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How to Install Dual Piston Calipers on the Front Brakes of a Ford Thunderbird/Mercury Cougar
By blazer2000


Mustang PBR Dual Piston Caliper mounted to '95 Ford Thunderbird

Instructions
Things You Will Need:
• Parts from a donor Mustang (1999-2004) or new parts.
• Metric sockets and tools
• Grinding and cutting capability

Step 1:
This procedure outlines the installation of the factory Aluminum dual piston PBR calipers found on '99-'04 Mustangs onto a Thunderbird (Cougar) with '93-'97 Spindles. Information I have found points out that the MN12 brakes were derived from Sable/Taurus platform with their 10.87" diameter rotor. Subsequently the SN95 Mustangs adapted MN12 style
front spindles and brakes. SN95s up until '98 used a similar single piston steel caliper using the same rotor with different bolt circle. In '99-'00 the stock brakes were changed to PBR (Australian Company) dual piston aluminum calipers. For a complete Mustang makeover you can actually put Mustang Hubs on MN12 spindles and use Mustang rotors
with 4.5" bolt circle.

Step 2:
Disclaimer: This modification is offered here as a non-factory suppliment and should be employed with the knowledge that braking performance may be altered and that all necessary safety precautions be taken.


Comparison of the Thunderbird Pad size to the Mustang pad size

Step 3:
What you need -

2-Mustang Caliper Bracket
2-Mustang Aluminum Calipers
4-Caliper to bracket bolts,
4-Replacement Crush Washers,
Set of Mustang Pads,
2-Mustang Banjo Bolts,
2-T-Bird rotors,
Adequate DOT brake fluid,
3/8";x2'long rubber tubing

Step 4:
Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels for the front wheels and then raise the car and block it using the proper supports. Remove the wheels.

Step 5:
Remove one caliper at a time. The caliper is held onto the spindle via a bracket. Two bolts may be accessed from behind the bracket. I believe they are 15mm socket size. Support the caliper/bracket assembly while removing the factory flex hose and hose mount from the fender skirt mount. A plug or other temporary item should be used to prevent the fluid from draining.

Step 6:
Take the Caliper assy with its hose still attached to the workbench. Remove the banjo bolt holding the hose mounting block to the caliper and set aside the hose for reinstallation.



Step 7:

There is a slight clearance problem on the top of the PBR caliper at the spindle. You must remove a slight amount of material from both the caliper and the spindle for the best results. Remove approximately .032" from the area circled in white. Temporarily hold the caliper in place and mark the area of closest contact.

Step 8:
Shown below is the factory hose for the Mustang installed on the Mustang PBR caliper. Notice the top of the mounting block rests very close to the edge of the machined shoulder of the caliper. You must modify the hose mounting block or the caliper hose mount surface to accept the T-Bird hose. Reference the images below.




T-Bird hose mounted on Mustang caliper with clearance for the hose end ground out.

Step 9:
The picture above shows that the top of the MN12 mounting block interferes with the machined shoulder of the caliper. The block's hole is offset the opposite direction from the Mustang factory hose. Clearance can be provided by either cutting the block just inside of the shoulder dimension or carve a bit of the shoulder away to clear the block. End item picture of the carved out shoulder boss is shown below. Care must be taken not to gouge the mounting surface of the crush washer for sealing. This configuration prevents the block from rotating and loosening the hose mount.

Step 10:
Clean all parts and install new crush washers and the Mustang banjo bolt and torque the bolt to 30-40 lb-ft. Notice that either caliper will mount on either side. You must install the caliper so that the bleed screw is on top pointing up.

Step 11:
Install the Caliper onto the Caliper Bracket torque bolts to 23-26 Lb-Ft and install the pad retaining clips into the Mustang caliper and install the pads. The factory pads have a bonded anti-steal material. Any aftermarket pads may need the use of an antisqueal compound or high-temp RTV.

Step 12:
Install the rotor onto the hub and temporarily hold in place with a couple lug nuts lightly installed.

Step 13:
Work the pads as they are mounted in the caliper assy over the rotor and install the caliper mounting bolts. Torque to 90-95 Lb-Ft.

Step 14:
Connect the brake hose to the brake line and remount to the fender skirt.

Step 15:
Repeat the previous steps for the other side.


Installed on the car.

Step 16:
Once complete, you can put the short length of tubing over the bleed screw and open the bleed screw. Pour brake fluid into the master cylinder reservoir so that it stays full enough to prevent air from entering the lines. Watch the hose for fluid flow as gravity pulls the fluid into the caliper and forces out the air. Close the bleed screw when fluid begins to appear. Bleed the brakes as normal. One easy way is to use a handheld vacuum pump setup at the caliper to draw out the fluid which in turn clears air from the system.

DO NOT let the reservoir run dry.

Step 17:
Reinstall the wheels and torque the lug-nuts carefully to the proper 90-100 Lb-Ft.

Step 18:
New rotors and brake material should be broken in carefully to prevent warpage. Gentle low speed braking should be used to ensure proper stress relief of all materials.







Problems:

By: Plankster


I had the front wheel off today to check something and noticed what may be a problem for those of us who have put on the PBR's. At least it was a problem on my '97 V-6, with 4-wheel disks. Everyone may want to pull a wheel and ckeck it out. Since these calipers 'float', I hadn't noticed this issue when I installed them.

This is the passenger side, but both sides were the same. The caliper was hitting the spindle.

Hopefully you can make out the spot where the caliper was mashed up against the spindle.

This is where I ground the ridge of the caliper down for the passenger side brake line to seat properly.
 

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It is just nessary to gring a little bit of the caliper away so it can clear. I did it on my before I permantly mounted them. I made sure I had enough room and it would not bind or have problems. Do not grind on the spindle. It will cause failure resulting in death or personal injury and substanial property damage.
 

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Digging up an old thread here! :eek:

Plankster,

Any chance of getting the pictures back up? I'm thinking of this upgrade, I just would like to see what needs to be done before I attempt it! :D

Joe
 

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Any pictures of the caliper itself, where you ground it down?

Joe
 

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The second photo, just above my thumb, you can see where the green paint was rubbed off by the spindle. I just ground down that area of the caliper. Because it is a 'floating' system, you might not notice the interference untill you drive(brake) it for a while.
 

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Now that I've seen more of these posts I think I see another issue.
CLUNK!
As the pads wear this will cause the floating piston to move more inboard and make this sort of contact with the spindle.
I am going to get my car up today to finally check this for myself.
But thinking, this item should be added to the Clunk issues too.

rm
 

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I also noticed this.. I wonder why KVR didn't address this in their kits? I purchased this kit from KVR 5 years ago.

I guess I'll have to take mine off and modify them too.
 

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Here is another lin about PBR problems
I posted a small desciption of the problem. Here is the recap:
tbirdbrain said:
The spindle/caliper interference problem will not manifest itself on a new install. The pads
thickness centers the caliper which is a condition that is often short lived. If the inboard pad
has a higher wear rate, a normal shifting of the caliper will cause interference with the
spindle. This will ultimately cause the inboard pad to be ineffective and make braking
far less effective.

Unless Ford has made a variant of the normal steering knuckle (they didn't) you will suffer this problem.
According to the ford parts listing I just looked at moments ago, There is still only 1 version of spindle/knuckle
used for the right and 1 version used for the left. F3LY-3105-A & F3LY-3106-A. (for all 1993-97 cars)

My preference is trimming of the spindle rather than removal of meat at the anchor point
of the caliper.
 

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tbirdbrain said:
Here is another lin about PBR problems
I posted a small desciption of the problem. Here is the recap:
My preference is trimming of the spindle rather than removal of meat at the anchor point
of the caliper.
I believe that it was stated that the can/will cause failure of the spindle.
 

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OK, here are my results.

Definite contact being made. The aluminum, however, being softer than the spindle is deforming around the spindle. Since brakes create a lot of force I suspect that everyone is not as bad off as it may seem. Now if the caliper were steel, that would be another issue.

I removed about 1/32" from the spindle and a little more from the caliper side to create around a 1/16" clearance. The dent on the caliper was obvious.
Pedal feel is about the same, but may have gotten a little better. Will drive it more to see.
I will be updating my how-to on my web site to show this also.

 

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Cougar281 said:
I believe that it was stated that the can/will cause failure of the spindle.
You're not removing that much from the spindle. It takes longer for the grinder to spin-up than you do grinding. Only way the spindle would fail is if a crack developed. Not likely to happen.
 

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RichardM said:
I will be updating my how-to on my web site to show this also.
What's the link? I went to your homepage through your id link to the left, but didn't see an article on brakes.

thanks for working this out for us,
Rob
 

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www.flash.net/~rfm2/pbrdual.htm

Here is the update and I made sure there was a link from my front page.

Not sure where the other link went to from TCCOA.

Richard
 

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Here are a few pictures that I thought might help others.

the first one shows where I removed material from the upper mount to clear the spindle when the pads wear. I did it after painting them so there is good contrast, then I painted them once I fit them and found I had taken off enough and in the right place.
thumbnail


http://shutter03.pictures.aol.com/d...2/4C/PLdJjc0nl7Ac40tb4Ivirr2+q8a7h0bV0300.jpg

Second I tried to show the clearance provided, but it was not a sunny day, and I couldn't get light where I needed it.
thumbnail:

http://shutter04.pictures.aol.com/d...B/62/e7l2finTchZeflUfH4iavzTsjEUliJWk0300.jpg

Third is what is removed from passenger side where the brake hose connects.
thumbnail:

http://shutter04.pictures.aol.com/d...0/94/zAFfbx59wl4WEKd-siUE9gqX9KQ5-djG0300.jpg

Fourth is why you need to remove it, the fat side of the block in on the same side as the ridge. Someone might be able to machine it down and maintain a ridge to help keep the hose in place, but I just used a cut off wheel and a grinding stone, and made sure I didn't mess with the sealing area or close to it.
thumbnail:

http://shutter03.pictures.aol.com/d...3/44/2JoFUX5p2tlZDK1aAolzZeiNogZp1jre0300.jpg
 

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When I had mine installed, we did the grinding on the caliper itself, and as for the passenger side, we ground a wee bit of the caliper and the brake line in order to make it fit. I didnt see the safety in cutting away the whole ridge. Just my 2 cents.
 

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the front pads on my pbrs are rubbing what could cause that? I have brand new pads with stock 94sc rotors and the mustang GT pbrs. When I put the caliper on the bracket with the pads the rotor will not turn, what could it be? I pushed the pistons what seemed to be all the way in. if I bleed the system will that help it?
 

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is the sc rotor 11.5" or 10.8"???

this pbr setup only works for 10.8" rotors only.
it's normal for the pads to drag the rotor a little bit. put a wrench in between the lug bolts act as leverage and see if you can turn it?

if not just post some pic and see what we can help.
 

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ok, just remeber something, did you reuse the caliper bracket to hub bolt from your tbird or the 1 came with the pbr?

you need that bolt from your stock tbird unit because the mustang's one is too long and it will lodge against the rotor hence it'll prevent it from turning.
 

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I used the caliper bracket to hub bolt from the sc. I really dont know what it could be any ideas will bleeding the brakes help?

Casper said:
is the sc rotor 11.5" or 10.8"???

This PBR setup only works for 10.8" rotors only.
it's normal for the pads to drag the rotor a little bit. put a wrench in between the lug bolts act as leverage and see if you can turn it?

if not just post some pic and see what we can help.
What size are the SC rotors?
 
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