Mustang Power Brake Conversion & Upgrade with Drilled & Slotted Discs Front & Rear

Follow along as we carry out a power brake conversion with a disc brake upgrade on a 1966 Mustang Coupe here at Clydesdale Classic Cars.

Power Brake Conversion with a Brake Drum to Disc Upgrade

Welcome to Clydesdale Classic Cars, your go-to destination for expert classic Ford Mustang services, repairs, modifications, and upgrades.

Today, we’ll delve into the transformative journey of carrying out a power brake conversion on a 1966 Mustang. Our client’s car, a 289ci V8 model, originally came with standard factory drum brakes with no power assistance.

Overview

The original drum brakes work well, but they may have trouble giving consistent and strong braking in tough conditions or sudden stops.

In addition, switching to disc brakes greatly improves stopping power, shortens overall stopping distances, and makes the road safer.

Furthermore, disc brakes also cool down faster than drum brakes, so there’s less chance of them losing effectiveness.

This is important when you have to brake for a long time or go down a steep hill. It keeps the brakes working well and reduces the risk of them failing.

Using disc brakes also means less maintenance. Not to mention they have simpler parts inside, so they don’t wear unevenly and need fewer adjustments.

This not only makes maintenance easier but could also save you money in the long run.

As driving conditions change, it’s more and more important to have modern brakes. Furthermore, upgrading to disc brakes with a brake booster makes sure the Mustang meets safety standards and works well in different driving situations.

Basically, converting to disc brakes all around is a big improvement for the classic Mustang. It brings it up to the standards of today’s driving experience and is a good thing to do.

1966 Ford Mustang

Benefits of a Power Brake Conversion

    • Boosted Stopping Power
    • Elevated Safety Standards
    • Consistent Braking Performance
    • Reduced Maintenance Demands
    • Modernised Driving Experience
    • Appreciable Resale Value
    • More Customisation Possibilities
    • Accessible Parts Availability
    • Futureproof Your Mustang

To sum up, converting standard drum brakes to disc brakes with a brake booster for a ‘66 Mustang is a practical and beneficial upgrade. This upgrade improves safety, performance, and overall driving enjoyment.

Background: An introduction to the 1966 Ford Mustang

The 1966 Ford Mustang, a pivotal vehicle in automotive history, belongs to the first generation produced from 1964 to 1973. In 1966, the Mustang had important changes and improvements. This was a big time in the Mustang’s evolution.

The Mustang was first introduced at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. It quickly became a favourite among American car enthusiasts and set a new standard for sports cars. By 1966, the Mustang had established itself as a symbol of American automotive freedom and youthfulness.

The 1966 Mustang kept its famous design elements. It had a slightly changed front grille. It came in three body styles: coupe, convertible, and fastback (“2+2”). Engine options included the base inline-six and V8 choices, ranging from 200 to 271 horsepower.

Ford teamed up with Carroll Shelby to create the powerful Shelby GT350 in 1966. This collaboration continued Ford’s success. The Mustang’s appearance in “Goldfinger” and “Bewitched” also helped it become more popular.

The 1966 Mustang’s lasting legacy is evident in its continued popularity and collector’s status. This solidifies its position as an iconic classic car. Moreover, its timeless design and cultural impact make it a symbol of 1960s American automotive culture.

Power Brake Conversion Kit with Drilled & Slotted Discs Front & Rear

After close consultation with the client, covering their requirements, expectations, suitability, and budget we chose a kit from US-based Mustang specialist CJ Pony Parts.

While the options were available our client decided to take the opportunity to further upgrade his braking system by choosing cross-drilled and grooved discs to give an even bigger boost to the braking performance.

We ordered the appropriate kit for his vehicle and waited for the delivery from the States.

Kit Contents:

    • Front Drilled and Slotted Brake Discs
    • Pair of 4-piston Front Brake Calipers
    • 7” Brake Booster (Powder Coated Black)
    • Pair of Front Caliper Brackets
    • Pair of Drilled and Slotted Rotors
    • Front Brake Pads
    • Pair of Front Flexi Brake Hoses
    • Front Wheel Bearings
    • Seals
    • Pair of Dust Caps
    • Mounting Hardware
    • Pair of Dust Shields
    • Rear Drilled and Slotted Brake Discs
    • Pair of Single Piston Rear Brake Calipers
    • Rear Brake Pads
    • Rear Flexi Brake Hoses
    • Caliper to Axle Housing Mounting Brackets
    • Weld-On Brake Hose Brackets
    • Hand Brake Cables
    • Mounting Hardware

Designed with precision, the conversion kit chosen features drilled and slotted discs, elevating performance, and aesthetics.

Furthermore, this all-inclusive kit treats a ’66 Mustang to a state-of-the-art upgrade while embracing the power of 4-piston front calipers to provide unmatched stopping force.

It was time to say goodbye to the limitations of traditional drum brakes and welcome the confidence of advanced braking capability.

Moreover, the grooved and drilled discs enhance cooling efficiency and deliver a striking visual impact, elevating the overall appearance of this classic muscle car.

Installation

Explore how we carried out this power brake conversion for an insight into transforming your classic Mustang. Please note we have shortened these steps for simplification and clarity reasons.

Installing the Brake Booster and Fluid Reservoir

Here are the steps we took to replace the existing brake master cylinder with the new power brake servo and master cylinder supplied in the conversion kit.

    • We first removed as much brake fluid as possible from the fluid reservoir.
    • Disconnected and removed the original copper brake pipe.
    • From inside the car, we disconnected the brake master cylinder from the brake pedal.
    • Unbolted the master cylinder from the firewall and removed it from the vehicle.
    • We then bench-bled the master cylinder with the supplied bleeder kit.
    • The master cylinder was then mounted to the brake booster and installed in the car.
    • Installed new copper brake lines.

Installing the Front Brake Discs, Calipers and Flexi Hoses

Here are the steps we took to convert the front drum brakes to discs and install the new brake flexi hoses.

    • The first step was to remove the road wheels.
    • Disconnected and removed the hydraulic brake lines.
    • Removed the brake drums, shoes, cylinders and hardware.
    • Removed the brake drum back plates.
    • Installed the caliper mounting brackets and new backing plates.
    • Greased the new bearings and installed them into the brake discs remembering to install the seals.
    • Greased the spindles and installed the brake discs. 
    • Fitted new brake calipers and pads.
    • Fitted the new hub nut and grease cap.
    • Installed and attached the new brake flexi hoses.
    • Cleaned the brake discs of any dirt or grease contamination.

We double-checked our work making sure the discs were running true and free. All fittings were double-checked to ensure they met the specified torque settings.

Installing the Rear Brake Discs, Calipers, Brake Pipes, Flexi Hoses & Parking Brake Cable

Here are the steps we took to convert the rear drum brakes to discs and install the new brake flexi hoses.

    • 1st step was to remove the rear road wheels.
    • Disconnected and remove the parking brake and hydraulic brake lines.
    • Removed the brake drums, cylinders, fittings and shoes.
    • Using an axle puller we removed both the axle shafts and brake drum back plates.
    • The supplied brake line/hose brackets were then welded to the axle tubes and a coat of paint was applied for protection.
    • Fitted the new brackets for the calipers and re-fitted the axle shafts.
    • Installed the new brake discs.
    • Fitted the new brake calipers and pads.
    • Cleaned the new brake discs to remove any dirt and grease.
    • Installed the new brake hoses to the calipers.
    • Installed and adjusted the new parking brake cable.

We double-checked our work making sure the discs were running true and free. All fittings were double-checked to ensure they met the specified torque settings.

Finishing Up & Road Test

With the main parts of the conversion now completed we turn our attention to bleeding the braking system to get rid of any air still in the hydraulic system. With this complete the road wheels were refitted and the car was removed from the car lift. The road wheel nuts were torqued to spec and tyre pressures checked ready for a road test.

It was time to take this classic American muscle car on the road for a test drive to see how much of an improvement the brake upgrade would give.

Even though the brake pads had not yet fully bedded in, preventing us from hard braking, we were not disappointed with the results!

The transition from drum brakes to disc brakes has significantly elevated the Mustang’s stopping power. The enhanced responsiveness is palpable, offering a more confident and assured braking experience. Even under demanding conditions, the disc brakes maintain their effectiveness, showcasing improved heat dissipation and minimising the risk of brake fade during prolonged or intense braking scenarios.

The modularity and precision of the disc brakes are truly noteworthy. We experienced better control and modulation, resulting in smoother and more predictable braking manoeuvres. This is particularly beneficial in emergencies and contributes to an overall sense of security while driving.

Overall the road test went very well, even though we had to be a little more gentle on the brakes, the braking performance was off the charts compared to the original factory spec. Needless to say, our mechanic returned with a broad smile on his face, a welcome reward for the hard work put into the brake upgrade.

Final Thoughts

We found that the power brake conversion kit was relatively straightforward to install and set up. However, we did find with the new parking brake cable that the instructions were not complete and some parts required slight modification to fit and set up correctly.

The power brake conversion, complete with a vacuum booster, has not only elevated performance but also introduced a new level of convenience.

The reduced pedal effort required for engagement will enhance the driver’s comfort, especially during town driving or extended motorway drives.

In summary, our team is delighted with the outcome of this conversion. This classic ’66 Mustang now boasts an impressive combination of disc brakes and power brake assistance, resulting in a vintage ride with modernised and vastly improved braking capabilities.

We’re confident that this upgrade will significantly enhance the overall driving experience for our valued client.

We highly recommend this conversion and upgrade to any classic Mustang owner looking to improve the stopping power of their muscle car.

Interested in a brake upgrade for your classic Mustang? Get in touch today to discuss the options.

Why choose Clydesdale Classic Cars to carry out a power brake upgrade on your classic Mustang?

Choose Clydesdale Classic Cars for your classic Ford Mustang’s power brake conversion. Our experts have decades of experience and ensure precise and careful conversions.

We have a strong reputation in classic car repair and are known for reviving iconic vehicles like your Ford Mustang. Our attention to detail guarantees high-quality and aesthetically pleasing conversions.

Furthermore, we provide customised solutions tailored to your Mustang’s specific needs. And we have the technical expertise to preserve your vehicle’s authenticity. We blend modern innovation with its timeless appeal.

Our client-focused approach builds trust through clear communication. We provide a wide range of services. These services include post-conversion support and maintenance guidance. Moreover, we are committed to building long-term relationships.

In fact, by choosing Clydesdale Classic Cars, you are investing in the performance and value of your classic Ford Mustang. You will celebrate automotive history with passion and authenticity. Remember we provide a host of servicing and repair services for classic Ford Mustangs. Alternatively, you can read more about our Mustang upgrade services here: Classic Mustang Upgrades

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