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I am currently updating and making my recently deceased Uncles 65 convertible road worthy again so that my Aunt may enjoy it. It currently rides on 4 wheel drum brakes and single chamber master cylinder. I would like to convert the fronts to disc and upgrade the master to dual chamber w/power booster. My Aunt has driven modern BMW's for decades and i'm not sure she knows what older brake technology comes along with. If she doesn't feel safe or enjoy the ride she will not use the car and I really want to see this car used and enjoyed. Car currently has 14" steel wheels on it but i'm not against upping to 15" for the right brake package and also increase the tire options. Absolute originality isn't a must but I would like it to appear factory correct when hood is open. The car is a very good quality driver but has had quarter and rocker changed on drivers side so it is no means a trailer queen but a very complete car. Thanks in advance for any input I get from this group
 

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Welcome to the forum. Lots of good options available. Personally I would stick with OEM Kelsey Hayes type front disc system with good friction material like Porterfield R4S pads. Nothing wrong with the 14” wheels other than limited tire selections.

You can get OEM type kits from Chocostang,Opentracker Racing and probably others. Leeds Brakes makes a really good dual reservoir master kit, but you can also buy parts at your local parts store.

if your aunt is accustomed to driving vintage type manual brakes she will feel right at home without the vacuum booster on a Mustang. It isn’t needed at all...regardless of what you have heard or read on the internet.
 

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I had the same issues for the restoration of my mother and step-fathers car. I opted for a power KH disc conversion up front with EBC pads and rebuilt the drums in back. I went with power because my mother is 78 years old and could use the extra help with the pedal. She has no problem stopping the Mustang in short order. If your aunt is younger and in good health manual brakes work fantastic too. CSRP kit
 

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Isn’t the SSBC kit also designed after the factory discs? That’s what I had heard. Anyway, I love my SSBC kit and it was incredibly easy to install.
 

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Without cutting all around the pinch welds and lifting the body off and lowering it back down on a "modern" chassis you'll never get a '65 Mustang to "feel" like a BMW, even an OLD BMW. From a "safety" standpoint a dual-circuit master cylinder IS an improvement but I can tell you that even then, when a failure occurs in one of the brake circuits the total braking performance is very poor and requires a TON of pedal travel, sometimes right down into the carpet.

Thankfully, on well-maintained vehicles, such catastrophic failures are a rarity. When was the last time you had one? Now think of the chances on a car that will never see salted highways, etc. A power booster can also be easily added but I have found that the performance of a properly adjusted 4-wheel drum system requires comparable brake pedal effort to many new 4-wheel disc systems. Four-wheel drums with their leading/trailing shoe and cam design are "self-energizing" and the small amount of pressure needed to move the shoes out to the spinning drum is then multiplied by their rotation.

You don't say where she's from but if she's not towing a trailer with it or traversing the Sierra Nevada on a daily basis then fade shouldn't be an issue and the "water hazard" of drum brakes only applies when driving through standing water deep enough to submerge the bottom of the drum(s) and then can easily be avoided by riding the brake pedal through the puddles.

I'd suggest you check over and ensure the brake system is "up to snuff" from a mechanical standpoint (lines, hoses, wheel cylinders... properly lubricated and adjusted) and let her try driving for a bit and see how she likes it. My guess is that she'll be less concerned with the braking than she will be with the handling/steering and the ride/seat springs. If she thinks she needs less pedal effort then you can easily install a dual-circuit master/booster unit. If not, then just the dual-circuit master.

As for the definition of "modern braking systems", both the caliper-applied disc brake and expanding shoe drum brake were patented in 1902....
 

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Isn’t the SSBC kit also designed after the factory discs? That’s what I had heard. Anyway, I love my SSBC kit and it was incredibly easy to install.
SSBC shut it down this last summer. You can still order but you won't receive anything.

 

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SSBC shut it down this last summer. You can still order but you won't receive anything.

Sad, their stuff was great.
 

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Summit still sells SSBC brake conversion kits, But has their own branded kit for less. I went with Chock on my manual front disc brake conversion.
 

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Most 65/66 Mustang power brake kits will only fit if you have an automatic, as there is interference with the Z-bar. There appear to be a few MC/Booster combos that are designed to work on manual cars, but the reviews on fitment seem to be mixed.
 

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I upgraded from drums and single master cylinder to front disc breaks with dual master cylinder from CSRP (http://www.discbrakeswap.com/index.html). The kit is amazing and has everything included what you need. The SWAP1.3 kit fits over stock 14" steel wheels, so no "need" to upgrade. I got a big performance improvement by changing the brake pads. The kit is very reasonable priced, so the pads are ok, but you find better pads.
I am with @Woodchuck the car will not feel like a BMW, but a well maintained brake system will stop the car safely (drum or discs).
 

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You don't say where she's from but if she's not towing a trailer with it or traversing the Sierra Nevada on a daily basis then fade shouldn't be an issue and the "water hazard" of drum brakes only applies when driving through standing water deep enough to submerge the bottom of the drum(s) and then can easily be avoided by riding the brake pedal through the puddles.

I'd suggest you check over and ensure the brake system is "up to snuff" from a mechanical standpoint (lines, hoses, wheel cylinders... properly lubricated and adjusted) and let her try driving for a bit and see how she likes it. My guess is that she'll be less concerned with the braking than she will be with the handling/steering and the ride/seat springs. If she thinks she needs less pedal effort then you can easily install a dual-circuit master/booster unit. If not, then just the dual-circuit master.
I agree. When I was working in the Mustang parts biz, got a lot of calls from people asking about disc brake conversion. My first question was always "What sort of driving do you do?" If it was a leisure car, cruise night at Dairy Queen fun car, I'd turn them to dual master power boost conversion instead, with the idea they could always add discs later if they wanted to. Happened many times. Not once did anyone ever call back and say they regretted keeping with drum brakes. Saved a lot of people a lot of money that way, and typically they appreciated the difference and bought other stuff, like chrome valve covers, etc.

Naturally, if they were interested in autocross, drag racing, trailer towing, or just drove nutz like me, I'd discuss disc brakes.
 

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I also have a few 65 4-speed convertible....I recently upgraded to the dual bowl master cylinder and from a safety standpoint I think it is minimally invasive. I already had factory installed disc brakes up front and I don’t think the pedal pressure is anything that you can’t get use to. There are four things that I did to my car that I think make the world of difference driving it....

1. do the Shelby drop...its free and they did it on the 65 Shelbys...what other reason do you need?
2. add an export brace and straight Monte Carlo bar...I did both at the same time so I don’t know which is better, but as I did the export brace on a 66 coupe in the past, I’m going to guess that the export brace is the piece that made the HUGE difference in the stability of the car
3. get larger wheels...I went to a simple 15x7 styled steel wheel...I personally love the look and I think going just a bit larger made a difference in the way the car handled and looked.
4. get your shifter assembly rebuilt. I was shocked by how big of a difference this made the car feel....it actually shifted very crisply and for a 55 year old car, that was a dream!

The last thing is something that I haven’t done, but plan on doing this spring....go to a 1” front anti-sway bar.

By doing these relatively easy things, you will dramatically improve the handling and ride of that beautiful car that is in your aunt’s garage.

Good luck and happy driving.

Tom
 
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