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1961 Ford Galaxie disc brake swap??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by S1B, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. S1B
    Joined: Mar 18, 2004
    Posts: 648


    I was wondering if anyone has any info on doing a disc brake swap on a 61 Ford Galaxie? I look up some other threads and found one where they are talking about 77-79 Thunderbirds, Cougar, LTD II, and Ranchero disc are a direct swap, can anyone confirm this? Also if anyone has used aftermarket stuff, what brand did you use and what do you think about it. I noticed Crites says they have a kit or a book that gives you parts #'s and instructions. Anyway would like to here from people who have done a swap before.
  2. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,149

    from Nebraska

  3. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,207


  4. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,149

    from Nebraska

    hmm.... works for me ?
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  5. J.D.
    Joined: Oct 1, 2004
    Posts: 788


  6. nsh57
    Joined: Mar 14, 2004
    Posts: 263


    I dont know much about retrofitting the t-bird stuff, but our shop just did a disc brake setup on a 62 galaxie. In working for a pro-street shop, I've done many disc brake conversions, and we usually use wilwood. The customer ordered a kit from SSBC, (stainless steel brake co.) and the fronts bolted up just fine, but the rear disc setup took a bit of modifying to get them to even bolt up. The mounting flanges on the caliper weren't 100% true, and made for a pain in centering the caliper on the disc. And the throat on the caliper was a bit too shallow in it's casting, and wouldn't clear the diameter of the disc.
    Hopefully this was just a problem with my application, and I do have to say that their tech was very knowledgable and was a great help in getting the parts to fit. I hope this helps you in your decision.
  7. slowford
    Joined: Jul 24, 2006
    Posts: 20


    Yes, you can use the brakes from 1975-79 LTD II, 1972+ Torino or
    75-79 Thunderbird/Cougar. My friend used a 1976 Elite (Torino) and said it was a smooth swap.

    If you are looking for kit instead of trying to fine a donor car, DC Enterprises has a good set up ( In fact, I just finished adding disc brakes on my '58 Ford using their kit.
  8. McPhail
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 648


    how big are the rotors in the drop n stop kits?
  9. Galaxie Donors ?

    This is pretty close to all the article that appeared in Car Craft a few years ago when Marlan Davis was still there. Most of it was gleaned from the Galaxie clubs members and discussion group. Some items were added later as guys found additional info. Good luck, Phil 10-2008

    > John's right, stay away from the Granada / Monarch spindles. They are different and can lead to alignment difficulties.

    > The Full sized and Intermediate cars (all "FULL FRAMED" cars)
    > however, all share the SAME spindle assemblies.
    > #D4AZ-3105A (right) and #D4AZ-3106A (left).
    > These came on:
    > * 74-76= "Full size" Ford, Merc.& T-bird
    > * 74-76= Montego & Torino Elite'
    > * 74-76= Meteor
    > * 77-79= Cougar & T-Bird (Interm.)
    > * 77-79= LTD II & Ranchero
    (From-Mitchell Interchange)
    > The Full size cars DO have larger rotors (11.8), but use the big 5"bolt pattern. (on 73 & later) The Intermediate cars use a slightly smaller rotor (10.720) but the same 4 1/2" pattern you have.
    All of these cars, Full size and Intermediate, use the SAME pad, and the SAME 3 & 3/32" bore caliper.
    Also the cars in the Intermediate size are about the same weight class as your Galaxie. (approx. 3600 to 4100 lbs.) The big cars are a little heavier.(3600-4800 lbs.) Chilton's.

    > So, if you're just wanting to upgrade to modern disc brakes and don't need the hassle of dissimilar bolt patterns front and rear, or re-drilling one or the other. Just go with the 77-79 T-Bird or Cougar set-up and be done. (These are the easiest ones to find complete)
    > You can run 14 or 15 inch wheels with these.
    > The MAIN thing is to get EVERYTHING from the same donor and there shouldn't be any component mismatches.

    >Subject: Master cylinders to us

    I used a manual master on my 64. Works great! If you are of above average build and not worried about leg strength, then I would prefer a manual system... The master cylinder is from 81-87 full size Ford/Merc products and bolts right onto the firewall. The replacement kit even includes the proper length pushrod! I would buy a new one as they are only a few
    dollars more than a rebuilt unit.

    Subject: Extra's added later

    AS long as you are going to use 15" wheels, this will work well for your car, and the 11 3/4" rotor is very attractive.
    The spindles, rotors and calipers come from a 70-72 full sized Ford/ Merc donor car. The top of the tie rod mount at the spindle has to be machined 1/8" so the stud on the outer rod end sticks thru far enough to get the cotter pin into the castle nut. Everything else bolts on.

    The master cyl I am using is out of an 81-87 Ford full sized car, in
    manual mode [no power booster]. Interestingly enough I bought a new master and the kit included a push rod which was the exact length for the job... fits
    And the master bolts right onto the fire wall. You want to install a dual bowl master to enhance safety.

    The brake lines will have to be replumbed, and you will have to add a "T" block to accept the old brake light solenoid for your brake lights. I put mine into the front line. Also plumb an adjustable proportioning valve into the rear line so that you can balance the system properly and not have to worry about a non- adjustable valve working correctly.

    The last piece to buy are a pair of brake hoses from a 77 Ford Bronco. You will have to file the metal block that goes to the caliper to make it fit properly, and also bend the tube coming out of the block slightly to accommodate the swing of the spindle assembly as you turn your
    will understand what I mean when you get things put together... The hose was selected for it's length and proper ends.<o:p></o:p>[/COLOR][/FONT]
    Added: 4/19/2004<o:p></o:p>
    If you use a pre-77 donor-
    One word of caution- The 73/75 TORINO used the larger rotors as did some of the 74/76 ELITE.

    The larger rotors used a different caliper mounting bracket so also keep this in mind. The larger rotor also used a LINC caliper but the piston size is the same.

    The center hub snout was also increased in size in 1973 I believe it was. So you will either have to have the snout machined down to accept the early wheels (must be disc brake wheels...special offset) or find a set of origional intermediate 14" wheels D3OZ 1007-A (these were used on low trim TORINOS).

    So now you know that both systems used the same spindle and just made a few changes to mount whatever size rotor they needed. This may help some of you that can't find a complete donor and have to pick and choose with whatever is left over.

    This stuff can get confusing and I don't want anyone to have a bad day in the junk yard fighting bumbly bees and getting home to find they have the wrong setup...

    Brake hoses-
    Dave, I do this swap all the time. Use Granada hoses. 76-77. You have
    to move the brackets on the frame to the front and make new hard lines.
    Make sure when you mount the brackets that in a full turn lock to lock
    that the tires don't rub or hit the hoses.

    Tie rod ends-
    Finally completed my disc brake job and didn't have to do any milling of the spindle. I just used a pair of Moog outer tie rod ends for a 77-79 T-bird. Same as the spindles I used. Fit perfect. No milling. Don

    Phil 10-2008

    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  10. S1B
    Joined: Mar 18, 2004
    Posts: 648


    Thanks guys for the info. It realy helps alot!
  11. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 5,466


    I have 77-79 LTD/Cougar/T'Bird spindles and brakes on the front of my '59 'Bird, although the job isn't finished. And it probably won't be, as I'm going back to the drum brakes, rebuilt, and tossing the disk spindles.

    The issue isn't whether or not they'll bolt to the ball joints, they do. It's that these later spindles are front steer, the steering arms are much shorter and angled differently than the original ones. I followed the build advice outlined in the above links, which apparantly totally disregard the alignment/Ackerman issues these look like they will present. By the time the tie rods are adjusted out enough to get the toe even close enough to roll the car around the shop, there's about 3 threads engaged.

    Far better would be to use a kit adapting later rotors to the original spindles. That may be route I'll go later on, but for now, I'm putting the originals back on, and swapping the disk/drum master cyl. I have now for a drum/drum style, some metallic shoes, and call it good.

    I don't know how the Granda/Monarch spindles look, but I can say that the LTD/Cougar ones are not going to be useable as is.

  12. borntoolate
    Joined: Feb 18, 2006
    Posts: 320


    Been here and done this. I threw out the T-Bird spindles and used caliper adapters from e-bay store). They use easily obtainable GM calipers and 68 mustang rotors. They give you a parts list to take the parts store. Everything fits well and you have the proper geometry of the stock spindles.

  13. I hadn't read or heard anywhere, that these parts would be usable on anything but the full sized Fords, (Galaxies). First time I ever heard of someone using them on an early Tbird for sure.
    Sorry to hear that, Phil
  14. str8enough
    Joined: Mar 17, 2008
    Posts: 26

    from Omaha, NE

    On my 63 I bought brackets from a guy on ebay. You use the stock spindles, Granada rotors and master cylinder, and Monte Carlo calipers. Seems to work really well, and didn't cost a whole lot to do!
  15. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 5,466


    What he said:D

  16. Front steer????? you have then on backwards or someone sold you 1980 and up T-bird spindles which are Fox chassis parts ( AKA Fairmont Mustang etal)

    I have a set of 77 Tbird spindles for my '64 Merc I removed in the wrecking yard myself and they are NOT front steer...

    That being said a '59 Bird is probably set up differently in the geometry dept as far as steering arm lengths etc.

    If they are reversed Fox spindles the tie rod arm throw will be shorter.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  17. Cortney
    Joined: Aug 11, 2008
    Posts: 371


    What is the ride height difference (if any) from the stock 62 Galaxie/Monterey spindles to the Granada, T-Bird spindles?
  18. hotrod428
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 203


    I sell a conversion kit for Galaxies on ebay and from my website. it uses the stock spindles so your geometry does not change.
  19. choptvan
    Joined: Mar 19, 2010
    Posts: 2,161


    I JUST did this last night. Spent under $100 for ALL the parts. The brake line ends had to be swapped for a larger ones to fit the hose for the set-up. I also had to grind down the steering arm at the top opposite of where the tie-rod went in to make it all fit right. The cotter pin would not fit through.Turns out the old arm is just a hair thicker so I fixed that. It also dropped it about 1 inch in the process. We cut the coils while we were there. The last step is to upgrade the master to a split type and install a proportioning valve. Going to use all the rest of the LTD parts when we do that. BTW, we used a 77ltd. Has the same spindles as the 77 bird.
    slammed likes this.
  20. Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  21. Hey FrozenMerc, how much wider did that set up make the front track if at all, it appears that it would widen it about 3/8" on each side ? It won't be a problem for me, just curious.

  22. choptvan
    Joined: Mar 19, 2010
    Posts: 2,161


    about an inch from what I notied while I had it all off. I got the parts from ABC auto salvage cortney. Here in town. Again, under $100.
  23. I don't know because I never measured the distance between the hubs with the original drums. If you have that measurement I can measure the hub to hub distance on mine and let you know. Maybe Hotrod428 can answer that question as well??? The kit didn't seem to change the track width at all.
  24. JSHAW
    Joined: Jun 27, 2010
    Posts: 103


    Great info.
    Anyone running dropped spindles?
    Gathering info and parts for my 1961 Fairlane front disc swap. 1620884_292541500897944_570597819_n.jpg
  25. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 445


    I used 1969 Torino spindles, rotors, calipers, etc in my 57 Custom. Had to use a tapered reamer for the bottom ball joint. They use a smaller rotor and I'm not auto crossing so I only need good braking for a panic stop. They also have a 4.5 bolt pattern and you should be able to use a 14 inch wheel if you desire. I used a Granada non power brake master, Wilwood porp valve, brake switch from a Mustang
    the style that goes on the pivot on your pedal and brake hoses from a 80's Camaro which were a direct bolt on.
  26. JSHAW
    Joined: Jun 27, 2010
    Posts: 103


    I ordered brackets from "Scarebird". I absolutly recommend dealing with him. Great Quality, and he is very knowledgable. Responded to my emails very quickly even on saturday afternoon AZ time. Ordered middle of last week, received parts today.

    Attached Files:

  27. I'm doing something similar on my '59. Any ideas on the brake light switch? I did run across a proportioning valve at Summit, part number A0730PL that retains the Ford-type switch.
  28. JSHAW
    Joined: Jun 27, 2010
    Posts: 103


    I am running a 67 Galaxie master and will still use the brake PSI switch. What about using the brake pedal switch like a 1967-72 ford F100 has or a Chevy truck 1960-1987. Hope this Helps.

    Attached Files:

  29. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,162


    JSHAW! That car look's rust free/original paint! Killer purchase.
    JSHAW likes this.

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