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1959 disc brake conversion

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  • 1959 disc brake conversion

    I have been following this forum for some time and have had some great info from the members, thank you.
    I do have a concern about conflicting entries on disc brake conversions. Does anyone have a list of parts that WILL work on my 1959 430 ht. I have been told that 77 to 79 T Bird front brakes and spindles will fit my car, does anyone know if this is correct?
    Any help or recommendations would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    1959 disc brake conversion

    Hi Ben,

    Howard Prout and I used the same parts for our conversion. Yellow Rose is a 352 '59 Tbird, and Howard has a 1959 430MEL Tbird Convertible. The parts used by both of us were the same. Same booster, same MC, both chromed, same everything. Look through those threads and you should find the list of parts we used. Because we both had 14" rims on our Tbirds, and did not want to go to 15" rims (we both had new tires on our car) we had to find 14" disc brake ready rims. I found mine off a disc brake ready Granada. If you still have OEM 14" rims on that Tbird, you are gonna have to go to a Pick-N-Pull or auto salvage yard and find a set of 5 rims..

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

    https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

    Comment


    • #3
      Ray and Howard kept their OEM spindles, but removed the original shoes and backplate. Then they installed Scarebird brackets that hold S-10 calipers and pads. The same Scarebird brackets fit the full-size '59 Ford (Edsel, etc.) because the spindles share the same part numbers.

      I suggest you stick with your original spindles because the geometry is correct and you won't need to separate any suspension or steering parts. If your alignment is good, adding these Scarebird brackets won't change that at all.

      I know Granada spindles fit Squarebirds but they are slightly different. There are probably other Ford disk brake spindles that fit. But Ben, unless you get them cheap (or free), why change your spindles? - Dave
      My latest project:
      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
      --Lee Iacocca

      From: Royal Oak, Michigan

      Comment


      • #4
        NO !

        Been there done that. You can not align the front end with '77 Tbird spindles - way too much positive camber. Look at the picture below to see how much further outward the top of the spindle is compared to the stock and Granada spindles. No idea on other year spindles. The '77 Tbird spindles work on the full size Fords like Galaxie. The person who sold me my '77 Tbird spindles "said" they would work on the Tbird since it was a full size car. Had trouble with my alignment and emailed him for alignment specs and pictures of completed cars. Never heard from him again.

        Granada spindles work - it's what on my car but the cost of multiple alignments to get it right, and extra machining to get them to fit the ball joints make the scarebird brackets on the original spindles the perfect solution. (IMHO).



        Original spindle on the drivers side - note tire position at top


        '77 Tbird spindle on the passenger side. Big difference.


        Granada conversion



        Eric

        Comment


        • #5
          There you go, it's hard to beat first-hand experience.

          Save yourself a of time, money, and aggravation; listen to Dkheld and take full advantage of his advice based on his valuable experience.
          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
          --Lee Iacocca

          From: Royal Oak, Michigan

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you

            Thank you for your feed back, I will get in touch with Scarebird and order the parts I require, and you suggest.
            Hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas. Ben.

            Comment


            • #7
              Allow me to post this explanation of Intermediate Spindles (actually the same spindle was used on full size and intermediates).

              This was from another forum post years ago, author unknown-

              This swap situation with some guys being able to align the front ends and then other people having camber problems just bugged me to death trying to figure out what was wrong. Same part number on the donor spindles, basically the same cars, same taper. Could it be sloppy workmanship at the Factory? But I don't think that was a major maybe just a minor contributing factor. BUT ALAST! I have found the problem! This will save you hours of grief and money! When you get your set of spindles I will tell you what to look for and the spindles to avoid so you WILL be able to align your car!
              Quote:

              In my shop yesterday as I was working on 4 sets of disc brake conversion spindles I noticed that the upper reamed ball joint hole was NOT in the same place as some of the other spindles. Some of the holes were closer to the disc side and some closer to engine side as much as .100 almost one 1/8 on just the four I had. This may be a large factor as to why some people have success and others having problems with their swap. I would suggest when looking for spindles that you inspect them prior to purchase and look for the spindles that have the hole drilled closer to the spindle end, this way when it comes to adjustment you won't have your wheels pointing out at the top.

              This is the measurement from the 90 degree machined surface of the spindle directly behind the splash shield with the splash shield removed. Measurements were taken from only 3 spindles from the machined flat to the closest point of the tapered ball joint hole.

              First spindle measured 3 3/4

              Second spindle measured 3 11/16

              Third spindle measured 3 7/8

              You guys & gals need to look for spindles that have the least distance from the machined flat to spindle hole


              These are spindles swiped from 74-79 Ford Intermediates, T-BIRD, LTD, COUGAR. Remember as per past posting, spindles have same part numbers according to Hollander Guide and will interchange. I just think that the mfg process might have been a little sloppy or tolerances were not that critical because of more adjustment with the mid 70's Fords.

              The spindle(s) carry the same SERVICE PN (also same Casting I.D. No.) so machining allowances must explain the differences. But this is why the swap works on one vehicle and not another same vehicle.

              Just for reference.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think that 'machining tolerances' is plausible. There are even more 'stacks' of tolerances to consider (both ball joint & bushing hole locations in sheet metal), but that is why Ford used shims; to compensate for all the alignment variations. "A-arm" sheet metal stampings are never the exact same dimensions, but close enough. I'm not sure if one machine bored all RH or LH spindle holes, either. I do know the parts were quality checked against a gauge every hour by QC Inspectors.

                If these spindles had the same Ford part number, they should be identical (and within much tighter spec's than .125").

                But I do go along with the theory because I have seen engine timing with terrible keyway tolerances. By the time the crank key, crank sprocket key, cam sprocket and cam are engaged, the tolerance stack can be far off. In fact so far off, Romeo engines aren't keyed at the cams. They set the crank, align the cams, and tighten the cam sprocket bolts. Spark timing comes directly off the crank, so no slop there, either. - Dave
                My latest project:
                CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                --Lee Iacocca

                From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by YellowRose View Post
                  Hi Ben,

                  Because we both had 14" rims on our Tbirds, and did not want to go to 15" rims (we both had new tires on our car) we had to find 14" disc brake ready rims. I found mine off a disc brake ready Granada. If you still have OEM 14" rims on that Tbird, you are gonna have to go to a Pick-N-Pull or auto salvage yard and find a set of 5 rims..

                  What about 1973 Mustang 14" Rims? Will they work with disc brake kits that need 15?

                  Thank you.
                  Lake cruisers

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sunnybob View Post

                    What about 1973 Mustang 14" Rims? Will they work with disc brake kits that need 15?

                    Thank you.
                    Allow me to add just a little more confusion to this subject...

                    This is what is important regarding wheel upgrades-

                    Period disc wheels were redesigned to allow for caliper clearance(s). Wheel size (DIA) will depend on rotor size (say 11" as compared to 12" and caliper housing size). An 11" rotor will generally accept a 15" wheel while anything above (12" & 13") will require a the least a 15" wheel or possibly larger). All depends on the type of disc brake system chosen.

                    I realize GM changeover kits are popular here (and I won't open that can of worms) but the kit vendor should give the size of wheel needed. If a 4 PISTON KH system is used (from a later BIRD), it will require 15" wheels unless the MUST system is used (smaller rotors/calipers) and then will accept 14" DISC WHEELS. If the later FORD INTERMEDIATE route is taken, the 11" rotor will allow for 14" wheels while the 12" upgrade will require 15" wheels.

                    Rotor snout size must be taken into consideration (73/ ) as they will either have to use later wheels or be machined down to accept earlier wheels (GRANADA swap comes into play here).

                    Use of later wheels is also desirable as they are strengthened and allow the use of radial tires.

                    Comment

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