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1960 Disc Brake conversion

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  • #31
    If your AC is working then it's under pressure. If your AC is not working then it's most likely empty and not under pressure. That unit is on the low side so the pressures are lower however they can reach up to 30 psi and higher which is way too high to trust to hose clamps. As I said no AC system ever uses hose clamps on pressure lines. Whoever installed it didn't know what they were doing. Not only that but your chances of refrigerant leaking is much higher with hose clamps. You would have to evacuate the system to remove it if your AC is working.

    As for the compressor it looks like an OEM unit with a replaced clutch/pulley.

    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223 856-779-9695


    • #32
      I think I can help you by showing other members' installations. That place you put the prop valve simply isn't going to work. There is NO consideration for the brake switch either.

      Like all electrical and plumbing jobs, we mount our devices first then wire or pipe to them. Look at your pictures. There is plenty of space on the fender apron. It is away from spark plug maintenance and close enough to your brake switch wiring.

      This is Marcelo's retrofit. Notice, he mounted his prop valve to the fender apron and his brake lights switch is on a tee.

      You WILL need a tee with 3/8"IFF X 3/8"IFF X 1/8" NPT threads for your brake switch:

      You will also need a pigtail for your prop valve switch:
      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


      • #33
        Thanks Dave.

        I'm strongly considering taking that after market ac component off as I don't use the AC anyway. I could deal with the AC unit later and simply leave the hose out entirely until I get a replacement one. I believe I would want to clamp it off to keep moisture from getting in, but otherwise I would assume there would be no rush to fixing it right away once I break the seal on that line. If I take off the AC drier canister, I could make use of the side mount then on the proper side. I'll do a comparison with how that looks (and gets in the way of plugs) vs fender mount.

        I thought I had the tee already ordered, but I don't see it in my collection of parts, so I ordered one. The pigtail came with the prop kit I bought from Jegs. I also returned the prop kit as I found out they had an all-chrome model for only $10 more, so I got that instead.


        • #34
          I'm more concerned with how you will pipe the top of your prop valve. From here, this isn't going to work. You cannot pipe over the reservoir cover and the space between the M/C and prop valve is too tight (with or without the brake switch).

          I'm not concerned about the A/C, either. That can wait as long as it clears your brake components.

          What tubing are you using and what tools do you plan on bending with? - 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


          • #35
            Another place you can put it........


            If you don't want it visible @ car shows



            • #36
              I like that location down under the booster, but man that has to be a real pain to work on. Maybe I can mount it under the washer bag - any issues if it is higher than the reservoir? I would assume not, but I guess it's worth asking.

              I talked to a local guy who restores classic cars about the after market drier on the AC and he said that host clamps were normal for R12 systems and they used clamps all the way up into the late 60's. He said if the compressor is an old original style compressor and it's an R12 system, then there's nothing to worry about with hose clamps.

              With all that in mind, I think I'm going to leave the drier in place. I already have no experience with brakes beyond changing shoes/pads, so I don't need another major effort with an additional learning curve. From what I've seen watching videos and reading about it, I really need to have a shop vacuum out the freon as it has oil and environment unfriendly R12 in it. So I could let it all leak out here at my house, making a mess in the process, or just let it go. I think I'm going to let the AC stay the way it is and work around the drier canister.

              At this point I think I have three mounting options:
              1. Under the MC using the bracket that came with the MC/Booster. It does get in the way of spark plugs, but I can still access them through the fender well.
              2. Mount it down in the corner as pictured above. I'll check, but this seems like it would be far too tight of a space, but I'll check it out.
              3. Under the washer bag. Just a guess, I'll have to go mock it up and see how that would look.
              Thanks for all the suggestions, really appreciate it.


              • #37
                Welcome to the beginner's club.
                I changed the master cylinder, booster and valve on my 60 (it has disc brakes on the front but still had the original M/C and booster and no valve)
                I put the valve under the master cylinder; It is neat and practical even though the #8 plug is a bit tight to remove and replace.
                As for the valve itself, you won't have to work on it after you installed it.
                Concerning your A/C, you may want to try They makes DIY products that seems easy to use. I have to give it a try for another car...


                • #38
                  Mounted the valve under the MC and ran some lines between them. Still checking to see how short I can make my bend as the one to come off the valve for the passenger side front break will be very close to the valve cover on the engine. I know the engine can rock some so I don't know yet if that one is going to work. If not I'll likely re-mount it down between the skirt and firewall. It's more of a pain to deal with there, but plumbing it up is much easier in that location as these short routes are very difficult to make. I would imagine a longer line would allow for more flexibility when trying to line things up.

                  The old brake line heading off to the passenger side seems to go right under the engine. I will likely route the new one along this same path if I can, but was wondering if there's any reason I cannot run the line around the back of the engine near the firewall?




                  • #39
                    I hate to say it, but I think I may have the lines backwards. After looking around a bit, I think the first MC chamber should be connected to the inlet that feeds the front brakes, but I have it reversed. Looking back at Marcelo's picture above, it looks like his is reversed as well. Does it really matter?


                    • #40
                      Open the lid and look at the reservoirs. The larger reservoir goes to the front disc brakes.

                      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                      Thunderbird Registry #36223



                      • #41
                        They are both the same size. After reading some more, I do have it backwards, the first reservoir (the one closest to the firewall) should always go to the front brakes as it is engaged first. The secondary action in the second reservoir has a fraction of a second delay to it, so you want the first to engage to be the front.


                        • #42
                          Got all the plumbing done at the valve/MC. I still will likely switch the reservoir connections so they are correct, but waiting on my vise to get here on Monday. Have always meant to get one, but never truly needed one until trying to bend these short brake lines.

                          Anyway, I know it's not that pretty with perfect 90 degree angles, but I don't care at this point. I have learned that I really don't like working on brake lines.




                          • #43
                            Made some decent progress today...
                            • Removed all the old brake lines - had to remove them as one large set as I couldn't break them loose from the line splitter.
                            • Installed the rear brake line - had help from my daughter taking off the line brackets. She kept turning the wrench the wrong way.
                            • Flared the passenger side line - all lines are flared and ready for hookup.
                            Had a close call when I jacked up the rear end. The front jacks stands started tilting forward. Had my heart racing until I could get my second jack under the front to pick it up in order to reposition them. Lesson learned on that one!! Thankfully I caught it in time.

                            Broke the flare tool. The little hardened piece that flares it broke off inside the line. I got it out and was able to finish the 45 angle compression to finish that flare. Ordered another one that looks like a mini Thor's hammer. We'll see if this other style works any better.

                            Things still remaining...
                            • Remake the short lines from MC to valve in order to swap them and to install the break switch.
                            • Install brake switch.
                            • Buy an LED warning light to hook up the valve.
                            • Replace rear driver side piston on drum brakes as it is leaking.
                            • Attach brake hoses to frame
                            • Tighten calipers
                            • Tighten brake pedal
                            • Bleed all 4 brakes
                            • Put wheels back on

                            Here's the old brake lines. Someone has replaced them beyond the splitter. The splitter and up were original as they are quite rusty and do not want to cooperate, but the other lines seem to be in pretty good shape.

                            Took a break while my daughter helped out!

                            Back of caliper with the brake hose hooked up. It's not tightened down. I assume this is the proper way to mount it and not the reverse.

                            I have two issues with these brake hoses. First they come with this weird mounting bracket that I can't seem to find any place for. It was at the caliper end of the hose, so I worked it up to the opposite end to get it out of the way. Any suggestions of where I could connect this or should I just leave it, or remove it? Also in this picture you'll see the hose end doesn't quite fit into the place on holder on the frame. I'm wondering if I should just drill out that hole a bit to make room or if I need to track down some different brake hoses. I could take it out of the original holding bracket and use the hose bracket to connect it to that bolt on the frame right there - think that would work?

                            Another picture of the brake hose.


                            • #44
                              WOW! I've been away too long. I'm not here to bust on your brake line job but I don't understand all the curly-cues. They add resistance to flow and they flex, giving your pedal a mushy feel.

                              I never heard of a master cylinder with a 'slight delay'. Both pistons are on the same spool and they work simultaneously. Since both reservoirs are the same size, either can go to the front brakes.

                              I showed other people's work because we have been here before. Marcelo's setup works the easiest with plenty of room to work and plenty of space for the brake switch. At first, like you, he tried putting the prop valve under the M/C until I showed him mine on the fender apron. Then, he changed his. All the ports naturally align with no obstruction and all the spark plugs are accessible. If I remember correctly, the RH front line routed in front of the engine just below the radiator. I have seen them routed on the firewall as well. It's important to keep heat away from brake lines.

                              Combination Valves have no bleeder.

                              You should be bending with a simple pair of 'brake line bending pliers'. You can get the $40 pair from Lisle or the $10 pair from Harbor Freight. They both work equally as well, offering VERY close bends behind the nut. The examples I showed previously were bent using just these bending pliers (not a vise or a tube bender). These pliers make bending easy, not frustrating. I can make a pretzel out of brake line with them.

                              The brake hose should have a 'hex' stamped into the top of it that fits snuggly into the hex in the frame bracket. Slide it up and into the frame bracket and insert the 'horseshoe' clamp on top to hold the assembly solid. This is opposite from when you took the horseshoe out. The idea is to hold the hose solid so it cannot turn inside the bracket. If you leave it like it is, you're going to have problems because the only part that is supposed to flex is the rubber. The 'manufactured bracket' on the hose means nothing to me.

                              Watch my bending video:
                              - 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


                              • #45
                                Thanks for the advice Dave. Going to make some counter points to your points as I have heard otherwise on several of these items. Not trying to be stuborn, just want to make sure I'm doing it right.

                                The brake lines have curls in them to give me extra line to work with in case I messed something up. I had assumed an extra few inches of brake line when it already stretched several feet wouldn't make any difference. I also looked at several other examples on the net and found that most people put at least one curl in place for each line to absorb flex. So as the car is flexing just a bit, it won't stress the brake line. I don't think any of that is needed for our cars, so I might take the curls out.

                                As for the primary vs secondary MC chambers and where they hook up, here's one of many posts I read on the topic and every seems to agree the rear chamber should connect to the front brakes.

                                As for locating the prop valve on the apron, that just wasn't going to be an option for me with the after-market AC drier in the way. I could have put it on the side near the firewall, but then it stands out like a sore thumb unless I put it further down out of sight, and then it seems like it would be very difficult to work with.

                                I ran the brake lines where the old lines were. The front-right brake line ran under the engine an there was a bracket to hold it to the support frame under the engine. I wouldn't think it gets too hot under the engine, so I think that is a good place, and seeing as there was a hole in the frame to screw in a bracket, I assume this is where the original designers planned for the line to run. The rear line goes along the same path as the fuel line. There were multiple short brake lines connected together along this route, so I removed all of those to reduce the number of unions that might bleed in the future. It's one solid line going from the MC all the way to the back now.

                                My prop valve does have a bleeder on it. Some do, some don't, but mine does, so I need somewhat easy access to that bleeder valve. My understanding is that if you ever plan to bleed the lines by pressing the brake pedal, then you need to have access to the failure port to put a pin in there to hold the piston in place while you bleed the lines. If not, then the piston will close off either the front or rear lines and you have to get it back to center. I plan to use a vacuum pump to pull the fluid out at the brakes, so I don't think I have to worry about it, but I'll put the pin in place anyway.

                                Was looking at getting some of those brake line pliers, but when I read the reviews on them, there were a lot of people saying not to use that style of bender on your lines. As they are cheap, I'll go ahead and get a pair and make my own judgement on them... hopefully they will work perfectly as you say.

                                And finally for the brake hose hex end. My brake hoses do not have that hex. I went with the model number suggested by the scarebird kit, and they are missing this. Instead they have two notches that are at different positions which are designed for a different style vehicle I assume. I might take a trip over to JEGS and see if they have one that would work better with the proper hex connector on the end. As you mention, it should just be a reverse of how I removed them to put everything back together, but that bracket and the missing hex is causing me problems.

                                Thanks again for the help, I have several items I need to clean up still.


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