction. I did have someone suggest using a cutting torch on the original wheels (oh yea – I had lots of great suggestions). I think the LTD wheels I bought cost $100 for all four. Now I’m good to go even if I need new rotors in the future – no machining the new rotors at an additional cost - just standard off the shelf Granada rotors.


I did all the work on my conversion except pressing the bushings in the A-arms and machining the lower ball joint hole on the Granada spindle. That is my proportioning valve (actually a combo valve with the built in residual pressure valve for the rear drums and a shuttle valve for failure). It sure doesn’t look great but it works. I started out with the standard kit bracket to mount the valve next to the master cyl. Turns out the booster stud is only long enough for the master cyl and not the prop valve mounting bracket. I moved it here because there is a pre threaded frame hole I used to install a mounting stud – again not drilling any new holes on the fender well which would have made a cleaner install. Some of the lines I just re-bent (obviously) to mount it here.
How does the Galaxie brake light switch work? Hydraulic or mechanical switch off the pedal? Just wondering how you installed yours. You can’t see it in this picture but the original Tbird brake light switch and junction block is just forward of my prop. valve (extended the wires). There are separate lines for the front and back systems out of the master cy to the prop. valve. I have 2 separate new hard lines to each front wheel from the prop valve mounted to the old line mounts on either side of the frame and of course I put a new flex hose to each front caliper. I also replaced the rear flex hose. Quite a bit different than the old single line out of the master cyl.

Eric
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  #29  
Old 09-02-2009, 04:58 PM
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Those of you that stayed with 14" wheels... the following link goes to an auction for Mustang 14" wheels.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1965-...Q5fAccessories

Would these do the job in the following areas:

a) work with standard 14" tires for TBirds

b) accept TBird hubcaps

c) attach to and clear whatever disk brake kit you are using (please specify) ??

Any other relevant comments appreciated.

Both Ray and I wish to do this at some point and probably represent one extreme in that we wish to keep our current 14" tires and Ford hubcaps (I realize going to 15" or bigger wheels makes things simpler)

thanks!

For any of you relatively new to the Squarebirds site, there was considerable discussion along these lines last year which may be found at

http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...light=spindles

John
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  #30  
Old 09-02-2009, 08:17 PM
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John,
I'm only going to give information that I am sure of. I had many people telling me this and that would work when I was doing my conversion and I wasted a LOT of money following bad advice.

If you get any information on a conversion I would ask for pictures and find out if the advisor had actually completed a Thunderbird conversion (which should include a professional alignment). I have already learned a few bits of informaton from Dave here on the Squarebirds forum that would have helped me with the Tbird conversion but Dave had converted other Ford products so those conversions may be of help too.

My conversion was done to keep the car as stock looking as possible and so that the car could be returned to stock if I ever wanted. Here is what I know for a 352 non a/c car with the under hood booster:

--- 77 Thunderbird spindles did not work on my car.

--- The Galaxie conversion bracket from Master Power Brakes will work but new holes in the firewall will have to be drilled and the booster has to be changed from the standard Galaxie to the small 7" dual action. The pedal rod will need to be fabricated - it was still a work in progress on my car until scrapped the Galaxie bracket and found this information:

--- The stock booster conversion from Booster Dewy @ Power Brake Booster Exchange works perfectly - all your pedal brackets, pedal height, mounts, etc remain stock and mine came with the master cyl pushrod for the new master cyl (503) 238-8882 Oregon.

--- The master cyl for a 75-77 Lincoln Mark V fits the modified booster and is a disc drum master cyl.

--- A combination valve from Master Power Brakes works with the master cyl. Part #: VL3360K.

--- The Granada spindles fit the stock Tbird ball joints and tie rods however the bottom hole on the spindle needs to be machined to a larger size (Fat Man Fabrication Charlotte NC did mine (704) 545-0369). The Granada spindles slightly lower the front of the Tbird but you would not know just by looking - I don't have a stock car to compare so I can't give you the exact number that it is lowered.

--- There is a scraping problem with the Granada spindles. The backing plate rubs the rotor in a hard turn because it is pressed aginst the A-arm and pushed into the rotor. Havent had any problems other than the scraping noise and it may be something that could be eliminated by grinding off the edges of the A-arm. I have not had time to explore that option.

--- The stock Granada flex line when installed is not long enough to make a full turn without almost pulling loose from the caliper. I used a set of lines that accept a banjo bolt but the Granada caliper had to be ground around the hose mounting hole to make the lines fit. The banjo bolt was a special order. I've lost the info on the lines over the last 5 years but they came from Master Power Brakes in Mooresville NC. The banjo bolts came from some speed shop in Calif. - don't have that info either.

--- The original brake light switch was used in the original distribution block on the frame extending the wiring down to the switch and blocking off the unused ports on the block. New seperate lines were installed to each front wheel from the new proportioning valve.

--- 14" Ford wheels with the numbers 43M below the script ,a 22 on another lobe of the center and a 3 next to the valve stem work. I used the same Diamond Back Tires that I had on my original wheels. The stock hubcaps from my original wheels work perfectly on these wheels.

--- The alignment took about three times for the shop the get the original feel back but it drives very easily with no problems.

Eric

pic of my car after the conversion
http://media3.dropshots.com/photos/2...828/075306.jpg

Last edited by DKheld : 09-02-2009 at 08:38 PM. Reason: added pic
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