Give me a freak’n brake.

Posted: January 11, 2013 in Thunderbird
Tags: , , , , ,

DSC04178 (1024x768)After a recent bout with what I think was the flu, I got out in the shop today and got the “new” disc brakes on the front of the ‘Bird.  This set up is front spindles, rotors, calipers from a 78-79 LTD II, Cougar, or T’Bird.  I’d mounted them when I started DA’ing the paint of the car 5  years ago, and never finished.  In fact, I thought about going back to the stock drums, mainly because the steering arms a little shorted on these than the originals, and the Ackerman (the geometry that lets a car turn sharply at low speeds without scuffing the tires) is going to be a little off, but being able to stop trumped slow speed parking lot manuevers. 

So, new pads, new calipers, new  hoses, several trips back to the auto parts store to get various adaptors and fittings to get the lines run, and I”ve got the (front) brakes bled.  I cleaned and packed the wheel bearings, greased the tie rod ends, ball joints and tightened all the nuts, and put cotter pins in every castled nut on the front end.  (Note, it’s difficult to remember what’s only finger tight when it’s 5 years between work days on a project!)

I’ve also got all the new sections of rubber fuel line in, except for one that I didn’t have a hose bib for, a new fuel filter and some new plastic quick-connect fittings to finish up the fuel system properly.   Should be able to get that done, and the rear brakes bled tomorrow. 

I’m going to get some 1″ lowering blocks for the rear, and take the air-shocks out that I’d installed for towing.  It’s towing days are over!  The shocks will go on the Diamond T, which I need to get back after now that the ‘Bird is a “real” car again. 

It’s not very exciting photography, but getting the fuel system in order, and new brakes done is a BIG step forward.  And, I’ve kept the local NAPA store financially solvent for a couple of weeks…

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  1. mopowerdon says:

    i know the feeling. I have gotten to know the parts man by first name basis with my 79 Camaro. One day at a time brother

  2. mopowerdon says:

    Reblogged this on Hot Rod Swap Meet.

  3. ranchwagon says:

    Looks Good. Are those the factory lower control arms?

  4. flynbrian48 says:

    Yes, the stock control arms, upper and lower, and new stock ball joints. Happily for us backyard engineers, Ford likes to keep things the same for decades. The later T’Bird/Cougar spindles have the same ball joint taper as the ’59. Granada/Monarch spindles also fit, but they have smaller diameter rotors. The years of shop dust on everything on the car makes it look like a real barn find!

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