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Affordable front disc upgrade options?


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My '72 needs new rotors and calipers replaced up front. Are there any affordable (cheap) upgrades to get bigger brakes up front? Like maybe OEM brakes from a newer car that are better than what was on there? While I'd love to go for Wilwood or something like that, it's just not in the cards right now. Tried searching around but not really seeing a clear answer on what might work and what kind of mods might be needed to make it work. 

Also, if swapping isn't practical, are there replacement parts for the OEM brakes that will perform better than stock?

I'm running 20" wheels right now so there is tons of room for larger brakes. Probably go to 18's or 19's at some point, but it will always be larger than stock.  

Appreciate any feedback on this. 

Thanks!

Edited by TheDude
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One option is to trade your disk brake spindles for drum brake spindles and install Mustang Steve's brackets for later (and larger) Mustangs brakes and rotors.

https://www.mustangsteve.com/

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“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

--Albert Einstein

 

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Well that's an interesting idea. It would seem weird to go back to drum parts to get better brakes, but whatever works. Thanks for the feedback!

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I believe the reason for the drum spindle is there is no caliper bracket on it, so much easier to mount a custom bracket.

There are better quality rotors and pads out there, but with such big wheels, they would still look a little small.

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You might do a little checking on big Ford cars of the era. Might have bigger disc and calipers that might fit. You would think if they did someone would have already found them and let the word out if there were some.
I have an SVO Mustang and what Ford did to upgrade the discs on them was to install the Lincoln discs with 5 lug discs and also used the Lincoln forged steel lower control arms. What is odd I thought is I have an extra set of SVO wheels and tires and I was going to use them for rollers on a 72 mustang. They fit the rear but would not clear the calipers on the front. They are 16" wheels also.

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P

David

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On 9/14/2020 at 3:17 AM, TheDude said:

Well that's an interesting idea. It would seem weird to go back to drum parts to get better brakes, but whatever works. Thanks for the feedback!

That's the set-up I plan on going with. I picked up a set of drum brake spindles from a guy parting a car out. 

[align=left]Jeff T.

 

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passengers. [/align]

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All drum spindles use weaker, smaller spindles, large diameter 18"+rims put too much stress there, ford was breaking boss spindles on test track in 69 with f60-15 tires, reason for larger 1970 up disc brake spindle/outer bearing.

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Don't let this happen to you:

 

Think about this for a second. We are building cars with very capable suspensions using modern, sticky radial tires on 50+ year old spindles. I doubt the Ford engineers could ever dream of the loads we would be putting through spindles designed for skinny bias ply tires. This is not the knob on your radio were talking about. If this part fails its going to ruin your day.

 

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1 hour ago, B229218 said:

All drum spindles use weaker, smaller spindles, large diameter 18"+rims put too much stress there, ford was breaking boss spindles on test track in 69 with f60-15 tires, reason for larger 1970 up disc brake spindle/outer bearing.

 

70-73 drum and disc spindles use the same size inner and outer bearings.....

 

 

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3 hours ago, B229218 said:

All drum spindles use weaker, smaller spindles, large diameter 18"+rims put too much stress there, ford was breaking boss spindles on test track in 69 with f60-15 tires, reason for larger 1970 up disc brake spindle/outer bearing.

I would have to agree, compared to modern performance car spindles both disc and drum spindles look kinda light duty. I don't see a stock suspension 71-73 pulling 1g on turns either. If that was the goal it would require way better parts all around. I'm no engineer though. ;-)

[align=left]Jeff T.

 

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passengers. [/align]

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My car isn't going to see any track time or anything. Just looking to get it to run and drive more like a modern car. Right now it's a rattly death trap and really just want it to be safer and less scary to drive. 

That said, when you factor in $300 for Mustang Steve's brackets, some new spindles, junkyard or new brake parts etc etc, you're getting close to the cost of an entry level Wilwood setup. Anyone used these, if so how tough are the mods to install?  

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/wil-140-13477 

Probably still not as good as larger, modern hardware OEM hardware as they are still pretty small. But I have to assume the 4 piston setup would be a lot better than what I have now. Well just any brakes that work would be a step up so the bar is pretty low at the moment.  

And yea as someone mentioned, these discs look almost comically small on these big wheels. My son's Hyundai has 4 piston Brembos from the factory that are bigger than this and this car is way bigger and heavier. 

Thanks 

Edited by TheDude
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It sounds like our car goals are pretty similar. I drive my car a ton and frequently am 100 - 200 or more miles from home. If it were to break something on a road trip I'd rather go to the local NAPA to grab the parts to fix it rather than wait 2 to 3 days for an aftermarket part to arrive. The plan is to use the MustangSteve brackets and 2014 or so Mustang GT rotors and calipers. Those cars are a bit heavier and the brakes are a bunch bigger. The wilwood set may be slightly better than stock 73 stuff but I don't think they would accomplish what you want. Pad options for our cars is getting pretty slim. 

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[align=left]Jeff T.

 

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passengers. [/align]

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5 hours ago, droptop73 said:

It sounds like our car goals are pretty similar. I drive my car a ton and frequently am 100 - 200 or more miles from home. If it were to break something on a road trip I'd rather go to the local NAPA to grab the parts to fix it rather than wait 2 to 3 days for an aftermarket part to arrive. The plan is to use the MustangSteve brackets and 2014 or so Mustang GT rotors and calipers. Those cars are a bit heavier and the brakes are a bunch bigger. The wilwood set may be slightly better than stock 73 stuff but I don't think they would accomplish what you want. Pad options for our cars is getting pretty slim. 

Yup, the more I thought about the Wilwoods the less I like the idea and it seems like only a small improvement in performance with that kit anyway. I see that kit around pretty cheap sometimes and it seems neat to have Wilwoods on there, but I think it would seem neater to have better brakes that I can get parts for anywhere.  

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On 9/15/2020 at 4:28 PM, TheDude said:

My car isn't going to see any track time or anything. Just looking to get it to run and drive more like a modern car. Right now it's a rattly death trap and really just want it to be safer and less scary to drive. 

That said, when you factor in $300 for Mustang Steve's brackets, some new spindles, junkyard or new brake parts etc etc, you're getting close to the cost of an entry level Wilwood setup. Anyone used these, if so how tough are the mods to install?  

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/wil-140-13477 

Probably still not as good as larger, modern hardware OEM hardware as they are still pretty small. But I have to assume the 4 piston setup would be a lot better than what I have now. Well just any brakes that work would be a step up so the bar is pretty low at the moment.  

And yea as someone mentioned, these discs look almost comically small on these big wheels. My son's Hyundai has 4 piston Brembos from the factory that are bigger than this and this car is way bigger and heavier. 

Thanks 

I have this kit from Wilwood and I am not that thrill about them. They do the work, but nothing out of this world. If you want to go with bigger Wilwoods it gets very expensive. Better braking comes with larger diameter discs and this kit is 11.3", which is good for 15" wheels.

Edited by tony-muscle

20160929_171923_edit2_small.jpg

 

1971 M-Code Mach 1 w/Ram Air, 408 stroker, 285/291 0.558" roller cam, Blue Thunder intake, TKO600, Hooker headers with electric cut-offs, FiTech EFI w/ RobBMC PowerSurge pump

Strange center section with Truetrac, 3.5 gear and 31 spline axles, 4-wheel disc brakes

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TheDude,

What is your budget?  I have the  1994-2004 Cobra 13″ Front Brakes on your Classic Ford kit installed on my 1973 Coupe. I bought it s few years ago. Works very well. The price for the kit then, was reasonable. Wow, not cheap these days!

Thanks,

mustang7173 🇺🇸

"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway" -- John Wayne

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry, didn't see your reply. I finally punted and went with stock again. Had a few other things come up that needed money so it was tough to argue with ceramic pads, rotors and bearings for around $170 bucks. I think the calipers are fine. 

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