65 disc brake conversion advice

Joined
Mar 5, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1965
I am thinking of installing rear disk brakes on my 65 Tbird and was wondering if anyone has done this by themselves. Also, what are the thoughts of replacing the front disc brakes with aftermarket calipers, rotors, etc. ? Should I just replace the front pads? This is somewhat of a resto-mod.
 

tbird

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Thunderbird Year
2005
Your subject "65 brakes" has been revised.
model-year-TBF.jpg
 

Dlluinstra

Active Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2018
Thunderbird Year
1959
Upgrading front disk would be my suggestion, 70 percent of the car's braking is done by the front brakes according the industry.
In hindsight, I would not convert to disk on my 61 and 59, expensive. I converted front and rear.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1957
I am thinking of installing rear disk brakes on my 65 Tbird and was wondering if anyone has done this by themselves. Also, what are the thoughts of replacing the front disc brakes with aftermarket calipers, rotors, etc. ? Should I just replace the front pads? This is somewhat of a resto-mod.
I have spent hours researching this and this is what I have found, the factory calipers are great stoppers but won't clear the 17" American Racing wheels by the wheel studs. Two options convert back to 64 control arms and spindles and then buy a disc brake conversion kit, or do what I did, buy Fatmans dropped spindles with their Wilwood brake option $1,600
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1955
I don't understand why factory calipers will clear 14/15-inch wheels but not 17-inch? The bolt pattern doesn't change, and caliper clearance issues are almost always with smaller-diameter wheels.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1957
I don't understand why factory calipers will clear 14/15-inch wheels but not 17-inch? The bolt pattern doesn't change, and caliper clearance issues are almost always with smaller-diameter wheels.
The brake calipers stick out past the wheel hub flange by a 1.5" and will hit the American Racing wheels, the area where the wheel studs are located.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1955
The brake calipers stick out past the wheel hub flange by a 1.5" and will hit the American Racing wheels, the area where the wheel studs are located.
Sounds like your wheels have the wrong offset. Spacers are available to move them outward to provide additional clearance, but then you might have clearance issues on the outside. How wide are your wheels?
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1957
Plan on running 18 x 8 on the front but had to address the brake problem first, the American Racing Wheel salesman said the particular American Racing Wheel 427 (looks like the original AC Cobra wheel) that I was looking at wouldn't clear the caliper without huge spacers, American Racing has similar style wheels that do clear but I'm kinda particular and it's costing me dearly every step of the way :-(
Thank you for your input.
 
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