Brake Upgrade: Manual To Power Drums? [Archive] - Classic Cougar Forums

: Brake Upgrade: Manual To Power Drums?



shipfitter_sjd
December 29th, 2006, 09:23 AM
Hey everyone,

I have a '68 XR-7 with leaky brakes. They are manual drums and they have been troublesome so far. I only plan to drive this car a couple of thousand miles a year and I do not feel it is worth my time or money to upgrade to disc brakes. This car was originally a standard transmission car, someone, somewhere down the line has thrown an automatic tranny in, but the car retains it's original clutch/brake pedals.

I want to go and redo the entire brake system, especially hoses, slave cylinders and whatever else needs done. At the same time upgrade to power drums. I have a parts car with manual drums and stock automatic transmission.

Questions:

1) Should I swap brake pedal assemblies? Will this make life easier for me when I go to add the power booster/master cylinder assembly?

2) Is anything else needed besides the power booster/master cylinder assembly to complete this swap? Replumb the lines from/to master cylinder?

3) Has anyone ever done this? Please enlighten me on this.....I want to make sure I am not missing anything here....parts/pieces/process.

4) When talking about power booster/master cylinder assembly, what does it mean when they talk about loaded/unloaded?

5) can I just buy a master cylinder/power booster assembly (loaded?) from my local parts store or do I need the "special" kit from a distributor such as Laurel Mountain Mustang or Mustangs Unlimited? What's the difference?

Thank you in advance for reading this far and even more so if you answer!!

Steve

woodsnake
December 29th, 2006, 12:28 PM
Are ya sure you don't want the disc brakes? If you have to do all that work, it would actually be easier to get disc brakes than power drums. If you want to sell the factory clutch pedal assy, they are worth a few bucks on ebay. We on the board had a conversation about power drums, they weren't really an option on much after the early sixties. You will also need to find a power brake pedal to fit, as they are different than manual drums.As far as the brake lines go, there are a few vendors that have the hard lines, SSBC, (stainless steel brake corp, I think) have everything you need. The rubber lines are more expensive for some reason. You should be able to get a power brake booster/master cylinder combo at the parts store. I think the distribution block is also different, but I'm not sure on that one. My experience with drum brakes has been that they work fine when they are adjusted properly. So I guess I don't think power drums are a good option. Power disc would be easier to achieve, but more expensive. You might be as well off to just replace the leaking lines you have now, and then see how you feel about swapping out the whole thing....

(did you notice my disclaimer??)

Art
December 29th, 2006, 12:54 PM
If you go with the factory booster, you will need a power brake pedal. These are reproduced.
Mustang Steve makes a kit that uses a 1987 Mustang booster and allows you to keep the pedal, master cylinder, etc. Don't know how good they work though.

shipfitter_sjd
December 29th, 2006, 02:06 PM
I did not realize that I would need a power brake pedal, although I guess that makes sense. I though I might be alright swapping the pedal set out of my other car, so I could get rid of the clutch pedal.

Probably fixing the leaks, lines, and hoses is probably a good place to start, although I am still interested in the mechanics of the swap.

Cruising the junkyard today (not that there are many here in Maine anymore) I did find a 70's Granada. I have heard their front discs are a direct swap into our Cougars. Is that correct? Is there a certain year range?

Thanks and keep those answers coming!!

Steve

shipfitter_sjd
December 31st, 2006, 09:41 AM
I appreciate the folks that have answered so far, although I still need some answers to my questions and would appreciate it if this could be taken seriously!! I REALLY would like to have power DRUM brakes. Really!

Questions:

1) Should I swap brake pedal assemblies? Will this make life easier for me when I go to add the power booster/master cylinder assembly?

2) Is anything else needed besides the power booster/master cylinder assembly to complete this swap? Replumb the lines from/to master cylinder?

3) Has anyone ever done this? Please enlighten me on this.....I want to make sure I am not missing anything here....parts/pieces/process.

4) When talking about power booster/master cylinder assembly, what does it mean when they talk about loaded/unloaded?

5) can I just buy a master cylinder/power booster assembly (loaded?) from my local parts store or do I need the "special" kit from a distributor such as Laurel Mountain Mustang or Mustangs Unlimited? What's the difference?


For more information please read first thread in post.

Thank you & HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!!

Steve

68XR-7Cat
December 31st, 2006, 10:20 AM
Steve, try contacting Ray Powers via e-mail at Centralmass@nospam.aol.com. Remove the "nospam." from the e-mail address; I just put it in there so he doesn't start getting junk mail from web crawling mass mailers.

Ray probably has not done this conversion, either, and may try to convince you to do a full disk conversion. However, he is also likely to know which parts you need for the conversion.

He may very well have them on hand since he has a huge stash of Mustang parts that he sells as a side business. I bought the parts from him when I converted my Mustang to disc brakes and wanted it to look stock, so I'm sure he has the booster and pedal assemblies.

Good luck with your quest; sorry I can't be of more help.

shipfitter_sjd
December 31st, 2006, 10:54 AM
Hi Bill,

Thanks! I shall pose the question to him as well. I have asked around on this issue, and some answers are unbelievable! Mainly like: "There is no such thing as power drums" or "swap over to Baer disc brakes", etc, etc.

I wish money flowed like water, then I would be all set here on the banks of the Kennebec! (and not have to ask stupid questions!!)

Steve

shipfitter_sjd
January 1st, 2007, 12:36 AM
<TABLE borderColor=#666666 cellPadding=2 width=656 border=1><TBODY><TR bgColor=#990000><TD colSpan=3 height=38>
Power Brake Conversion - with Dual & Single Bowl Master Cylinder
</TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=3 height=37 border="1" cellpadding="2">

Now available from Laurel Mountain Mustang, the safety and increased stopping power you have been looking for on any 1964-1970 Mustang in a very easy to install unit. This setup utilizes a new American made Bendix power brake booster with increased sensitivity and 5 year warranty,* new large capacity dual chamber master cylinder, specially designed mounting bracket to allow direct bolt in while retaining original manual brake pedal assembly and clearance of the shock tower. The push rod is preset but is adjustable to move the pedal height up or down. The only modification necessary is bending new lines from the master cylinder to the distribution block. See below for brake lines to simplify the installation. We also offer a new distribution block part # C7ZZ-2B257-A which is not included in the Power Brake Conversion. This part may be required depending on what your car is currently equipped with. This part is recommended for all 1964-1970 cars already have one from the factory. This kit is easy to install and works excellent on both drum and disc brake cars. This is a very economical solution for those looking for an improved braking system along with the added safety of a dual chamber master cylinder. Note: This is a conversion kit for non-power brake cars only. Booster requires a minimum 15 pounds of engine vacuum pressure at idle for maximum stopping power. Some high performance high lift camshafts may not create enough vacuum. Stock engine vacuum pressure is 18 pounds.
*5 year warranty on Booster only. 1 year warranty on Master Cylinder.

</TD></TR><TR><TD width=313 height=2 border="1" cellpadding="2">
1964-66 Auto trans w/ disc brakes - dual bowl
</TD><TD width=167 height=2>
PBC-A1
</TD><TD width=148 height=2>
$299.00
</TD></TR><TR><TD width=313>
1964-66 Auto trans w/ drum brakes - dual bowl
</TD><TD width=167 bgColor=#ff9900>
PBC-A2
</TD><TD width=148>
$299.00
</TD></TR><TR><TD width=313 height=12>1967-70 All applications w/ disc brakes - dual bowl</TD><TD width=167 height=12>
PBC-67-1**
</TD><TD width=148 height=12>
$299.00
</TD></TR><TR><TD width=313>1967-70 All applications w/ drum brakes - dual bowl</TD><TD width=167 bgColor=#ff9900>
PBC-67-2**
</TD><TD width=148 bgColor=#ff9900>
$299.00
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

I guess with this kit I would keep my stock manual brake pedal assembly and be good to go.

shipfitter_sjd
January 6th, 2007, 11:48 AM
Okay. After more indepth research, this is what I have ascertained:

Upgrading manual drum brakes to power:

1. Requires adding nothing more than the power booster assembly / master cylinder and replumbing the lines from the proportioning valve to the master cylinder's new location, as well as adding a vacuum line / port to the power booster assembly. You can do this with or without changing the stock pedal assembly as detailed below:

a. If you want to retain your manual drum pedal, then you need to buy a kit from a vendor such as Laurel Mountain Mustang (and I am sure that there are others). This kit is made to hook right onto your manual drum pedal assembly with no other modifications required, except as explained in step 1 above. I think this a more expensive way to go, but not prohibitively so. It is convenient as everything is included in this kit and there is less physical work involved.

Or you can go this route:

b. If you have access to a power drum / disc brake pedal assembly (1967-1969 Mustang, Cougar) you can install this assembly in place of your stock manual pedal assembly (for proper braking geometry and hookup points) and buy and install a loaded power booster assembly / master cylinder (from any parts store) and replumb the lines from the proportioning valve to the master cylinder's new location, as well as adding a vacuum line / port to the power booster assembly. I think you may have to add a new brake switch to this as well. This is a cheaper way to go but involves more work.

If I have missed anything please feel free to correct me, it will be appreciated.

I plan to do this in the late spring or early summer when the weather is conducive and I will update this thread if anyone is interested at that time.

Thanks,

Steve

COUGRRRMAN
January 6th, 2007, 12:10 PM
Laurel Mountain is a good company but before you buy, check out "chocostang"..I have used them many times for brake items for my cats.
http://stores.ebay.com/CHOCKOSTANG-CLASSIC-MUSTANG_W0QQssPageNameZstrkQ3amefsQ3amesstQQtZkm

Hoss
January 6th, 2007, 10:34 PM
Cruising the junkyard today (not that there are many here in Maine anymore) I did find a 70's Granada. I have heard their front discs are a direct swap into our Cougars. Is that correct? Is there a certain year range?

Steve, The 75- 79 Monarch/Granada/ stuff will work. Spindles, tie rod ends, master cyl,distribution valve, and calipers. I used these pieces from a 75 Maverick on my 68 Mustang. Also used a Granada front sway bar. One draw back though...the hubs on these will not allow the use of some stock wheels. I have Magnum 500's which fit fine, but the old stock wheels wouldn't fit. Just beware of the salvage stuff. I got the stuff from a friend who was parting the Maverick. I eventually bought new rotors, lines and master cyl. If you can find a car that has all the disc brake parts intact, its a good place to start. Getting rid of the drums was the best mod I did on the Mustang.....and if my Cougar had front drums I be hunting the bone yards now.

mno3jf7
March 29th, 2007, 11:23 PM
wow, this exactly what i'm tryin to do right now and the same conversations i've been having with whoever i talk to. It seems to be the general consensus among the car community. So did you do it yet? how'd it turn out? Did you blow any wheel cylinders? Any info you have could help.
Thanx,
Michelle

teal68
March 31st, 2007, 05:20 PM
I did exactly as described by Shipfitter SJD in his post. Ordered the unit from Laurel Mt. Mustang and retained the stock non-power pedel. Everything fit and works great. I only drive a couple of thousand miles a year and this setup works well for me. I have a '68 standard with automatic and originally had non power drum brakes.