Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Which Disc Brake system should I buy?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Which Disc Brake system should I buy?

    Got an email today from JimGold59:
    "Read all of the excellent articles on disc brake conversion. A little out of my element here. Can I trouble you to weigh in on whether these appear that they would work on 1959 Thunderbird 352 automatic that does not have power brakes?

    We’re in Los Angeles and I spoke with Wilwood in Camarillo who recommends this kit for the front disc brakes. Only thing needed is this Dynalite Kit and the line kit #220-7699.

    https://www.wilwood.com/BrakeKits/Br...ird&option=All

    They recommend a Tandem Master Cylinder. They said that assuming that these are manual brakes with a 6 to 1 pedal ratio, it would be the 15/16 Master Cylinder.

    https://www.wilwood.com/MasterCylind...o=261-13626-BK

    For the rear, wildwood said we have to measure to see which one they put in this car on the day they built it:

    https://www.wilwood.com/BrakeKits/Br...ird&option=All

    ..."

    Oh, boy. A complete disc brake 'kit' for Squarebirds did not exist when I jumped into this with two goals, 'price' and 'availability'. Since then I added a third goal, 'simplicity'. I always ask the question, "What do the 'big three' use?" So, I want something that is reliable with parts available everywhere at a decent price. If I'm broke down 100 miles away from home, I want parts available across the counter that I can bolt on at a decent price. That pretty much narrows it down to parts that are 'in production'.

    I will not promote or degrade any brand, we don't sell brake parts and we can remain impartial and objective. I have not found a rear disc brake that works better than the OEM drum system (including the emergency brake) that came on all Squarebirds. Rear brakes only do about 25% of every car's braking.

    I looked at the above systems and I must confess, I am not impressed. There is NO firewall bracket to mount a booster, the price is waaay too much, this system uses (more complicated) dual-piston calipers and the combined square inch area of the pistons is smaller than either a Ford Granada or a S-10 caliper. Ford also used a huge 5/8" 'anchor pin' bolt, that Wilwood has 'bushed-down' to a smaller diameter. Oh, no. This needs to remain 5/8" and grade-8. Their components are complicated, using more parts with more things that can go wrong.

    At the firewall, I recommend a two-stage 8" booster with a dual-piston one-inch master cylinder AND a combination proportioning valve. At the wheels, I recommend Scarebird caliper brackets (model #GXY) that holds S-10 (or S-15) calipers. These are single 2-1/2" diameter pistons used on millions of GM cars and trucks. Pads for these calipers are available in a dozen harnesses including ceramic. 11" Mustang rotors work with these calipers and they use Squarebird's OEM bearings, seals and dustcaps. I also recommend CUNIFER (CU-copper, NI-nickle, FE-iron) brake lines with new hoses at the front wheels and one at the rear differential. Wheels designed to accommodate disc brake calipers must be used. They may be 14" (Ranger, Granada, Lincoln Versailles, Mustang) or just about any 15" wheel. Most Squarebirders prefer 14" so they can use the original 'sunburst' hubcaps. Most aftermarket wheels are designed for calipers so they work as well.

    For the rear drum brakes, I recommend RH & LH 11" self-adjuster kits. They are inexpensive and available for '61-and up Ford cars. Again, across the counter at all auto parts stores (Wagner H2512 and 13).

    For Squarebirds that never had a firewall-mounted booster I recommend ABS Power Brake booster/master combination kit #9787. They are the only company that I know that offers the firewall bracket for a Squarebird. Without that bracket, a booster will not fit. - 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

  • #2
    I'd like to draw your attention to this thread as well:
    https://www.squarebirds.org/vbulleti...-brakes-locked
    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


    • #3
      Simply amazing! Can't thank you enough for this very thorough, incredibly detailed reply. So great that you and others share your wealth of knowledge with the new guys. Thanks again.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sam, I called ABS about this system then weighed their #624PB kit (pg. 94) against my goals. I'm sad to say that it doesn't crack up, either. Why? These rotors are only available from ABS. They are specifically machined for this kit and cannot be found across the counter. The spindle brackets are 'piece together' rather than 'one piece' making it more complicated with more 'things' there are to go wrong (or come loose). I won't talk about cost.

        The kit may work for you. I have no problem with the calipers (from a 1988 Chevy Celebrity) but I prefer to choose my own pads (rather than buying the calipers 'loaded'. I realize that many prefer the convenience of getting it all in one place but do you really know what you're getting or how much monopoly replacement parts cost? That's why I set my three goals as the minimum 'standard'. There are many ways to skin this cat so stay on top of everything. Down the road when it comes time to change parts, you will be glad you did. - 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


        • #5
          I am going to re-emphasize something that Dave said about putting one of these front disc systems together. When Howard Prout and I were thinking about doing a front disc brake conversion there were a few companies (still are) that were marketing disc brake conversion packages, but they were wanting an arm and a leg for them and still do.. So we decided to see about putting our own kit together for his '59 Squarebird Convertible and My '59 Squarebird Hardtop. We took several things into consideration that the three of us came up with. The third one being Dave ~ simplyconnected. Dave and we are believers in 1. Saving Money, 2. Finding the best parts, and 3. Finding parts that if you need in the middle of a drive, and you have a problem with the front disc brakes you put on, you can drive into a auto parts store and buy replacement parts right NOW. And get them on the car and back on the road ASAP. NOT have to call up a company that makes specific parts that you can only buy from them and have to wait days, or longer, for them to get you the parts. So when we started looking at parts, we considered those you can buy across the counter at Autozone, O'Reillys, NAPA or any other auto parts store that has them on the shelf. So we developed the Excel spread sheet with those parts in mind and gave you several auto parts companies with pricing for you to choose from. It turns out that often Rock Auto was a good source for identical parts, and they give us that 5% discount, since they are a member of our Forum. That Excel spreadsheet pricing is now outdated, and probably needs to be updated, but it gives you a price comparison to go by and you can do your own price and part shopping. It is available to our Paid Members as one of their many benefits for being a Paid Member and keeping this Forum going.... Without our Paid Membership, we would have gone bottoms up years ago.... Thanks to all of you who have supported us all these years and kept Alexander's dream of an international Tbird Forum going!

          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


          • #6
            Originally posted by YellowRose View Post
            ...When Howard Prout and I were thinking about doing a front disc brake conversion there were a few companies (still are) that were marketing disc brake conversion packages, but they were wanting an arm and a leg for them and still do...
            I also found, some companies claimed their parts fit Squarebirds but they do not. They assumed that Thunderbirds were the same as other Ford models. Nothing is farther from the truth.

            Raise your hood and notice how low your master cylinder sits on the firewall. A booster without a firewall bracket will hit the steering column. The OEM Squarebird master cylinder is different from full-size Fords as well, with a different bolt pattern. In order to fit a booster, a firewall bracket must be installed that raises the booster 5". Who has this 'magic firewall bracket'? ABS, and as far as I know they are the ONLY aftermarket company who sells them.

            Ray tried to buy just the bracket. They wanted a minimum order of TEN at $50/each (years ago). Otherwise, buy it in the kit with a booster and master cylinder. We simply dropped it right there and Howard Prout hand-made two firewall brackets, one for Ray Clark and one for himself. They both worked well.

            So, why do other cars find power disc brake kits but there is only one for Squarebirds? The demand is extremely low, there is no competition which drives prices high. For those Squarebirds that came with a firewall booster, we re-use the bracket on a new booster and save about $300. The cast parts are competitively available and are MUCH cheaper than buying them in a kit. I like buying the softest pads I can find. They stop in the shortest distance, they don't squeal, are easy on rotor wear but they must be changed about every year (which is fine with me).

            Here's an example: The kit that Sam suggested includes uniquely machined rotors, sold only by ABS at $75/each.
            Rockauto.com sells five different brands of '68-'69 rotors (for Mustang, Fairlane, Ranchero, Falcon) at $31/each, over the counter and they bolt-on with no machining. These are the 11" rotors that we use and the bearings, seals and dust caps swap from our drums (or you can buy new ones). - 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


            • #7
              Take a look at your engine bay on your 1959 Squarebird. Does it have AC? If Yes, it probably has the Kelsey-Hayes under the dash single power booster like Howard Prout and I had. After we did the disc brake conversion, adding a dual mc/dual 8" power booster and mounting bracket, we left the K-H unit in place and it never gave us a problem. If your 1959 does not have AC on it, it also probably has that same Kelsey-Hayes under the dash booster system on it. But check it because if your '59 has that bracket under the hood, you have it made!

              1960 Squarebirds w/o AC had the Bendix Single Power Booster w/AC Mounting Bracket. I am not sure you will find this bracket on the 1958-1959 Squarebirds. John ~ jopizz says he thinks they did not have that mounting bracket on 1958-1959 Non-AC Squarebirds, if I got that right. Only on the 1960 Non-AC Squarebirds. So look for someone who has that Bendix Single round Power Booster attached to the OEM mounting bracket. Carl Heller ~ partsetal is worthing checking with as is John Draxler of Thunderbird Ranch. Emailing him is the best way to get him. Look through the For Sale - Parts Wanted Forum and see who is parting out a 1960 Squarebird w/o AC. See if they still have the mc/booster/bracket combo and buy it. Then it is a matter of taking off those components from the mounting bracket and putting it to good use! Check on eBay and other sources for it.

              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


              • #8
                does this look like the type of bracket discussed?

                on ebay........... too cheap to be true...i think....
                https://www.ebay.com/itm/1957-1959-F...YAAOSweW5U3n1A
                Last edited by frank58; February 19th, 2020, 06:43 PM. Reason: I take that back...after looking around, not correct

                Comment


                • #9
                  It looks like the type, but does not look to be the correct mounting bracket to clear the AC Plenum box if you have one. It is hard to say without seeing more details of the unit.

                  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


                  • #10
                    Here's a picture of the booster, M/C and bracket for Squarebirds.

                    John
                    new brake booster.jpg
                    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is a 1960 Squarebird OEM power brake booster (for drum brakes since disc weren't around yet). It is a single-stage 10" booster.
                      Notice where the firewall mount is, then how far up and away from the firewall the booster is. Also notice, the firewall bracket is riveted to the booster.
                      Ford designed it as such to clear the steering column and the A/C plenum. The side holes give access to remove the pivot pins on the 'link'.

                      1960TbirdBooster.jpg

                      1960TbirdBooster_1b.jpg
                      The 'center link' must have enough space to operate its stroke.
                      We grind the six rivets off, discard the booster, and re-mount the bracket to a modern 8" two-stage booster because this one, engineered for drum brakes, is far too weak to operate disc brakes.
                      When used with a new booster, all hardware from the brake pedal to the booster flange remains stock, just like you see it here.

                      ANY firewall bracket use on a Squarebird must closely duplicate the dimensions of this one. - 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

                      Working...
                      X