Disc Brake Conversion

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by ChiZ_65, Nov 25, 2010.


  1. ChiZ_65

    ChiZ_65 New Member

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    Hey guys, I'm new to the forums. I've got a 65 Fastback 2+2 still rocking drum brakes. I was wondering if anyone has gone through the "coversion" process to Discs. Since the car is slowly transforming from a weekend warrior into an everyday driver, i was thinking this may be a good safety move. I've seen the conversion kits for sale between $1,300 and $1,800 depending on where you go. But I have NO idea what kind of labor costs will be involved.

    Pro's, Cons? I'd love to hear some war stories.
    #1
  2. chockostang

    chockostang New Member

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    The Stock 4 Piston K/H Disc brakes are by far the best choice, bolt on as FORD did in 65 66 67 for all the Disc Brake cars (As the 67 Shelby Mustangs).

    You use your same V8 Spindles, no spindle change, no a;ignment change, Stock parts in 65 66, stock parts today, and of course 30 years from now.

    11 19/64" rotors, 4 Pistons per caliper.

    Now the part about $1300 and up brakes---Which parts do these have Gold plated??? Must be a few.

    Dan @ Chockostang
    #2
  3. 2+2GT

    2+2GT Well-Known Member

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    Holy poop! You should be able to get the brakes Chock describes and have them professionally installed for less than that.
    #3
  4. robbz28

    robbz28 Member

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    I got my kit off of ebay for 699 for a complete power disc swap. It is not an original kit however it uses your factory spindles and factory style rotors, but comes with an adapter to fit newer single piston style GM calipers (the kind used a lot in 90's model chevys). Also comes with a power brake booster as well. The kit works brilliantly, I have had no problems with mine. For someone with originality in mind its not for them, but someone on a budget who wants much improved braking then I recommend it. As far as the labor involved...if you can change a tire on a car and have a few basic tools and can read some simple directions you can put these on yourself in an afternoon. The hardest part was putting the booster on, you may choose to outsource that. Anyway, good luck with your choice, anything is better than those soggy old drums.
    #4
  5. Hwyman

    Hwyman Member

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  6. tx65coupe

    tx65coupe Active Member

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    I'll also recommend the factory type KH front disc.

    I have Granada brakes on mine and am very happy with them. That is also a good way to go.
    #6
  7. 2+2GT

    2+2GT Well-Known Member

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    The OEM K/H type is an excellent brake, and easy to get pads for, I'm not a big fan using GM parts when excellent OE parts are easy to get. There is a disc brake setup for 6 cylinders that uses GM calipers, but since there was no OE disc on the 6, it's a viable option.

    The only problem with Granada brakes is the steering arms are close to the 67-70 geometry, but "off" for 65-66. Of course, if you use aftermarket spindles made for the 65-66 they are fine, but that kinda eliminates the "low-cost" factor.
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  8. tx65coupe

    tx65coupe Active Member

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    I'm using the Granada spindles. What is off about them for 65-66? I did have to adapt the outer tie rod ends to the spindles and grind a little off of the steering stops. Should I have done something else?
    #8
  9. 2+2GT

    2+2GT Well-Known Member

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    Nothing you can do. The arms are the wrong length. They'll still work, just low-speed sharp turns your wheels will not quite line up properly with the radius of the turn. Unless you spend most of your mileage driving around a parking lot, it won't matter much.

    The OEM 65-67 brakes leave the same spindle on the car. This factors in as about a $100 saving in the conversion, because although Granada spindles are cheap, you have to get a wheel alignment, which is NOT needed with OEM brakes, not to mention replacement of the outer tie rod ends. Saves a lotta work, too.
    #9
  10. chockostang

    chockostang New Member

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    Well maybe, maybe not.

    As has been stated about the incorrect geometry of the Granada spindles, the incorrect tie rod ends, the bigger hub centers that don't fit the stock wheels, the smaller rotors, etc --all may not be bad.

    If one can go to a local yard find a Granada brake setup that has excellent rotors, calipers, pads, buy this for say $175.00, then spend the time money, extra money to fit it on their economy based Mustang, then maybe you did fine.

    If, you have to buy this same Granada setup for $175.00, buy new Rotors, Bearings, Calipers, shields, then add on all the have to components to make them Maybe work, then it become apparent the cost to put on a brake setup that isn't correct, it possibly a mistake.

    If your present spindles are V8 spindles, it is Very apparent to folks like us that changing these perfect Factory spindles for a Granada set is the wrong method.

    Bolt on the K/H 4 Piston setup cruise, have a excellent driving, FACTORY disc brake setup.

    If you have a 6 cylinder, want disc brakes, building a economy based Mustang, then a Granada setup maybe the way to go.

    Dan @ Chockostang
    #10
  11. ChiZ_65

    ChiZ_65 New Member

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    Thanks for all the tips guys. Good stuff. I've been hearing a lot of people telling me that doing a front brake conversion and leaving the rear brakes alone is a good idea. What do you all think? Just the front, or all 4?

    @ Dan - I sent you a PM on the VMF Forums...but you basically answered everything right here for me. Thanks!!!
    #11
  12. jcp123

    jcp123 New Member

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    I agree with those above - keeping it simple is better. However, sometimes you don't have much a choice...when we tore into my disc conversion, the front end was apparently a mess of almost everything Ford had to offer. We ended up replacing much of the front end while we were at it. While in hindsight that's for the best anyway, it was unexpected at the time and sort of put a damper on the excitement. Just something to keep in mind.
    #12
  13. tx65coupe

    tx65coupe Active Member

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    My car was originally an I6, and I converted it to a V8. Thats why I chose the Granada setup. I like the beefier spindles. The hubs can be an issue with some wheels, but Magnum 500s fit fine.
    #13
  14. tx65coupe

    tx65coupe Active Member

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    I was thinking it might be a bigger issue than that. If thats all it is, I won't worry about it.

    I would have needed a new alignment no matter what brakes I chose, since all the steering components etc were replaced.

    I agree though, if every thing is in good working order and it already has V8 spindles, then the stock discs a the better choice.
    #14
  15. 2+2GT

    2+2GT Well-Known Member

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    OK, two ways to look at that. I have a 66 with about 400,000 miles on it, including some autocross competition, no problem yet with the less beefy spindles.

    65-66 style spindles, with more beef, are available new.
    #15
  16. horseballz

    horseballz Member

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    One super important part of the disc upgrade that no one has yet mentioned is the conversion to a dual master cylinder with it's associated plumbing, proportioning valve, etc. Easy stuff, you just need to plan ahead and get the pieces you need. Also, the choice/option of power vs manual comes to mind. If you currently don't have a vacuum assisted "power booster" I suggest that you go with manual to avoid the search/hassle of finding/changing pedals/rod/space and so forth. I'm not sure what the correct dual master would be for the 4-piston calipers, but I know that for the later single piston calipers, a master for a 74 Maverick with manual discs or an 88 Ranger with manual discs works perfectly. If you already have power brakes then the issue becomes one of fitting the dual master between the booster and the shock tower.
    HTH,
    Gene
    #16
  17. HDTony

    HDTony Member

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    We should put together all of the links for these kits and sticky the thread. I know I'm shopping around for a kit to convert my 6 cyl to v8 setup right now and I need to find a nice setup to get 5 lug disc brakes on the front. Especially since my new 9" rear is 5 lug.

    does someone offer a granada based kit with everything I need? or do I have to start hitting the junkyards?
    #17
  18. 2+2GT

    2+2GT Well-Known Member

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    you can get Granada-based or OEM Kelsey/Hays based kits, with spindles. Personally, I think the K/H is a better brake.
    #18
  19. chockostang

    chockostang New Member

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    Buy a set of C5DA Spindles, bolt on your very same control arms, Put on the K/H setup. BOLT ON.

    Many of us have these Spindles,

    Dan @ Chockostang
    #19
  20. HDTony

    HDTony Member

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    Thanks for tips gents.
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