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Old 09-24-2021, 09:12 AM   #1
mbr
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Default Disc conversion

After 2 weeks of delivery delays, bad new hub, frozen rusted parts, crawling around in the dirt driveway, rain, etc...it's just about finished.
Test drove it in my long driveway. Initial impression is very good. Much more solid feel in the pedal than I ever had with the drums.
The only problem left is the handbrake. I put in 2 new cables that fit and are the same length , but they don't apply evenly. The equalizer(?) under the console that the cable ends connect to isn't pulling evenly. Any idea why? The parking brake always worked fine. Even though the brake handle is plenty tight at 5 clicks, it doesn't hold the car.
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Old 09-24-2021, 02:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Disc conversion

I have no idea. But I am closely watching this thread as you are doing right now what I will be doing this winter. Blazing the path for me, so to speak.
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Disc conversion

I've always had some problems with my parking brake after swapping to disc. The first time I tried using it after swapping I noticed it took way more effort to hold the car on hills than the drums did. I messed around with the adjustment nut on the parking brake lever and got it pretty good, but still not great. Apparently you don't want it to be too tight or you risk stripping out the nut. I have mine so it holds at about 3-4 clicks, but if I'm on a steep hill I have to pull it to about the 5th or 6th click. I've also heard that some adjustment can be made from the caliper end, but I never figured out what that was specifically.
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Disc conversion

The problem on mine isn't the handle adjustment, it might be down by the caliper. I'll have to get back under it and work the lever by hand, just to see if it's locked up.
In all my research, I've never seen an adjustment at the caliper.
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Last edited by mbr; 09-24-2021 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 09-25-2021, 08:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Disc conversion

While I don't believe there is any adjustment at all, it'd either be by spinning the caliper piston in/out or compressing the tension spring and attempting to place the p-brake arm on the caliper in a "further away" location. Might be possible to get a longer bolt for the bracket that holds the cable to the caliper and offset it using washers as well, though IMO that's unlikely to do anything useful.
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Old 09-25-2021, 09:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Disc conversion

When I installed the caliper, the piston was already in and aligned. I didn't touch it.
The arm actuated at first when I connected the cable, then didn't when adjusting the handle. I wonder what I could have done to it.
I have to get under it in a while and see what's what.
BTW, drove it yesterday and it brakes GREAT! So the caliper does work.
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Old 09-25-2021, 09:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Disc conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by El_bell View Post
I've always had some problems with my parking brake after swapping to disc. The first time I tried using it after swapping I noticed it took way more effort to hold the car on hills than the drums did. I messed around with the adjustment nut on the parking brake lever and got it pretty good, but still not great. Apparently you don't want it to be too tight or you risk stripping out the nut. I have mine so it holds at about 3-4 clicks, but if I'm on a steep hill I have to pull it to about the 5th or 6th click. I've also heard that some adjustment can be made from the caliper end, but I never figured out what that was specifically.
With the drums, 3-5 clicks depending on the slope, was right.
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Old 09-25-2021, 10:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: Disc conversion

Ok, I got under it and here's what I found.
I unhooked the cables from the actuator arm on the caliper and worked the arm with a channel lock. The right side is much stiffer than the left. A small movement on the right will lock the wheel. When it's released, there's some drag on the wheel, about 3/4 of a revolution. About what I expect.
The left is much easier to move, and moved in as far as it will go still doesn't lock the wheel. When it's released, the wheel moved much more freely.
My guess is the right side is ok, or maybe a hair too tight. I thought that side was the problem.
But the left side is TOO loose. How do I fix that? I imagine some kind of adjustment with the piston. Will just working the actuator lever adjust it, or do I have to remove the caliper and turn the piston one way or the other?
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Old 09-25-2021, 11:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: Disc conversion

Says it's for Mustangs but looks like it's swappable to the S-Series, teardown & rebuild guide: https://www.svtperformance.com/threa...-brake.765554/

Video on adjusting it (slightly different style caliper, but the way it works is the same): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SktF3ERaMC8
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Old 09-25-2021, 01:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Disc conversion

I'm not going to disassemble the entire caliper. I'm turning the piston while pushing in. How much is the piston supposed to turn? Does it stop turning, then back off so the slot is aligned? Or does it turn continuously?
I took off the heavy spring from the lever. The arm on the left side moves a lot, while the right side only has about 1/4" of play.
Is this an indication that I didn't turn the piston enough, or do I have to adjust the lever like in the second video?
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Old 09-25-2021, 02:43 PM   #11
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Default Re: Disc conversion

The piston turns continuously, and the lever turns all the way until it hits the casting. I removed the nut holding the lever, but the lever is wedged on tightly. Moderate hits with a hammer didn't budge it. I couldn't see an adjusting nut underneath it anyway. I didn't want to break it in case it has to go back to Rockauto, which is an ordeal itself.
Any other thoughts?
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Old 09-25-2021, 04:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: Disc conversion

I started a return with Rock. We'll see if a new one is ok. This doesn't instill much confidence in Powerstop. I thought they were a decent brand.
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Old 10-01-2021, 12:11 AM   #13
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Default Re: Disc conversion

Rockauto sent a new caliper pretty quick, and so far hasn't asked for the bad one back. If they don't want it, I'll take it apart and do a postmortem.
So now I have Brakes, with a capital B. Way WAY better than any drum on any vehicle I've ever had. High, firm pedal, smooth and consistent. I thought maybe there was too much drag, but drove over 100 miles today and checked the rotors periodically. They never got hot, and the mileage was 37mpg. So I guess not too much drag.
The parking brake is working well. I covered the mechanism with a freezer bag and zip tied it. Maybe that will keep the elements off of it.
Every year when the snow tires come off, I've been taking the slider pins out of the fronts for a c&l. The same will be done for the rears. Also a quick bleed, mostly to keep the bleeders from rusting shut.
Bolting everything on wasn't hard, taking everything apart, without breaking something, was the most time consuming. Parts that were mated for 23 years didn't want to separate amicably.
All in all, well worth it. Now if it only holds up long term....
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Old 10-01-2021, 04:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Disc conversion

Still following this. So all of the drama you had with the parking brake not holding seems to have been related to a bad rear caliper?
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Old 10-01-2021, 05:48 PM   #15
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Default Re: Disc conversion

As far a I can tell, it was a bad caliper. The replacement is ok.
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