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Advice on brake conversion kits


slowpoke17
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I'm going to replace the manual drum brakes and go with the power discs up front and keep the drums in the rear. I see a lot of conversion kits out there, some seem more complete than others. What I'm looking for is a complete kit that will include everything for the swap. Based on everyone experience that did this, can anyone offer any tips on what  to look for, best company for completeness, ease of installation and quality. Thanks

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I'm going to replace the manual drum brakes and go with the power discs up front and keep the drums in the rear. I see a lot of conversion kits out there, some seem more complete than others. What I'm looking for is a complete kit that will include everything for the swap. Based on everyone experience that did this, can anyone offer any tips on what  to look for, best company for completeness, ease of installation and quality. Thanks

 

 For a low buck and great quality, my choice was SSBC 4 piston Kelsey-Hayes style. They fit right onto your drum spindles and very easy to do. When I did mine, I also changed all the brake lines. I chose SS, but good quality steel lines will last longer than the rest of the car, easier to work with as well. You will need new flex lines for sure. You can get these brakes from National Parts Depot amongst others. Oh, these will work with 14" wheels. I run aftermarket Magnum 500's. Also, forgot to mention, I did not have a power booster for the first 3 years, only adding that 2 years ago. On the back circuit, I used a separate adjustable control valve that came with the kit. The original prop valve is now just a joiner for the front brakes. Downside is I lost my brake warning idiot light. Oh well too bad!!

Geoff.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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 For a low buck and great quality, my choice was SSBC 4 piston Kelsey-Hayes style. They fit right onto your drum spindles and very easy to do. When I did mine, I also changed all the brake lines. I chose SS, but good quality steel lines will last longer than the rest of the car, easier to work with as well. You will need new flex lines for sure. You can get these brakes from National Parts Depot amongst others. Oh, these will work with 14" wheels. I run aftermarket Magnum 500's. Also, forgot to mention, I did not have a power booster for the first 3 years, only adding that 2 years ago. On the back circuit, I used a separate adjustable control valve that came with the kit. The original prop valve is now just a joiner for the front brakes. Downside is I lost my brake warning idiot light. Oh well too bad!!

Geoff.

 

Thanks Geoff, I didn't even think of NPD, I checked the two big suppliers. I plan to do the booster at the same time. Someone mentioned that you also need to replace the brake pedal or redrill the pivot point with the new booster. I did see one kit that included a new pedal as well. My brake lines are shot so that is also on the ticket with a new fuel line from the tank forward. 

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I also have a manual Drum Car and am also working on the brakes right now.

 

I am in the process of changing out all the lines to SS Disc lines.

 

Some observations.....

 

The Bracket that secures the front Brake Hose appears to be different on a Disc car than a drum car. When you get the Disc Lines, they will have bends in them that wont match up to your drum hose bracket, so you may have to bend them a bit. I did, and it wasnt hard.

 

Drum Car Bracket

20181230-175311.jpg

 

Disc Car Bracket

 

Disc-Brake-Line.jpg

 

 

The Ends of the Disc Brake Line Kit Will be different in some places than the Drum Line Kit.  ie, the master cylinder lines will have different fittings.   Depending on which proportional valve you use, you may need different fittings on the new lines.  If you stick with Mustang specific parts, everything should work fine.  If you go with an after market Proportional valve like I did, The ends will be different.  If you go stainless, you do not want to be changing ends.  So make sure you order the lines with the correct ends.

 

 

20190103-190345.jpg

 

 

Conversion Kit.

 

I also like the SSBC Kit.  It is inexpensive and will fit.  I havnt got it yet, but its on my list.

https://www.npdlink.com/product/disc-brake-conversion-kit-street-bandit-front-drum/207115/200824

1102-14sba-20180412080401.jpg

 

 

Master/Booster Upgrade.

If your kit doesnt come with the master and brake booster, you will need to get them.

I prefer the LEED Brakes 9" Booster.  If you ask nicely when you order they will also send you the new Bolt on Pivot Point for the pedal.

 

https://leedbrakes.com/i-21155650-9-inch-power-brake-booster-black.html

 

F133294153.jpg

 

You could also go with the master/booster combo.

https://leedbrakes.com/i-21155649-hydraulic-kit-power-brake-booster-kit-71-73-ford-mustang.html

 

F133363489.jpg

You will need to remove the Drivers side Shock Tower Brace for access.  Then Remove the Drum Master Cylinder and disconnect from pedal, and brake switch. (Giant pain in the ass, remove the seat first.)

 

 This will leave you with 2 Studs holding the Pedal Assembly in place.  Remove the 2 Studs by threading on a nut, then a 2nd nut and lock them into each other, then turn the inside nut to rotate the stud bolt out.

 

Once the pedal assembly is out You can remove the pedal from the bracket.  If you can, this would be a good time to blast and paint/powder coat all that stuff.

 

Then using a drill press, drill the hole for the new bolt in pivot point.  Since the rod on the booster is lower than the drum master, it must be relocated.

 

You can bolt it on, or bolt it and weld it in place.

 

While everything is out, replace all your lines.  This will be immeasurable fun!  You will need to unbolt the Emissions canister and preferably the vacuum canister to get access to the passenger side lines and union.

 

Use these Reference pictures as a guide.

 

Brake-line-reference-1.jpg

 

Brake-line-reference-2.jpg

 

brake-line-reference-3.jpg

 

Disc-Brake-Line.jpg

 

brake-line-reference-5.jpg

 

brake-line-reference-6.jpg

 

Brake-line-reference-7.jpg

 

 

 

Then Put back together and mount the booster and pedal assembly.

Mount the Master Cylinder AFTER Bench Bleeding.  Install the lines pointing up so they wont leak fluid and loose prime on the master.

 

Connect it all up and bleed it.  it will be lots easier to bleed the disc brakes than the drums were.

"I drank what?" - Socrates

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Excellent help and information!!! Thank you so much, these photos will be saved and printed for sure. Your car is looking really good too, it's an inspiration on what I hope my car will look like when completed. Thank you again.

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i'm in the process of installing the welwood kit front disc kit the only thing i did not get was the proportioning valve .its 575$ but you can catch a sale for 5%,10% and i just missed a 15% off

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 For a low buck and great quality, my choice was SSBC 4 piston Kelsey-Hayes style. They fit right onto your drum spindles and very easy to do. When I did mine, I also changed all the brake lines. I chose SS, but good quality steel lines will last longer than the rest of the car, easier to work with as well. You will need new flex lines for sure. You can get these brakes from National Parts Depot amongst others. Oh, these will work with 14" wheels. I run aftermarket Magnum 500's. Also, forgot to mention, I did not have a power booster for the first 3 years, only adding that 2 years ago. On the back circuit, I used a separate adjustable control valve that came with the kit. The original prop valve is now just a joiner for the front brakes. Downside is I lost my brake warning idiot light. Oh well too bad!!

Geoff.

 

Thanks Geoff, I didn't even think of NPD, I checked the two big suppliers. I plan to do the booster at the same time. Someone mentioned that you also need to replace the brake pedal or redrill the pivot point with the new booster. I did see one kit that included a new pedal as well. My brake lines are shot so that is also on the ticket with a new fuel line from the tank forward. 

 

 

 When I did my upgrade to booster, yes I needed to relocate the push rod pin down 2". BUT I went the hole hog and as my car is a manual trans, and stripped out the column as well as the bracket and installed ball bearings for the clutch shaft ( Mustang Steve's conversion). If you or anyone else is working with a factory manual trans, do this mod if nothing else. Huge difference on the effort needed to disengage the clutch!!

This has been posted before, but here is a pic of my modded pedal arm. This pin was welded in. Also a couple of other pics that might be helpful. Note the mounted rear brake bias valve.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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  • 5 weeks later...

Excellent help and information!!! Thank you so much, these photos will be saved and printed for sure. Your car is looking really good too, it's an inspiration on what I hope my car will look like when completed. Thank you again.

 

Has anyone checked out the Scott Drake kit offered on CJPony?

 

https://www.cjponyparts.com/scott-drake-front-power-disc-brake-conversion-kit-with-drilled-slotted-rotors-automatic-transmission-v8-1971-1973/p/DBCA134ADS/

 

 

I've been researching brake options and like the option of a total kit with pretty much everything included. But on the other hand I've read lots of reviews on Drake products and it can be hit or miss when it comes to quality. Anyone have any experience with this or a similar kit?

 

Also, what are y'all doing for the rear? I don't see the point in upgrading to disc in the rear, anyone have a recommendation for a good drum upgrade for the best performance?

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Excellent help and information!!! Thank you so much, these photos will be saved and printed for sure. Your car is looking really good too, it's an inspiration on what I hope my car will look like when completed. Thank you again.

 

Has anyone checked out the Scott Drake kit offered on CJPony?

 

https://www.cjponyparts.com/scott-drake-front-power-disc-brake-conversion-kit-with-drilled-slotted-rotors-automatic-transmission-v8-1971-1973/p/DBCA134ADS/

 

 

I've been researching brake options and like the option of a total kit with pretty much everything included. But on the other hand I've read lots of reviews on Drake products and it can be hit or miss when it comes to quality. Anyone have any experience with this or a similar kit?

 

Also, what are y'all doing for the rear? I don't see the point in upgrading to disc in the rear, anyone have a recommendation for a good drum upgrade for the best performance?

 

 Can't be sure, but that looks awfully like the SSBC brand being sold under SD name. If not it's a copy. I do like the drilled rotors though. On the SSBC kit I bought, I got the slotted rotors upgrade, but that was back in 2010 and things change.

Back brakes, these cars are so light on the back end, I found that drums are sufficient and in fact as you have seen, there is a bias valve to cut the braking to a minimum. A problem I do have is the car is a "one-wheeler-peeler", so very easy to lock up the rear left wheel.

Geoff.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

I've been researching brake options and like the option of a total kit with pretty much everything included. But on the other hand I've read lots of reviews on Drake products and it can be hit or miss when it comes to quality. Anyone have any experience with this or a similar kit?

 

Also, what are y'all doing for the rear? I don't see the point in upgrading to disc in the rear, anyone have a recommendation for a good drum upgrade for the best performance?

 

I ended up purchasing the complete conversion kit from CJ Pony/Scott Drake. Set me back $900, haven't had a chance to install anything yet but out of the box everything looks like good quality and heavy duty. I don't plan on doing anything to the rear except a drum brake refresh with new drums, cylinders, shoes etc.

I'm just waiting for March to get here, I'll bring the car in the garage and get it up on the lift so I can start! I have a new gas tank, fuel and brake lines, new front brakes and some other work I need to get started on.

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I bought the Leed Brakes front power disc kit and had it installed two weeks ago. Best thing I ever did to the car! Uses 67-68 Mustang rotors and 71-73 wheel bearings, and 65-66 Mustang calipers. With the front drums there was no intuition and no feel to the braking experience and braking towards corners was like guiding a barge. The new power brakes means you can head into corners stress free just like a normal modern car!

 

I did hand mine over to a brake shop to install though, could have done it myself but lacked a bit of confidence to do so.

 

The brake guy did remove the seat to get at the brake pedal for pedal removal and modification, but he didn't have to remove the steering column to do so. I told him to just cut an access hole in the existing firewall cover plate (it's only the thickness of a bit of tin) to create access for the power booster shaft, so there was no need for him to remove the whole pedal bracket assembly.

 

One note that a kind person on this forum advised me, is that the holes where the power booster attaches through the firewall need the threads drilling out so the booster studs will go through them. These holes in the firewall are 3/8" threaded, so a 3/8" drill is needed just to get rid of the thread.

 

Another note, the brake lights stopped working with the new brakes. Doing some research I found that there are two different brake switches used for power and drum brake cars. The switches look identical however the power brakes switch has a weaker spring in it than the drum brake switch so that it doesn't take as much force to activate it. Put the power brake light switch in and the brake lights work fine now.

Brett

phonestang2.jpg

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