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  • Went to the web site to see John Draxlers "kit" even though I had already converted my Tbird to disc's years ago. It does look nice but I'll have to agree with Dave - no use in shipping cross country what you can pick up locally and return if defective with no shipping charge. I would guess if you buy calipers and pads from a local source you can purchase a lifetime set also and never will have to buy them again! (unless you loose your receipt - although I doubt any of us drive our cars that regularly).

    My guess is that the reason for not selling the parts separately is the risk factor and fit/question factor. John probably wouldn't get anything else done for answering the phone and emails about " will this fit on the brackets and will that rotor work" Also folks my try and use standard bolts where grade 8 or better should go - I kind of understand John's reason for not selling the parts separately but wish it were different.

    Looks like Dave is hard at work on a solution.

    One thing I did find interesting about the Tbird Ranch kit is that it mentions that you cannot use your old wheels. There is no mention that the master cyl is not designed for disc brakes and should be changed - IMHO that is just as important if not more so than the information on the wheels.

    I know it says he has sold alot of them and has had no complaints but some of the conversions I have seen (NOT John's) were more dangerous than the drum brakes. One thing that I saw most often was the disc/drum master with 2 5/16 inch mounting bolt tabs stuck on the stock external booster using only 2 of the four 1/4 inch bolts to hold it in place.
    Yikes!

    It's always best to see a completed running and driving (or in this case stopping) conversion. I'm sure John could provide that info - I'd just like to see how the master cyl issue is handled.

    Back 6 or so years ago when I did my conversion I figured I would just pop in to the local parts store and get a disc/drum master cyl to fit my 4 bolt stock booster. Hate to admit it but it was the Squarebirds Tech information that told how easy it was that bit me - picked up the Master Cyl mentioned at the parts store and saw right away I was in trouble. Had already changed the spindles and had the system ready for the new master cyl. That hunt turned into a 6 month adventure/nightmare.

    With John's kit $595 shown, the booster conversion from Booster Brake Exchange $300 (non exchanged under hood booster non A/C only), a disc/drum master cyl $25 and a combo valve $100 (adj valve is ok but I prefer the combo) - the real cost of a the kit not including lines and tools to do the work is more like $1025.

    That's my opinion,
    Eric
    Last edited by DKheld; December 10th, 2009, 06:13 PM. Reason: note to self - turn on spell check (like that would help)

    Comment


    • Disk Brake Conversion Discussion

      Thanks for your input, Eric. I like the idea of the lifetime set...

      Yup, he probably does get a ton of questions about this and that regarding this conversion. I do not know why he does not mention the need to change out the single MC/power booster.

      I dont think anyone can use the original wheels because they were not manufactured to accommodate a disk brake set up. They just dont fit.

      I am interested in how you solved the master cylinder problem. You said you had a 6 month adventure/nightmare. Can you tell us how you solved that so we dont have the same problem?

      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


      • Ray - click back a few pages in this thread for all the details - basically my probem was resolved finding Power Brake Booster Exchange but it only works for the cars with under hood boosters and no A/C. It's the factory booster with a Lincoln? booster face replacing the Tbird face. According to PBBE it's the exact same booster face but with the correct studs for the Disc /Drum master cyl.


        I think RustyNCa fabricated or found a bracket that could work for cars with A/C. It was a box shape that bolted to the 4 firewall bolts and then had studs for the Disc/Drum master. Guess you would also need a longer pedal rod. I'm adding A/C to my car and would go that route but it seems to be too much trouble to change the booster to the under dash style so I'm planning on some extension brackets to move my booster assy out a few inches with a longer pedal rod (this summer more than likely)

        Eric

        Comment


        • It looks like we have another conversion kit available. The vendor doesn't supply any details about the components used,, etc. I've asked for more details which I will share with you when received. It would be nice to see some pictures of an installed system. The brackets don't look very strong to me. I've allready bought most of the components to do the conversion on Old Betsy but those who are haven't got that far may want to check it out. At $400 plus $45 shipping, the price is attractive - very competitive with buying the components from varying sources.

          http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/58-59...item4ceca8b9e5

          Update: I received the following reply from the vendor:"The rotors are 70-71 Thunderbird and the calipers are 71-78 chev k-10. 14" wheels off of a disc brake car will work otherwise 15" and larger. The calipers mount on the steering arm side of the spindle."
          Last edited by Howard Prout; December 18th, 2009, 05:21 PM. Reason: additional info
          sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

          Comment


          • Saw this kit yesterday and the blood pressure went up a few notches - once again we've got someone claiming that adding disc rotors to your car qualifies as a "complete kit". Even says it requires no modifications although I'm sure they just mean no mods to the suspension.

            Oh BTW - the original master cyl is for drums, no proportioning or combo valve, no backing plates, what size discs?, and the brackets do look flimsy compared to the scarebird brackets. Hope they send the parts list so you can get replacement parts locally or you'll be stuck waiting on parts if there is a problem. You'll get it all finished and try to put your original wheels back on then ---- DOH.
            I'm sure they just "forgot" to give you all that info??? - no - if the info is vague they will sell more "kits" to folks who don't ask or know what to ask. Bet there is no return after installing and you'll be out shipping both ways if so. I'd say they are not driving a converted car - just selling parts.

            Started to email them and ask these questions but I'm tired of arguing with folks about "complete kits". Hopefully anyone wanting to do a conversion will find this site and either join or search the archives for the real story.


            Eric
            registry 5347

            Comment


            • I totally agree with you Eric re the lack of mention of changing the master cylinder and booster. I emailed John Draxler about this issue and he replied something to the effect of the original master cylinder and booster could be used with disc brakes. I personally don't think so. That is why I will change the master cylinder/booster and convert to disc brakes at the same time.
              sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

              Comment


              • Originally posted by DKheld View Post
                One thing I did find interesting about the Tbird Ranch kit is that it mentions that you cannot use your old wheels. There is no mention that the master cyl is not designed for disc brakes and should be changed - IMHO that is just as important if not more so than the information on the wheels.

                I know it says he has sold alot of them and has had no complaints but some of the conversions I have seen (NOT John's) were more dangerous than the drum brakes. One thing that I saw most often was the disc/drum master with 2 5/16 inch mounting bolt tabs stuck on the stock external booster using only 2 of the four 1/4 inch bolts to hold it in place.
                Yikes!

                That's my opinion,
                Eric
                The above stuff would not 'get off the ground' here in NZ -we have a rigorous vehicle inspection every 6 months (for safety/road-worthiness) and stuff like that would not pass.

                It's a PITA at times but it helps to keep things safe - especially for those machanically challenged.
                A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

                Comment


                • Guys (and all you beautiful gals),
                  I welcome all contenders to solve our Squarebird brake conversion puzzle. With that, let's give these guys a chance. I wrote a question to the seller as it appears below:

                  eBay sent this message to David Dare (simplyconnected).
                  Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay.

                  This member has a question for you.Do not respond to the sender if this message requests that you complete the transaction outside of eBay. This type of offer is against eBay policy, may be fraudulent, and is not covered by buyer protection programs.



                  Dear tomsclassic,

                  Is the picture shown, the actual brackets for the '58-'60 Thunderbird? It seems to be missing an offset to fit our OEM spindles. Could you show one ON a spindle? Are the drums 11" for a Granada? If so, what is the diameter of the hub? Hub diameter is VERY important if we are to use our OEM wheels. Are the brake hoses DOT approved? The calipers and pads appear to be S-10 application. What warranty (if any) comes with the pads? You seem to be missing a 9/16" spindle bolt that is necessary for your kit to work. Are you sure you have the right picture? Thank You in advance for your response. - Dave

                  - simplyconnected





                  58 59 60 FORD THUNDERBIRD FRONT DISC BRAKE CONVERSIONItem Id:330387995109End time:Jan-16-10 12:33:46 PSTBuyer:simplyconnected (253)100.0% Positive FeedbackMember since Jun-04-01 in United StatesLocation: MI, United States



                  I read the response they gave Howard. If they are '70 rotors, they are:
                  RAYBESTOS Part # 6014R {Outside Diameter 11.72"}
                  That's too big for ANY 14" wheels, especially when used with S-10 calipers.


                  I took this from Rock Auto. The hub dimension is too big for my wheels, but may be ok for you guys who bought 'disk brake' wheels. Measure your wheel centers. See if 2.77" passes through them.

                  I just now got a response ('took him five minutes to respond. THAT's fast!):

                  eBay sent this message to David Dare (simplyconnected).
                  Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay.


                  Dear simplyconnected,

                  Please see the listing, I updated it with pictures of the kit on a spindle. The rotors are LTD and the calipers and pads are 1971-79 chev k10. The pads carry a 1 year warranty against failure. Thank you.

                  - tomsclassic


                  Let's see the listing. LTD and T-bird uses the same 1970 rotor. No mention of DOT approved hoses, which could mean they are from Argentina (and not DOT approved). - 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


                  • Dave, I'm glad you got tomclassic to provide more pictures. I tried but didn't get a response. It appears that the bracket is heavier than I previous thought, possibly 3/8" thick. I am also concerned about there only being two bolts to secure the caliper bracket. There will be a lot of torque on those brackets for two bolts to transfer, particularly since one of them appears to be only about 3/8" diameter. I also question the choice of rotor. As noted, the '70/71 TBird rotor is 11.72" in diameter. A '68 mustang rotor is 11.29" in diamater - a difference of 0.43" diameter of 0.215" radius. The tomclassic system uses Chev K-10 rather than Chev S-10 calipers used by Scarebird and others. I don't know what the differences are between these but the on my 14" rims with Mustang rotors and S-10 calipers, there is about 1/4" of play. The K-10 calipers would have to be at least a 1/4" shorter than the S-10 calipers to allow the tomclassic system to work.
                    sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

                    Comment


                    • I've been waiting for ol' Tom to post my questions on his listing, but it isn't happening. He is probably elated to see he has nearly 80 hits, too.

                      Howard, you're right about number of mounting bolts, bolt sizes, and configurations (I want to see a stepped-bushing used in the Thunderbird spindle's counterbore. I also want to see DOT on his brake hoses.

                      The K-10 caliper was used on cars twenty years older than the S-10 calipers. I don't know about dimension differences. I do know that S-10 parts are more available (and possibly cheaper because the same parts were used on Eldorado's Toronado's, Firebirds, Monte Carlo's, pickups, etc).
                      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


                      • I really don't want this thread to go away. Our we waiting for the February solution mentioned earlier or have we concurred on the best solution for the buck?

                        Also, if I presently have power brakes, do I still need to upgrade on the booster. I totally understand the M/C.

                        Comment


                        • I don't know about others but here is where I am at. I am acting as the "guinea pig" for the disc brake converison. I have three 14"x6" disc brake friendly rims that are supposed to have come off a late 1970s Granada (thanks Ray), a pair of rotors, wheel bearings and seals for a 1968 Mustang, a pair of calipers and a set of pads for a 1994 S-10 two wheel drive. Dave Dare (simplyconnected) had Scarebird send a conversion kit to his place for me (thanks Dave). I still have to make arrangements with Old Irish Dave for a booster and master cylinder (and mounting brackets). I expect to have all the parts by the middle of January so I will start the conversion soon after that. There is a question as to whether or not the 14"x6" "Granada" wheels will work with the Scarebird kit. I am going to take one of my "Granada" rims to Dave Dare's to see if it will fit on his converted '59 Galaxie. If they don't, I will not proceed with the conversion as I am not willing to convert to 15" wheels. Stay tuned - I'll keep you posted as things progress.

                          My '59 has a Kelsey-Hayes bellows type power assist. It does not provide enough force for disc brakes.My intention is to leave it in place and connected and put a tee in the existing vaccum line from the check valve to the booster to provide a source of vacuum for the new booster. It should work but if I have to, I will remove the existing booster.
                          Last edited by Howard Prout; January 3rd, 2010, 09:25 AM. Reason: additional info
                          sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Howard Prout View Post
                            I don't know about others but here is where I am at. I am acting as the "guinea pig" for the disc brake converison. I have three 14"x6" disc brake friendly rims that are supposed to have come a late 1970s Granada (thanks Ray), a pair of rotors, wheel bearings and seals for a 1968 Mustang, a pair of calipers and a set of pads for a 1994 S-10 two wheel drive. Dave Dare (simplyconnected) had Scarebird send a conversion kit to his place for me (thanks Dave). I still have to make arrangements with Old Irish Dave for a booster and master cylinder (and mounting brackets). I expect to have all the parts by the middle of January so I will start the conversion soon after that. There is some debate as to whether or not the 14"x6" "Granada" wheels will work with the Scarebird kit. So I am going to take one of my "Granada" rims to Dave Dare's to see if it will fit on his converted '59 Galaxie. If they don't, I will not proceed with the conversion as I am not willing to convert to 15" wheels. Stay tuned - I'll keep you posted as things progress.

                            My '59 has a Kelsey-Hayes bellows type power assist. It does not provide enough force for disc brakes.My intention is to leave it in place and connected and put a tee in the existing vaccum line from the check valve to the booster to provide a source of vacuum for the new booster. It should work but if I have to, I will remove the existing booster.
                            -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            Be careful using the old booster in series with the new one. A couple of things I ran into were #1 with the old booster the push rod was too short to activate a disc brake master cylinder and #2 when you remove the OE under dash booster you will find that the brackets are what brace the firewall. If you are not careful you will end up with bad firewall deflection which will affect your brake operation and feel like you have a soft pedal.
                            sigpic
                            Jim

                            protourbird

                            Comment


                            • I bought my disc conversion kit about 6 years ago from Larry's t-birds. It was a bolt on kit. I never regretted the conversion. As for the wheels, I wanted to keep my wheel covers and wide whites so I bought a set of mustang rims and they clear the calipers just fine.

                              Comment


                              • Stock wheel width ...

                                was no where near 8". Don't recall the stock #, but I think around 5.5". Unless your doing a trailer queen I would recommend using a modern tire. You should be able to get a radial with wide whites if that's the direction your going. Mike

                                Comment

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