Topic: Brake system questions

Building an 88 Thunderbird and it currently has a hydroboost brake booster.  I really dislike the poor pedal feel it has when braking hard.  Wondering if any other teams that run Thunderbirds of that era leave the hydroboost and deal with the vague feedback it has or if they swap it out with the vacuum based units from a Mustang.

Re: Brake system questions

Paging Matt Ferenchak to the white courtesy phone.

88 Festiva  -  Damn Tree!!!
"We Are Not Really From Iran" Festiva  -  Motor and Trans to be anounced

Re: Brake system questions

Fairly certain we swapped it out to Mustang on our 88 Thunderbird, along with an adjustable bias valve. Also swapped  most of the brake system over to mustang brakes.

Guildenstern would probably remember a bit more than I, he did all the math and measurements smile

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
Touched by the K-car

Re: Brake system questions

Probably can do manual brakes and delete it all. math involved though
This car....Is said to have a will of it's Own. Twisting its own body in rage...It accelerates on.
1978 Opel/Buick Isuzu(C>B>C>B) , Sold 1996 Nissan Maxima OnlyFans (B) , Sold 1996 Ford Probe GT(B),

5 (edited by gtopat 2024-07-13 07:21 AM)

Re: Brake system questions

Our Thunderbird is/was(?) an 88 Turbo Coupe. We ditched the "hydroboost" in favor of the SVO Mustang master cylinder and a junkyard 5.0 vacuum booster. You can still get the SVO master, ours is cast, but of you search hard enough they made aluminum ones, which may or may not have Bendix cast in the side. Are you still running the turbo 2.3? You'll need a reliable vacuum source for a traditional booster.

I bent up some pre-assembled lines and off-the-shelf fittings to adapt it to the factory TC prop valve. We swapped the brake pedal assembly to the 5.0 stuff too, since we use the cable-actuated clutch, I can't remember if the TC pedal assy was the same (apologies, it was 13 years ago)

Hard Lines    Description       
PA-408        1/4 Line, 2x 7/16-24            Rear port of MC to tee
PAA-S420    1/4 Line, 7/16-24 & 1/2-20        Front port of MC to front port of PV
PAA-0380    3/16 Line, 3/8-24 & M10-1.0        Tee to front left caliper line
PAA-R340    3/16 Line, 3/8-24 & 7/16-24        Tee to rear port of PV
Adapters        Description           
343522.1        1/4 Tee       
BLU-8C        M10-1.0 Bubble Flare Union        Front left caliper line to PAA-0380
BLF-25C        7/16-24 female to 9/16-18 male    Rear port of MC to PA-408
BLF-22C    *    3/8-24 female to 7/16-24 male    Tee to PAA-0380

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Re: Brake system questions

A lot of Thunderbird enthusiasts from that era swap out the hydroboost for a vacuum-based booster from a Mustang to get a better pedal feel, especially under hard braking. It's a bit of a job, but it usually pays off with more responsive braking.

Re: Brake system questions

I had the same issue with my ‘88 Thunderbird and ended up swapping out the hydroboost for a vacuum booster from a Mustang. It made a huge difference in pedal feel and braking performance.