Join Date: Feb 2001
I would say this....
1. If you really want to go to disc, then stick with the oem units, they perform excellent and parts are readily avaiable, requiring no secondary issues (other than proprtional valve & swapping out the master brake cylinder from a single to a duel bowl unit. The master cylinder units for a 1974 Maverick are right on the $ for this conversion as well!
2. Power assist
really not necessary, but if its something that you are particularly fond of, sure.
3. Brake linings.
Ceramics: They are good but do not develop any more friction than good quality OEM linings
Performance Friction & Hawk: Good braking, increased friction but very dirty compared to OEM.
Wagner & Raybestos: a line of products that is 100% marketing and mfg from very low quality/inexpensive and/or imported products with the mfg's not providing any back-up or support on product failures (and I mean real ugly spontaneous, catestropihic failures)
VelveTouch lining- Used for many decades and was the original lining used in all Shelby Mustangs in the 60’s (I personally have used the Velvetouch lining since 1960’s until brake lining production ceased in 1986), then switched to Carbo. Wellman has been the builder of braking linings for all of the Formula 1 race teams for more than 30 years and VT is now available again.
CarboTech Engineering lining, which I have used for about 20+ years and been very happy on multiple full size (V8) cars and trucks. This particular lining has a high friction co-efficient, excellent pedal feel, wears (typically 50,000 to 75,000 miles before replacement is required) and produces less dust than OEM linings.
I highly recommend speaking to them by phone for linings that would be best for your application. Fyi- braking co-efficient is what identifies the bite rating of the linings- you want the CE to be no less than that of the OEM.....this will drive most e-base distributors & big box store "experts" right out of their mind because they either cannot verify this info or you will find the spec is less than oem. IMHO, i would look for a CE that is .49 or greater.
With regards to rotors, I have previously run Brembo OEM replacement rotors that are cryogenically treated at Diversified Cryogenics, making them almost as hard as stainless steel- Applied Rotor Technology in California provides the same product- but I would not rely on their delivery as it is essentially a 1 person shop owned/run by a Boeing engineer who works back east, travels alot and works at ART on weekends the last of my phone conversations with him). Unfortunately, Brembo, Powerslot, Raybestos, Bendix, Hawk etc. are all purchasing their rotors from the same foundary in China (with the exception of the $300 each composite high end units for Ferrari, Porsche, etc).
Both companies purchase the highest grade rotors made, laser mic them for quality, scrap the ones that are out of spec and cryogenically treat the good ones which are now as strong as stainless. They will also slot and cross drill the rotors for you. DC's service, price and quality are excellent as well.
For street use, slotted/drilled rotors are just “cheese-graters” for the brake pads IMHO, because unless you are involved in true racing conditions, the brake linings do not produce the gases which slotted/drilled rotors are designed to relive. In some cases, brake testing indicated reduce brake efficiency in street-based operations using slotted/drilled rotors when equal comparisons were made. The staff at carbo can speak to you as well regarding those options, but I am very satisfied with the performance & wear of these products.
4. Drum Brakes
The issue with drum brakes (in general) is youth.......
to start with, the replacement linings at most parts houses have a braking co-efficient of around .25, that is about 50% less than what the oem called for in the 60's (which was .32 or better, most offered .38 replacement linings). Going back to the 70's and through today, linings rated at .49 or better are common and typically sell for around $140-$200 a set. longevity, typically 50k to 100k (miles) depends on your foot. Braking capability, every bit as good as oem grade disc brakes (noticed I said oem grade) as I have demonstrated to numerous "experts"........and remember, the 3/4 scale dirt track Jalopy cars that are running today are required to have drum brakes!
Second issue...most people have never been taught how to drive with drum brakes...yes the techniques, there are specific ones, such as applying pressure to the brakes when driving through water to keep the linings dry, etc.
3rd issue, 99% of today’s mechanics have never been taught the techniques of installing drum brakes...such as, cutting the linings to channel water out towards the backing plates (there are a few requirements on specifically how to do that).
Granted, disc do provided a lot of advantages, but that does not, nor should imply that a proper set of drums/linings, installed correctly should be any less safe.
It really all boils down to the friction co-efficient....anything greater than .49 will be better than oem in terms of its ability to bite.
I really understand about not wanting to get rid/cut your console. I was in the same situation......What i did was I was able to purchse an oem system (although you could easily do this with any aftermarket as well)....in installed a very simple 3 speed switch under the dash, and installed the air exchange unit under the package tray in the trunk, ran 3 vent up through the rear package tray. I then went to an AC shop (the one I used did limos, but anyone could do this) and they built hoses that ran from the engine along the side of the frame rails up through into the air exchange unit. It work s very well....although it does take about 10-15 minutes to cool the car down, it works very well.
6. Engine pulleys
IMHO, I would not recommend using any oem pulley's for other than a show vehicle. Reason: the pulley's are made from stamped steel, metal fatigue is setting in meaning the pulley can and will fail sending shrapnel (chunks of metal) through the hood, radiator and possibly engine accessories. These "faults" can only be detected by magnfluxing the components in most cases, however sometimes you can place a pulley on a lathe, spin at a slow rpm and check for visual deformities. A few years ago I was traveling back from a cruise night when 2 cars, both 1960's, T-Bird and Mustang, both experienced sudden pulley failures- one went through the hood the other through the radiator, destroying the battery, wiring and ac. I pulled my pulley's and found metal fatigue, replaced them with new aftermarket units (while I went with March for show purposes, less expensive units are available).
Last edited by beechkid; 01-29-2013 at 01:58 PM.