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1966 brake system repair

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  • 1966 brake system repair

    Hi All, I'm new here but I've read a lot here for several months. I'm currently needing clarifying on getting the brakes to work. The car has been sitting for almost 40 years. I have the motor running now I need to get into the brakes. the Master cylinder single reservoir, feeds the calipers up front and the drums out back. I've read about the 1" and 1 1/8" cylinder mc bores. the 1 1/8 being for cars with air. My car was from Florida and had factory air. I'm looking to buy a new mc reservoir. I've been looking into changing the system to a dual reservoir mc. I'm not sure what the best parts are to use now and am looking for some advice. Are stock parts good enough or should I do an upgrade at this time.
    Last edited by ricksta56; June 30, 2022, 04:35 AM. Reason: terminology

  • #2
    All 1966 master cylinders had a 1" bore whether the car had air or not. If you want to go with a dual master cylinder you can try and substitute one from a 1967 Mustang or full size Ford. They should mount to the booster just fine. Of course you will have to redo the brake lines and use a different prop valve. You will also run into an issue with the shock tower brace. Those who have done it have had to notch it out so it clears.

    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
      OK reading that, is music to my eyeballs.
      {I did read about the 1 1/8" bore here somewhere but lets let that go.}
      I have removed the brace. I did see the wonderful posts about redoing the lines and installing the prop valve here. So at our local cruise last night, a townie I just met has a 59 mint showroom HT very similar looking to your beauty. Another guy had a fine 57. I'll have to get talking with them more as time goes on. To see if he is online etc. he has owned his for 50years, the 59er. Thanks for all your posts and enthusiasm. I'll attempt uploading some pix.

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      • #4
        Oh shoot, I'm not allowed to upload attachments

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        • #5
          Nada

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          • #6
            Rick, uploading pix directly onto our Forum is reserved for Paid Members. It is one of the benefits they receive from being a Paid Member. Our Paid Members help pay the bills to keep this Forum going, otherwise we would have been gone years ago. Paid Membership is $20yr, payable via PayPal. There is a Donate to Site link underneath our logo at the top of the Forum. If you will read the Welcome that was posted to you in New Members Welcoming you will see that info and also how you can post pix by using a free photo hosting website and then posting the links to those pix. Or you can send them to me or John ~ jopizz to post for you. The option is up to you. When posting pix keep the size to no more than 1024pixels. Take a look at the additional benefits you get as a Paid Member here....

            https://www.squarebirds.org/vbulleti...rship-benefits
            Last edited by YellowRose; June 29, 2022, 01:17 PM.

            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

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            • #7
              Thanks, Ray for the info about paid membership.
              the option to upgrade the brake master reservoir is timely for me, do folks here all find this a necessary change or do people happily use the stock braking system. If I remember correctly from last nights cruise the gent with the 59 had gone thru his brake system 20 years ago. and I believe he used new but stock parts. mines a 66, a different animal. Are 66 owners available for comment.

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              • #8
                Hi Rick, yes, there are '64-'66 Tbird owners on here to answer your questions. The response you got from John ~ jopizz is from a 40+yr Master Mechanic and a 1958-1966 Tbird owner who happens to be one of the best people walking this planet when it comes to repairing and restoring those years of Tbirds. You can take what he tells you to the bank. Many '58-'66 Tbird owners swap out that single MC for a Dual MC, and/or a Dual 8" Power Booster. You should already have the latter on that '66. It IS important to replace that single MC especially if you are going to be driving it a lot because if that single MC fails while driving.... You are gonna have a difficult problem in stopping that Tbird. If your Drivers side floor panel is rusted out you had better have some good shoes on in trying to stop that Tbird! You could not have found a better Tbird Forum to help you repair and restore your Tbird!

                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

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                • #9
                  Having owned and driven a few '65 and '66 Thunderbirds the disc brake system was a big improvement over the drum/drum system of the earlier models. However it still pales in comparison to today's disc brake systems. Upgrading to a dual master cylinder for safety reasons is always recommended even if your hoses and lines are new. A failure in one of the lines means you will have no brakes at any wheel so your emergency brake is your only lifeline. I'm not sure why it took so long for manufacturers to adopt the dual master cylinder system. I guess they were hoping that cars would be traded in long before the brake systems could suffer a failure. I wonder how many people died or were seriously injured before it happened.

                  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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                  • #10
                    Well that's enough verification and horse sense for me. I'll be continuing on with the idea of the upgrade to the dual reservoir. Honestly not sure if or how much use I will ever have with this car but making it stop is definitely on the front burner.

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                    • #11
                      yes Yellow Rose, I agree about the wizards here, I been researching on line since I picked up my bird, last April. I respect your expertise and willingness to share.
                      I'm still jumping thru hoops per the DMV to straightened out the paperwork that goes with the vehicle. Wish me luck,
                      I'm wrenching myself so far, without a lift is no fun but once I can stop I will drive it to a shop. To pull the gas tank and re do the fuel canister and filter.

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                      • #12
                        Retrofitting power disk brakes was by far one of the best upgrades I've done on our '59 Fordor Galaxie. It will now put me through the windshield, like a modern car.

                        Back in the day when all cars had drum brakes, people showed more courtesy and gave safe distances between cars. Now, cars are lighter, they all have disk brakes and today's drivers simply don't understand your classic's limitations. Defiantly, (I think Dave meant to say "Definitely" though "Defiantly" might work also! ) install a 1" dual-piston master cylinder, a 8" two-stage power booster and a combination proportioning valve. Since rear brakes only stop ~25%, (11" OEM) drum brakes do a good job before they lock up the wheel. - Dave
                        Last edited by YellowRose; June 30, 2022, 05:23 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

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                        • #13
                          I'm currently tooling up and gathering parts and thinking about my project. I didn't phone you back, I don't want to take up any more of your home time and seems we are on different schedules. I have Pat Wilsons catalog here and I also been cruising e-bay for parts.
                          I did a similar upgrade on my 51 Chevy salesman coupe about 2 summers ago putting discs up front. It already had a dual reservoir master. You are right on about todays driving customs.
                          I've never plumbed in a prop valve before. I'll be looking for brake line routing. When I reach that bridge. I do have a prop valve and a dual reservoir on my parts shelf, now may be the time to dust them off to see if they will be of use here. Happy 4th of July weekend to all here.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ricksta56 View Post
                            ...I've never plumbed in a prop before. I'll be looking for brake line routing. When I reach that bridge. I do have a prop valve and a dual reservoir on my parts shelf, now may be the time to dust them off to see if they will be of use here. Happy 4th of July weekend to all here.
                            Rick, call me after the 4th. We have a lot to talk about regarding brake systems. - 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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                            • #15
                              just joined, I'll attempt photos again soon, my payment didn't register yet?
                              Last edited by ricksta56; July 5, 2022, 06:46 PM.

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