Disc Brake Conversion Question - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Disc Brake Conversion Question

If you do the manual disc brake conversion instead of power, is the performance still a big improvement over drums?

Thanks

Jim White
Kingston, TN.
1966 Galaxie 500
460 w/ C6
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 02:57 PM
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Re: Disc Brake Conversion Question

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Originally Posted by k4apy View Post
If you do the manual disc brake conversion instead of power, is the performance still a big improvement over drums?

Thanks
I didn't notice much of a performance difference with PB. Maybe manual will show more.
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Putts drives a 1965 Galaxie. Rebuilt 390, 4100 on a Performer, MX, AC, PS, PB w Scarebird front discs on Cragar 17" S/S.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 04:40 PM
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I changed to manual disc brakes back in 95. There is no difference in performance except power requires less pressure. That's why the brake pedal is higher when manual brakes are used, manual requires more leverage. My Galaxie stops as well as any of my newer power brake cars. It is a major improvement over drum.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Disc Brake Conversion Question

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Originally Posted by SemiCrazy View Post
I changed to manual disc brakes back in 95. There is no difference in performance except power requires less pressure. That's why the brake pedal is higher when manual brakes are used, manual requires more leverage. My Galaxie stops as well as any of my newer power brake cars. It is a major improvement over drum.
Thank You for the comment. Did you do a scarebird conversion or something else? I was just thinking about doing the manual disc conversion but most of the posts I read about folks were doing power disc conversions. Wanted to hear from someone who did the manual disc conversion to see how happy they were. Thanks again.

Jim White
Kingston, TN.
1966 Galaxie 500
460 w/ C6
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 06:36 AM
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Re: Disc Brake Conversion Question

I did manual disc. Really not a huge improvement over stock drums other than safety and ease to work with.
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2005 Ford Expedition -5.4
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 06:41 AM
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Re: Disc Brake Conversion Question

A lot of big block cars in the 60's\70's came with no power
both in drum and disc. I've even had to run my 74
Dart without power for awhile while getting a new PB unit.
I prefer the PowerBrake booster in today's driving...
in either case when you do go to disc, remember the
proportioning valve. In some cases it's not needed, in some
you really need it.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 01:53 AM
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Re: Disc Brake Conversion Question

I went with the CPP Big Brake Kit up front. You will need 17" wheels minimum. I have 18" up front. I also added an aftermarket brake booster and Wilwood Master Cylinder. Works great and looks good! Install was fairly straight forward. The car stops with ease now
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 04:08 AM
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Re: Disc Brake Conversion Question

Nice looking wheels. How do they drive?

To every man upon this earth
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Putts drives a 1965 Galaxie. Rebuilt 390, 4100 on a Performer, MX, AC, PS, PB w Scarebird front discs on Cragar 17" S/S.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 05:32 PM
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Re: Disc Brake Conversion Question

Delete - double post?

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 05:33 PM
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Re: Disc Brake Conversion Question

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Originally Posted by k4apy View Post
If you do the manual disc brake conversion instead of power, is the performance still a big improvement over drums?
That's a trick question, right? No, disc brakes do not work any better than factory drum brakes. Now, before I hear the screaming start, you must consider the comparison. Are your brakes working poorly? Then anything is better. Are they working right? Then discs are not better, as you can only stop as hard as your traction allows, and drums (working properly) will do that just fine on the street.

I say this as many people are disappointed by discs if their original drums were working well and adjusted properly. So, having said all that, the benefits of discs are reduced brake fade under intense use, reduced susceptibility to deep water and splashed road film, greater selection of pad material, and due to our classics becoming aged—parts availability. So, if you have poor braking, then you can fix what you have and upgrade specific parts while you're at it if you want increased fade/film performance, or use discs if you drive in deep water or snow a lot. And if racing discs can be a better choice. But most other reasons are generally for looks, style, or ego. While I used manual drums when racing a Stock-class car to stop from high 10s at 130+mph and 4400 pounds; I drive sanely on the street, and I mostly use discs now (still manual because I like the feel of the feedback), and I don't race as much, but want to look like I do.

TL;DR - Drums can stop as well as discs on the street, but use whatever makes you giggle.

David

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 04:14 AM
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Re: Disc Brake Conversion Question

The wheels drive well. You get a bit more road feel with the smaller sidewall but the handling is definitely more responsive. I have HD sway bars front and rear + the car is lowered 3"
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Disc Brake Conversion Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanddoc View Post
A lot of big block cars in the 60's\70's came with no power
both in drum and disc. I've even had to run my 74
Dart without power for awhile while getting a new PB unit.
I prefer the PowerBrake booster in today's driving...
in either case when you do go to disc, remember the
proportioning valve. In some cases it's not needed, in some
you really need it.
Thanks! IF I go power brakes, are the metal lines the same or are they a different diameter than drum / non power?

Thanks again.

Jim White
Kingston, TN.
1966 Galaxie 500
460 w/ C6
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 06:45 AM
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Re: Disc Brake Conversion Question

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Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
I did manual disc. Really not a huge improvement over stock drums other than safety and ease to work with.


The magic is in the size of the master used with the manual disc brake system. NASCAR race cars still have manual disc brakes. Back in, say 1990's, Dale Earnhart still used a single FORD master with a bore size of 1" or up to 1-1/8" in a 3400 lb car. The single master was made in many sizes for Ford vans, pick-up's and cars. Also, I use a manual proportional valve for my cars.


Using the same force;
A smaller bore master will travel further at the pedal with more stopping power.
A larger bore master will travel less distance at the pedal with less stopping power.

A little fine tuning will be worth the effort.
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