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  • lower control arms

    dose anyone know the difference between the 64 and 65 t bird lower control arms? I'm planning to change over to disks in the front of my 64. I've got everything except the lower arms. Thanks , Larry.

  • #2
    How they are different doesn't matter. The fact is that Ford spent money to redesign them for disc brakes which means they aren't interchangeable with drum brakes. In other words your '64 control arms won't work with '65 spindles. The whole steering and suspension system was changed in '65. It's not as easy as just changing spindles. If it was Ford would've done it and saved money. My suggestion is to forget about changing the spindles and get an aftermarket disc brake kit that will reuse your original spindles. It will be much easier and safer.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

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    • #3
      Thanks, John. I'll keep it in mind. I just thought it would be better to have ford( K-H) parts.

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      • #4
        I converted mine using a kit from Toms Classic. He sells on ebay. https://www.ebay.com/usr/tomsclassic. The kit included a thick steel bracket to carry the calipers, the calipers, disks, bearings, hoses and inserts that he makes on a lathe to convert the '64 spindles to the new bearings. The nice thing about the kit is that the calipers, disks and bearings are off a Chevy S10 and thus cheap and available nearly anywhere.

        The only caveat with the calipers is that there is a small spot that has to be ground down for clearance. The ones with the kit should already be done but if you replace one you'll need to spend five minutes with a dremel.

        The disks solved my fade problem, work with my 15" wire wheels (Coker, spec'd for a '65) and the car stops at least as well as before. But they are single piston, sliding caliper type and not exactly high performance parts. If I wasn't so cheap I might have gone with a kit from Wilwood or something like that.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dark Soul View Post
          ...The nice thing about the kit is that the calipers, disks and bearings are off a Chevy S10 and thus cheap and available nearly anywhere...
          I LOVE this part.

          I respectfully disagree with 'single piston' calipers being substandard. ALL major car manufacturers use single-piston in cars, trucks, SUVs, etc. If they were substandard, believe me, the 'deep pocket automakers' would be sued and they would change their products. Those same automakers hire a staff of professional engineers to make sure their vehicles' brakes are well suited for today's interstate highways.

          Most Ford and GM calipers historically used 2-1/2" diameter pistons with 11" rotors. Some Wilwood kits, including two-piston. have less square inch area when the piston areas are combined. Wilwood parts are not readily available over the counter at most auto parts stores and neither are pad-hardness options. Ford GM and Chrysler parts are. Check out the pad options for your S-10 (or S-15) calipers at rockauto. (I count at least 40 with over a dozen manufacturers.)

          The main idea here is to find quality parts at inexpensive prices that are readily available. That means, no machining or 'special' parts that are only available in a monopoly situation. Slight grinding for clearance is an exception. - 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

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          • #6
            thanks for all the input, Larry.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Larry Tappen View Post
              Thanks, John. I'll keep it in mind. I just thought it would be better to have ford( K-H) parts.
              I never knew Ford put 4 piston brakes on the front of any T-bird (same caliper they used on the orig trans am mustangs).
              total area of 12.56 sq inches, or about double an S-10 caliper. (and not a sliding caliper)

              https://www.larrystbird.com/wp-conte...07/B-2120A.jpg


              I would make them fit if I could, even if I had to update other things. Of course you then need to run 15 " wheels, which
              I didn't want to, to keep stock 59 hubcaps.
              59-430-HT

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