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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I've been reading threads and pondering for awhile but now that my Gal is closer to road ready I wanted to get some opinions. My Galaxie is a 67 with manual drum brakes. To be honest I'm not a huge fan of how well they stop the car. I won't be pulling a trailer or racing at the strip but I like the consistency and confidence of a safe stop from a higher speed that disc brakes offer. Because of this I've been kicking around three ideas. Either:

1) Bite the bullet and convert my Gal to power disc brakes front and back.
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2) Simply upgrade to power drums with a new master cylinder and a power booster.
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3) Have the best of both worlds and upgrade to power with a power master cylinder and power booster but also convert just the front end to disc, leave the rear as drums, and tie them together with a proportioning valve.

My question is, are power drums that much of an improvement over manual drums? And if not, would disc front and drum rear be satisfactory braking power for that car?
I don't plan to be racing or anything too intense on my brakes but I know the drivers in my area are horrible and I've had to brake suddenly more often then not to avoid a bad driver. If I can get away with just doing the second or third option that would be great considering the cost it is to do a full power disc conversion. Which setup would you guys recommend? Also any pros or cons to it?
 

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I would say to add a booster and try that for a while, less expensive way to go. Then if you wanted to add disc to the front do that, costly. Adding disc to the rear is also costly.

I have one car that will put you through the windshield with power drums and one like yours that just don't seem to be getting it done.

To add a booster look for a kit that will have the bracket from the firewall to the booster, otherwise you are going to have to go junk yarding.
 

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Smeeg, what are your thoughts on why the brakes are not performing well now? Or is your leg just getting older;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Haha, well I'm still kinda young so I hope its not my leg. To be honest I know something within my braking system is functioning wrong. It might be that the shoes aren't depressing against the inside of the drum as much as they should. My Gal is still in its project stage so it hasn't seen much above 30 mph, but even at those and less, I have very little pedal travel and the brakes don't feel like they are engaging completely and I'm having to use a lot of leg strength to get that. I've bled the brakes several times so I know the lines are air free and the lines should be fine because they are brand new. I was kind of figured that my problem lies within my master clinder or distribution block. So I figured while I was looking into replacing something I might as well consider upgrading the brakes while I'm at it.
 

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Check the wheel Cly. and make sure both sides are free.
They tend to freeze up rather quickly from setting.
 

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If the shoes and springs and cylinders look okay then I kind of agree with Donwis. Get the MC and booster as a kit so it will be a matched set.

Problem is then you are sort of wasting your money on the master because it might be just the same as yours. if you upgrade to discs down the road you will probably need a new one. But they are only like $50, you should not let it rule which way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well she's currently at the paint shop getting pretty so I'll have to wait til they finish to check the wheel cylinders and whatnot. But I'll definitely give it a good once over before I commit to purchasing any parts. Just to stay informed I was browsing master cylinder/booster combos on Autozone, Oriellys, etc, and they've all left me wondering two things. First off, will any of these kits include the bracket that Donwhis was referring to? And second, which do I need? Each retailer offers both a Midland booster with a band oran unbanded Bendix booster. Both are listed as the correct part and the only difference I've noticed is one has a 9 inch diameter diaphram and other is 9 1/4. I was kindof figuring that since neither were stock equipment on my Gal that perhaps it won't really matter which one I use.
 

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Either booster will work, Ford shipped both. The booster will work with drums or disc, you just have to change the MC when going to disc. I may end up with the stand off bracket you need if I buy a parts car I am looking at. It has the Kelsey Hayes disc brakes also and I may put those up for sale, not sure what I am going to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well if you do please let me know because I'd definitely like to purchase that bracket from you. I've spoken to several junkyards and sure enough its my luck that none of the ones around me have any cars older than the 80's.
 

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Switching from manual to power assist is more than just installing a booster. You have to properly size your master cylinder and usually change your pedal ratio.

My vote would be (since braking is the biggest and most important safety system on your car) just go ahead and upgrade to a disc/drum setup with power assist. Just make sure that if you use a disc/drum setup, you install a residual pressure valve at the rear drums.
 
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