'66 Plymouth Fury (III) Brake Advice (needed)

Nate Dynamite

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There's a few of you out there in this car ocean that have already given me some good information, advice, and people to contact over on my Introductory Thread, but for further ideas and advice, I am making a proper thread for it. (I will be contacting Craig a.s.a.p.).

This is dangerous, but I’ve been thinking. I have highly considered converting Snow White, my 1966 Plymouth Fury III, over to a disc brake system. This means upgrading the master, brake booster, and getting dual piston calipers. BUT, I would like to at least keep the rear drums if I can, the only issue I have had and the reason I want to do a conversion, is because of the surprising factor that I am unable to source brake shoes or drums, or in the case of ordering from parts geek, parts that will fit and be correctly sized.

I understand that it should not be so hard to find these parts, especially finding shoes, but yet the surprising thing has been happening.
About a year ago, I ordered from Parts Geek; as one might not expect, all of the parts were incorrectly sized. The shoes were too big for the new drums, the new drums being tight to the new shoes locked up, and the new drums just left too much gap for the old shoes (like wiggle all over the place). The other thing about the drums was that in order for them to be on the new or old ones right was to have washers slipped over the bolts.
Slipped my mind during the dis-trauting time, but there are no pictures of the one side that was tested on.

My plans supposedly:

What I originally wanted to do was simply replace the drums and shoes, but then at a later date to swap the fronts out for discs and upgrade the master cylinder and the brake booster while I was at it.

Now, if I am unable to get drum brake parts in the foreseeable close future, I will convert the front and rear brakes over to disc brakes. I plan on doing this in two different ways;

The first, but likely problematic, buy a conversion kit from LEED Brakes or Summit Racing. Though recently I have found this brake company that has quality conversion kits that I have seen on/in a lot of cars at car shows recently, including mopars, Wilwood Disc Brakes; the only thing that they don’t sell would be boosters.

The second, either follow the '65 Fury disc brake conversion advice or somehow find another way to go about it without using anything Ford or GM, or having to get a new frame.

To the people who have already given me suggestions, thank you very much and I will be following through with those suggestions and check with mobileparts, Craig.
 

HOT FURY

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I went with the wilwoods front and rear and replaced my manual drum brake master cylinder with a need brakes booster/master cylinder/proportioning valve kit. Works just fine but I would figure out what you want to do first, either all 4 or just fronts. You'll either need to get an adjustable proportioning valve or if you decide to only go front now and rear disc later you will need to replace the proportioning valve again.

I picked up mine from Todd at TCE in Tempe AZ. This is the 2nd set I purchased from him and both times he got me the best price I could find, even the rep at Wilwood recommended going with them to buy their product. He can get you any wilwood produce made and has some of his own custom designed kits using wilwood calipers.

TCE Performance Products
 

CBODY67

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Staying with your existing drum brakes, but upgrading the master cyl to the dual reservoir cylinder, would be the easiest thing to do. Order the appropriate lines from a vendor that has such, so it is all prety much plug 'n play. Use the 1867 C-body items and use your existing booster.

You realize that the brake items you need will vary with ENGINE size and model of car, including the HD 11x3 brakes in the trailer towing/police vehicles?

So, first thing to do is to pull a front wheel off and look at the indented casting near the outside of the "Max Size" allowable for machining. This verifies the drum diameter. Then ease the drum off and measure the width of the front linings. Not the length, which are different "leading" and "trailing", but the width. It can be: 3", 2.75", 2.50", and possibly 2.0". The width of the shoe also relates to the drum that fits them, too. Do the same for the rear. Then you know what's now on the car and you can relate this informaiton to Craig when you talk to him.

From my recent research, B and C-body 11" brake shoes have the same "industry part number", but the drums are different between the B and C-body vehicles. In looking around in RockAuto, Raybestos, and Wagner brake websites, it seems the front drums they offer for sale are NOT finned on the front, but are on the rear. I would have suspected the front ones would be finned, but it's been a while since I looked at my cars to see what's on them. So, looking at several online catalogs can be better than just ONE general onine parts vendor's website.

ONE aspect of being in the vintage vehicle hobby is finding out where to look for parts, aftermarket or OEM. I use RockAuto mainly for their catalogs, in any specific "Info" section, you can also click on the vendor's logo (in the upper lh area of the page, to go to that vendor's website. So, doing due dilligence in these searches is just part of the game, to me.

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Update: I downloaded the '66 Plymouth Factory Service Manual (FSM) and the '66 Fury should have 11x2.75 on the front and 11x2 on the rear. With the HD Brakes being 11x3, front and rear. Have not looked in the '66 Parts Book, though.

Just some thoughts,
CBODY67
 
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mrfury68

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To the people who have already given me suggestions, thank you very much and I will be following through with those suggestions and check with mobileparts, Craig.


Craig @mobileparts is the man you need to talk to regarding the correct & good quality brake parts you need. When the drum brake systems on these cars are installed and serviced the right way with good parts they work fine. Disc conversions are an upgrade but you can get good results with the original drum set up too. My Fury III still has the original drum set up and it works great. I do downshift into 2nd once in awhile on some of the steeper hills here in southwestern PA to prevent the drums from heating up too much. That is just the way you drive these old cars. Good luck.
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Nate Dynamite

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Mm, alright so, to put it simply thank you all of you for this information and advice.

I have called Graig and from what he told me he does have adequate parts. I have only now sent a private message to SGT Fury, so it will be a little bit before I can see what information I can get from them.

So I have made a decision regarding what I will be doing with the system. I am not giving up on sourcing factory parts or sticking with them, but I will be using my Snow White as a daily drive car when she is ready as she is the only one I own. For the area I live and the stretches I have to travel, an upgrade to the brake system would be ideal and cost efficient in the long run. I am thinking I will combine conversation kit parts with some things from an other brake thread which discusses upgrades to a ‘65 fury’s system. Wilwood brakes being the merchant that I purchase the kit(s) from.

Even if I were to stick with the drums though, I’d still be making upgrades to the dependability of how her system is now, starting with a dual diaphragm booster as well as a new master.

Though in the future it might be a downgrade, I will keep all the information at large on this brake topic in my mind and notes to reference if I’m able to get a suitable daily abuse car so that this fury can become a weekend ride.

I hope I do not seem like I am brushing all the advice and information that you all have given me, I truly have carefully have thought about all of my options to come to this conclusion.
 

1970FuryConv

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Mm, alright so, to put it simply thank you all of you for this information and advice.

I have called Graig and from what he told me he does have adequate parts. I have only now sent a private message to SGT Fury, so it will be a little bit before I can see what information I can get from them.

So I have made a decision regarding what I will be doing with the system. I am not giving up on sourcing factory parts or sticking with them, but I will be using my Snow White as a daily drive car when she is ready as she is the only one I own. For the area I live and the stretches I have to travel, an upgrade to the brake system would be ideal and cost efficient in the long run. I am thinking I will combine conversation kit parts with some things from an other brake thread which discusses upgrades to a ‘65 fury’s system. Wilwood brakes being the merchant that I purchase the kit(s) from.

Even if I were to stick with the drums though, I’d still be making upgrades to the dependability of how her system is now, starting with a dual diaphragm booster as well as a new master.

Though in the future it might be a downgrade, I will keep all the information at large on this brake topic in my mind and notes to reference if I’m able to get a suitable daily abuse car so that this fury can become a weekend ride.

I hope I do not seem like I am brushing all the advice and information that you all have given me, I truly have carefully have thought about all of my options to come to this conclusion.
Craig is going to be out of commission for a long time, due to misdirected police brutality.
Craig (Mobileparts)

I have no problem with you going with disc brakes on a DD. Do it to it!
 

TheRamManINC

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To the people who have already given me suggestions, thank you very much and I will be following through with those suggestions and check with mobileparts, Craig.


Craig @mobileparts is the man you need to talk to regarding the correct & good quality brake parts you need. When the drum brake systems on these cars are installed and serviced the right way with good parts they work fine. Disc conversions are an upgrade but you can get good results with the original drum set up too. My Fury III still has the original drum set up and it works great. I do downshift into 2nd once in awhile on some of the steeper hills here in southwestern PA to prevent the drums from heating up too much. That is just the way you drive these old cars. Good luck.
Gift Quote
People called me an idiot 14 years ago…from a video stating
That drum brakes more efficient,than disc. No opinion just fact….disc need thousands of force… drums 50 to 100 psi
1. For one stop….panic stop….drum brakes will out perform
Disc. Brake . But the cannot due it repeatedly.
Cannot get rid of heat…many videos on this Topic
Much more surface are
DRUM BRAKES SELF ENERGIZE. videos on this topic
 

CBODY67

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Yes, there are some advantages to drum brakes. Ease of use can be one of them, as to brake line pressures vs. pedal pressure. But since about 1970, there have been federal safety regulations as to pedal pressure specs, for power and manual brakes. BTAIM

Just like ANY braking system, the friction material is key to ultimate performance. Full-metallic friction materials do handle heat very well, but take a few stops to heat up to good performance from a "cold" vehicle. Chrysler spec'd them for police vehicles, or had them available for replacement items on police-spec vehicles. GM was similar, even putting them on the '61 Impala SS cars (most of which were replaced with normal brake linings so the owners could stage the car at the drag strip, with cold brakes). After about 19870 or so, semi-metallic frictions on disc brakes became the best compromise of performance and ease of use, by observation, with other formulations of "better" frictions since then.

Getting drum brakes to cool well can be an issue, usually with flex ducting to the front brakes in road racing activities. Whereas "ventilated" disc brake rotors have internal vanes to cool the rotors whenever the vehicle is moving, which helps decrease/minimize brake fade . . . fade which can also be related to the friction material in use.

In earlier times, brake fade was perceived to be more about heat absorption and dissipation more than anything. Later, it was allegedly determined that fade also is caused by the release of gasses from the friction material as it got hotter, which was when "slotted and drilled" rotors came into vogue for higher-perf vehicles. Which also pretty much made the rotors "one use only" as they could not be machined easily.

Just some observations,
CBODY67
 

Loadrunner

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Drum brakes for all their antiquity do quite well, as well as intended, much more resistant to the elements and road spray.

Rotors rust fast.

Drum brakes generally don't freeze up from sitting.

Cold rotors with the wrong pads right on someone's bumper, you better have a foot like Hercules, or after driving though a puddle or carwash, can make for very exciting situations.

Overall reliability and ease of maintenance, I'm leaning towards drums.

Wheel cylinders rarely fail and easy to rebuild or replace. Shoes last a very long time, unlike pads, and you're not ever dealing with stuck caliper issues.

Can go through lots of mud and snow, problems none.

Like comparing open or closed knuckle front axles, the older technology is far advanced.
 

creepshow

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A lot of good info on here.
FWIW,
You can always have your brake shoes re-lined. I’ve done this for my some forklift shoes and it wasn’t too hateful, about $20-30 each at the time. I converted the front of my 67 Fury 3 with a SSBC kit in 2009, and I regretted spending the money because I didn’t really gain much. I wish I had just upgraded master cylinder, re-lined the shoes, and moved on. I got lucky when I redid my 67 Newport, and found perfect new replacement shoes.
 

Loadrunner

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I was at the parts picking up shoes for a '69 D200 Adventurer "all they could or had in stock get was bonded shoes", at a lower price, no availability on the riveted, but upon looking in the box they were the most gorgeous riveted shoes, misboxed, so I bought all existing stock on the spot.
 
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