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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
To summarize, when I bought my car 7 years ago with manual drum brakes it required an enormous amount of effort to stop even though the brake shoes were new and properly installed. I installed one of those 6" aftermarket boosters and it seemed to help. The Heiress who I bought the car for had no interest in the car even though she drove a 67 year round through the 90's, probably because of the crappy brakes. So now it's my car. 331, 2008 Mustang GT front brakes, T5z, SoT this and that, but still crappy brakes. Another generic booster makes no difference. 99% of the members of this forum told me you do not need power brakes on a Mustang but I have sciatica and my legs are not the best so I kept trying different master cylinders and such but still crappy brakes. I was going to do the Hydratech hydro-boost setup but phone conversations with them left be feeling they did not want my business, and that turned to be a great thing! @disquek kept suggesting in PM's that I did not want to do the hydro or even any type of power booster, and that if necessary get racing brake pads with more friction. Given the fact that he and his father have done a bunch of racing I figured I'll give the manual MC one last try. So I bought a 15/16" bore MC for a 1988 Ford Ranger, made the rod adjustable and installed it today and went for a drive. Putting my foot on the brake pedal with the power brakes was like stepping in mashed potatoes whereas the manual setup has almost no slop and the pedal feels very linear and I can't even depress it half way to the floor without locking up the tires. It was 28º a sunny this afternoon for the test drive but the Mustang was at 70º from being in the garage. I hit the brakes when I got to the end of my street and touched the brakes and the car stopped better than it ever has with almost no effort! I went a few miles down the county road testing the brakes out and even though a winter day and roads with salt dust on them can't compare an autocross course but I'm sure I'll be in good shape next time I'm out there.

So, apologies to @disquek, @GT289, @Woodchuck, @LeeFred, @CHOCK, @dobrostang, @Huskinhano, @2nd 66, @silverblueBP and many others for my pigheadedness!

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Maybe I should ditch the power steering as well?
 

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I'm glad the Ranger master cylinder worked out well for you like it did for me. This might be the first time I've seen a master cylinder that was plastic and cast iron instead of plastic and aluminum. But, if it works then it works.
 

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I-6 or V-8, carb or fuelie, naturally aspirated or charged, 0W-50 or 10W-40, AC or none, straight Monte Carlo bar or curved, or power versus manual...
If somebody is happy with their Mustang I'm happy for 'em. It's all about the drive. Enjoy!
 

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1965 2+2 Vintage Burgundy A-code C4
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I figured it was all those PMs I sent….glad it worked out. Can’t wait for you to scare some cones to within an inch of their life.
 

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Outstanding!
 

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What do you think finally made the difference? Does the bore on the MC simply give you a better hydraulic advantage? Or is it something else that made this one work well where th others didn’t?
 

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Glad to hear it worked. I'm getting ready to order one of the Ranger master cylinders for my car.
 

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To summarize, when I bought my car 7 years ago with manual drum brakes it required an enormous amount of effort to stop even though the brake shoes were new and properly installed. I installed one of those 6" aftermarket boosters and it seemed to help. The Heiress who I bought the car for had no interest in the car even though she drove a 67 year round through the 90's, probably because of the crappy brakes. So now it's my car. 331, 2008 Mustang GT front brakes, T5z, SoT this and that, but still crappy brakes. Another generic booster makes no difference. 99% of the members of this forum told me you do not need power brakes on a Mustang but I have sciatica and my legs are not the best so I kept trying different master cylinders and such but still crappy brakes. I was going to do the Hydratech hydro-boost setup but phone conversations with them left be feeling they did not want my business, and that turned to be a great thing! @disquek kept suggesting in PM's that I did not want to do the hydro or even any type of power booster, and that if necessary get racing brake pads with more friction. Given the fact that he and his father have done a bunch of racing I figured I'll give the manual MC one last try. So I bought a 15/16" bore MC for a 1988 Ford Ranger, made the rod adjustable and installed it today and went for a drive. Putting my foot on the brake pedal with the power brakes was like stepping in mashed potatoes whereas the manual setup has almost no slop and the pedal feels very linear and I can't even depress it half way to the floor without locking up the tires. It was 28º a sunny this afternoon for the test drive but the Mustang was at 70º from being in the garage. I hit the brakes when I got to the end of my street and touched the brakes and the car stopped better than it ever has with almost no effort! I went a few miles down the county road testing the brakes out and even though a winter day and roads with salt dust on them can't compare an autocross course but I'm sure I'll be in good shape next time I'm out there.

So, apologies to @disquek, @GT289, @Woodchuck, @LeeFred, @CHOCK, @dobrostang, @Huskinhano, @2nd 66, @silverblueBP and many others for my pigheadedness!

View attachment 825735

Maybe I should ditch the power steering as well?
ditched the power steering years ago with no regrets today. No power brakes, no power steering, cleared a lot of weight and potential problems. If you Auto-X, reducing weight, is adding HP.
 

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IF you get a MC from a Ford Winstar e.g. 1998, you get a level bowl that looks better. Most rangers mount to a firwall at an angle so you get the odd lines.

You will like it in autocross. I left foot brake on the track and autocross and need the nuance to be able to just trim weight forward just enough to hook up the front tires at times. Its not unusual for me to be on the throttle and just kissing the brakes to get a little more bite or to load the drive train and suspension coming into an apex to get a good launch off a late apex. I'm lucky I came to my Mustang from a Saab 900 with dramatic turbo lag so I learned to left foot brake, works great in autocross! I had to teach myself to left foot brake in traffic while not riding the brakelights to get good at it.

I've always thought of myself as an above the fray kind of guys avoiding cheap shot with the knowledge hanging in the air that I could have taken the shot but chose the high road being enough for me. Today I find myself in a serious confliction of countenance. On the one side, I could take the high side and live up to my expectations of myself as a human being, on the other side there is the smug satisfaction of a well placed "I-told-ya-so"...

WHat to do - what to do...
 

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1965 2+2 Vintage Burgundy A-code C4
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IF you get a MC from a Ford Winstar e.g. 1998, you get a level bowl that looks better. Most rangers mount to a firwall at an angle so you get the odd lines.

You will like it in autocross. I left foot brake on the track and autocross and need the nuance to be able to just trim weight forward just enough to hook up the front tires at times. Its not unusual for me to be on the throttle and just kissing the brakes to get a little more bite or to load the drive train and suspension coming into an apex to get a good launch off a late apex. I'm lucky I came to my Mustang from a Saab 900 with dramatic turbo lag so I learned to left foot brake, works great in autocross! I had to teach myself to left foot brake in traffic while not riding the brakelights to get good at it.

I've always thought of myself as an above the fray kind of guys avoiding cheap shot with the knowledge hanging in the air that I could have taken the shot but chose the high road being enough for me. Today I find myself in a serious confliction of countenance. On the one side, I could take the high side and live up to my expectations of myself as a human being, on the other side there is the smug satisfaction of a well placed "I-told-ya-so"...

WHat to do - what to do...
Florida has changed you…
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
IF you get a MC from a Ford Winstar e.g. 1998, you get a level bowl that looks better. Most rangers mount to a firwall at an angle so you get the odd lines.

You will like it in autocross. I left foot brake on the track and autocross and need the nuance to be able to just trim weight forward just enough to hook up the front tires at times. Its not unusual for me to be on the throttle and just kissing the brakes to get a little more bite or to load the drive train and suspension coming into an apex to get a good launch off a late apex. I'm lucky I came to my Mustang from a Saab 900 with dramatic turbo lag so I learned to left foot brake, works great in autocross! I had to teach myself to left foot brake in traffic while not riding the brakelights to get good at it.

I've always thought of myself as an above the fray kind of guys avoiding cheap shot with the knowledge hanging in the air that I could have taken the shot but chose the high road being enough for me. Today I find myself in a serious confliction of countenance. On the one side, I could take the high side and live up to my expectations of myself as a human being, on the other side there is the smug satisfaction of a well placed "I-told-ya-so"...

WHat to do - what to do...
I removed a 1998 Windstar MC to put on the Ranger one and the spacing on the holes on the bowls is different with the Windstar MC being longer with wider spacing. The MC I bought from Rockauto is not an exact copy though as it's cast-iron but I doubt they would have changed the spacing on the repo? The angled reservoir does not look as bad as I thought it would once installed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What do you think finally made the difference? Does the bore on the MC simply give you a better hydraulic advantage? Or is it something else that made this one work well where th others didn’t?
The aftermarket boosters are crap but it's a combination of things. When I had manual drum brakes when I bought the car the friction material on the "new" shoes must have been horrible just like the pads that probably ship with most of the disk brake conversion kits that people have problems with. I run EBC red pads up front and they are known to be grippy. It now takes less pedal effort to stop with manual brakes than I did with power and I can now "feel" the brakes!
 

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The aftermarket boosters are crap but it's a combination of things. When I had manual drum brakes when I bought the car the friction material on the "new" shoes must have been horrible just like the pads that probably ship with most of the disk brake conversion kits that people have problems with. I run EBC red pads up front and they are known to be grippy. It now takes less pedal effort to stop with manual brakes than I did with power and I can now "feel" the brakes!
I run the EBC reds on my 94GT and love them. The pads they sell for stock Classic Ford discs are manufactured incorrectly (missing the mounting hole) so I have a set of Porterfield R4S pads for my 68. I have all the parts to add the stock Ford Disc to it. I previously upgraded it to Original Ford Power discs. I run a Stock booster (rebuilt by Booster Dewey). It had good feel until the booster failed (Likely due to my installation error when I first put it in). Without the booster it takes a really firm foot to stop, but does stop well. Some may find the Power brakes too soft, but we do a lot of parades and such so the lighter pedal makes it more fun. If I was racing it, I would likely go the way you did with a good manual system.
 

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Hey Flade, just for future reference those pads have the mounting hole on the metal backing but the friction material covers it. A couple of seconds to run a drill bit through from the backing side. I saw this recently on a thread here (looked just now but no joy). kip
 
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I’m so thankful you posted this for all the people of past and future that think they “need” power brakes on these cars. My belief is you will greatly appreciate the positive feedback you will receive versus what you say “mashed potatoes” during a autocross event.

I’ll also go ahead and second motion for the removal of the PS.
 

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Hey Flade, just for future reference those pads have the mounting hole on the metal backing but the friction material covers it. A couple of seconds to run a drill bit through from the backing side. I saw this recently on a thread here (looked just now but no joy). kip
Thanks, I learned that later as well, but the Porterfield have a great reputation so I think they’ll do fine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
To summarize my experience, friction material matters and don't be afraid to spent a $100 on a good set of grippy pads that will save you many hundreds chasing your tail and spending money un-necessarily. The pads that came with your disk brake conversion are probably crap unless you went for the $100 Porterfield upgrade that I know a couple of venders offer. I started out with drums on all 4 that would not stop the car. I did the booster and then upgraded the brakes. The problem with that was the crappy booster(s) stood in the way of me enjoying my new found braking power.

I used the Mustang Steve S197 "2008 Mustang GT" brackets and rebuilt genuine Ford made in the USA calipers along with EBC pads "UK", and rotors, UK as well, "I think"? They are only a 2 piston sliding caliper design but they are aluminum and work fine. I just couldn't bring myself to go with the China Kelsey Hayes repo's if I could avoid doing so. But thats just me.
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