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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So today I went to local parts house and picked up a pair of front calipers for a 2004 Mustang. After a little fiddling I got them on and was very excited indeed!


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I got everything bolted up and looking fresh, and the only thing I had left to do was to bolt the brake line up to the caliper. I quickly realized it wasn't going to work. The thunderbird brake line end is too large. If you look in the below pictures the little tab/raised area on the thunderbird and mustang calipers are on opposite sides, not allowing the brake line to bolt up to the mustang one.

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You can see where I was attempting to grind it down enough to fit using a hand file but I just gave up. I was scared of messing up the mating surface and having leaky calipers. So I'm out like $300 and still have terrible brakes. Sigh. I am thinking I will contact a machine shop and see if they will grind those tabs down/off for me. That's the only idea I really have other than returning the one caliper I didn't file down and the pads and getting what money I can back. With all the people on here who have done this swap, no-one else has run into this??
 

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Everyone else that did this swap ran into this problem.

Had you used search, there are multiple threads informing you of the need to grind the mounting block, and the spindle itself to avoid interfering with stuff.
At least you got 04's, that means the banjo bolt will fit.
I bought stainless lines to completely avoid the mounting block issue, only had to grind the spindle. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I swear I did my homework about this, apparently not thoroughly enough though :(

I didn't have to grind the spindle at all, it's a tight fit but it does fit.

Guess I need to go pick up a cheap angle grinder.
 

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Here's a thread with some pix:
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Here is what I did when I had the GT PBRs on mine over 10 years ago. I used a Dremel to grind away the block in the way, away from the sealing surface near the connection point.


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It will hit the spindle in a few days, and stop working; you need a 1/8" wide groove to clear the caliper slide after it wears a bit. Check out the pix.
 
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BTW; The stock rear lines flex a bit at breaking force, and it eventually fatigues the line right where it goes into the block.
I had one break off on lazarus, causind a no brakes condition. :)
 
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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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You have all the super interesting fun in these cars, it seems. Have the folks in your hometown figured out that they need to give you a little extra room on the roads? :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks guys. I will study that thread in detail before attempting to tackle this again.
 

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They tend to get out of the way, lol.
Let's see; I've broken the brakes once, 6 transmissions, 3 wheels, a windshield, dropped a valve, and killed a rod bearing, in roughly 600k miles spread over three cars.
?All 3 cars have seen the redline in 4th.
:)
 

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The Parts Guy
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I swear I did my homework about this, apparently not thoroughly enough though :(

I didn't have to grind the spindle at all, it's a tight fit but it does fit.

Guess I need to go pick up a cheap angle grinder.
Mount the caliper without the pads and you'll see the interference that will occur as soon as the pads begin to wear. Correct it now before it becomes a problem. All of this has been detailed in the writeup and numerous threads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mount the caliper without the pads and you'll see the interference that will occur as soon as the pads begin to wear. Correct it now before it becomes a problem. All of this has been detailed in the writeup and numerous threads.
Yeah I see that now, I swapped back to the stock calipers for now. PBR upgrade coming soon though! Thanks.
 

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It's not a major deal to relieve the spindle; you just want to avoid making a v-groove, which might in some extreme case make it crack there.
The improvement in braking is well worth the hassle.
 
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Just a thought- would swapping the L and R side soft brake lines make the stock lines fit?
Would that put the notches on the stock mounting blocks in the correct location?
I have no idea, just wondering.
 

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I used the stainless steel brake lines, and only had to grind the spindle to clear the slide bolt.
 
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I clearanced the calipers as well. Just be careful not to grind the mating surface for the crush washer. The caliper is aluminum so it's very easy to remove material. I used an angle grinder with a 80 or 120grit sanding wheel, it removes material relatively quickly and leaves a smooth finish.

As mentioned the spindle must be clearanced as well, just take a little off at a time and test fit the caliper with no pads so you can slide it to make sure it will clear for its entire range of motion.

I highly recommend the stainless lines if you can still get them...

Take your time get them to fit properly, the pbrs make a massive difference in stopping power over the stock brakes.
 

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So no one has tried to swap the lines side to side?
Umm ...

No.

Most of us just used stainless lines. Which are better.

Besides, wouldn't that just switch which one was NOT fitting?

RwP
 
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