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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've had quite a few personal messages sent to me over the last couple of months, so I thought I'd better do a new thread on the disc brake conversion.

Back around early December, I had a feeling that I would be going to the later disc brake swap, so I started preparing the used components I had. I bought and parted out a 1971 Galaxie many years ago, and fortunately I kept the complete stub axle assemblies from that car in case I would ever need them one day. That day came in early February when I fitted them to my 1963 Galaxie.

It is far easier to have a complete stub axle assembly ready to use.
If not, you will need the following:
Stub axles.
Calipers.
Brackets to mount the calipers.
Bolts to mount the brackets to the stub axles.
Caliper hardware including new pads.
Disc rotors.
Bearings, seals, nuts, split pins, caps etc.
Dust shields. (if you want to use them)

I removed all the existing previous Chevy brake kit which was there. The ball joints and tie rods were a bit of a bummer, but ended up being separated without too much drama.
Time to fit the replacement Galaxie stub axles.

Below are the stub axles and brackets which I had prepared earlier.



Everything fitted up nicely. Almost a straight fit apart from grinding a few mm from the top of the tie rod arm on the stub axle. This was so the castle nut on the tie rod would wind on far enough for the split pin to go through. The '71 stub axles are a little thicker overall and in this area where it needs to be ground.
I also noticed and measured, that the actual tie rod position is now 15mm (approx 5/8") further outboard compared to the '63 stub axles, so I had to adjust the tie rod sleeve to suit. That way it was pretty good while testing, before it gets a wheel alignment.

Here it was with no damn mild steel plate like on the previous conversion! Looks factory now.



To fit the rotors, because the stub axles are thicker than those on the '63, I had to knock out both the small inner and out bearings with the help of a BFH. Luckily my previous kit used '71 Galaxie rotors and came with two sets of bearings, so I had some brand new parts to use.
Then the same thing to knock in new bearings back into the rotors. It took a while, but it got done.
Greased and fitted everything up.
It looked almost just how it should have been done from the factory.

As for the calipers, they are the 40 year old original ones. I also worked on them previously. I disassembled them, cleaned them, and blew them out several times. I even used the original seals and dust covers. The seals seemed to be slightly stretched, but were in pretty good shape. I assembled the calipers, tested them, and they held pressure.
Luckily the banjo fitting on the brake hoses from the other kit fitted nicely onto the Galaxie calipers.

Here it is all test fitted while I was waiting for new brake pads and slide pin rubbers to arrive.



Pads and rubbers arrived, fitted up all the used hardware, and I was just about done.



Up top, the master cylinder from an F100 was previously fitted.



Everything was bled and adjusted, but I had slight pedal problems.
I still didn't have the pedal pressure and short throw that I was after, but the brakes were working. :)

After visual inspections and more bleeding and experimentation, I found that the rear brake drums were oversize, yet my shoes were not. Back to the brake shop to get the shoes bonded with new oversize shoes. Everything at the back end was now correct.

A few more bits of fine adjusting and I am very happy to say that my brakes now work very nice.
The pedal has a good feel about it, and I need to push pretty hard on it (being unboosted), but it isn't a problem.
With a good hard and high pedal, it was simply a matter of driving the car and not even worrying about the brakes. I drove it through the industrial area near my place, applying the brakes fairly lightly for a while, then once in a while I'd hit them hard. It'll lock the brakes now, and it'll pull up nice and straight.

I'm happy. :)
 

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thanks for the write up and all the help... I'm glad everything is now working good for you....now im on the hunt for a 71 to get parts from...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nando, you can look out for anything from a '69 to '72 Galaxie or LTD, as they are the same. I believe the '69 uses smaller bearings, and the earlier ones use different calipers which are more expensive and harder to get parts for.

Dennis, thanks for you PMs and info. Maybe I would have never found the issues with the Chevy kit if you hadn't. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Very good Tommy. Glad you saved your money and went the same way I ended up going.

Just a note for anyone else who might be thinking of doing the same disc conversion.
I took plenty of time and measurements of the stub axles to make sure everything would work out. The ball joints are in the exact same locations, and will fit without a problem. The disc location is exactly the same, so the track of the front wheels remain the same. The only difference is the tie rod mount which is outboard and needs a little bit of grinding for the nut. Therefore, I can't see any problems with geometry and camber which I have read about.

I drove my car to test it yesterday before I did this thread. No wheel alignment yet.
The car drove straight, braked straight, no problems with bump steer, no wobbling front wheels, no problems with left and right turns.
Just make sure that the tie rod adjustment is lengthened by around 5/8" before the car is driven.
 

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Hi Dan,

Glad to see you've got your brake issues finally sorted out Well done, Now i know why i didn't hear from you over the weekend, HaHaHa,

Regards, larry
 

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Discussion Starter #8
LOL Larry. I was tied up trying to make myself look handsome. :)
 

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Just got a 63.5 Galaxie HT and want to add disc brakes front and rear. Question - did you have any problems with wheels (aftermarket or stock) interference with calipers with this setup? Want to get some 15" AR Torq Thrust wheels and have had problems with TT wheels and calipers in the past.

Got a T bucket with 15x15 TT on the rear with a Wilwood brake kit. Had to grind the Wilwood calipers to clear the rims. Wilwood calipers are bigger in areas compared to these later Ford calipers. Just wondering beforehand.

THANKS
 

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My '63's set up is the following; 1971 LTD spindles, (same as 70-71-72 Galaxie), with NAPA remanufactured calipers/pads for a 1971 Galaxie.

My 15" Ford stock steel rims fit, and so do my 15X7 Cragars.
There's not enough room for your fingers to fit between the rim and the caliper, but they fit just fine!





15"X7" Cragars:


Ford 15":
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
15" steel rims are fine, because that's what they are made for.
I have 15x8s on my '70 Galaxie, and they also work fine, but make sure you have them with 4" backspace, because anything more might rub on the calipers. Mine have 4 1/2" backspace, and I had to use small spacers for clearance.
 

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Nice writeup. Recently ended up with a 65 Galaxie 500 2d 352 that my wife's grandfather bought new.

I plan to do a front disc conversion but would also like to do a pwr steering conversion as well so I want to make sure they'll both work together. I rack in front of the cross member would be preferable which would mean that doing the later spindle swap wouldn't work.

I've been searching and reading but haven't found any clear how to's on the rack setup and what spindle setup works with it.

At some point I'd like to put in an LS motor (which will probably upset all the Ford guys) as they're cheaper than the mod motors and I know them a whole lot better having done 3 swaps in the past. This would likely require the steering in front of the crossmember for easier pan clearance.
 

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what about swapping sides with the spindles to put the steering arm in front of the crossmember? Don't know what effect it would do to the caster? Also the caliper would be in front instead of rear. Prolly would not work without interference with front half of lower control arm and also swaybar.

But if you went with a complete Fatman type MII front suspension that would solve all the problems and prolly alot of the weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've seen kits with the caliper at the front, and the sway bar needs to be removed or altered.
 

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I plan to do a front disc conversion but would also like to do a pwr steering conversion as well so I want to make sure they'll both work together. I rack in front of the cross member would be preferable which would mean that doing the later spindle swap wouldn't work.
Couple points:

a) The LS motor has the oil pump on the crank snout and, because all you have to worry about is the pickup tube, it's been used in front-sump, rear-sump, mid-sump, and no-sump applications. Just need to look around at the different pan designs, 'vette, Camaro, Holden/G8/GTO, truck, CTS-V, etc. to find what works for you.

b) For a front-steer rack setup I'd look at the later Crown Vic spindles and rack, or some of the aftermarket parts sold for gen2 Camaros. You're gonna have a lot of work to do nonetheless and make sure that you check everything for bumpsteer, ackerman, etc.

I'm starting to do the steering-arm layout for my '64, it's got '70 drum-brake spindles with the arms cut off, in my case I'm sticking with a rear-steer configuration but I need bolt-on arms to clear the 6-pot Porsche Cayenne calipers. It'd be nice to move the calipers to the front but it's not practical without redesigning just about every component of the suspension.
 

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I drove my car to test it yesterday before I did this thread. No wheel alignment yet.


Did you get a wheel alignment and how did that go with the camber?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Camber is fine. Main adjustment was toe in because of different position of tie rod on later stub axle.
 

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The CAMBER trouble being mentioned occurs with early seventies intermediates spindles. The upper ball joint taper pin hole is drilled differently (position) than the 79 BIRD spindle. It does not happen in all cases.
 

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DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!

How about an update on your Brake Fiasco last year where you never got anything but a schitty pedal.

How did that turn out?


FE
 
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