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Hello,
My good friend has a nice 63 XL convertible, 390 4 speed, PS manual brakes. My question is , he would like to update to power brakes and maybe disc's up front. What parts (if any) are bolt on replacement to upgrade to front discs? I know I will need rotors, calipers, spindles, booster and proportion valve. I think putting a booster for sure is the easiest if the drums are kept. Just wondering if anyone has done this? Thanks, Kim
 

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Back in 1995 I converted my 63 to manual disc brakes. They feel and act as if power with none of the problems of power disc. It's all in the leverage of the pedal. The manual brakes pedal is much higher than the power therefore you have leverage and a good feel for the brakes. I have had to prove just how good it stops more than once, even with a 460 under the hood and at high speed they stop on a dime giving 6 cents change. There is no fade and the parts are nothing less than dirt cheap. All of the parts for the conversion, other then the lines and tie rod ends, came from a 1978 Galaxie II. I would not even consider moving to power.
 

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Back in 1995 I converted my 63 to manual disc brakes. They feel and act as if power with none of the problems of power disc. It's all in the leverage of the pedal.
There's three issues here:


  • Disc vs drum (and if disc, which ones)
  • Manual vs power (and if power, vacuum or hydraboost)
  • Dual-circuit plumbing and fixed vs adjustable proportioning valve.
Personally, the best easy disc wheel-set conversion is a set of '70-72 big-car spindles, rotors, and calipers. They are 12in rotors and will require 15in wheels or larger. There are other conversions that use a smaller rotor that may fit under some 14in wheels if preserving original appearance is important.

Also in the realm of personal opinion, I don't think I could live with manual discs - the long pedal travel required to keep the effort manageable would drive me nuts. There are aftermarket booster setups that might be a better approach than the factory arrangement, hydraboost is arguably even better but won't work with the early Eaton power steering pump.
 

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No pedal travel. Yes the pedal is high ,but so is the stopping power. No problems with high lift cams, and a whole lot less effort to install. In my case the booster would just have been in the way. I believe the 68 or so 427 cougars came from the factory with manual disc, which is where I got the idea and master cylinder to use for the conversion on mine. Therefore I don't think power is a must. When people ask what power options I have the answer is always the same. The only power option I have is a gas pedal.
 

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Im also working on a 63 galaxie500 and would love to know the parts you used to convert to manual disk. Sounds like a good option . Did you use the OG spindles or 78 I am wanting to put drop spindles on also . And to do the spindle / power disk swap is BIG $$$ . Im sure its nice but ... WOW .

Maybe with manual disk I can just buy the regular drop spindles . and do that swap later or if money permits or at the same time.
 
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