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Dual diaphragm master brake cylinder for '64 TBird

Discussion in '1955 - 1966 Classic Ford Thunderbird' started by 64ZCODE, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. 64ZCODE

    64ZCODE Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    I'm replacing the master brake cylinder on my '64 and want to upgrade to a dual diaphragm unit. I'm looking for recommendations on options that will work with the stock brake booster and shock tower brace. Thunderbird Headquarters sells a unit that while expensive, will meet these requirements. I've also heard that a dual diaphragm master cylinder for a '73 Mustang will work with the stock brake booster however will require changing out the shock tower brace. Any ideas on options would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. 64ZCODE

    64ZCODE Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    Hi all. I've decided to go with a double master cylinder unit sold by ABS Power Brake. According to several sources, this is the only one that will work with the stock booster and shock tower brace setup in the '64. Should be in the installation mode next week and will provide update.
    DickStag likes this.
  3. Yes, keep us posted.

    I just had my brakes completely rebuilt, including rebuilt (but not new) master cylinder. All of my lines are stainless steel, front hoses are new and rear one was checked and good (not that old).

    My feeling on this: the original brakes on these old cars are adequate; millions of cars went trillions of miles without an issue. Newer cars have been fitted with disk brakes and dual master cylinders, and it's a definite improvement in overall safety -- but I don't consider this a reason to drop everything and go retrofit it all, simply because it's there. However, if a new master cylinder is required, and something like this is a drop-in replacement that doesn't create new issues of any kind, then it's good to know -- when the time comes, upgrade.

    One other thing that comes to mind: someday those disks and MC will need service again. You can't exactly go into your local auto parts store and ask for brakes for a 64 T-Bird, what DO you ask for?

    Finally, what color is your car? Seems we've got two avatars that look like the front and back ends of the same vehicle. Mine is a 64 Hardtop, Caspian Blue Metallic (original color was Diamond Blue, very light). The open trunk is full of junk radios from 1955-57 Chevys; these sets have mostly been parted out and scrapped. The photo kinda looks like a cornucopia of radios, so I've been using it.
  4. 64ZCODE

    64ZCODE Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    Hi Gary. I agree. The original setup with the single master cylinder is fit for purpose. I need to replace the master cylinder I have and am going to the dual master for the added margin of safety, primarily because I'm not the only one that will be driving this car. I'm going to completely rebuild the front and rear drum brakes and go with that setup for now.

    You raise a good point about eventually needing to service the double master brake cylinder. There should be a rebuild kit for the one I bought. I'll check with ABS and probably go ahead and get one to hold in reserve.

    My '64 is Raven Black exterior hardtop with red interior. I uploaded a pic from a recent car show. Black is a bugger to keep clean, but hey, I'm not complaining. By the way, I'd like to find an original AM/FM radio. Any ideas?



    Attached Files:

    tbirdjims likes this.
  5. Regarding the AM/FM radio, some months ago someone on this forum (who might even be reading this!) made me an offer for an AM/FM radio for a 1965. I snatched it up. Now -- to be correct, the 1964 AN/FN has buttons similar to the AM set, with FM and AM written on the buttons. The 1965 and 66 have flipover buttons, and although they look the same, the mechanisms are quite different. ALL of the 1963-66 AM/FM sets are made by Bendix, and in my opinion are pure junk, with the 1965 being the worst. But this one was clean, and the buttons actually work well (the 65 buttons are known to get really sloppy and won't switch bands properly). Of course the first thing I did was tear it apart and convert it to stereo, with Bluetooth, USB, and Line Outs. So it's pretty cool. I've got powered satellite speakers and a subwoofer that I want to add, haven't had time. One of these days.

    With the master cylinder, I'll be curious to find out how the brakes feel. Does the pedal feel good, or is it persnickety in some way?
  6. 64ZCODE

    64ZCODE Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    Sure, I'll let you know. I'm planning to replace the master cylinder first, which should give us a data point on how that affects the feel of the braking system. Phase 2 will be rebuilding the drum brakes, and I plan to replace the three front and rear rubber brake lines, all wheel cylinders, brake shoes of course, machine the drums, and bearings/seals along with flushing the system. I've already inspected the metal brake lines from stem to stern, including under the plate aft of the driver door where corrosion tends to build up, and no problems there.

    Question on the radio: why do the Bendix radios typically fail?
  7. Wow, where do I start? Basically, the components used in these radios have not held up well over time. We can start with the IF transformers. These are tuned circuits, using coils and capacitors. The capacitors were made by painting a conductive paint on both sides of a piece of mica, and sandwiching it inside the plastic base of the transformer assembly. This paint can flake off, but it's just the cracking that creates an intermittent headache. Turn the radio on, it plays. Go down the road, hot a bump, and reception pops out. Hit another bump and it pops back in. I have heard of people being successful at fixing these, but it's quite a nightmare -- and the radio has 7 of them! Then there's the power transistor that blows -- it goes for around $50 if you can find one, and the new one will blow if you don't find and fix bias problem that caused it. The audio amp is direct-coupled, so the culprit can be anywhere. There are also AM front end problems and FM front end problems. That's pretty much the whole set! When working, you'll find that the Motorola AM radio is a noticeably better sounding radio. Also, you can adjust and align to your heart's content, but I have never seen one of these sets where the FM stations line up with the dial markings. These radios are not for the faint of heart.

    The second generation Bendix AM/FM sets (1967 and later) are a big improvement but still nothing to write home about.
  8. 64ZCODE

    64ZCODE Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    I think I'll use my Bendix radio as a paperweight and look around for a better replacement when the time comes. In the meantime, I can hum reliably...
  9. You have a Bendix radio? The original AM radio is a Motorola. It's AM only, but much better built than the Bendix AM/FM. Of course I don't "repair" either; I do conversions.
  10. 64ZCODE

    64ZCODE Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    Hi Gary. All I know about T Bird radios I've learned from your posts and trust me, I do appreciate the information. I think but am not sure that the radio I have is the original AM but I have no way of really knowing. But, I'm intrigued about conversions. I'm not concerned about maintaining the original "look" of the radio but would like it to fit in the same mounting and not have to cut different holes. And, AM is pretty sparse where I live, so FM is definitely in the cards. I've also looked into remote radios/CD players which can be hidden away and come at a high cost. Any suggestions about how to proceed would be most welcome.
  11. The original AM radio for that car would be a model 4TMS, or, if you have a rear speaker option, a 4TMS/F with fader control. The number is stamped into the metal on the left side. If you're not sure what it looks like, there's a picture on my website. Just below the picture of my car, there are several radios; the one on the far left is a 1964 Thunderbird. The radio for a 1965/66 is a 5TMS, and looks identical in the dash -- except for one minor difference that I bet a lot of people have never noticed. Remember those Conelrad markings? Several old radios had these; they are little circle-triangles positioned at 640 and 1240 in the dial. In case of an emergency, all radio stations were to shut down and special transmitters would broadcast information on those frequencies. The system was scrapped in 1963. The early 1964 radios had these markings, later they were removed. The 1965/66 sets don't have them.

    If you have specific questions, or want to discuss conversions, I'm happy to answer questions -- but why don't you e-mail me directly? BTW, I'm about to take a trip to Atlanta, so I might not respond right away. Radio att garytayman dott com.
  12. Do you have an update on how your master cylinder conversion turned out?
  13. 64ZCODE

    64ZCODE Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    Hi there. I purchased the dual master and plan to install it, but short term I opted to replace the single master because I needed a quick solution and realized that installing the dual master will mean replacing the metal brake lines, a significant job I’ll undertake in the spring.

    The master had been leaking into the booster. I was able to clean out and use the booster.

    The dual master I found is designed to fit without modifying the shock tower brace.
  14. Hi … do you have the model number of the one you bought. I want to switch mine --- a 66 bird.
  15. 64ZCODE

    64ZCODE Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    Hi there. Here is the info. You can find it on the ABS Power Brake site. I believe that Bird Nest and possibly Thunderbird Headquarters sells dual masters also:
  16. Thank you sir!
  17. 64ZCODE

    64ZCODE Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    You’re welcome, keep us posted please!
  18. Can you post the actual parts that you used.
  19. Hello, I installed a new MC and booster as an assembly. It was purchased from ABS Power Brake site, as well as an adjustable proportional valve, for the rear drums.
    Part number for the dual Diaphram Booster /MC is 9759 The Prop. vlv number is LG/KH
    I also rebuild both front calipers, including pistons and seals. Replaced all rear drum parts including adding the self adjusters. The guy who owned this car before butchered the braking system up pretty good. I bought the car last April and drove it for the summer to see what it would need. This is the start. Carb set up and tune is next. but first I am going thru some wiring issues -- arrggg ---
    I may have some parts to post here in a bit. New front coils, rear leaf springs (not new but in good shape) with all new bushings … the original power booster … and the original gauge set.
    IMG_0150.JPG IMG_0151.JPG
    Clickthepirate likes this.
  20. Thanks. I got the combo from them as you detailed. Are you going to an air ride?

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