My uncle recently bought a 1967 Mustang coupe that still has front drum brakes. He has also acquired a pair of front spindles,rotors, and calipers that are supposed to be off of a 1977 Maverick. Will these work ok on his car? What else will he need to change to complete the swap?
I am owner of CSRP and operate the website http://discbrakeswap.com .
I have a lot of experience with 60's and 70's Ford spindles. Here is my guide for classic Ford based on the Falcon chassis.
There are a lot of opinions, right and wrong concerning the disc brake swaps for 60s and 70s Ford. I have made it my business over the last 15 months to get to know these systems.
Spindle Types (more properly called steering knuckles).
Many of Fords compact and intermediate car line in the 60s and 70s were based on the Falcon chassis. These included Falcon, 65-73 Mustangs, Mavericks, Granada, some Torino, some Fairlanes, the Mercury cousins, and others. The basic suspensions in all of those cars are the same, with minor differences in outer tie rods.
60-80 Falcon Chassis models had at least 12 varieties of spindles.
1. A light weight 60-62 drum spindle used on Falcon/Comet.
2. A light weight drum brake spindle used with 6 cylinder cars 63-66. Used on 64-66 Mustang, and on 63-65 Falcon.
3. A 63-66 drum spindle which was adapted for disk brake use using a bracket. This is the 8 cylinder spindle and is relatively lightweight and was originally designed for 10" drum brake application. This spindle has slightly different steering arm/tie rod geometry than all future Falcon based spindles. This spindle uses a slightly larger outer tie rod mounting hole than the previous types. This was used on 64-66 Mustangs, and on 63-65 Falcons.
4. A 66-69 drum brake spindle which was adapted on 67 Mustang and 66-67 Falcons for disc brakes using a bracket. This and all future types are used for all engine applications, 6 and 8 cylinder. This spindle and ALL future Falcon series spindles have the same steering arm/tie rod geometry. These spindles are slightly beefier (except for the spindle pin itself) than the other 63-66 type. This spindle uses a slightly larger outer tie rod mounting hole than the previous types. This was used on 67-69 Mustangs/Cougars, and on 66-69 Falcons/Comets and Fairlanes, and 68-69 Torino.
5. A 68-69 purpose built disc brake spindle which used a sliding type single piston caliper. Essentially the same weight as the 66-69 drum spindles. Uses an 11.25" brake rotor. This spindle uses the same outer tie rod mounting hole as the 66-69 drum type. These were used on 68-69 Falcons/Comets, Mustangs, Torinos, Fairlanes, and Cougars.
6. A 70 drum spindle for which I cannot find info that distinguishes it from the 71-73 type. This was used on 70 Falcon, 70 Mustang, 70 Torino, 70 Fairlane, 70 Cougar, and 70-74 Mavericks/Comets. This and all subsequent spindles have a larger pin. It also has a slightly larger outer tie rod mounting hole than the previous types. A variant model used on 75-77 Mavericks/Comets, and 75-80 Granada/Monarchs uses an even larger outer tie rod mounting hole (same size as later Granada/Maverick disc spindles do).
7. A 70 purpose built disc brake spindle for which I cannot find info that distinguishes from the 71-73 type. This was used on 70 Falcon/Comet, 70 Mustang, 70 Torino, 70 Fairlane, 70 Cougar, and 70 Maverick. It also has a slightly larger outer tie rod mounting hole than the previous disc brake type.
8. A 71-73 drum brake spindle. This spindle was used on 71-73 Mustangs, 71-73 Cougar, and 71-74 Mavericks/Comets.
9. A 71-73 purpose built disc brake spindle (larger pin like with 70 model).It uses the same bracket and caliper as the 68-69. It uses the same rotor as 68-69. This was used on 71-73 Mustangs, 71-74 Cougars, and 71-73 Mavericks.
10. A purpose built disc brake spindle which was essentially identical to the 70-73 models except that it uses a floating type single piston caliper and associated bracket. The outer tie rod mounting hole is larger than the 70-73. This spindle was used on the 74-77 Maverick and the 75-80 Granada (several million were made). It uses an 11" rotor.
11. A purpose built disc brake spindle used only on the 77-80 Lincoln Versailles. It is identical to the Granada except that the lower ball joint mount hole is larger.
Mustang II and Pinto used a different type of spindle but the same calipers as the Granada/Maverick.
All 12 of these Falcon based knuckle/bracket systems used the same spindle to ball joint geometry and yield the same hub face to hub face width.
IMPORTANT NOTE Spindles types 3-11 have identical steering geometry! The steering arm for #1 and 2 (65-66 Mustang, 63-65 Falcon) are slightly different.
And to answer your second question from the same other post:
The Brake Hard Lines
The hard line that connects to the flex brake hose on 60-66 must be extended to accommodate differences between the front oriented wheel cylinder and the rear oriented brake caliper. All other years of Mustang are correctly oriented as is. The best hose to use with the swap for 60-66 is the one used on Pinto. It has the correct hose connections and is slightly longer than the Granada type.
It is essential to plumb in some type of proportioning valve when doing the swap. One may use the original type of combo valve used on most 70-late 80's mid sized Ford, or the adjustable needle valve type available from Summit and others. The combo valve incorporates proportioning, distribution, and leak detection in the same valve. I believe that if the correct combo valve is used it is far superior to the adjustable type valve. I say the correct valve because the internals are slightly different for some mid sized applications to account for different gross vehicle weights and weight distributions. I have examined many of the valves and only detect a difference for large size vs. mid sized vehicles. All used combo valves should be inspected before reuse. Many will have internal corrosion and/or are plugged up.
All driven classic Fords should have their original single reservoir master cylinders replaced with more modern dual reservoir master cylinders. The dual types isolate the hydraulics of the front wheels from that of the back. This gives you a measure of safety if a line fails since you will than only lose the front or the back brakes, not both.
Many recommend the manual brake master cylinder from 74 Maverick. This master cylinder has the fittings on the outboard side and is marginally easier to plumb. It also has a retained push rod which must be removed since the original push rod should be used. Power brake master cylinders from Maverick, Granada, and early Fox bodied cars work just as well since they have the same piston bore and fitting placement. All Ford master cylinders have the same mounting dimensions. They mainly differ in piston bore size, and fitting size and placement.
There are two issues relating to wheel fitment to swapped disc brakes.
1. The snout (bearing boss) of the Granada type rotor has a larger diameter than 68-73 Mustang rotor type and will not fit through the 65-73 drum type wheels hub hole (2.8" vs. about 2.5"). This means that original steel wheels will not fit. Magnums will since they have the larger hub hole.
2. The calipers on 68-73 and Granada types may interfere with the inside of the wheel (they may stick out too far outboard). This may be remedied by slight grinding or by using thin wheel spacers.
Some 14" and most 15" aftermarket wheels will fit with the swaps.