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Topic: '88 Turbo Coupe optimizing the stock brakes? (Read 124 times) previous topic - next topic

'88 Turbo Coupe optimizing the stock brakes?

I am not ready yet to do a 5 lug swap and remove the TEVES.  Maybe in a couple years.

The brakes in my car feel "vague" is about the only way I can describe it.  The pedal doesn't give much feedback what is going on.  I have done a couple emergency stops but the wheels didn't lock up so I assume the ABS works, but I didn't the clatter of it turning on either.

The rotors and pads look fairly new on the car, but I am not opposed to swapping them out.  I am planning on bleeding the brakes, replacing the pins in the front and find the shims for the pads if any. 

Any suggestions on what else to do other than bleeding the lines?  Maybe some other pads? 

Thanks!
Mike
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Ranger roller cam conversion,
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'16 F150 XLT 5.0
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: '88 Turbo Coupe optimizing the stock brakes?

Reply #1
Maybe swapping the master cylinder also.  I plan on doing that soon.  I suspect it may be leaking internally.  Its the original piece and may have been damaged by bleeding brakes in the past.  Fortunately they are cheap. 

Stainless flexible brake lines may help also.
Mike

Re: '88 Turbo Coupe optimizing the stock brakes?

Reply #2
There are a lot of things you can do to get some more out of your braking system, but the most important thing is to start by making sure it's all working properly.

Start by looking over your rubber lines first. My car had decent lines between the body and calipers. The line between the body and the rear looked like this:


Doing a full flush of the brake fluid is also a big help. Brake fluid collects moisture and other crap over time, and that will squish and compress and give you a crappy pedal feel.

Something I did on a previous car that helped a bit was some stainless caliper sleeves. I forgot where I initially got them, but Maximum Motorsports carries them. They replace the rubber sleeves in the front calipers that the slide pin passes through. They help keep the caliper more square with the rotor.

https://www.maximummotorsports.com/Stainless-Steel-Brake-Caliper-Sleeves-1987-93-P666.aspx

Pads will also help greatly. A more aggressive pad will make the brakes feel more responsive and add more stopping power. The problem is that these cars have fewer options than they once did. You can probably find some good front pads, but the rears are very limited.
It's Gumby's fault.

Re: '88 Turbo Coupe optimizing the stock brakes?

Reply #3
232ci,

What year and model is the car in your axle housing photo?

Is it a 7.5" or 8.8"?


Re: '88 Turbo Coupe optimizing the stock brakes?

Reply #5
Thanks.

Bizzaro-world Thunderbird parts:)

 

Re: '88 Turbo Coupe optimizing the stock brakes?

Reply #6
The damn Turbo Coupes have a lot of little, specific parts. It becomes a pain as companies are discontinuing correct parts and lumping part numbers together across TC and non TC cars.
It's Gumby's fault.

Re: '88 Turbo Coupe optimizing the stock brakes?

Reply #7
The threads on the brakes lines are different too from the Mustang to Tbird?

I wouldn't be opposed to swapping out to some braided lines.

I am going to call MM about the CRES sleeves and some street pads for front and back.  I checked the hoses on the front last time I had the front wheels off, but have not inspected any in the rear.

232ci - good point about the brake fluid absorbing water.  These brakes don't have the mushy feel of contaminated water like my dirt bike, but being a car I am not sure it would feel the same in the pedal as the bike.  The fluid is old and it needs to go anyways.  Thanks for the link!!!
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Ranger roller cam conversion,
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'16 F150 XLT 5.0
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: '88 Turbo Coupe optimizing the stock brakes?

Reply #8
I haven't done much to mess with the stock brakes in a lot of years now, so I'm not entirely sure what we can get away with for braided lines anymore. A fox body Mustang has the same size fittings on both sides on the front, where ours have a larger one on one side. I also don't know if the length is close enough. In the rear, the 94-95 SN95 lines are an almost direct swap, but once again, I'm unsure if they will work with the stock calipers. The rear center line is specific to the TC and possibly the Mark VII.

I know we did have options for stainless years ago, but the last time I looked was probably 10-12 years ago now.
It's Gumby's fault.

Re: '88 Turbo Coupe optimizing the stock brakes?

Reply #9
The big problem with using Mustang brake hoses on a Thunderbird is that the Thunderbird is designed for more suspension travel, so the hoses are longer and/or routed differently. In particular this really applies to the rear center hose.

We do have rear caliper hoses which will fit on a Thunderbird TC. These are in the 1994-95 Mustang section.