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  • Disc brake conversion

    Hello All,

    I'm new here and I'm restoring a '59 convertible.

    Has anyone on the forum completed a disc brake conversion on their bird using the spindles from the late 70's Ford Granada?

    I would like to do this conversion if it's safe.

    Thanks, John

  • #2
    Do a search.
    Endless posts on this.
    I did the Stainless Steel Brake Corp kit.
    HUGE PITA !!!!!
    Lot's more available now.
    The Granada kit will work. Make SURE it's a V8
    Granada so they're 11" rotors. DON'T use 10"
    rotors.

    Comment


    • #3
      John, did you buy any parts yet? There are two ways to get disk brakes. Depending on how much you spend on Granada spindles, you may be better off with Scarebird brackets that bolt onto your OEM spindles.

      In other words, if you can get Granada spindles cheap, like under $200 for both, go that route. If not, the Scarebird brackets are far easier because you don't separate any joints so, no need to alter your front end alignment.

      An important question is, do you have an original booster under your hood? Let us know. - 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
        I converted mine about 11 years ago using Granada spindles.

        Biggest issue using the Granada spindles is alignment - it takes a good shop a few tries to make the car feel right. One of these days I'll get my car to an alignment shop and post the specs so folks doing this conversion will at least have a starting point.

        Changing the spindles is the EASY part. It's splitting the lines, upgrading the master cyl, adding a proportioning or combination valve, making provisions for the brake light switch (either fluid or electric conversion) choosing the right booster (depends on factory A/C or not) and modifying the bottom hole on the Granada spindles to accept the Tbird ball joint that will take time.

        Don't let all that seem impossible - It's much easier now than 11 years ago but still one of the best modifications you can make to these heavy cars if it's done right.

        The Scarebird brackets are easier by far. No mods to the spindle, uses the original spindle and standard Tbird alignment specs (or a slight change for radial tires).

        Mine has an annoying habit of pushing the backing plate into the rotor in a sharp turn at speeds above 20 mph. There is another member that is using Lincoln Versailles spindles that may solve that problem and the bottom hole is the right size - we'll see when he gets it finished.

        These are a few of the big discussions but there are plenty more - as John mentions - just search on Disc's or Disc Brakes.

        Eric

        http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ht=disc+brakes

        http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ht=disc+brakes

        http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ht=disc+brakes

        http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ht=disc+brakes


        This is my conversion







        edit - yeah - the short version - what Dave said....

        Oh and - used to come to West Jefferson Ohio quit a bit. My Uncle ran a rock quarry around there somewhere. Lots of fun when I was a kid.
        Last edited by DKheld; September 4th, 2013, 05:40 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          disk brakes

          put new parts in drum brakes save a lot of time and money

          Comment


          • #6
            Do you want solid surface or cross drilled? Single piston or four? Natural finish, black, red, or polished?

            http://www.summitracing.com/search/d...el/thunderbird

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
              John, did you buy any parts yet? There are two ways to get disk brakes. Depending on how much you spend on Granada spindles, you may be better off with Scarebird brackets that bolt onto your OEM spindles.

              In other words, if you can get Granada spindles cheap, like under $200 for both, go that route. If not, the Scarebird brackets are far easier because you don't separate any joints so, no need to alter your front end alignment.

              An important question is, do you have an original booster under your hood? Let us know. - Dave
              I haven't bought spindles yet. I've watched a couple of spindle auctions on Ebay, but without more info I didn't bid on them. They're in the $150-300 per pair range lately.
              The Granada spindles seem to work well on Mustangs because they are always mentioned in the auctions.
              I've seen the Scarebird brackets before, but I didn't know how well they worked. They look a bit light weight, and I want to make sure whatever I do is safe for my passengers, other drivers, and the Tbird as well.
              I wondered if there is a kit that includes everything needed.

              John

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DKheld View Post
                I converted mine about 11 years ago using Granada spindles.

                Biggest issue using the Granada spindles is alignment - it takes a good shop a few tries to make the car feel right. One of these days I'll get my car to an alignment shop and post the specs so folks doing this conversion will at least have a starting point.

                Changing the spindles is the EASY part. It's splitting the lines, upgrading the master cyl, adding a proportioning or combination valve, making provisions for the brake light switch (either fluid or electric conversion) choosing the right booster (depends on factory A/C or not) and modifying the bottom hole on the Granada spindles to accept the Tbird ball joint that will take time.

                Don't let all that seem impossible - It's much easier now than 11 years ago but still one of the best modifications you can make to these heavy cars if it's done right.

                The Scarebird brackets are easier by far. No mods to the spindle, uses the original spindle and standard Tbird alignment specs (or a slight change for radial tires).

                Mine has an annoying habit of pushing the backing plate into the rotor in a sharp turn at speeds above 20 mph. There is another member that is using Lincoln Versailles spindles that may solve that problem and the bottom hole is the right size - we'll see when he gets it finished.

                These are a few of the big discussions but there are plenty more - as John mentions - just search on Disc's or Disc Brakes.

                Eric

                http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ht=disc+brakes

                http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ht=disc+brakes

                http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ht=disc+brakes

                http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ht=disc+brakes


                This is my conversion







                edit - yeah - the short version - what Dave said....

                Oh and - used to come to West Jefferson Ohio quit a bit. My Uncle ran a rock quarry around there somewhere. Lots of fun when I was a kid.
                Thanks for all the info, Eric. You're conversion looks great.
                John

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 6gunn View Post
                  I haven't bought spindles yet..
                  Then your options are open. Like Eric said, you will need to open the bottom ball joint holes to match your Squarebird ball joints. Depending on what wheels you buy, you may need to turn down the snouts on the rotors, too.

                  I use both systems and am equally happy with them but you need to know, if you do the Scarebird system, all parts are bolt-on, no machining, no geometry change and you get to use OEM Squarebird bearings (races, seals, dust caps) in Mustang rotors. Granada bearings are different size... just so you know.

                  You didn't mention whether you have a booster under your hood or not. - 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


                  • #10
                    Hello, I completed this exact project last month. I purchased a kit for about a grand and although I did have some bumps in the road with the company, in the end everything came together and the stopping power has dramatically improved. Moreover, drive-ability is by far much better. In addition to this, the double piston M/C upgrade is much safer option then the original.

                    In 2006 I restored the car and simply rebuilt the drum brakes. I wish I would have upgraded back then.

                    The kit I purchased this summer worked with 14" K/H wheels and an A/C plenum. It has a 8" booster, 11" rotors and single piston calipers. It required no alignment and other than waiting for the correct parts to arrive I could have finished the job in about 2-3 days.

                    Just my two cents: Do the upgrade now and you'll enjoy driving the car more.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Whose kit did you use or where did you get the parts? There are so many options that have been made available.
                      Nyles

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Disc brake conversion

                        Nyles, you are a Paid Member. If you have not looked in the Member Concerence section of this Forum, go down to it and check out all the information about dual MC/2 stage power boosters/disc brake conversions.

                        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


                        • #13
                          Yes, please don't turn this into another 15 page thread on a front disc brake conversion. LOL!!
                          sigpic
                          The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

                          VTCI Member#6287.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Heh - Sherman's post made me laugh (and cry).

                            When I did my conversion years ago my total cost was about $1100 so not much change there.

                            (that's if you don't count the '77 Tbird spindles the guy sold me for $700 and told me they would work - dude wouldn't give me a refund - I did recover $300 when I sold them to a Galaxie owner doing a conversion 3-4 years ago)

                            It took me almost a year to find the right parts and make it safe - folks are doing them in a weekend now.

                            Eric

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Even still Eric, you were a pioneer in this monumental and very important task of retrofitting inferior Squarebird drum to disk brakes. All of us who came after, owe you big time for the mountains of experience and the cautions you imparted. I don't know of another site that gives this information at any price.

                              So SURE, we take your lead, victories and failures, to successfully accomplish disk brakes. It's easy and cheap, now... thanks to you. - 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

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