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Discussion Starter #1
I am finally getting around to getting my 68 i6 running and roadworthy. I already changed out the fuel tank and lines. I am now moving onto the brakes. My plan is to rebuild the stock drum brakes in the rear and get disc brakes for the front. If I were to go to power brakes do I need to get a certain drum brake kit for the rear or does nothing change as far as the brakes are concerned?
Thanks in advance
 

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Your rears remain the same. If you swap to discs in front, the kit may or may not come with a needed proportioning valve for the rear line. You'll need one to dial in the rears to work well with the new disc front.
 

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You didn't mention anything about the number of lugs you want to have. Will you be changing your front from 4 lugs to 5 lugs with the disc brake conversion? If you still have your 4 lug rear end, are you planning on keeping this? These are questions to answer now before you select your disc brake kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good point I’ve never gave that a thought. Honestly I’m not sure. I don’t plan on doing any v8 swap or anything so I would think I would just stick with the 4 lug. Unless there would be some benefits to going 5 lug. My plans with the car are to keep it relatively stock and keep the i6. What are your thoughts?
 

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Rebuilding your drum brakes is good advise. Properly working drum brakes provide plenty of stopping power for the Mustang. Later you can still switch to disc brakes if you still want to.

Regarding the drum brakes, pay attention to the backing plates that the shoes ride on. If there are wear grooves in them, these will interfere with smooth movement of the shoes. These should be welded up and ground back smooth.
 

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R4S brake shoes from Porterfield. Stops about 20 percent better. Really only need them up front.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Wow, thanks for all the advice. I really appreciate it. Would you suggest I still install the brake booster or would I be ok just rebuilding the brakes?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow, thanks for all the advice. I really appreciate it. Would you suggest I get the power brake booster, or would I be ok with just leaving that stock as well?
 

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I have factory power brakes. Not worth it unless you have a bad knee or ankle. It doesn’t make the car stop any better. It’s the brake shoe lining material that makes the difference. Unless you drive in extremely dense traffic like rush hour in Los Angeles I’d stick with drums and no booster.
 

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Rebuild the stock drums and save the money. Unless you’re racing or something else crazy, there’s nothing wrong with drums. Also, I don’t think power is all that necessary so, again, save your money. Power is really just a creature comfort, kinda like A/C. It’s not gonna kill you not to have it.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Sounds good. Thanks guys, this info really helps. Now I just need to get a good rebuild kit and try my hand at drum brakes. Another first for me :)
 

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Sounds good. Thanks guys, this info really helps. Now I just need to get a good rebuild kit and try my hand at drum brakes. Another first for me :)
If you want some help, order the Haynes manual for the old Mustangs from any local parts store. It’ll give you step-by-step instructions on just about everything, not just brakes. There are many other manuals that are nice to have with these cars, but the Haynes manuals can be bought at any local parts store (Auto Zone, Advance, O’Reilly, NAPA, etc.).

 

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Sounds good. Thanks guys, this info really helps. Now I just need to get a good rebuild kit and try my hand at drum brakes. Another first for me :)
You really don't need a "kit". You can get most everything you need from your local "big box" auto parts store, rockauto.com or Amazon.... whichever trips your trigger.... except for the brake shoes, which you need to be a little "particular" in selecting as some of the cheap ones have about as much friction as leather soles on dress shoes.

You'll want to purchase:

a. Wheel cylinders, if yours show any sign of rust or fluid leakage (yes, you CAN rebuild wheel cylinders if you have a brake cylinder hone and, IMHO, a bead blaster). Pretty easy to check by pulling back the rubber dust boot and looking. Frozen bleeders would be an instant reason to toss and buy new.

b. "Combi-Kit". Typically sold for each "axle" or pair of brake assemblies at the front or rear. Contains new brake shoe hold down springs, pins and retainers, return springs, equalizer anti-rattle springs (rear) and adjusting hole rubber plugs.

c. Self-Adjuster Kit. Contains a new self adjuster assembly, cable, cable guide, etc. One required for each brake assembly.

d. Parking Brake Cables. If yours aren't moving freely or have any frayed wires you should replace them now.

e. Brake Drums. If your current drums can not be machined ("turned") to resurface them and correct any out-of-round without exceeding the "discard dimension", you'll need new drums. They're all, pretty much, made in China, now, but I'd stick to a decent brand name.... I got some brake rotors from Bosch with a anti-rust coating that have been on my pick-up for a few years now in salt & snow and they still look great.

You'll want to "recondition" any parts that you'll be using over, like parking brake equalizer links, parking brake levers, adjusters, etc. I'd recommend a bead-blasting, if you have access or, at the least, a cleaning to remove any "gunk" followed by rust removal (wire brush/naval jelly/molasses/EvapoRust/Phosphoric Acid, etc.). Pay particular attention to the brake backing plates at the 3 places each brake shoe "rides" that these "spots" aren't worn away. They can be built back up by welding and ground flat. If the backing plates are rusty a thorough de-rusting a repainting or powdercoating would be recommended. When reassembling everything a synthetic brake grease, used sparingly, is recommended.

Now, let's talk about brake shoes. Yes, Porterfield makes a very good brake friction material. That is one of the key points of brake performance. If you opt for a name-brand-type shoe I'd steer toward a semi-metallic and stay away from ceramic or organic. It would also be good to find a shop that will arc your brake shoes to your new or finished drums to mate the radius of the shoes to the drums. Not a lot of shops DO this anymore but it sure does make a difference when ALL of the brake shoe contacts the drum versus the center or ends.

It may seem like a lot of work but when you do it right the first time you won't have to do it again for a LONG time. Also, properly set up drum brakes really ARE a pleasure to drive.
 

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I hate drum brakes, that said, if I must run them, I only use Porterfield shoes. Anything else is a waste of money.
My 70 year old Ford truck has Porterfield shoes on it......
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You really don't need a "kit". You can get most everything you need from your local "big box" auto parts store, rockauto.com or Amazon.... whichever trips your trigger.... except for the brake shoes, which you need to be a little "particular" in selecting as some of the cheap ones have about as much friction as leather soles on dress shoes.

You'll want to purchase:

a. Wheel cylinders, if yours show any sign of rust or fluid leakage (yes, you CAN rebuild wheel cylinders if you have a brake cylinder hone and, IMHO, a bead blaster). Pretty easy to check by pulling back the rubber dust boot and looking. Frozen bleeders would be an instant reason to toss and buy new.

b. "Combi-Kit". Typically sold for each "axle" or pair of brake assemblies at the front or rear. Contains new brake shoe hold down springs, pins and retainers, return springs, equalizer anti-rattle springs (rear) and adjusting hole rubber plugs.

c. Self-Adjuster Kit. Contains a new self adjuster assembly, cable, cable guide, etc. One required for each brake assembly.

d. Parking Brake Cables. If yours aren't moving freely or have any frayed wires you should replace them now.

e. Brake Drums. If your current drums can not be machined ("turned") to resurface them and correct any out-of-round without exceeding the "discard dimension", you'll need new drums. They're all, pretty much, made in China, now, but I'd stick to a decent brand name.... I got some brake rotors from Bosch with a anti-rust coating that have been on my pick-up for a few years now in salt & snow and they still look great.

You'll want to "recondition" any parts that you'll be using over, like parking brake equalizer links, parking brake levers, adjusters, etc. I'd recommend a bead-blasting, if you have access or, at the least, a cleaning to remove any "gunk" followed by rust removal (wire brush/naval jelly/molasses/EvapoRust/Phosphoric Acid, etc.). Pay particular attention to the brake backing plates at the 3 places each brake shoe "rides" that these "spots" aren't worn away. They can be built back up by welding and ground flat. If the backing plates are rusty a thorough de-rusting a repainting or powdercoating would be recommended. When reassembling everything a synthetic brake grease, used sparingly, is recommended.

Now, let's talk about brake shoes. Yes, Porterfield makes a very good brake friction material. That is one of the key points of brake performance. If you opt for a name-brand-type shoe I'd steer toward a semi-metallic and stay away from ceramic or organic. It would also be good to find a shop that will arc your brake shoes to your new or finished drums to mate the radius of the shoes to the drums. Not a lot of shops DO this anymore but it sure does make a difference when ALL of the brake shoe contacts the drum versus the center or ends.

It may seem like a lot of work but when you do it right the first time you won't have to do it again for a LONG time. Also, properly set up drum brakes really ARE a pleasure to drive.
Wow, a lot of good info here. It does seem a little overwhelming but I have all winter to work at it so I’ll just take my time and take lots of pictures along the way. I also now have the Haynes book for mustangs on the way so hopefully that will help. Thanks everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If you want some help, order the Haynes manual for the old Mustangs from any local parts store. It’ll give you step-by-step instructions on just about everything, not just brakes. There are many other manuals that are nice to have with these cars, but the Haynes manuals can be bought at any local parts store (Auto Zone, Advance, O’Reilly, NAPA, etc.).

Got one on the way now thanks.
 

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Working on drum brakes is not difficult nor complicated. You will do fine. And while the book is nice, there are good videos to watch to supplement that information. I encourage you to search for and watch a couple of videos. I'm attaching a video that explains why there is a difference between the front shoe and the rear shoe. Most videos do not explain this.

 

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I rebuilt my OE all 4 wheel manual drum brakes all the way. New wheel cylinders, spring hardware and good shoes (Wagner I think) and dual bowl master cylinder. All from Rock Auto. It’s all working so well I’ve delayed doing disc fronts until I get other things through. I’ve even gotten a bit ballsy with them. I’m in no rush at all and live in done pretty tempest traffic. I went with riveted because they are supposed to be better at dissipating heat and gases. I’d be willing to bet the properties of modern drum brake linings are way better than the ones people tell horror stories about.
 

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