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Old 01/13/2021, 12:12 PM   #1
jamoaus
 
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Disc brake conversion

Hi all.

Happy new year!

I am considering doing a disc brake conversion on my 68 California Special - more for safety than anything.. I have had some members recommend the wilwood conversion kit?

Wondering if anyone has done this or can recommend a good mechanic that can help with it? Iím based in Los Angeles.

Thanks for the info and advice.


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Old 01/13/2021, 02:28 PM   #2
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You might want to consider simply adding a booster if you have manual drum brakes. I had it done to a 68 Coupe that I had and it made quite a difference, and it is a lot cheaper and simpler than a disc brake conversion.

Steve Cracknell
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Old 01/13/2021, 05:15 PM   #3
franklinair
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I added a PB booster on a '68 Mustang drum brake car. Worked great, at a fraction of the disc conversion cost. NPD sells it. $300+/-.
Here's a photo of the brake job I did on that car.

Neil
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Old 01/14/2021, 05:30 AM   #4
gazrox
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I just purchased a Leed brakes conversion kit. After a bad lockup and nearly rear-ending someone this past summer (all part of another accident ahead of me) I decided that enough was enough. With the cost of maintaining the drums every year I decided it was worth the cost for safety and piece of mind. Just converting the front. Drums are OK for regular braking but I dont want to go through another incident like that.

Gary

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Old 01/15/2021, 11:05 AM   #5
robert campbell
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This is Rob the modified guy! When it comes to brakes on our old cars these are my thoughts. Unless you are racing, towing a load, or have significantly changed your tires to a larger/softer implant, discs do very little. One other outlier is if you have just went down a STEEP hill then need to panic stop. Drums are susceptible to heat and fade.

The main constant is the coefficient of friction between the tire and the road surface. In a panic stop, all four tires are more than likely locked up and are skidding. Does not matter what system locked them up. Now an ABS system utilized on our old car would reduce stopping distance, but again only marginally due to the tire.

If you have significantly upgraded your tire to a high performance soft compound of significantly more width, a disc conversion may help you stop better. Again, if you are racing in autocross or open track, you need brakes that will not fade under high duress situations.

A Sunday driver with a a good four wheel drum system will perform one panic stop with ease. A power assist will make that one stop easier as Neil suggests. IMO disc conversions are a waste of money. As far as maintenance there is very little on a good drum system with auto adjust systems that came on our cars. To auto adjust them just find a small hill and coast backwards while gently pumping the brakes. They will adjust perfectly and stop straight. You need to replace the star adjustor and the auto adjust tab to ensure that they adjust properly.

Rob
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Old 01/16/2021, 06:07 AM   #6
gazrox
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Disc brakes will outperform drums every day of the week - there is a reason the GT's had disc brakes and its the reason why most cars even before the advent of ABS systems were converting to disc brakes. In my view there are just too many components that can break, need adjusting and constant maintenance. At the end of the day, it comes down to what I perceive to be safest for my family when we are driving, and at the moment I just dont have a level of trust in the front drum brakes. I think half the problem these days is that the components such as brakes shoes and springs are absolute crap from overseas sources.

Gary

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Old 01/21/2021, 11:17 AM   #7
robert campbell
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Never had a problem with drum components. The cheapest shoes are usually the softest and work alot better than the high dollar shoes.

I would bet a stock GT/CS with stock size tires will have the same stopping distance whether drum or front disc. Again for one panic stop. But if your wallet is thick go ahead and spend the money for discs.

Rob
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Old 01/23/2021, 08:11 AM   #8
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So I went ahead and upgraded the front drums to discs and boy is there a night and day difference. With the manual drums, you had to put your full weight into your leg to stop the car. Now with the discs, the mustang now brakes like a modern car. Some people might not like that, but I feel safer knowing that light pressure on the brake will make it stop quickly. Itís probably one of the best upgrades Iíve made and worth the $$.

Here is what I switched to:
1) Wilwood Classic Series Dynalite Front Brake Kits 140-13476-DR
2) Wilwood Aluminum Tandem Master Cylinders 261-13272

Anyways, wanted to give a quick update and say thanks to everyone for the advice and info.









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Old 01/23/2021, 11:40 AM   #9
robert campbell
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Always willing to learn. I see that the your disc conversion does not incorporate a power assist. So in your opinion this conversion produces a light pedal effort when compared to your old manual drum system?

I may need to suggest such a conversion to customers looking for a lighter pedal effort. Do you feel it is comparable to a power assist disc conversion? My guess is it must be somewhere in between? When you compare it to a modern car, they almost all have power assist.

Rob
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Old 01/23/2021, 12:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert campbell View Post
Always willing to learn. I see that the your disc conversion does not incorporate a power assist. So in your opinion this conversion produces a light pedal effort when compared to your old manual drum system?

I may need to suggest such a conversion to customers looking for a lighter pedal effort. Do you feel it is comparable to a power assist disc conversion? My guess is it must be somewhere in between? When you compare it to a modern car, they almost all have power assist.

Rob

Thatís correct mate. It definitely is a huge improvement over the manual braking and is much lighter pedal effort for sure! I would say it sits in between like you mentioned... but if youíve been used to having to use your weight in one leg to brake then you will notice a huge improvement. Iím really happy with it and if anything, gives me some peace of mind!


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Old 01/24/2021, 11:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert campbell View Post
Always willing to learn. I see that the your disc conversion does not incorporate a power assist. So in your opinion this conversion produces a light pedal effort when compared to your old manual drum system?

I may need to suggest such a conversion to customers looking for a lighter pedal effort. Do you feel it is comparable to a power assist disc conversion? My guess is it must be somewhere in between? When you compare it to a modern car, they almost all have power assist.

Rob
Using a master cylinder with a bore under 1Ē is recommended for non-power systems. When using a booster larger is better.

This getting older ain't for cowards. - John Mellencamp
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Old 01/29/2021, 10:20 PM   #12
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OK, I think you talked me into ordering the same disc brake setup you installed. Is it 100% turn key? As in, do all the hard brake lines fit, or do I need to make lines?

I'm also thinking of installing a Borgeson steering setup, Vintage Air, and 58cc Dart iron heads. Need to start making the car a long distance cruiser.

I figure when I remove the intake and heads I'll have a lot of room to install all the other stuff.

Well hell, when I do all that work I may as well convert to an Edelbrock 4V.
Winter is getting boring, after all.

Do any of you have any advice on any of the above?

Thanks

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Old 01/30/2021, 06:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosesatm View Post
OK, I think you talked me into ordering the same disc brake setup you installed. Is it 100% turn key? As in, do all the hard brake lines fit, or do I need to make lines?

I'm also thinking of installing a Borgeson steering setup, Vintage Air, and 58cc Dart iron heads. Need to start making the car a long distance cruiser.

I figure when I remove the intake and heads I'll have a lot of room to install all the other stuff.

Well hell, when I do all that work I may as well convert to an Edelbrock 4V.
Winter is getting boring, after all.

Do any of you have any advice on any of the above?

Thanks
Rob is jumping up and down with excitement.

Follow HCS restoration at http://68hcs.weebly.com
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Old 01/30/2021, 09:48 AM   #14
CougarCJ
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Been hearing good things about Holley Sniper EFI, if you want to go that route.

Scott Behncke
1968 GT/CS 302-4V Honors flysis incone beezis onchest nobis inob keesis
West Coast Classic Cougar A good source for Mustang mechanical parts too.
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Old 01/30/2021, 10:09 AM   #15
jamoaus
 
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Disc brake conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosesatm View Post
OK, I think you talked me into ordering the same disc brake setup you installed. Is it 100% turn key? As in, do all the hard brake lines fit, or do I need to make lines?

I'm also thinking of installing a Borgeson steering setup, Vintage Air, and 58cc Dart iron heads. Need to start making the car a long distance cruiser.

I figure when I remove the intake and heads I'll have a lot of room to install all the other stuff.

Well hell, when I do all that work I may as well convert to an Edelbrock 4V.
Winter is getting boring, after all.

Do any of you have any advice on any of the above?

Thanks
Yeah you wonít regret it. The discs make a huge difference!

The brake lines were the most difficult part. They need some manipulating.

As for the Edelbrock - im interested to how you go with that. I have a leaky Holley so thinking of switching out the whole thing rather than rebuild.


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