Disc brake conversion / is this doable ?


Trying to plan and budget the upgrades to my 67.
It’s a 3spd manual, manual drum brake, manual steering.

I’d like to ideally do the following :

  • convert to disc brake - power assisted if possible
  • upgrade exhaust manifold to headers
  • possibly power steering

That’s a lot of stuff to fit in the driver corner of the engine bay and i’m not sure there’s space for all of that ?

So guess the questions are, in my mind in the priority order that I have :

  1. what do you recommend for disc brake conversion (power assisted or not)
    1a. WCCC sells original disc conversion kit, any benefit compared to “modern” aftermarket kits ? what is the most reliable, best performance, easiest to install ? I’m not concerned about keeping it “original” i prefer performance and ease of installation.
    1b. Are the cougar kits exactly the same a the ones for 67 Mustangs ? are there differences to be aware of ?
  2. Can i also ugrade to power disc ?
  3. I was looking around for headers but didnt see anything that specifically say fits a cougar (most fit mustangs). are there headers known to be a good fit for a cougar ?
  4. once all of this is done, is there still space for power steering ?

Hope that all makes sense.
Thanks for your wisdom !

Probably the best disc brake conversion for the money: http://www.discbrakeswap.com/Mustang%20Disc%20Brake%20Conversion%20Kits%20CATALOG.html

And if you are installing power steering into a manual-steering car, Borgeson’s setup that uses an “integral-assist” gearbox is probably the best way to go.

My '67 is like yours, but I sought out a car with manual steering/trans/brakes, because I like it better.

  1. follow the link above & buy kit 1 - the KH style that would have come on your car. Power or manual, your preference (there is room for power, but it adds complexity & cost).
    1a. see above
  2. see above
  3. mustang/cougar = same headers. Figure out the direction re: PS before you select headers. Easiest is 351W style exhaust manifolds for better flow/less hassles. I used Tri Y’s.
  4. the factory made them with PB & PS, so there is room.

Also check out https://www.mustangsteve.com/product-category/power-brake-kits/ He worked with me on my 66 mustang useing the above kit. His booster will allow you to use double master cylinder. Put both systems together, makes for great brakes. Both vendors work with each other.

I would agree with what the guys said above. The spindles for drum brakes in '67 will work for the 4 piston setup, so the kit mentioned should work well. One other thing to keep in mind is the brake pedal is different from manual to power brakes. I went with a manual setup, which was a piecing together of parts. The master cylinder was for a mid 70’s Maverick and I used a manual proportioning valve instead of the stock distribution block. I also added a line lock, so it was all custom line routing and plumbing. I run Hedman full length headers and factory power steering on my 289 and I haven’t had any issues for a long time. Initially it took a bit to get the routing right without rubbing the headers, but I maneuvered things to where it hasn’t happened again. I ran without the typical steering cylinder drop bracket for a long time, but I added one recently when I did some work on the underside of the car. I reinforced it significantly from how it came, as I have heard of some people having strength issues with the cheaper versions. You might look at using the big block hose routing (down underneath the car) if you stick with the factory setup. If you do the Borgeson setup then you’ll have to convert to a different clutch setup. A friend of mine used a Modern Driveline hydraulic pedal setup on his '69 and has been happy with it.

Thanks, these brake conversion kits sure look like good value.
What are your thoughts with regards to power steering, will the car be drivable without it ? I havent yet driven the car since it doesnt run so i dont really know what to expect. And I wont know until the spring at the earliest since we already have salt on the roads … :frowning:

I think i’ll definitely try to do the power brake disc conversion this winter as a starting point.

I say go power steering if you can swing and since you have manual now I would do with the borgensen setup but you will need to do something clutch linkage to make it work. I would do steering after a discs however. you other option is going factory power steering but maybe look for someone selling a complete setup so you dont have to piece it together one part at a time

Manual steering: of course the car is drive-able. Higher effort at low speed, rock solid everywhere else.

I tell people this all the time, but you need to decide on what you want to do w/this car when it’s “done”. You want it to appear “factory”, or do you want a wild hot rod, tasteful restomod? How will you use the car? Daily driver (city, highway or rural roads?), sunny day driver, track day or show car? You’re talking about a lot of $ & time in the changes above, and your decisions will be intertwined & greatly affect the cost.

PS options:

  • add a factory system: IMHO, the factory PS blows. Overboosted (not fun @ high speed), leak-prone, but it does work, and can be made to look factory. Will work w/the factory Z bar, but will need the PS drop bracket & creative hose routing depending on your header choice.
  • add a modern rack & pinion style unit (they come in both power or manual)
  • convert to a GM style PS unit - I think you need to convert from the factory Z bar to a cable or hydraulic clutch)

PB: you’ll need a manual trans power brake pedal if you go this route. Typically hard to find & big $.

You can call me crabby, but I prefer the raw experience when I’m driving my old car (OK, it’s got vintage a/c), and the more analog it is, the better I like it.

Recently I spent a week in the Ozarks hammering 65-66 GT350’s along the twisty backroads. 1,000 miles, no PS, no PB, Detroit lockers, AND LOVING IT.

Or cut to fit auto pedal. I used the auto trans power brake pedal on my swap. Just cut down the auto pedal to the correct shape and use the manual foot pad. Works great and way cheaper option

I agree with most of what “crabby” says above! :stuck_out_tongue: I totally agree with having a goal and vision of your completed car before diving in too deep with mods/changes.

I will say that his point 3 above on PS options I think refers to a GM-style PS box. Is that the case Chris? I converted to R&P and used a GM style PS pump so combination of 2 & 3 above. I still have my reinforced Z bar with manual brakes (Fox body manual M/C), headers (short tube Sanderson), and Wilwood disc brakes. I converted from manual drums. Love the brakes, LOVE the steering but had to modify things to get them to fit. I’m converting to hydraulic clutch this winter when I add two more gears to my three speed. There is a lot going on with brakes, exhaust, steering, and clutch all competing for space.

@R Code : you ask all the great questions that i’m working to answer right now as i’m putting together a plan (I only started this project a couple of weeks ago).
What it will be : tasteful resto mod. I dont care about factory look, and i’m not planning to race
Usage : sunny day driver

I also try to be pragmatic and classify everything as MUST/SHOULD/COULD, with the goal of bringing it on the road ASAP, even if it’s not great, and tackle improvements one at a time, instead of going down the rabbit hole of the complete overhaul that ends in a pile of parts that I dont know how to reassemble 5 years later :slight_smile:

I want it to be safe to drive so i want power disc brakes.
I have driven a 69 mustang with PS (not sure which implementation of it) and it was pretty terrible.

I think right now the PS is at the bottom of the priority list. I’m a big guy, i think i should be able to steer it haha

@R Code : fellow bostonian ? I’m in Waltham.

Looks like the CSRP kit SWAP.1.4PBU.MT comes with the updated pedal ?

Otherwise, not sure if you guys watch this show, but in the Roadkill Garage episode about the Disgustang they cut the auto pedal into manual - looks to be working fine.

Yes, that.

you can buy reproduction pedals which is what is part of that kit. Those would work too.

Best plan. It’s hard to say how you will use the car until you are actually using the car. I think you’ll be surprised at how well these cars drive when working well & riding on modern tires. Both DieselD & wawazat have done impressive work to their cars, well worth checking out their build threads.

I’m not too far from you (Medfield). The NE Cougar Club is a good bunch of folks: pretty active & a great resource.

Thanks Chris :mrgreen:

Gregar-I’m going for that same look and vibe. Tasteful restomod with clean upgrades. I’ve done exhaust, brakes, steering, cooling system, interior, wheels/tires, so far. This winter will be 5 speed and finish rear end swap with steeper gears. Then drive it a TON enjoying top down motoring.

Definitely get it running and driving before making any changes. You need to see what’s wrong and needs fixed. Manual steering is fine and feels tighter than factory power. Manual drum brakes are really not bad unless you are stopping repeatedly from high speed. Properly bled and adjusted they feel rock hard and give great pedal feel. Manual discs require maybe a tiny bit more force if you use the Maverick master cylinder.

Do you guys have any feedback on Kentucky Mustang and their brake conversion kit?
Asking because discbrakeswap.com that was recommended above is actually closed for the month and Im looking to see if I could do the conversion the week of Thanksgiving as I have time off

Just to let you know EVERYTHING Is reproduced. What will cost you is if you use the Midland-Ross booster like we have in our 67-8 vehicles.
The Borgeson also is problematic with header and OE shifter linkage.
The reinforced header bracket is absolutely mandatory. I just had the crush nuts pulled out of the frame by the common header drop down.
The guys at West Coast Cougar offer a great product and it’s rock solid. I highly recommend it and you’ll never have an issue again with the flimsy
offering by JBA, Drake and a half dozen other header manufacturers. The old style may have worked fine were the load is lower with narrow tires, but most of us are running meat up front these days. It just won’t get it done. You’ll need about 14 3/8" flat washers to use between the frame rail lip and rail as the spacer.