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Topic: Brake upgrade situation (Read 383 times) previous topic - next topic

Brake upgrade situation

Ok, I've recently acquired a very nice, original 83 Thunderbird Heritage 5.0 car with 67,000 miles. I've forgotten how bad stock brakes are as my Capri has 4-wheels disks. I'm debating on upgrading to 4-wheel disks but have a couple options I'm kicking around.....

Option 1- I was given a mostly stripped 2000 Mustang V6 car that I've pulled the complete rear axle and spindles from (also have a pair of 94 front spindles that I'm told are the better ones to use to keep geometry correct). The V6 cars as we know have the 7.5 which is fine as I'm more concerned with it stopping safely than making enough power to hurt that axle. The axle has all new rotors, calipers and pads and seems to be in working order and has 3:27 gears (open diff). If I go this route, I have the option of running a set of 16" Lincoln LSC wheels that I have a new set of tires for......or......I also have a set of 17" '96 Cobra wheels that I'd have to buy new rubber for.

Onto option 2.....

I've recently been told about an 87/88 TurboCoupe with no drivetrain that the guy wants to get rid of quickly and cheap. The 8.8 T-Lok  disk axle would be a nice upgrade but a little overkill for for a daily driver type car and I could keep my American Racing 5-star wheels I'm currently running (16").

I'm thinking despite halving most of the parts on hand to do the 5-lug upgrade, I may travel  to get the 87/88 Bird and swap the 8.8 under it and possibly even upgrade the front spindles to the 87+ Mustang/TC sized rotors also.

Guess I'm just looking for opinions and insight here. I know all the other issues with master cylinders etc but thats not really a problem as it'll all be replaced when the upgrade happens anyways.

My toys:
Two 84 Turbo Coupes-twins
Two 86 Mercury Capri's-one's stock, one's NOT
93 Mustang LX 5.0-3,980 miles, 100% factory
55 Ford Customline-I6 powerhouse, waiting on a plan
95 F350 Dually-KILLER, don't ask why
94 Bronco XLT-going to be a lowered 2 wheel drive

Re: Brake upgrade situation

Reply #1
I'd go SN-95 stuff over Fox for brakes, all day, every day. later 2-piston 11" front discs are a nice upgrade.

The only issue to keep an eye out on that '00 rear axle. It's ~1.5" wider overall than the Tbird/Cougar one. If you'll still have enough room for your wheels, then you should be fine using it.

99-04 Mustangs also used 14mm hardware on the RLCAs, vs the 12mm on the Fox stuff. I know you can fit a 1/2" (12.7mm) bolt through the stock Tbird bushing sleeves by grinding down the little nubs inside the sleeve. Not sure if there is enough to fit a 14mm one through.
You can't swap RLCAs, as the Tbird ones are longer.
Long live the 4-eyes!  - '83 Tbird Turbo

Re: Brake upgrade situation

Reply #2
Thanks Chuck.....

I was leaning towards the 5-lug stuff as the better upgrade but the TurboCoupe axle would sure be easier LOL

As far as the rear lower control arms, I left the '00 ones attached to the body and only pulled the axle assembly, planning on using the Bird's control arms. The info on the control arm hardware is helpful and I'll be sure to make notes on that when/if I get around actually doing any upgrade.

Seeing pics of your Bird really has me leaning towards using my Cobra wheels I have......what size tires are you running and what springs did you go with? I'm sure theres a build thread on it somewhere on here......?  
My toys:
Two 84 Turbo Coupes-twins
Two 86 Mercury Capri's-one's stock, one's NOT
93 Mustang LX 5.0-3,980 miles, 100% factory
55 Ford Customline-I6 powerhouse, waiting on a plan
95 F350 Dually-KILLER, don't ask why
94 Bronco XLT-going to be a lowered 2 wheel drive

Re: Brake upgrade situation

Reply #3
You'd have to check some part numbers, but I think the '00 rear brakes would work on a "narrow" housing 8.8 if you used the 94-98 5-lug axles in there. The offsets between the housing and axle flanges are the same, so I don't see why not.
(Narrow 8.8 housing means any Fox Mustang 8.8, as well as the 87-88 TC's and the 94-98 V8 cars)

There is a build thread on the car, but it is 15 years old on here, and isn't even the start of things. I've had the car since '96 and have been messing it up ever since.  :giggle:

The short version of the suspension is:
Front
- Stock K-member with altered roll center geometry (control arm locations)
- FMS C-Kit springs with about 1/4" of spacers on top.
- Koni Reds (Tbird-specific)
- Stupid extreme CC plates I made myself
-33mm sway bar
Rear
-A pair of old Kenney Brown LCA's I made up when I was there
-A hodge-podge of semi-custom built un-splayed RUCAs with a modified Steeda panhard bar set-up, with lowered pick-up points at the axle
-96-98 Mustang Cobra convertible rear springs (I need to change these out as the car needs a bit more roll stiffness in the rear)
- Koni Reds (Tbird-specific)
- 25mm solid SN-95 rear sway bar.

Brakes are SN-95 Cobra stuff front and rear. 94-95 spindles. TC 8.8 with SN-95 axles.

Tires are 245/45-17 front and 255/45-17 rear
Long live the 4-eyes!  - '83 Tbird Turbo

Re: Brake upgrade situation

Reply #4
Listen to Chuck.  Go get the TC rear end, put 94-98 v6 or v8 axles in it (they are the same), your brakes of the 2000 rear end, and call the back 5 lug sway done.  Grab the rear brake lines off the TC from the front of the car to the rear calipers as they are run different than an '83 and it makes the install a lot cleaner.

Use the 94 spindles up front, you will need 0.330" of washer stack if you use the Fox spindles.  Run the stock SN95 rotors and use '99-'04 calipers as they are dual piston PBR's and are alot better than the single piston 94-98 units.  You will need to grind a little off the ears of the 94 spindles but its literally a 1/6" to an 1/8" at most.  You can get SS braided lines that will fit your existing hard lines and go straight to the calipers with no adapters or you can run stock rubber lines but you will need an adapter for the right side if memory serves me right.

I would also suggest that you swap the brake booster to a 1993 Cobra Mustang unit (same bolt pattern on the firewall as our cars) and use a 94-98 GT or V6 master cylinder.  The 1993 Mustang Cobra master cylinder is really good as its a 1" bore but they are getting really hard to find.  I have used the 94-98 units with zero issues and they are 1-1/6" bore.

Gut the stock proportioning side of the stock combination / proportioning valve and install an inline proportioning valve on the rear brake line so you can adjust the bias.

Sounds like a lot but I can vouch for this system as it should have been stock on the Fox cars.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp

Re: Brake upgrade situation

Reply #5
Ok guys, thanks for all the info..... I'm leaning towards using the SN95 stuff in the long run, but for now I'm enjoying driving it nearly every day....just being cautious on my braking distance!!!

My toys:
Two 84 Turbo Coupes-twins
Two 86 Mercury Capri's-one's stock, one's NOT
93 Mustang LX 5.0-3,980 miles, 100% factory
55 Ford Customline-I6 powerhouse, waiting on a plan
95 F350 Dually-KILLER, don't ask why
94 Bronco XLT-going to be a lowered 2 wheel drive

 

Re: Brake upgrade situation

Reply #6
Got those '99-'04 calipers on my 87 Stang...coupled with hawk pads, they definitely add some woah to the go.

Ought to be the first thing one does to any Fox car, along with the (obviously) 5 lug conversion..
'84, '87 Mustangs ('87 is a 5.0, the '84 is TBD)
'98 Explorer 5.0
'03 Focus, because, you know...Brandon. Let's fckin' GO.
'06 Explorer EB 4.6 (wants cam phasers)
'11 Expedition EL (it's huge-that's what she said)