Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion (1964-1966) Installation Instructions

Tools Required:
  • Jack and Jack Stands
  • Standard Socket and Wrench Sets
  • Shorty 9/16 inch Wrench
  • Tube Wrench Set
  • Torque Wrench
  • Lug Wrench
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Pliers (Needle Nose & Regular)
  • Bearing Grease for Disc Brakes
  • 3/8 inch Vacuum Hose
  • Brake Fluid
  • Brake Cleaner
  • Penetrating Oil
Install Difficulty:
  • Moderate
  • Moderate Project
1. To start installing your new Mustang SSBC A120-5 Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit, raise the car, place the front end on jack stands, remove the front tires, and knock the dust cap off with a mallet.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
2. Remove the cotter pin by bending the ends straight and pulling it out.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
3. Remove the castle nut, retaining nut and washer. Save these parts!
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
4. Remove the drum hub to expose the spindle and drum pads.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
5. If you haven’t already, bleed the drums and master cylinder before disconnecting the Mustang front drum brake lines. Use a turkey baster or sponge to pull out most of the fluid in the master cylinder, then open the bleeder screws on the drums. Once the lines are dry, disconnect the soft brake line from the hard line and remove the U-bracket. Note: Brake fluid is a pretty good paint remover, so unless you are planning on repainting, use lots of rags and cover what you can.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
6. Remove the drum springs and pads, then unbolt the drum assembly from the spindle. Note: These bolts will spin on you, so use a screw driver to hold the bolt head while turning the nut from behind the drum.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
7. Pull the drum assembly off and inspect your spindle. Replace it if needed, otherwise just clean it up with a soft rag. Note: The machined middle of the spindle should be protected while exposed.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
8. Bolt on the caliper mounting base plate to the spindle with the rounded side towards front bumper. Torque the bolts to 35-40 ft/lbs.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
9. Bolt on the caliper mounting bracket BEHIND the base plate so that the calipers will be pointed up and towards the front bumper. Torque the bolts to 35-40 ft/lbs.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
10. Pack the bearings with disc brake grease. Install the races, bearings and grease seals into the Mustang brake rotor and place it on spindle. Use the original washer, retaining nut, castle nut and cotter pin to install the new rotor. Be sure to pre-load your spindle retaining nut by torquing to 17-20 ft/lbs. while rotating the hub. Back the nut off 1/2 turn, then torque it to 10-15 ft/lbs. or just hand tighten. Throw on your dust caps (or buy new ones) and you are done with the rotor! Note: Before going too much further, do yourself a favor and check out your suspension! I discovered several bad ball joints and bushings, and it’s a heck of a lot easier to work on those before attaching the calipers and brake lines.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
11. The Mustang brake caliper simply slides over the rotor and bolts on. Torque bolts to 35-40 ft/lbs.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
12. Attach the block end of the brake hose to the back of the caliper using Mustang banjo bolts and a washer on either side of the block. Torque to 20 ft/lbs.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
13. Connect other end of brake hose to the hard line in wheel well. Position so that the U-bracket slides in and secures the hose in place. Turn the steering wheel full left then full right and make sure the hose does not kink up. If it does, just remove the U-bracket and reposition.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
14. Disconnect the hard line going from the Mustang distribution block to the master cylinder. You won’t be reusing the line, but save those tube nuts in case you need them.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
15. Disconnect the rear brake line where it enters the distribution block and plug with the kit’s tube plug. Then move inside the car and locate the clip that holds the push rod and Mustang brake light switch to the pedal.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
16. Remove the clip with a pair of pliers, taking care not to damage the switch.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
17. Then, pull the brake light switch harness and the push rod off of the brake pedal post.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
18. Now you can unbolt the master cylinder from the firewall and pull the unit off. Place a rag under the assembly to keep fluid off the car.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
19. Remove the two bolts above the master cylinder mounting bolts.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
20. Now bolt the Mustang power brake booster mounting bracket to the firewall. This part gets a little tricky. First, you will need your shorty wrench or something that you can use in tight spaces to put the bolts on. For the bolts, you want 3/8-16, 1 inch bolts, but the heads can get in the way, causing the mounting brackets to shift inward. Note: Some manuals will tell you to put the bracket on the booster first, but I found that putting the bracket on the firewall first saved me from cutting the booster’s retaining bolts.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
21. Do a few test fits before tightening everything down. Then, bolt the Mustang brake booster to the brackets and reconnect the push rod and light harness to the pedal. Note: You can turn the push rod end to get the right pedal height.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
22. Before bench bleeding the Mustang master cylinder, which MUST be done before installation, lay out your steel lines and get a feel for how everything will fit.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
23. Find a location for the new Mustang proportioning valve. It should be placed between the rear brake line and the front port on the master cylinder. You do not have bolt this down, just make sure it’s in a stable spot where you can adjust the knob. Note: Pay attention to the IN and OUT port labels. Fluid should go IN from the master cylinder, and OUT to the rear brakes.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
24. Once you figure out which lines go where, check for the correct fitting of the tube nuts. The new parts should be just fine, but my proportioning valve required a larger nut size. Now start bending your lines, taking care not to put any kinks in the line. If you do, you will need to start over with a new line. Here’s a picture of my bent lines. The left one runs from the front port to the proportioning valve port while the right one runs from the rear port to the open port on the distribution block.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
25. Now it’s time to bench bleed the master cylinder. Place the master cylinder in a table vise or between two blocks, using a clamp to hold it steady. Attach the provided tubes, fill the reservoir with brake fluid, and pump the piston with a screw driver or tool handle. Pump it until no air bubbles appear in the lines.
26. Install the filled Mustang master cylinder and attach the hard lines. We are in the short rows now!
27. Vacuum source: The “power” in the power brakes doesn’t just happen on its own. You will need to find a port around the intake manifold for a vacuum hose the comes from the barbed fitting on the brake booster. Take a look around your intake manifold, as you may have an empty port. If you don’t, fear not, there are several ways to get the vacuum you need. You could put a vacuum port spacer under the carburetor, drill tap into the intake manifold, or tee into an existing line. My 66 had non-NPT threading on the plugged ports, so I simply tee’d into the Mustang transmission vacuum line near the source and ran a good length of hose back to the booster.
Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit Install Image
28. Once all your lines are connected and tight, it’s time to flush out all the Mustang front brake lines. Start with the wheel farthest from the master cylinder and work your way back to the nearest. Attach a hose and open the bleeder screw. Have someone pumping the brakes as you open and close the screw. Here’s how it should go: Step on brake pedal and hold it down as you open bleeder screw. Let the pressure push out the fluid close bleeder screw, then let up on the pedal. Repeat this until all of the old fluid is out and no air bubbles appear in the bleed. IMPORTANT: Do not let the master cylinder reservoir go dry. Check it frequently and try to keep it 1/3 full at minimum.
29. Top off your master cylinder and pump the brakes. If you get a nice hard pedal after about 25 pumps, you’re good to go. Otherwise, keep bleeding until your pedal loses that spongy feeling. After that, check and double check everything. After all, you just did a lot of work and you would not want to go plowing into or through that first stop sign. If things look good, there's no leaks, and your tires turn without interfering with the system, it’s time for a road test. TAKE IT SLOW. First, just go a few feet forwards and backwards. Then, take it to the end of your driveway. Once you feel like all is well, take her for a spin around the block, then come back and check everything again.
30. You've just finished installing your new Mustang SSBC Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit. To keep everything working properly, replace the pads when they need it and keep your brake fluid topped off, and you’ll have a lot less grey hairs from standing on that manual drum pedal when you see a yellow light up ahead.