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Thread: Switching ABS to Conventional.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    42

    Switching ABS to Conventional.

    All right. I want to switch my ABS braking system to Conventional. What would I have to do exactly?


    90 Super Coupe (Car sat for 4 years not prepared to pay exorbitant ::cheapskate:: prices)
    The donor car is a 91 Low Line Thunderbird.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    5,648
    Quote Originally Posted by mr.x
    I want to switch my ABS braking system to Conventional. What would I have to do exactly?
    Why may I ask?

    1. Cost?? Cheaper just to fix it, plenty of parts here an on eBay
    2. Don't want Actual Anti-lock oepration?? Just unplug the ABS computer relay.
    3. Concerned with reliability of electrically driven pump?? See comment 1.
    4. Looking for a challenge? OK.. that actually makes sense. But again, refer to comment 1.
    5. Have a extra regular braking setup to replace broken ABS?.. See comment 4.
    Last edited by TbirdSCFan; 03-22-2005 at 11:26 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lethbridge AB Canada
    Posts
    25

    switching to conventional brakes

    I did the conversion about a year and a half ago. Did research on master cylinder bore sizes, and found a 1993 Crown Victoria had the same bore and stroke master cylinder. That's what I used. I got a booster from a 1990 NON s/c Thunderbird without ABS, and used that. I couldn't use the master cylinder from the Thunderbird, because it has diagonal braking system, and I didn't want to run a second brake line to the rear of my car. The Super Coupe has a front/rear system, like the Crown Victoria. All I did was bolt the system in, and gently bent the lines around to fit the new master cylinder. No cutting of lines involved at all. Very straightforward. New master cylinder, if I remember correctly, was about $70.00 cdn. Booster, I got from auto wreckers, for about $40.00 or so. Brakes work real good. No problems whatsoever. I threw the old system away, and was happy to do so. John V.O. Lethbridge AB Canada

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    42

    Thanks for response jvo---/tbirdSCFan.

    Can you still use the handbrake?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Orem, UT
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    5,902
    Why wouldn't you be able to use the hand brake? Its a cable operated brake that moves a lever on each caliper. You could unplug all the brake lines, throw the master cylinder in a lake, and your emergency brake would still work properly unless there is something wrong with it in the first place.
    Scott Long
    1992 SC 5-speed
    Black on black leather, lowered, 18x9 Chrome Saleens...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    42

    91bird

    rear brakes are drum off doner vehicle. do all rear disc brakes operate with abs only

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lethbridge AB Canada
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    25
    Yeah, the hand brake works fine, as posted above. I don't know what you mean by drum brakes on the rear. Did you change them over from discs? My '89 Super Coupe has 4 wheel disc brakes, and I left them alone. I never did anything with the ABS computer at all. All the sensors are still on the car. All I did was take the fuse out of the fuse panel for the ABS to make the light go out on the dash. Threw away the ABS unit, (it felt good to do that), I made it through the first 45 years of my life without ABS, can't see why I need it now. Don't get me wrong, if it worked okay, I would have left it alone, but these systems have a terrible track record. I personally think ABS makes idiots out of people, as they tend to rely on the ABS to stop the vehicle, instead of driving carefully on icy roads. John V.O.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lethbridge AB Canada
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    25
    Sorry, let me clarify this somewhat. I didn't notice till now that you were using a 1990 "lowline" Thunderbird. That is what I got my brake booster from. In my opinion, that's all you need off that donor car. If you look at the lowline T-bird, you will see the diagonal braking system. The master cylinder has 4 lines from it, one for each wheel. That operates the right front, left rear-----left front, right rear. The Super Coupe has a front/rear system. Only 3 lines off the master cylinder, or whatever you want to call that ABS abortion mounted on the firewall. Anyway, "performance cars", according to my HP books on brakes, generally handle better with both front wheels on one system, and both rear wheels on another. Most cheap cars and front wheel drive cars use the diagonal braking system. The Super Coupe only has 1 brake line from the master cylinder to the rear differential area. I didn't want to run another line, and wanted to keep the brakes the same, so I have a friend with a Wagner brake book, with crossover numbers. We looked at bore and stroke sizes, and the 1993 Crown Victoria, (ex police car) had the same bore and stroke master cylinder on it, as well as a front/rear braking system, 'cause its also a rear wheel drive car. I had to use the lowline T-bird booster though, because it is only about 3 inches thick. The Crown Vic booster was substantially thicker, and if you tried to bolt it to the firewall, then bolt the master cylinder to it, it would hit the inner wheelhousing on my Super Coupe, because of the strut type suspension. So,,,,, use the NON-ABS booster from a '89 T-bird, and the master cylinder from the 1993 Crown Victoria police car. There was plenty of brake line length (in fact, I had to bend a couple circles into the lines to shorten them), that I didn't have to cut or shorten any brake lines. I "think" (if I remember correctly) I may have had to change a fitting from the Crown Vic booster to the T-bird style brake line fitting, but that's no big deal. I did NOT change calipers, rotors, or anything else. Initially, I was worried there might not be enough vacuum to run the booster,(because of the supercharger), but I have never yet needed to slam the brakes on at the same time as my foot is on the throttle, then as soon as I lift off the throttle, there's lot of vacuum, and the brakes work just fine. I plumbed into the intake manifold,(if I remember correctly), behind the supercharger somewhere, and ran a hose to the booster. Nothing looks butchered, or cut up. It all bolts in just fine, the master cylinder bolt pattern was exactly the same as the booster. The booster was a pain in the butt to install, but not much different than working on anything else on a SC. I'll check in the next few days periodically, in case you have more questions. John V.O.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jvo
    Yeah, the hand brake works fine, as posted above. I don't know what you mean by drum brakes on the rear. Did you change them over from discs? My '89 Super Coupe has 4 wheel disc brakes, and I left them alone. I never did anything with the ABS computer at all. All the sensors are still on the car. All I did was take the fuse out of the fuse panel for the ABS to make the light go out on the dash. Threw away the ABS unit, (it felt good to do that), I made it through the first 45 years of my life without ABS, can't see why I need it now. Don't get me wrong, if it worked okay, I would have left it alone, but these systems have a terrible track record. I personally think ABS makes idiots out of people, as they tend to rely on the ABS to stop the vehicle, instead of driving carefully on icy roads. John V.O.
    I like you John! You and I share the same affection for that abortion(as you put it) on the firewall. ROFLMAO!!!!!!!
    Like you I made many years without ABS(Abortion Brake System) brakes without any problems what so ever. The way some people carry on about how great they are I just dont see how I've made it this long in life. Maybe it comes from learning to drive a car and understanding that it was up to me to control the actions of the car.
    I just might sell my ABS unit to one of the guy's that love them so much.
    I had planed to drain and clean all the fluid from it and use it as a boat anchore myself, and was planning to post several pictures on the board showing me doing it.
    But it does work(at least for the moment) so maybe I'll sell it.
    Either way its outa here.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lethbridge AB Canada
    Posts
    25
    I'm glad I'm not alone on that issue. Believe it or not, I have a friend that bought a '96 Camaro, for the drivetrain, to install into a 1937 Chevy coupe, and he's planning to install the ABS, as well. I tried to tell him not to, as the car, once finished, will live for another hundred years, but parts availability will probably be gone within 10 years, once the "engineers" design the next whiz-bang system. When was it, perhaps 10 years ago, that the yuppies invented the term,"thinking outside the box"? As a hot-rodder, I like to say I've been thinking outside the box my whole life. We have a lot of winter up here in Canada, and I cringe when I see someone coming up behind me on an icy road to a stop light. (My T-bird got rear-ended winter before last, exactly this way) The ABS unit does a better job of gauging how to keep the braking traction on a slippery road at maximum, but it doesn't have a clue how far away the stopped vehicle in front of it is. Lots of people now, when trying to stop, just "jam" the brake pedal down, and let the ABS do the work for them. Let's just hope they have gauged the proper distance to stop, and that the fresh snow on the ground has pavement underneath it, and not glare ice. With ABS, (in my opinion, anyway), people are losing their feel for the road. When I was deciding whether to get rid of my system, I had to decide whether to change from stock, or not. Will anyone want the car, when I want to sell it? Of course not, its got way too many miles already, most folks consider them worn out before 150,000 kms. Next, did I want a non-stock T-bird? Of course not, everyone does any number of things to change the performance, why not upgrade the brakes? After trying to find an "affordable" repair solution to the ABS, and talking to a lady on Ontario, that specializes in repairing these types of systems, she confides in me that she preferred not to own a car with ABS, either. Way too many problems, far to expensive to maintain. She told me they only had 1 more rebuild kit for the mid-80's Buick Grand National systems, and they were obsolete, and she no longer had access to any parts. These cars will live forever, and until someone else starts doing rebuild kits, she says, the owners of these cars are in trouble. I personally have no use for any parts on any car that are under-engineered, and I am most definitely not a "restorer". If I want to go on about "engineering", I could go on about Volkswagen Passats forever. I bought one for my daughter about 7 years ago, real nice car, with an automatic transmission (another subject I can go on about forever, I'm a 3 pedal type of guy now, forever). The VW dealer wanted $4900.00 for a "rebuilt" trans. I researched the whole deal, and got all the parts I needed from a wrecking yard in Winnipeg, for $900.00, including the console parts, pedals, trans, flywheel, the whole enchilada. My brother's daughter now owns the car, no trans problems whatsoever, and I even installed the original used clutch disc. All I did was ask the auto wrecker to check the part number on the auto trans car, compared to the manual trans car on all the following items. crankshaft,(which tells me if they're the same, the flywheel will bolt onto where the flex plate was, engine computer( was the same on both cars, and the trans computer, I found out was a stand-alone system) drive shafts were the same, etc.etc. It turned out to be a complete bolt-in operation. The bolt holes were even there on the inner fender well, for the hydraulic clutch line to bolt to. The only glitch was the wiring was different for the starting system. It took me a couple weeks to figure that out, but its simple hot-rodding, whether you're working on a '32 Ford, or a VW, or a T-bird. I personally wouldn't ever buy another VW, and anyone that believes in that phrase that we've heard called "that fine German engineering", should call me or my brother. He's pretty much done with it also, but he now has so much money in that car, he can't get rid of it. If you doubt me, go price the ignition coil for a 1990 Passat. $400.00 (by the way, it ran fine on a used 1978 Olds Delta 88 coil off a 455 for all the while I had it) The door handles break regularly, if you pull "up" instead of outward, terribly under-engineered design, there's a tiny piece of aluminum that breaks off. It takes 12 hrs (by the VW manual) to change a heater core. And I could go on, and on, and on. Sorry to any of you that own any of that over-priced VW garbage, but almost all cars have some bad points. It will continue till we quit buying this crap. I'm getting tired of typing now, so I'll get off my soap box. John V.O.

  11. #11
    John you and I think alot alike, I wonder if we're related? LOL!!!!!!
    I have family members that just loves to sing the praises of superior German engineering. They've owned all kinds of VW's and have worked on them continiously. I'm truly amazed how they can find out I'm putting a set of plugs in my American junk as they call it and stand over me during the entire job telling me how dependable there German cars are. Yet they always have one torn down setting around waiting for parts.
    There latest toy is a BMW 300 something(325 or something like that) and I noticed I had'nt seen it in 3 months. I was visiting last week and discovered it was hidden in one of there garages with no shifter in it. After alot of qeustioning by me(like they do me) they finaly confessed that the shifter just fell apart one deay leaving them stranded. They had the car towed home and put it in the garage to work on it. Once they determinded what was the problem with the shifter they ordered the parts to fix it. That was now over 3 months ago and they have no idea when they will arrive. Now they could probably find some used parts in a boneyard to get it fixed, but useing those types of parts is just beneath them. They must have new parts in the BMW pkg's or the car will set.
    I stop by once a week now just to see if the boat from Germany has come in. LOL!!!!!!! Needless to say I will not be in there will. LOL!!!!!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    North Alabama
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    2,623
    I am interested in this myself.

    Do you think the vacum would be adversely affected by these bigger cams?

    The on I'm looking at is a 212-531int and 220-539exh with a 112 LSA...

    Would this be too radical of a cam? Or would one of those vacum accumulators ro something??? Or would one ven work on a SC'd car???

    Thanks!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lethbridge AB Canada
    Posts
    25
    Don't ask me about vacuum with a bigger camshaft. One of the engine guys here, is far more qualified than I am. I vacuum gauge easily goes to 20 when I am coasting. That's about all I can offer on that subject. John V.O.

  14. #14
    Get the vac for your booster from the intake plenum between the throttlebody and the supercharger, there's always plenty of vac there. Do not get your vac source from the pressureized side of the intake.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Madison, Ohio
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    This thread is a big help. I've been wanting to do this for a long time also. The ABS on the Tbird is not that good anyhow. I've used the car on race tracks, in snow, and on bad surfaces where the ABS kicked in. I'll deal with lockup myself thanks. I don't like it and I dont' even really think it adds much for safety. Once it kicks in you have no control over the brakes. I prefer to be able to modulate the brakes around impending lockup rather than just "let go" which is what our system forces you to do.

    My dad is one of those people also who simply won't drive a car where the brakes are fully electronic. Doesn't trust them and for good reason.

    Anyway, my question then is on the front brakes. Did you just "T" the two lines together into one or did the Crown Vic MC have two inputs for the front brakes? I am going to do this conversion now on both of my cars because I'm having sensor issues on both of them not to mention that at 15yrs old the accumulators are getting weak.

    Regarding the vacuum question, I know on cars that have over 220 deg dur may run into issues. Some of the guys with 224 dur in 93 and newer cars find that while sitting at a light their brakes will fade away. Those cars pull vacuum from the inlet side of the SC also, so I'm not sure how that works. Maybe if you plugged the crosstalk tube you could fix that problem, I dont' know.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller View Post
    Ya thats why i tape mine down. People think its bc i dont have a moonroof seal (which is true) but its really to keep my roof from ripping off .
    Email me here.

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