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  • Disc Conversion Kit

    Hello everyone,
    Today I discovered two leaky front wheel cylinders and after many years of wanting to do a brake conversion this episode is pushing be closer!

    I have a 1959 convertible with A/C and a Kelsey Hayes under the dash mounted booster. I also have 14 inch Kelsey Hayes spoke wheels the original stabilizer bar. (I would not mind changing the stabilizer bar during this conversion to stop some of the body roll. In the distant future I would also like larger wheels and tires without tubes)

    I am looking for help deciding on a complete disc conversion kit to install either a two or four wheel disc brakes.

    Does the A/C unit/valve covers interfere with the boosters? When I call some “kit companies,” some of them are not sure and some of simply say “no”….some offer brake light switch, e-brake cables (4 disc). Basically, a purchaser (like me) can’t get straight answers or compare apples to apples.

    http://www.thunderbirdbrakeparts.com...FUJqMgodRXMAhw

    So far this company seems to be the most informed and the sell the most complete kit. The operator did say that the booster in the picture is not the one for a 59.

    Any help/feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Here's a great thread that details Ray Clark's disc brake conversion. He has A/C and will let you know exactly what you need to do the conversion. The TRL also has information on doing the conversion. And yes, A/C does interfere with doing a normal conversion.

    John

    http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/sho...highlight=disc
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Disc Conversion Kit

      Hi Sherman, First of all, be careful if you buy a disc conversion kit from one of the companies marketing them. Be sure they understand that you have a '59 Convertible with factory A/C installed. Make sure that they guarantee that their mounting bracket included in the kit WILL push out the 2 stage 8" power booster to the point where it will clear the AC plenum. If they cannot tell you that, then buyer beware..

      Howard Prout and I and perhaps a few others now, put our own parts together and built our own system, doing just the front brakes. We did price checking of parts and bought them from the vendor who could supply us the parts we needed at the cheaper price. This whole package of what to buy and how to do this has now been made part of the Paid Membership benefits and is only available now to Paid Members. If you are interested, you can become a Paid Member for $20 for a one year period. Go to the "Donate To Site" button at the top right of this Forum and go through the PayPal procedures. Paid Members have their own Sub-Forum on this Forum..

      The dual MC/2 Stage 8" power booster that we bought in chrome from Oid Irish Dave, can now be obtained from others, or you can get them from eBay. See a recent thread on this Forum about that. You may also want to look at this thread...

      http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=5023

      And this one also.

      http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=15319
      Last edited by YellowRose; July 11th, 2013, 06:49 PM. Reason: Additional Information

      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


      • #4
        Thank you both. Do you know if the "member's only" section has a description from someone who has used a kit similar to this?

        Thanks

        Comment


        • #5
          They want $700 just for the parts minus the booster and m/c. You can buy off the shelf parts for much less than that.

          John
          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

          Thunderbird Registry #36223
          jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

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

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks, I love the idea of saving money, however, I don't know yet if I can just purchase the caliper brackets and the booster/MC (that does not interfere with the A/C unit and valve cover). It would be great if I can get just these parts and then purchase the other parts individually without modifications/changes to other parts.


            Very few of the "kit sellers" know/understand the A/C situation and tend to be unclear about wheel sizes that will fit.

            Thanks

            Comment


            • #7
              You can get the caliper brackets from Scarebird. To my knowledge he's the only one making them at this time so that's probably where they are getting them.
              https://scarebird.com/

              John
              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

              Thunderbird Registry #36223
              jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks, They don't have a phone number so I sent them a message to see if the 14 inch KH spoke wheels will fit.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I know this is a stretch, but just to satisfy my own curiosity why can't the Kelsey Hayes booster be used with a 2 stage master cylinder mounted in place of the original?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sherman View Post

                    Thanks, They don't have a phone number so I sent them a message to see if the 14 inch KH spoke wheels will fit.
                    https://scarebird.com/index.php?rout...&product_id=89

                    Easily convert your classic 1958-60 T-Bird to front disc brake with these brackets. They are AutoCAD designed and CNC laser cut for excellent tolerance then professionally fixture welded for strength and durability.
                    These brackets use common and inexpensive rotors (1968-69 Mustang front) and calipers (1983-97 S10 2WD) available from your nearest NAPA, O'Reilly's, Autozone etc. or even your local boneyard.


                    Note that this conversion will require 15" rims. 1975-80 14" Monarch/Granada rims will also work.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Disc Conversion Kit

                      Let me see if I can answer some questions for you. The mounting of a dual MC/2 Stage 8" Power Booster on an AC equipped Squarebird is going to require you to either put together your own "kit" as I and Howard Prout did, or buy a "kit" from one of the companies who market them, like MBM. Having AC in the engine bay with that big evaporator cover next to the OEM MC is going to require you to buy a kit that provides a mounting bracket that will place the booster clear of that big box. Some manufacturers do not have that bracket, and some do, so I am told.

                      However, there is another way to get around that. Marcelo ~ NYsquarebird58 used the mounting bracket that came with his kit and made it work. He did so by adding L or Channel brackets between the firewall and the mounting bracket, or perhaps it was between the mounting bracket and the booster. I have forgotten. In any case if you look here on this Forum, you will find his thread about his conversion process. This was a simple way of getting clear of the evaporator box.

                      Now regarding KH spoke rims IF they are 14" OEM rims, they will not work because they are not configured for disc brake set up. We had to use 14" Granada (or other Ford) rims that were off of disc brake equipped Ford cars of the 70's-'80's era. The complete list is available to our Paid Members as part of their special features they receive for supporting this Forum. As is all the information on buying parts, how to do it, etc.. You can get around the problem of finding 14" disc brake ready rims by going to 15" rims and tires and you will have no problems I am told.

                      As to just adding a dual MC to a OEM under the hood power booster, I will let someone else answer that question. It is my understanding that the OEM power booster will not work right if used in conjunction with a disc brake conversion. I do know that both Howard and I left our under the dash KH booster intact and hooked up and it has caused us no problems. But we used a dual MC and 2 Stage 8" Power Booster in our set up.

                      You asked if the "members only" section has any information on using a kit similar to "this". If you are talking about kits that are bought from several manufacturers to allow you to do the dual MC/2 Stage 8" Power Booster/disc brake conversion the answer is this. There are Members on this Forum who have gone the manufacturers kit route and Members who have put together their own parts, like myself and Howard, and saved some money. Both in the regular Forum, and the Members Only Forum. You can do what Howard and I did. Gather up all the parts ourselves, from the various auto parts stores around us, using the Excel sheet to see who sells what at lesser prices, and then do the conversion ourselves. We saved some money by doing it this way.

                      I think that is about all I can think of now. I hope this helps.

                      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


                      • #12
                        WOW! Thank you for the great information.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Disc Conversion Kit

                          Here is the link on Marcelo's ~ NYsquarebird58 disc brake conversion work. His Squarebird does not have AC at the moment. I do not know if he is thinking about adding it later. But he used spacers between his 2 Stage 8" power booster and the mounting bracket to offset his installation further. The same thing could be done with a standard mounting bracket for a non-AC car, to get the whole setup clear of the evaporator box. Marcelo has some great pictures and write ups on how he did his, gathering his own parts, as I recall. Here is the link to it and you can see his under the hood setup in Page 2.

                          http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=12914

                          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


                          • #14
                            Thanks again! ABS Power brakes claims Model #9787 will bolt in around the evaporator and over the valve covers.

                            http://www.abspowerbrake.com/maincat...ameset014.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Disc Conversion Kit

                              I am about to go out the door, but check further into that. The rotors we used were Raybestos and they were 11.5" rotors. They just barely fit inside that 14" disc brake ready rim. This kit has 13" rotors, as I recall, which might work well with 15" rims. You want to make sure that if you are gonna go with 14" disc brake ready rims, any rotor you choose must fit inside that rim.... Gotta go and I hope others pick up on this and advise you.

                              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

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