Ford Mustang Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey gang,
I'm about to get started on my mustang. Keeping stock front suspension, but it has drum brakes up front and I want disc. My car is 64 1/2 V8 car with 5 lug wheels. I've read tons of forums but it gets confusing! Can someone tell me, is there a ford part conversion that works for my car? By that I mean, are there spindles or hubs etc from a different or newer model ford that will work? I can buy a conversion kit from many places, but I'd like to be able to go to a local part store later on and be able to buy a caliper or set of pads and rotors instead of being caught trying to get parts from a vendor who may not exist by the time I need them again. The kits are nice and convenient getting everything in 1 package but I worry about future repairs so trying to run Ford factory type parts just eases my mind. I will keep about with anything I use outside of stock 64 stuff.
Rear will possible stay drum, just looking for info on front. What are you guys doing for your cars? I appreciate the input!
Also note, this car won't be racing in any way. Just a cruiser with a 5.0.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
I used this company for front disc brakes. Complete kit, excellent customer service. Had this set on for at least 5 years on V8 - 289 64.5 Mustang. Give him a call and check CSRP before you make your final decision.




Good Luck.
Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Since you said it's just a cruiser, you should never need parts for it if you get good quality ones. Most brakes will easily go 50K miles before any need for repairs. Only thing that screws that number up is heavy racing.

opentrackerracing.com

Single Piston Manual Disc Brake Kit with New V8 Spindle – Manual or Auto Transmission with Manual Steering (1965-1966)
$738.00

You'll need new front spindles and have to go with 65-66 lower/upper arms. 64 1/2 was mostly Falcon stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info. I haven't had many vehicles get 50k miles out of disc brakes. Plenty of city driving for me. But what I would say about it brings me back to my point with aftermarket parts. If they do last 50k, and that takes me 5 years to do, and in 5 yrs the aftermarket outfit the disc conversion kit came from is out of business, then I have to start all over again when all I need is pads and rotors. Whereas using parts that fit another ford model are always available.
I totally understand what you're saying, quality parts last! I'm just concerned about the long run. I have rebuild or replace my.front end either way I go, even if I stay drum(which I'm not), so I'm up for anything. Just want disc brakes.
I am going to look into the companies recommended above. They may be using parts that are later easily available from regular part stores.
Thank you!
 

·
Registered
1967 Mercury Cougar XR7
Joined
·
2,851 Posts
Thanks for the info. I haven't had many vehicles get 50k miles out of disc brakes. Plenty of city driving for me. But what I would say about it brings me back to my point with aftermarket parts. If they do last 50k, and that takes me 5 years to do, and in 5 yrs the aftermarket outfit the disc conversion kit came from is out of business, then I have to start all over again when all I need is pads and rotors. Whereas using parts that fit another ford model are always available.
I totally understand what you're saying, quality parts last! I'm just concerned about the long run. I have rebuild or replace my.front end either way I go, even if I stay drum(which I'm not), so I'm up for anything. Just want disc brakes.
I am going to look into the companies recommended above. They may be using parts that are later easily available from regular part stores.
Thank you!
There are a lot of companies that use the original Kelsey-Hays style 4 piston brake setups for early Mustangs too. If you pick one of those sets, you will be able to swap for stock Ford parts at any point, and never worry about it. They work great, and are the best choice for 14-15" wheels and tires anyway. But that being said, don't be afraid to ask before you buy (no matter what you get), and find out what rotors and pads the setup takes. Many of them do use factory parts that are readily available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Go to a local parts store NAPA, OReilly etc and Rock Auto and try and find disc brakes parts for a 66 GT Mustang. They were factory front manual disc brakes. If you think you'll wear them out that fast, get a spare set of pads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
I swapped out the KH single piston discs on my 68 Fastback with Wilwood's classic conversion. Pretty simple bolt on installation. The calipher bolts were larger so we did have to drill out the spindles. I'd guess that this kit was for a drum brake car and should not need drilled. Love these brakes. 4 piston set up. Nice looking. Come in black and red. Wilwood says these are designed for 14" wheels. They fit much better on my 15" rims than the KH did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What do you think about a modern mustang ii front end?
My plan is to upgrade to power steering. I found a PS box direct replacement for manual box for about $475. It requires minor stock steering shaft work. I plan to replace all tie rods, ends, ball joints, etc all new. Then a disc brake conversion. New springs and shocks and anything else I've missed up front.
By the time I do all this, the cost is getting up there. For a few grand I can have a mustang ii setup with R&P steering.
I planned to stay with stock suspension and steering with only the PS upgrade and disc brakes.
Some folks have said that the stock stuff is the way to go. Others say the mustang ii is. All I'm looking to do is make this car drive better than a 1965. Nobody I've seen building these cars keeps the stock steering and suspension. I thought I had my mind made up. Now here I am thinking about it again. Haha
 

·
Registered
1967 Mercury Cougar XR7
Joined
·
2,851 Posts
I dislike the MII front ends for a lot of reasons. To install one requires removal of the shock towers, which greatly weakens the front of the car. The original design transfers energy up through the towers and braces to the firewall, preventing twisting and vertical deflection.

The spindle arms stick out, not in, which means your wheel choices are much more limited due to interference problems.

The geometry of the MII setup changes a lot more as it goes through its range of motion, making it harder to keep the tires planted flat on the pavement while cornering. On smooth roads, with no body roll, it's no big deal. On rougher roads and in hard corners, it's a big deal.

Lastly, all rack and pinion setups tend to wear faster than the recirculating ball type, and generally they wear out right in the middle of the rack where you keep the car's wheels most of the time. So you have slop when going down the road. You can't really adjust it, and replacement parts are typically nonexistent for an aftermarket setup. Worse yet, every R&P setup I've ever seen increases the car's turning radius, which is also not fun in parking lots.

With better shocks, stiffer sway bar, new bushings, the Shelby mod, and proper alignment, your car will handle far better than you may expect! They were not loose and sloppy from the factory, and modern parts can make it even better than it was originally. I prefer a well-set-up factory type suspension to the MII, even on an unlimited budget.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All fair points. I appreciate your thoughts on the mll. I've heard similar things before, which had lead me to the thought of rebuilding my existing suspension with modern stuff. I was told to forget the rubber replacement parts and upgrade to firmer material.
As far as R&P, some kits I've seen use a thunderbird rack, then it's as serviceable a a rack can be, or easily replaceable.
I'm not familiar with the Shelby mod but I will check it out.
 

·
Registered
1967 Mercury Cougar XR7
Joined
·
2,851 Posts
High durometer rubber isn't bad for some of the parts. The original soft rubber parts allow deflection that really isn't good for handling. For a cruiser, high durometer rubber is a good choice. For any performance build, some of the harder materials like graphite impregnated plastics work well.

One trouble area is the strut rod bushings. High durometer rubber works very well there for a cruiser, but is not so good for performance, as it allows deflection in hard cornering. "random bobbles' when you're pushing your car to the limits really isn't the best. Using something like Delrin, or any other normal harder plastic will usually break due to the stresses and flexing involved. The best alternative is to use an adjustable strut rod with a flexible joint hard-bolted to the metal. However, when combined with the use of roller spring perches, oftentimes the 'freed up' front suspension rides better than even the softer bushings of the original setup.

The Shelby/Arning drop (or Shelby mod) is a change that Klaus Arning and Carrol Shelby first used on the Mustang to soup it up. Factory Ford front suspension was deliberately designed to understeer. The upper control arm is at a steep angle to the bottom one, and as the suspension compresses (like the outer wheel in a hard turn), the tire tips its top out, bottom in, and rolls over onto the sidewall or at least lifts the inner tread. This means if you go too hard into a corner, you get understeer.

Understeer was seen as a desirable thing for safety and insurance reasons, because a kid driving too fast would generally get a good scare, go into the ditch once, and then not romp around corners too fast any more. (Oversteer is a lot more fun, hanging the tail out and squealing tires)

The Shelby mod simply drilled two holes for the upper control arm at a lower spot on the shock tower. Usually down (to correct the geometry) and back, to add more caster (adding high speed stability, better return-to-center and general road feel).

With this simple change, the car's height in the nose drops about 5/8", but more importantly, the understeer problem is corrected, and the car handles a lot better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
To the OP, I’ve fumbled around with just about every front disc mod and brake setup before I ended up just committing to Wilwood for everything. The pads are easy to track down for just about every setup they offer, the kits are complete with no hassle and they’re def worth the money.

to Grim, forgive me because this is not a challenge but rather an inquiry to your vast knowledge..have you seen any results from a MII setup being pushed too hard and not reinforced properly? I ask because I did it to my 65 but have yet to drive it, and am contemplating reinforcing the chassis before I do so, but for the life of me I can’t find any data that supports the weaker chassis claim. I’m no engineer and I’m guessing you are, the theory makes sense as to what you’re describing as a weakness but I haven’t seen anything supporting it. It would also make sense to me that having the weight and geometry transferred to the frame rails and reinforced by that big ol 2x6 box steel cross member connecting them would adequately support the torque and power, making those shock towers, upper skirt and cowl just a cute cover for what’s underneath (a la funny car)…any thoughts?


I dislike the MII front ends for a lot of reasons. To install one requires removal of the shock towers, which greatly weakens the front of the car. The original design transfers energy up through the towers and braces to the firewall, preventing twisting and vertical deflection.

The spindle arms stick out, not in, which means your wheel choices are much more limited due to interference problems.

The geometry of the MII setup changes a lot more as it goes through its range of motion, making it harder to keep the tires planted flat on the pavement while cornering. On smooth roads, with no body roll, it's no big deal. On rougher roads and in hard corners, it's a big deal.

Lastly, all rack and pinion setups tend to wear faster than the recirculating ball type, and generally they wear out right in the middle of the rack where you keep the car's wheels most of the time. So you have slop when going down the road. You can't really adjust it, and replacement parts are typically nonexistent for an aftermarket setup. Worse yet, every R&P setup I've ever seen increases the car's turning radius, which is also not fun in parking lots.

With better shocks, stiffer sway bar, new bushings, the Shelby mod, and proper alignment, your car will handle far better than you may expect! They were not loose and sloppy from the factory, and modern parts can make it even better than it was originally. I prefer a well-set-up factory type suspension to the MII, even on an unlimited budget.
 

·
Registered
1967 Mercury Cougar XR7
Joined
·
2,851 Posts
To the OP, I’ve fumbled around with just about every front disc mod and brake setup before I ended up just committing to Wilwood for everything. The pads are easy to track down for just about every setup they offer, the kits are complete with no hassle and they’re def worth the money.

to Grim, forgive me because this is not a challenge but rather an inquiry to your vast knowledge..have you seen any results from a MII setup being pushed too hard and not reinforced properly? I ask because I did it to my 65 but have yet to drive it, and am contemplating reinforcing the chassis before I do so, but for the life of me I can’t find any data that supports the weaker chassis claim. I’m no engineer and I’m guessing you are, the theory makes sense as to what you’re describing as a weakness but I haven’t seen anything supporting it. It would also make sense to me that having the weight and geometry transferred to the frame rails and reinforced by that big ol 2x6 box steel cross member connecting them would adequately support the torque and power, making those shock towers, upper skirt and cowl just a cute cover for what’s underneath (a la funny car)…any thoughts?
Actually, yes. A guy I know in California put a Terminator in an original Mach 1. Lots of drama surrounding this; it belonged to my best friend's aunt, and his cousin basically bought the car swearing to treat it well. Instead, he put in this engine (not realizing that she still had the original engine) and then proceeded to flog it. When the fenders and doors started rubbing, and the hood was buckled, he sold it.

What an ass.

Anyway, where the problems come in is with cornering, particularly. Despite reinforcing the frame rails, you still have two skinny sticks attached to a somewhat flexible unibody structure holding up the whole nose of the car. If you put torsional and vertical stress into it (like taking corners hard, or launching so hard the nose comes up and down) it does not fare well.
A good Coyote or 4V motor can definitely put stress into the front of the car.

Although the shock tower struts seem kind of flimsy at first glance, the export brace isn't. That simple assembly, and stock shock towers add a tremendous amount of rigidity to the nose, due to triangulation. Ask anyone that's driven their Mustang or Cougar without the braces about how it feels, with and without. It's a pretty remarkable difference.

Adding some cross bracing and hooking the two frame rails together securely does add some strength, but since it's all on the same flat plane, it's not as effective as you might think.

And for the record - I'm no engineer, but I used to play with Legos a lot. Does that count? =)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Hahaha I still play with Legos and pretend it’s for my kids!

Thats an unfortunate story.. sounds like he was trying real hard to twist it up. I’ve seen the litany of mods done to “strengthen” the chassis due to this concept, all the way from a fully customized tubular exo-skeleton transformer looking thing, to convertible torque boxes, to the underbody sub frames.. I’m just real unsure how necessary they all are, and if they are just giving guys with extra money peace of mind?

I used the Heidts Superride II kit, which I have a sharp criticism about (the instructions were an old revision to a modified design and almost had us welding in the wrong place.. would have completely screwed up the location of the crossmember and everything attached to it.. we caught it fortunately). So although they are not so good at putting updated instructions in their boxes, it seemed that the setup was engineered well and without a doubt has been used in thousands of builds. When I asked their engineers about the MII weaker chassis criticisms during my whole angry wrong instructions debacle.. they laughed it off and said there’s no other mods necessary. You would think with that much on the line, either nobody has had an actual problem without doing any additional mods, or all the cars they’ve gone in are trailer queen show cars 🙂

edit: and I absolutely agree with you about the export brace in a factory setup, HUGE felt difference and should have been included in the original design, not just the ones going over the puddle. When combined with the Shelby drop and roller arms/perches it’s a whole different car. I recommend those 3 things to anyone wanting to improve handling and response while sticking with a factory setup! Best bang for the buck.
 

·
Registered
1967 Mercury Cougar XR7
Joined
·
2,851 Posts
To be fair, I think there are a couple of things at play here. First, the cousin's name is Richard. And yes he is. This applies to all aspects of his life. (No offense to any other Richards out there! I know quite a few good ones too!)

But he didn't run it into curbs, and didn't do wild wheelstands. Just drove it hard for a couple months as you might do after spending that kind of money.

Heidts makes a lot of fantastic products. But in the end, they are in the business to make money. If someone puts a really hot motor in a car, carves out part of its structural bracing to put it in, and then hotrods it, if the structure fails is this their fault? My thinking is "no", even if they don't talk about adding extra bracing. On many engines, with many drivers, it probably wouldn't be an issue. It does not make sense for them to scare their customers into doing a bunch of extra bracing on a product that typically isn't a problem - and even if they've had some failures, when would it normally happen? When someone's pushing their car past where it probably should be, on the street, and probably a few years down the road. They could easily shrug and say "Not our fault!" and not even feel guilty.

The guys doing this on a more professional level are hardcore anyway. Roll cages and big engines are the norm. Of course they'll put in the extra bracing without anyone telling them to, because they'd want it even if Heidts told them it was unnecessary. They'll never have problems either - and if they do, it's not going to be Heidt's fault either.

Now if I had such a car with a 'no-shock-tower' setup and a hot engine as my 17 year old self, doing turns like Jim Rockford and pushing my old Cougar to its limits every chance I got, my car could've been a floppy taco too. I didn't have the money for a roll cage or sensible bracing back then. I was too busy going hair-on-fire fast.

Am I wiser now, or just more of a scaredy cat? I don't know. What I can say for sure is that I have seen the results of 'doing it the easy way'. I would rather waste some money and effort in making it better, in order to not be a Richard too. =)
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top