1968 Mustang Brake Setup
I have a 1968 FastBack Mustang with a 289 V- 8 Automatic (used to be 3 speed manual) Power steering, no AC, 5 lug, and all drum brakes (no power brakes). Is there a way to put a power booster on all drum brakes to help with the braking? Would there be a problem with the brake pedal since at one time it used to have a manual trans.? I plan to put disc brakes at a later date and would I be able to use that same booster with the disc brakes?
Thanks in advance for any help you all may provide.
Boosting the brakes so to speak will likely not be the 'fix" you are looking for....
to start with, the replacement linings at most parts houses have a braking co-efficient of around .25, that is about 50% less than what the oem called for in the 60's (which was .32 or better, most offered .38 replacement linings). Going back to the 70's and through today, linings rated at .49 or better are common and typically sell for around $140-200 a set. longevity, typically 50k to 100k (miles) depends on your foot. Braking capability, every bit as good as oem grade disc brakes (noticed I said oem grade) as I have demonstrated to numerous "experts"........and remember, the 3/4 scale dirt track Jalopy cars that are running today are required to have drum brakes!
Second issue...most people have never been taught how to drive with drum brakes...yes the techniques, there are specific ones, such as applying pressure to the brakes when driving through water to keep the linings dry, etc.
3rd issue, 99% of today’s mechanics have never been taught the techniques of installing drum brakes...such as, cutting the linings to channel water out towards the backing plates (there are a few requirements on specifically how to do that).
It really all boils down to the friction co-efficient....anything greater than .49 will be better than oem in terms of its ability to bite. I would avoid Wagner, Raybestos & any drum (and rotor for that matter) from the chain stores...as they are all made at the same foundry in China (rotors/drums)
With regards to brake linings in general,
Ceramics: (aftermarket) They are good but do not develop any more friction than good quality OEM linings (which of course do not exists anymore)
Wagner & Raybestos: a line of products that is 100% marketing and mfg from very low quality/inexpensive and/or imported products with the mfg's not providing any back-up or support on product failures (and I mean real ugly spontaneous, catestropihic failures)
VelveTouch lining- Used for many decades and was the original lining used in all Shelby Mustangs in the 60’s (I personally have used the Velvetouch lining since 1960’s until brake lining production ceased in 1986), then switched to Carbo. Wellman has been the builder of braking linings for all of the Formula 1 race teams for more than 30 years and VT is now available again but limited for certain applications.
Bendix- TitaniuMetallic™ II, a newer lining (semi-metallic) and although I have not personally used this, I have always been impressed with Bendix brake linings and this particular lining IIMHO would be a low dust, excellent oem upgrade/mild performance type brake lining.
CarboTech Engineering lining, which I have used for about 20+ years and been very happy on multiple full size (V8) cars and trucks. This particular lining has a high friction co-efficient, excellent pedal feel, wears (typically 50,000 to 75,000 miles before replacement is required) and produces less dust than OEM linings.
I highly recommend speaking to them by phone for linings that would be best for your application. Fyi- braking co-efficient is what identifies the bite rating of the linings- you want the CE to be no less than that of the OEM.....this will drive most e-base distributors & big box store "experts" right out of their mind because they either cannot verify this info or you will find the spec is less than oem. IMHO, i would look for a CE that is .49 or greater.
With regards to rotors & drums on my old & new rides, I run OEM replacement drums & rotors that are cryogenically treated at Diversified Cryogenics, making them almost as hard as stainless steel- Applied Rotor Technology in California provides the same product- but I would not rely on their delivery as it is essentially a 1 person shop owned/run by a Boeing engineer who works back east, travels alot and works at ART on weekends the last of my phone conversations with him). Unfortunately, Brembo, Powerslot, Raybestos, Bendix, Hawk etc. are all purchasing their rotors & drums from the same foundary in China (with the exception of the $300 each composite high end units for Ferrari, Porsche, etc).
Both companies purchase the highest grade drums & rotors made, laser mic them for quality, scrap the ones that are out of spec and cryogenically treat the good ones which are now as strong as stainless. DC's service, price and quality are excellent as well.
Thanks for the response. Some very interesting information.
If you are not inclined to upgrade to front disc brakes, your money would probably be better spent tuning up the current brakes as opposed to adding a booster. New, not just turned drums, new shoes, new hydraulics, new hoses would improve the performance.
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