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Disk Brake Conversion Discussion

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  • Granada conversion

    Got my modified booster from Booster Dewy (Power Brake Booster Exchange) http://www.boosterdeweyexchange.com
    approx $300 but I did not exchange mine just bought it outright so I could keep my original one - under the hood booster only - modified from the 4 bolt old style master to accept the 2 bolt disc/drum master.

    Granada spindles from a local junk yard $125

    Machine work on Granada spindles $80 - Fat Man Fabrications

    Granada calipers $40, Granada Rotors with bearings $80 - both from Advance Auto

    Front flex lines $50, proportioning (combo) valve $140 - Master Power Brake Mooresville NC

    Banjo bolts for the front flex lines $20 - some speed shop in California - can't remember the name of the place but it was the only place I could find at the time that had the right length and thread pitch.

    Pads $20, Master Cyl (Lincoln Mark IV?) $25, Steel lines, misc ends for lines, grease and grease caps $40 - NAPA

    4 Ford LTD wheels $100 - different junkyard

    Alignment $75.

    Total conversion around $1095 not including time and tools bought to bend/flare brake line. Could put it back original if I wanted - no holes drilled or modifications that can't be reversed. Never will go back to drums.

    http://www.dropshots.com/DKHeld#albums/Tbird%20discs

    Eric
    registry 5347





    Comment


    • Your last words tell the whole story:
      Originally posted by DKheld View Post
      ... Never will go back to drums...Eric
      It tickles me, you are so happy with your conversion. There are different ways to do this. Bottom line is, for about a grand, you have power disk brakes! Please tell me, was it worth it? I should really ask you in a few months, after you have more history with your setup. (But I think I know the answer.)

      I didn't hear any problems with front-end allignment, either.

      The difference in stopping is dramatic. No pull, no fade, they dry immediately; they act like modern car brakes because they are. I will never go back to drums again, either.
      Good Job, Eric. I love your pictures. They are big, in-focus, and exposed perfectly. Thank You so much for sharing.

      BTW, what do you think of the idea of selling your brake bending and flareing tools to the next member IF you are never going to use them again? Just a thought.

      Today, I bought a ball joint tapered reamer. I don't need it for myself, but I thought of renting it to anyone who uses the Granada-type spindles. That way it won't cost them the $80 Fat Man charged you. I figure I could rent it for $15. Oh, and if anyone needs a genuine Ford combination valve (at a good price), contact Ray or me. - 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


      • Well let me add to the confusion. The MBM site is very informative. It clearly states that if you use a proportioning valve, you also need a metering valve. So a combination valve makes a lot of sense.

        My initial plan was to change the booster/mc first and convert the front axle to disc brakes sometime later. Before I knew about metering valves, I thought I could avoid having to do the plumbing to the front axle twice by installing a proportioning valve during the first stage but set it wide open so that it wasn't doing anything. Then when I got to the second stage, I could adjust the proportioning valve to something like at 70/30 front bias, and all would be OK. Then the issue of metering valves was raised which made this plan infeasible as I would have to redo the plumbing since a metering valve would not work with a drum/drum setup but was needed for disc/drum set up.

        Then I contacted SSBC about whether or not their A0730C PROP-BLOCK included a metering valve. It has an adjustable proportioining valve and a distribution block. If not, was one needed? After a couple of responses that seemed to skirt the question, I told them specifically what I wanted to do. The answer was to go ahead with the original plan - no metering valve is necessary!

        Two "expert" sources - two opposing answers. Life is confusing!

        I have to agree with Dave Dare, when in doubt do it the way the OEMs did it. I have a original Ford combination valve on the way. I'll use it when I do the entire conversion in one shot.
        Last edited by Howard Prout; November 25th, 2009, 08:49 PM. Reason: additions
        sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Howard Prout View Post
          ...Two "expert" sources - two opposing answers. Life is confusing!
          Howard, if you aren't sure about something, consider how the OEM's did it.

          Your car isn't special or unusual. The OEM's put out millions of cars just like yours. You can not go far wrong if you follow their example. If you go to disk/drum, the OEM's used just a combination valve. If you keep all your drums, again, OEM's never used a valve. - Dave
          Last edited by simplyconnected; November 25th, 2009, 06:38 PM.
          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


          • Eric, I may have missed it but what size wheels (14" or 15"...) are you using?

            If 14", can you tell me any specifics on the wheels? (width, what car they came from).

            Your car and the work you have done looks great and I am sure you are enjoying the improvement!

            Ironically, while one can only occasionally enjoy the horsepower of a good motor, you can enjoy excellent braking almost all of the time. This entire thread has a wealth of valuable information.

            thanks!
            John
            1958 Hardtop
            #8452 TBird Registry
            http://tbird.info/registry/DataSheet...r~equals~8452)

            photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
            history:
            http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

            Comment


            • Thanks for the kudos on the car/conversion guys. I think I hit the delete key one too many times on my original message and left some ideas/info out.

              As far as history on the setup this is at least a 6 year old conversion and prices! ( I did it before any type of power brake kit was out there) Went through a Galaxie pedal bracket and 7 inch dual action booster and all kinds of different ideas to keep from drilling any new holes in the firewall - glad I finally ran across Power Brake Exchange on the original booster - made everything from the booster back factory and easy to manage (no mods).

              Couldn't pay me to go back to drums even if it meant loosing a best of show - mine is a driver.

              The alignment was tricky - about 4 trys at the alignment shop before it felt like original. It was an "old school" shop that knew old cars and did a great job but was in a prime city location. I got it set on a Thursday - drove it to a show around 400 miles round trip and planned on going back to the shop the following Friday to get the spec's on the alignment. The shop never reopened. Some developer tore it down and put up condo's ..... progress. Hopefully I'll be able to find another similar shop and have them check the car and give me the settings.

              As far as selling the tools.....guess I better not. I know it might help out but seems like every time I get rid of a tool I need it the next day. Actually happened with my OBDII reader. They were not terribly expensive - I think around $50 for everything.

              I never saw the wheels being pulled off the donar car but was told it was a mid 70's LTD. 14" Ford wheels with the numbers 43M below the Ford script ,a 22 on another lobe of the center and a 3 next to the valve stem - that's all that is on them. I used the same Diamond Back Tires that I had on my original wheels. The stock hubcaps from my original wheels work perfectly on these wheels. Have no idea what the width on them is. (best guess is 14x 8 or 9 because the tires look wider now)

              One point I wanted to make is that I want to add a factory A/C box to the original non A/C car and like most have found it won't clear the booster. It's really close and I had planned on using some extender brackets between the original bracket and firewall to move the booster out more. Dave suggested MBM and it looks as if they would have something close but I haven't had time to order anything and try it (A Jag XJS and unexpected surgery got in the way).
              Only other mod would be have a machine shop make a new longer pedal bracket or use an adjustable one (thanks for that idea Dave). Seems that would be a similar fix like the dealer installed bracket but just not offset (maybe the offset was to avoid heat from the manifold?). Guess if heat became a problem I could use a heat shield. Just seems easier than trying to replace the setup I have with an under the dash booster - may find out the hard way it's not but the brackets are not too expensive.


              Eric

              Comment


              • I found four wheels off a 75 Granada for 25.00 each. They are in great shape and shouldn't need painting. They are 14" X 6". In the near future I will decide on a conversion kit. Would like to find a fifth wheel for a spare tire.

                Comment


                • Disk Brake Conversion Discussion

                  Hi Michael.

                  I can probably get you another rim at Southside Auto where I got the others from for $25. Or you can call them directly and they will ship it to you. Just tell them what you have and what you need. Another disk brake ready rim off a '75 Granada. Call Southside Auto Parts, 800-445-3301 or 210-627-2900 and speak with Ed or Larry. Any rim you get from them is going to need to be cleaned and painted, more than likely.

                  On the other hand, since you have four rims already. You only need three! Two for the front and one for the spare. The spare will work on the rear if you had to put it on in an emergency. (Someone correct me if I am wrong!) So unless you just have to have 5 perfectly matched rims, you might consider that.

                  Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                  The Terminator.....
                  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


                  • You're right; I never thought about that! I had a 69 Mustang with disk front brakes and I realized when the tire store found that the back rims didn't work on the front. I'm sure I will find one and be done with it. Thanks for the info on the Southside boys.
                    Mike

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by ParTaxer View Post
                      ... the tire store found that the back rims didn't work on the front...
                      What is the reason your rims won't fit the front? Is it because the center won't fit over the new snout (hub)?

                      If that's the only reason, have the snouts turned down to the original hub diameter. It's a simple proceedure, all the machine shops are begging for work, and my guy only charged me $15. He said, '...because it's for a classic car...'. Now, all of my original Customline wheels fit the new rotors (and the rear drums). - 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


                      • The rear rims would fit over the drums but not the calipers on the disk brake. No longer have the car. Getting new rims for disk brake conversion on my 60 TB.

                        Comment


                        • Disk Brake Conversion Discussion

                          I have been in contact with John Draxler of Thunderbird Ranch regarding his front disk brake conversion kit. John tells me that his rotors are late '70's Granada and his calipers are '80 Monte Carlo.

                          The brackets, etc are custom made to adapt these parts to the stock spindles. Everything is readily available at local parts stores for replacement. The kit comes with full instructions and also the parts listings for future reference. It has been put together with the Squarebird owner in mind who wants to stay with 14" rims (disk brake ready rims, not the originals, which will not work) and the original spindles. This is the kit I am seriously considering. He said he has sold a lot of them and has had no complaints about them.


                          How many of you are running the Tbird Ranch disk brake conversion kit and what do you think of it?

                          Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                          The Terminator.....
                          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


                          • Originally posted by YellowRose View Post
                            John tells me that his rotors are late '70's Granada and his calipers are '80 Monte Carlo.
                            Ray, that's not news... They are the exact same Mustang/Granada/Versailles rotors and Chevy S-10 calipers that everyone sells, and they are commonly available at all auto parts stores across North America.

                            So, why spend money on shipping cast iron parts? And, what happens if you need to return something? Will he pick up the shipping costs? What's the turnaround time?

                            BTW, how much does he want for his 'kit'? The only parts we really need are spindle brackets, but he won't sell them without all the rest of his package.

                            Have you retail-priced these items to find out how much his brackets really cost us? I sent you NAPA part numbers for everything other than brackets.

                            We are negotiating discounts with other vendors for spindle and booster brackets and booster combos. Before you make your decision, you may want to hold off until early February.

                            I understand you are not doing a retrofit for at least a few more months, right Ray? By the beginning of February, we will have good news for Squarebird Members who are ready to fit their 1958-1960 Thunderbird with tried and proven POWER DISK BRAKES. - 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


                            • Originally posted by YellowRose View Post
                              I have been in contact with John Draxler of Thunderbird Ranch regarding his front disk brake conversion kit. John tells me that his rotors are late '70's Granada and his calipers are '80 Monte Carlo.

                              The brackets, etc are custom made to adapt these parts to the stock spindles. Everything is readily available at local parts stores for replacement. The kit comes with full instructions and also the parts listings for future reference. It has been put together with the Squarebird owner in mind who wants to stay with 14" rims (disk brake ready rims, not the originals, which will not work) and the original spindles. This is the kit I am seriously considering. He said he has sold a lot of them and has had no complaints about them.


                              How many of you are running the Tbird Ranch disk brake conversion kit and what do you think of it?

                              Are his conversions using the calipers on the rear side of the rotors?
                              Thanks,
                              Mike

                              Comment


                              • Disk Brake Conversion Discussion

                                Hi Mike,

                                Yes, his conversion has the calipers on the rear side of the rotors and not in the front. Here is the link to his website. Once there, slide down the left side of the page and you will find the link to his disk brake conversion kit with pictures. Also, John has many other excellent technical tips of his own on his website that ya'll might need to know about.

                                http://www.tbirdranch.com/

                                Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                                The Terminator.....
                                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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