Text and images by Richard Mousir
DIY or not?
Converting your early Mustang or Falcon from drum to disc
brakes requires little convincing that it is the right thing
to do. Anyone who has experienced the unpredictability of
front drum brakes during a panic situation has put a disc
brake conversion in the top three of their to-do list. However,
while there is no shortage of desire there is usually a shortage
of funds. Disc brake swaps the likes of Wilwood, Baer or SSBC
are not cheap and often require near $1000 to aquire. On the
other end of the spectrum are the junkyard swaps. While not
ideal, a Granada brake conversion, for instance, get's you
at least out of the 1960's braking technology and into the
mid-70's disc brake realm. Of course, this is still "settling"
and ideally we'd prefer more modern stopping. What to do?
I found myself in this same predicament with my 1966 Mustang.
The front drums sucked (so do the rear, but that's for another
day.) I wasn't about to drop a grand on one of the aforementioned
conversion kits - though their engineered design and convinience
was tempting. On the other hand I really did not feel like
pulling Granada or Monarch spindles from a rusted donor car
at the local Pick n' Pull. After doing some searching I came
across the ideal compromise. Scarebird Classic Brakes in Washington
State offers conversion brackets. These laser cut and mig-welded
steel brackets simply bolt to the existing drum brake spindles
and allow the use of modern, commonly available, rotors, calipers
and hoses. The brackets are just $130 a pair, and figure another
couple hundred bucks for the calipers, rotors, hoses, mastercylinder
and fluids. For under $500 I had a modern brake system. Here
is how I did it.