Detail and Assemble Front Disc Brakes
Driver-Detailed Front Brakes For A '72 Mach 1
From the January, 2000 issue of Mustang Monthly
By Jeff Ford
Photography by Jeff Ford
Rule No. 1 is to do only one...
Rule No. 1 is to do only one side at a timeespecially since this type of detailing will take longer than a couple days. We left our driver-side spindle assembled so that we would have a guide. We also consulted the service manuals and discovered that some parts were missingnamely the caliper stabilizers. In the disassembly process, youll need to remove the dust shields and all associated parts for bead blasting.
Our dust shield was like most...
Our dust shield was like most of thesebent. The best way to determine the condition is to set the shield on the spindle side and view it as shown. This will allow you to determine where to whack it with your body hammer.
We used our vice as a body...
We used our vice as a body dolly to maneuver the metal to the correct position. If your shields are missing or damaged beyond repair, contact Perogie for replacements, as it carries a full line of good used parts.
Safety wire should be wrapped...
Safety wire should be wrapped through both of the caliper mounting bolts and each should have wire wrapped around the closest spindle arm. If this wire or the caliper bolt is missing, then definitely replace them.
These caliper mounting bolts...
These caliper mounting bolts will hopefully have to be removed with a breaker bar. We say hopefully because youve probably been riding around on these babies, and they hold the brakes on the car.
When we disassembled the caliper...
When we disassembled the caliper brackets, one of the caliper retaining clip bolts had been broken off in the hole, and this little jewel was cranked into the hole with two washers. Rather than attempt to remove the old bolt shard, we replaced the caliper mount.
The calipers will need to...
The calipers will need to be refinished. We removed them and used compressed air to remove the piston. Use a 2x4-inch piece of wood and place it in the slot between the piston and outer pad mount (arrow). Sixty pounds of air pressure should pop the piston.
After we popped out the piston,...
After we popped out the piston, we used brake cleaner to thoroughly remove all brake fluid residue, and then we bead-blasted the caliper and piston, being careful not to overheat an area. Once the bead-blasting was completed, we used compressed air to remove any errant glass from the caliper. We then chased the threads on the caliper with our taps.
Obviously, there are other...
Obviously, there are other options out there. You can get new calipers from National Parts Depot (NPD) or the local parts store. We like the choices that NPD offers, but felt that our original date-coded calipers were what we needed here. After the blasting was completed, we used Cast Coat paint to avoid surface rust, and then we hit the machined surfaces with bright silver to give the impression of fresh machine work. We also went to NAPA for the reseal kit.
Our Rabestos pads go well...
Our Rabestos pads go well with the new pad retainer pins and clips. Replace the clips if yours have lost their spring tension. Though not dangerous, this will help keep the pad from sliding when the brakes are applied.
We bead-blasted the spindle,...
We bead-blasted the spindle, caliper mounts, bolts, and attaching hardware. We used Eastwoods detail gray for the paint on the caliper mounts. After the detail gray dried, we applied silver paint to the caliper-mounting bracket to mimic the machined finish.
The spindles were painted...
The spindles were painted Martin Senyor high-temp flat black to mimic the original heat treating that Ford did to the spindles. The machining work was performed after heat treating, so we used our Testors silver paint to get the look of machined metal.
The caliper retaining bolts...
The caliper retaining bolts were painted with Dupli Color steel-wheel silver. On the bolts, we sprayed some of the finish to be applied, and then waited for it to dry. After we tightened the bolts, we sprayed some paint into a can cap and brushed it on to hide any scarring, which might have resulted from the wrench through the electrical tape.
We painted our rotor splash...
We painted our rotor splash shields with the Dupli Color steel-wheel finish. The serrated washer bolts were painted Martin Senyor flat black.
We had our rotors turned at...
We had our rotors turned at the local NAPA. After we got the rotor home, we used Ph-ospho-ric (available at most automotive paint stores) and a scuff pad to clean the rust off the rotor. Afterward, we used brake cleaner and lacquer thinner to remove any residue from the rotor. We then applied POR-15s manifold paint from Classic Restorations and heat-cured it with a propane torch. If you do this, be sure to keep the flame moving. The best course is to have the rotors heat-cured.
After you have heated the...
After you have heated the rotor (and after it has cooled, ouch), grease the inner bearing and tap the new seal into position. Our rotors are dated 6L24, making them replacements; the correct date code would have been in the neighborhood of 2F11. No matter. They appear to be the correct style.
After you have installed the...
After you have installed the inner seal, mount the rotor to the hub, and install the greased outer bearing, washer, and nut. We tightened the nut to center the rotor on the hub, and then backed off the nut until we had good free rotation. We then installed the nut lock and cotter pin.
We secured a new cap from...
We secured a new cap from NPD. There is nothing like having a shiny new cap on your well-done rotor. Be careful not to whack the cap too hard. If it isnt fitting, file off some of the metal at the edge of the cap rim. Remember that force is not an option here!
Next, we went back to the...
Next, we went back to the caliper-mounting plates and popped in the new isolator from NPD. There should be two per side, and they are pulled through as shown.
We put the caliper on with...
We put the caliper on with the new pads in place and mounted our stabilizer from Perogie. The bolts that hold it on are flat black. Be sure to leave it loose for the caliper. We painted the stabilizer with Eastwood detail gray.
We slipped the inner pad into...
We slipped the inner pad into place and applied the pad retainer clips into position. The clips dont appear to be flat black like the bolts that retain them, but they are.
With the caliper in place,...
With the caliper in place, we set the new caliper-locating pins into position and tightened them down. With that completed, the front end is almost ready to go.
We went the extra step and...
We went the extra step and obtained two new concours-correct hose bolts for the calipers. These red anodized bolts and copper washers from NPD add the final touch to the brake system.
Unfortunately, well have to wait to use them. Without any load on the suspension, the NPD-provided hose would be too stretched if we applied them, so well bag the hose and plug the hole until the suspension is fully loaded.
We begin the exciting task of detailing the front brakes on the '72 Mach 1 we call Lazarus. Our car is a competition-suspension car that featured the rear sway bar and stiffer rear springs. Our main concentration is not the rear right now, but the front. We'll cover the rear spring and differential installation at a later date. For now, we're at a fever pitch to get this Medium Bright Yellow reborn pony on its feet and ready for the rest of the parts that will complete the project.
The front suspension on these cars is similar to the '68-'70 cars with the exception of the steering box and/or power steering. Though we are detailing out the '72, many of the ideas we'll show can apply to your car. Of course, you will have to do your own research on your car to determine the paint daubs and color codes, but hey, that's part of the fun.
Something of this magnitude would not have been possible without the help of the folks at Inline Tube, who provided the correct color-coded brake lines in stainless. National Parts Depot also was invaluable and sent us the suspension parts we needed, while Perogie dug through its extensive used inventory to get us the impressive stabilizer brackets for the calipers and, thereby, helped put the finishing touches on the assembly.
200 Conover Rd.
18600 E. 96th St.
263 Shoemaker Road
National Parts Depot
900 SW 38th Ave