The Biscaynes factory manual-drum system is glaringly devoid of technology. The single-chamber master cylinder pushes fluid through a single line into a distribution block (arrow). The block has three outlets; two supply pressure to each of the front wheel cylinders, and the third (toward the rear of the car) pressurizes the rear brakes. Yep, if this style of master cylinder goes south, youre left with no hydraulic brake system. Thats a good enough reason to swap it out for the GM-style SSB dual-reservoir master, which has separate circuits for the front and rear brakes. The Biscaynes factory manual-drum system is glaringly devoid of technology. The sing We drove up to Marlans desert oasis and slid the 65 into a vacant bay in his air-conditioned, six-car garage. We jacked up the Biscaynes front end and removed the ancient hub and brake drum. Good riddance, we said. We drove up to Marlans desert oasis and slid the 65 into a vacant bay in his a Three bolts attach the backing plate to the spindle and steering arm. Two are below the spindle shaft and hold the steering arm in place, and the third holds the wheel cylinder in place. The third bolt was particularly stubbornwe couldnt budge it, even with an extra-long box-end wrench. Marlan volunteered his manly 18-inch breaker bar for the task, but our lazy selves prefer power tools. Marlans high-torque impact wrench made very short work of the offending bolt without snapping our wrists clean off. Three bolts attach the backing plate to the spindle and steering arm. Two are below the sp SSB supplies a trick set of precision-machined brackets to accommodate the discs on the existing drum-brake spindle, so put away that pickle fork and sledge. There are two brackets per sidethe caliper mounts on the large C-shaped bracket, and the smaller bracket sandwiches the steering arm and provides additional rigidity to the caliper bracket. SSB supplies a trick set of precision-machined brackets to accommodate the discs on the ex After fitting the brackets to the spindle, we realized that one of the provided Grade 8 bolts (in hand) was too long to thread into the forward-most mounting hole. Fortunately, the original steering-arm mounting bolts, also Grade 8, are the correct length, so we retrieved one from the parts pile and installed it. The lesson here: Dont throw any old parts away until the installation is complete! We torqued all the bolts to SSBs specs. After fitting the brackets to the spindle, we realized that one of the provided Grade 8 bo Voilawe converted a drum spindle to a disc spindle in five minutes, no Bridgeport required! We love it when bolt-on kits are truly bolt-ons. Voilawe converted a drum spindle to a disc spindle in five minutes, no Bridgeport re We packed the SSB-supplied Timken bearings with our special, err, hand-powered bearing packer, and installed the inner bearings on the inner race of the hub. Dont follow our poor exampletry to keep the rotors free of grease. We packed the SSB-supplied Timken bearings with our special, err, hand-powered bearing pac Installation of the grease seals requires Kent-Moore J-22904 Seal Driver and a dead-blow hammer. Actually, we were just taking advantage of Marlans vast collection of specific-but-seldom-used tools. But using the right tools is a heck of a lot more enjoyable than tweaking the seal out of shape while trying to beat it in with a ball-peen hammer. Three whacks of the dead-blow and it was perfectly seated in the hub. Installation of the grease seals requires Kent-Moore J-22904 Seal Driver and a dead-blow h Slide the rotor on the spindle and install the outer wheel bearing, keyed washer, and castle nut. SSBs supplied keyed washer didnt fit on our spindle, so we reused the original washer. (Didnt we already tell you not to throw any of the old parts away?) To seat the bearings, torque the castle nut to 12 lb-ft while spinning the rotor. Back off the nut until its just loose, and retighten it until youre just able to install the cotter pin. Now is a good time to spray some brake cleaner on the rotor to ensure theres no grease left behind. Slide the rotor on the spindle and install the outer wheel bearing, keyed washer, and cast We assembled the caliper by installing the pads and antirattle clip (arrow). The new flexible line bolted right up to the caliper using a copper washer to seal each side of the banjo fitting. Note: This kit mounts the calipers ahead of the spindles as opposed to factory setups, which mount the calipers behind the spindles, so the calipers are reversed left and right. The L caliper now mounts on the passenger side, and the R caliper bolts up to the driver side. If in doubt, remember that the correct installation puts each bleeder screw at the top of the caliper. We assembled the caliper by installing the pads and antirattle clip (arrow). The new flexi Slide the caliper over the rotor and torque the supplied 3/8-inch Allen-head mounting bolts to 25 lb-ft. Clip the end of the flexible line into the frame bracket, and bolt up the hard line. Slide the caliper over the rotor and torque the supplied 3/8-inch Allen-head mounting bolt We bench-bled the new master cylinder by mounting the body in a vice and pushing on the piston with a socket extension. We called it good when we couldnt see any more air bubbles in the lines of the included bleeding kit. Skipping this step virtually ensures that you wont be able to bleed the system properly, so its important. We bench-bled the new master cylinder by mounting the body in a vice and pushing on the pi We found it easiest to pull the brake-pedal clevis/pushrod assembly out of the car for the next step. We installed the tightly fitting rubber boot over the pushrod, and then pulled the boot over the back of the master cylinder. We found it easiest to pull the brake-pedal clevis/pushrod assembly out of the car for the Prior to the wrenching session, we cheated a little and mocked up the new lines on another, fenderless 65 (see, theres a good reason were keeping this semi-stripped hulk in the garage!) to show whats involved. The front reservoir line screws into the top of the factory distribution block (via an adapter) where the original single master cylinder line resided. The factory rear brake line is removed from the distribution block, and that port is plugged. The rear line needed to be re-bent upward to screw into the supplied proportioning valve, which allows precise tuning of the rear brake bias. Well call this swap as bolt-on as it gets, with no cutting or flaring required. However, we did need to buy the 3/16-inch plug and a 3/16-to-7/16inch adapter fitting. Prior to the wrenching session, we cheated a little and mocked up the new lines on another One big problem kept this from being the slam-dunk swap we expected: The disc hubs move the wheel mounting planes outward relative to the factory drum hubs, widening the front track by about 1-1/2 inches. To make a long story short, our 15x8 Corvette Rallys with P255/60R15s took a liking to the wheel lips and made turning impossible. We borrowed some stylish rolling stock from Marlans Trans Am to get the car homeand while they fit a little better, they still contacted the front of the wheel opening on turns. Were bummed that we cant keep our tire-and-wheel combo, but we were able to fit a stock 15x7 wheel with 4-1/2-inch backspacing to solve the problem. The set cost $20 at a local junkyard, and we remounted our original tires. We actually prefer the dog-dish hubcap look, so well change out the rear wheels to match. One big problem kept this from being the slam-dunk swap we expected: The disc hubs move th Anyone who thinks four-wheel manual drum brakes are good enough for his car must have never driven it in Los Angeles. Sure, Southern California is an old-car mecca, but traversing the overcrowded freeways crawling with half-baked drivers puts our old iron at the brink of disaster every time we turn onto an entrance ramp. Whats a car crafter to do? Avoidance is key. Like your first ski trip, urban driving is a dicey, unpredictable situation until you learn to safely stop yourself. Likewise, we figure Honda CRX and Ford Focus drivers must feel like bowling pins when our 65 Biscayne comes creeping up from behind, so we decided it was time to call up Year One and order a Stainless Steel Brakes disc-brake conversion kit for the bulbous B-body. At $579, its a serious bargain. Its an especially easy swap, because it reuses the factory drum-brake spindlesso theres no need to break the ball joints or steering linkage loose. Swapping to discs wont alleviate the nervous feeling that econobox drivers get when the 65 is out on the prowl, but we like it that way. As long as we know we can scrub off our speed, we can live with our intimidating presence and continue to educate lesser vehicles on whats really fast and furious. SOURCES Kent-Moore 28635 Mound Rd. Warren MI 48092-3499 Year One PO Box 129 Tucker GA 30085 800-932-7663 770-496-1949 www.nextgenparts.com/mustang Stainless Steel Brakes Clarence NY 8-00/-448-7722 ssbrakes.com Enjoyed this Post? 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