Upgrading drum brakes on a 1966 Mustang
A simple upgrade that brings comfort, confidence and safety to an early Mustang
Story Nic Conley - May 11, 2011 09:00 AM
Believe it or not, one of the most neglected systems on cars is the braking system.
Ironically, the non-power assisted drum brake systems found on a good number of classic Mustangs was not even adequate for the conservative power levels of the era, much less a 347 stroker making 400-plus horsepower.
One pass down the quarter mile at anything over about 90 mph will demonstrate very quickly how inadequate they are. And if you’ve ever driven one in the rain, then tried to panic stop, you better be holding on to the wheel, otherwise the car will dive to one side or the other. The factory disc brake systems were much better, but you’re still dealing with 45 year old technology.
Aerospace Components has been in business for 25 years and was originally contracted by the U.S. government to manufacture defense, guidance and space station components. Now, they are the premier builder of drag racing brake systems. They have a first class customer support team, and use what they sell. They currently own and operate half a dozen dragsters and race cars utilizing their own products.
The decision to use Aerospace Components was an easy one. The product is unparalleled in quality, support, and function. And, they were actually very reasonably priced. We chose their street system with vented rotors, billet calipers and mount, and flexible hoses. All the hardware needed is in the kit. This kit is available with slotted and cross-drilled rotors, but the owner opted for the solid units to keep it clean looking.
While we were at it, we opted to go ahead and upgrade the manual, single reservoir master cylinder to a dual reservoir unit mounted on a small, but powerful vacuum booster supplied by Stainless Steel Brakes. It fits perfectly into the ’66 Mustang, and will greatly improve the brake feel and performance, as well as provide a much safer system on board.
Performance Solutions in Boise, Idaho, has done several of these, and had this one done in short order. Even a novice could have this one finished over a weekend with no trouble.
When we were done, the difference was astounding. The Mustang stopped on a dime and gave eight cents change. The pedal feel was effortless, and it hauled the car down quickly and smoothly, without so much as a quiver from the steering wheel. Anyway you slice it the brakes are now much more powerful, much more dependable, and much safer. Oh, and they look great too!
For Your Information:
Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation