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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted up in the new-guy section, now the inquires start.
My friend and I found a '65 Mustang that he built (with my help) in 1976-77. He shortened an Econoline straight axle and stuffed a big block Chrysler in it. We've been hunting for it for 20 years or more, and found it earlier this month.
It is in need of a full resto, but the core of the car is still there.
We've talked about swapping out to a new axle from Speedway, but would kinda like to stick with the old beam axle for sentimental reasons.
We ran manual drum brakes all the way around back then, but I have him convinced to upgrade to discs in the front if we can find a system that will perform without a boosted master cylinder or other power assist.. My BIL has such a system on his 68 track car, but I would love some input from real-world guys who've either dreamed up their own conversion for an Econoline spindle or purchased some of the stuff you see on the net.
At the rear of the car the 9 inch we stuffed under there is gone, someone stuck a 10 bolt under there to make the car a roller. We are fairly certain it hasn't turned a wheel under it's own power since Jim sold it in 1979. What we had before hung the L60-14's out about 3 inches in each side, we'd like to do some mini tub work to get a 10 inch tire inside completely, probably on 15 inch Cragar SS's.
If anyone has already done the work on this and is willing to share axle width info or other stuff that would help we'd appreciate it.
We have scored a 9 inch and have a set of axles we can cut down, but we won't have the wheels and tires to do it the normal way for a few months. I am thinking moving the leaf springs inboard is going to be a necessity.

Thanks for any and all input, this is going to be a long project, there is a link in my first thread over in the new guy section to the whole story on the car and how we found it if you'd like to go read it.
The avatar I am using is from a snapshot taken in 1977 of the car as it was when it was the terror of our little town.
 

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Since I'm putting together a '63 Falcon with a 454 Chevy, much of what I've discovered will help you also. Converting an Econoline axle to disc brakes can be very cheap, or very easy, or both! There's a company that sells everything you need to just bolt on for $300, or they sell most of what you need in the way of brackets, and then you buy your own calipers, rotors, and hoses, and it's $100.
The final option (and the one I chose) was $100 complete. I bought Speedway weld on brackets for Chevy calipers at $19 pr., Aerostar rotors for $16 ea. at Autozone, and Chevy metric calipers from mid 80's Chevy at Autozone for $16 ea. Then I bought hoses from my local brake house to connect to the GM calipers.
The brackets need to be cut to clear around the kingpins, as they are cut for a 3" round axle tube. Then they simply get drilled to match the backing plate holes and bolted on. The rotors simply slide over the stock hubs, and then you can put the calipers on to check center. A small bushing or washers might be needed to center the rotor in the center of the caliper.
Here's the info for D&D for their parts conversion kit:
D & D kit for Ford vans (541)740-9468.

He's a great guy, and happy to help regardless of which route you want to take.

On the rearend- I started to do a 9" Ford, but then discovered the 8.8" Ford rearends. They are plentiful, cheap, lots of great ratios, limited slip, and a great choice to narrow cheaply! I bought a 3.73 posi 8.8" for $175 from a 1993 Expolorer. If you want 4 wheel discs, then get a 1994 or later, as they went to disc in '94.
The third member is offset 2" to pass. side, so if you want to narrow it you simply buy a pass. side axle shaft and then cut the driver's side housing down 4" to fit the new shaft. Drop the shaft back in and you've got a rearend that's a little narrower than a stock first gen Mustang, and cheaper than a 9" too. The 8.8" is a copy of a 12 bolt GM, but with 31 spline axles instead of 30 spline. It will also give you 5x4.5" bolt pattern to match the Econoline straight axle. You'll still have to move the springs inboard if you want to tuck the tires, and I'm not sure what that will entail as I left my axle at 58" overall, so my tires would hang out a couple inches on each side. I like the look on an old school type gasser.
One last thing' If your '65 Mustang still has the single bowl master brake cylinder then you'll want to upgrade to the dual reservoir from a later Mustang too. The later is a bolt on so no mod, but you will need to split the lines to the rear and add a manual proportioning valve in the rear line, so you can adjust the pressure down on the rear after adding discs. Even if you didn't add discs you'll still want to do the master, but without the valve, as it makes a better braking system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks a bunch, this is the info we were looking for, I appreciate it. That is a slick way of cutting down that 8.8 !
 
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