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Thread: 10" drums, on a TC 8.8, with 5 lug axles. Update and success!

  1. #1
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    Default 10" drums, on a TC 8.8, with 5 lug axles. Update and success!

    This thread will be a how-to, and informational, with pics of progress and the results of experiments and trial and error, as it seems that nobody has really dug into this.
    87thunderbirdblackjack and myself are independently working on this and sharing info via PM, I welcome his input to this thread as well

    EDIT: this swap ONLY works using 1986, 1987, 1988 Thunderbird Sport 10" drum backing plates, SN95 axles, and 1988 Panther chassis (Crown Vic, Marquis) brake drums ONLY. There's NO known workaround for 4 lug, 10" drum swaps, UNLESS there are such a thing as a pre-'85 10" drum brake setup on a Tbird or Cougar. For a 4 lug 10" drum conversion you WILL need the backing plates from an '83 or '84 Thunderbird/Cougar...if such a brake combo exists. This I do not know.



    Now, before we get started...no, I don't want discs, so don't say "grab some disc brake parts", because if I could find some for cheap, that weren't already junk, I'd already have the stuff in place and this thread wouldn't exist

    Just in mocking up Sport 4 lug 10" drums onto TC length axles with Sport backing plates shows that the longer axles move the drums (and all the other brake components) away from the axle tube...meaning that spacers will need to be machined to properly center the backing plate, OR another avenue must be taken.

    The reason I keep referring to the TC axle to mock up the placement is because the TC axle is the same length as the 5 lug stang axle I plan to use, so the length and distance between rear end housing and outer flange remains constant (or should be, in a perfect world) If in fact I can use the '85 10" drum backing plates on a '88 TC housing with Stang axles and the length is right, then I'll simply redrill my 4 lug drums into 5 lug and be one happy camper.

    UPDATE: the Panther drums (Crown Vic, Grand Marquis, possibly Town Car?) drums seem to fit fine.
    I sourced an '88 Grand Marquis 10" drum, and it's on a '97 Mustang axle (if you have axles from a GT, you WILL need to knock off the ABS exciter) and an '87-'88 TC rear. (Same as '87-'93 Stang 8.8 rear).
    The backing plates are stock from my '88 Sport, as it had the 7.5 trac loc with the bigger rear brakes. Not sure what or where else to source workable backing plates from. Perhaps the Panther cars, assuming the axle ends are similar. (Most likely not, as I seem to recall gumby sating awhile back they are dis-similar in sizes)

    I wanted to:
    A; keep my stock rear track width,
    B; avoid having to change master cylinder, brake booster, and get new park brake cables, and
    C; 2 new drums are still less than the cost of ONE remanned rear caliper, and easier to find, to boot. You could probably find a set in the junkyard, but at least with new ones you're saved the hassle of possibly bad drums.
    Anyway, here are pics with everything mocked up. It seems like there isn't enough gap between the drum and b/p, but keep in mind this is with the axle slid in as far as it will go. It will come back out about 1/16" or so with the c clip installed and the differential cross pin in place to hold things in place inside. Later today after I've slept, I will put that back together and put the axle back in it's proper spot and take a few more pics.

    And to give credit where it's due, Clayton mentioned the possibility of the Panther drums...credit is ALL his. I just had a rear apart for the mock up...so many many thanks to you for the tip

    here are pics
    Last edited by ThunderbirdSport302; 02-23-2014 at 11:14 PM.
    '84 and '87 Mustangs
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    The "funky" rear is on the 85-88 7.5's. The housing is wider. The TC 8.8 and the early 7.5 housings are the same width. All the axles are the same length.

    You'd want stuff from one of the 83-84 cars, but I never looked into the 10" drums on the 83-84 cars (I *think* they were available with 10" drums).

    Modifying drums to 5-lug is pretty easy. Ran my 84 XR-7 like that for a bit after I swapped the 5-lug axles into the existing housing.
    Long live the 4-eyes! - '83 Tbird Turbo

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    From what little research Ive done on the subject at the moment. I did check into those box body marquis/ ltd drums. Their drums out back come in 10" and 11" sizes. They are almost identical as to how they fit in the factory 10" tbird backing plates. The only thing that I am unaware of is size difference as in width wise. I might have to run up to advance with a tape measure here in a bit and get some dimentions for ya'll. But from a glance they dont have the flat drums we have. The center section where the axel meets drum is raised.

    Alright enough of the BS Im bored Im going to run to advance and see what info I can dig up.

    EDIT: I had my buddy at advance order me 2 drums one for a 88 grand marquis, and one for a 87 tbird both 10" drums they should be here Tuesday.

    Ill get some measurements for us all Tuesday after work. So hang tight Beau
    Last edited by 87thunderbirdBlackJack; 06-23-2012 at 03:12 PM.
    87 LX 302, E7's, ARP bolts, Mallory Unilite Distributor, MSD 6A, Edelbrock Performer Intake, Edelbrock 600 Carb, Flowtech Long tubes, 5Speed, 8.8w/4.10's, Granatelli Tube K-Member & LCA's, Coil Overs, KYB 4ways, CHE arms, 3" rear drop springs, BBK C/C Plates, SN-95 5-lug stuff, Fuel Cell, Battery Relocation, Mac Mufflers, Stinger Tails, Sunpro gauges, Custom Lip Spoiler

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    I would have taken mesurements for you off my 88 crown wagon. Anything you would like withough pulling the whole axle I might have to replace a bearing/seal on the drivers side too.

    Personally though, I feel the early panther brakes are much larger.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

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    Also, what about some of the 84-85 mark 7 crap? I think they had drums on some. I've got a 7.5" rear out of a 84-85 mark 7 turbo deisel. It was setup for disks though.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

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    Well I did some internet diggin. Tuesday Ill know for sure cause ill have the 2 sitting side by side. and have tangibility.

    BUT I did find some numbers on autozoo's site.

    The depth of a 88 marquis drum is just shy of 3.75
    Center bore is 2.79"
    Inner measurement is 10.0099
    Outer measurement is 12.0078

    Bird 10" drums are

    Depth just shy of 3.5"
    Center bore 2.75"
    Inner measurement 10.09
    Outer measurement 11.65"
    87 LX 302, E7's, ARP bolts, Mallory Unilite Distributor, MSD 6A, Edelbrock Performer Intake, Edelbrock 600 Carb, Flowtech Long tubes, 5Speed, 8.8w/4.10's, Granatelli Tube K-Member & LCA's, Coil Overs, KYB 4ways, CHE arms, 3" rear drop springs, BBK C/C Plates, SN-95 5-lug stuff, Fuel Cell, Battery Relocation, Mac Mufflers, Stinger Tails, Sunpro gauges, Custom Lip Spoiler

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    I'm going to pull my wheel and take some mesurements. My drums looked to be flat on the side.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

  8. #8
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    It'd be appreciated bub
    87 LX 302, E7's, ARP bolts, Mallory Unilite Distributor, MSD 6A, Edelbrock Performer Intake, Edelbrock 600 Carb, Flowtech Long tubes, 5Speed, 8.8w/4.10's, Granatelli Tube K-Member & LCA's, Coil Overs, KYB 4ways, CHE arms, 3" rear drop springs, BBK C/C Plates, SN-95 5-lug stuff, Fuel Cell, Battery Relocation, Mac Mufflers, Stinger Tails, Sunpro gauges, Custom Lip Spoiler

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

  10. #10
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    Inner diameter is 11" for the drum. Outer is just shy of 12 3/4"

    Center hum, I would guess to be 2 3/4" outside diameter.

    Where the brakes hit is about 2 1/2"

    Drum is 3 7/8" deep.

    Backing plat stick behind drup about 1/4".

    Any other pictures or mesurments you might need, let me know. I'm going to leave it off for a bit.

    I guess I have. A bad wheel bearing and axle seal. I noticed yesterday I had a puddle by the tire. I thought it was the brake line, but my brake fluid is fine. I've had a slight noise, which I decided after taking off the wheel, my wheeel is rubbing the inside frame rail.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

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