1st gen 95-97 beam/brake swap (power brakes?)


Bird76Mojo

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I have an 87 Ranger 2wd that came with manual brakes. In other words, non power brakes. Has anyone here done any 95-97 beam swaps to get the brake upgrade, with their truck being a non-power brake truck? I'm curious what it will do to pedal feel and overall effectiveness of the brakes. I can always try to upgrade to power brakes, but if I don't have to then I'd rather not..

I got to thinking about this today on the way home, after picking up the complete 97 beams..


Anyone? :icon_confused:






GB :)
 


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Uncle Gump

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Thinking back to my dune buggy days... anytime I would upgrade to disc brakes... it really began with increasing the size of the master. I know I'm comparing apples to oranges here... but increasing the piston size of the calipers required a larger piston size in the master. If I didn't do a master change the pedal effort and travel both increased to apply the brakes. Would the system work without a master upgrade? Yes. However it was a better feeling pedal with the increased size master.
 
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Bird76Mojo

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That's pretty much what I assumed, but I thought it couldn't hurt to ask others here what they had done and how they felt about the mod. Unfortunately forum activity is slow these days, so a lot of the members that have done this swap may not be active here anymore. Everyone has their nose buried so deep in Faceook....





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80’s F-350 MC seems to be the go to. Have to egg out the mounting holes. BlackBII did it in his build thread and referenced another that did. They changed to plastic reservoirs about the same time as rbv’s did if you want that.
 

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Thanks for the tip! I'd rather not convert to power brakes but I will if I have to. I suppose I'll just have to get the beam/brake swap done and see how it drives. Feel the brakes out, and go from there..



GB :)
 

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did the beam conversion on my 88 last spring. used 96 beams from one of my parts trucks (to keep my 95 work truck running). i do have power brakes. i did not change the master...yet. there is more travel than i like before slowing.
i have the parts to do the rear disc conversion but not the time right now. when it happens, i will find a larger bore master. i like to stop faster than i start.
 

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So far, it kinda of seems I'm in uncharted territory, though I think I know what the outcome will be. I suppose I need to do some calculations on total piston area. The change between single piston to the dual piston calipers may not be that severe if the single pistons are a little larger, and the twin piston calipers have two slightly smaller pistons. Calculating the total "apply" area of them shouldn't be that difficult really.

In the meantime I guess I should also be reading everything I can find on the power brake swaps as far as having to change the pedal boxes, etc.. I hope I can get away with staying manual brakes, both due to cost and I personally like the feel of the manual brakes.

Thanks for the insight guys. It's much appreciated.
 

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Bird76Mojo

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The math to figure out if you are gaining surface area is easy, he's into advanced formulas that I can kind of understand what he is doing, but not how he got there.

IIRC AllanD once made mention of the dual piston brakes not providing any more force at the rotor, simply applying it more evenly, which leads me to think the overall surface area of the pistons is similar between the two styles, but I can't find any listing that gives the diameters to do the math with.

It should be as simple as (pi*R1^2) < = > (pi*R2^2)*2 with R1 being the single piston caliper and R2 being the dual piston.
 

Bird76Mojo

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Yeah, it's a simple calculation on the piston area. Pi r squared.

From what little I do know in basic physics, if you apply pressure more evenly at two points across a flat surface (brake pad) then your overall stopping power should increase, when compared to applying that same force at only one point on the same size surface (brake pad) - but piston size (area) difference will definitely affect that when using the same master cylinder to apply that force. Applying force at only one point, you also certainly have "some" deflection of that brake pad, even if it's a very minute amount. More even clamping is bound to increase stopping power overall. Ford obviously went to the dual piston for a reason. The ever-increasing goal of shorter stopping distances. Perhaps more even brake pad wear as well. Only their engineers know for sure. But I'm sure that master cylinder and proportioning valve differences also play a role in the total outcome.

"The 1st gen calipers are a single piston 2.625" diameter. The 2nd Gen are dual piston calipers with each piston having a diameter of 1.811"

I'm definitely thinking I'll have to convert to power brakes to take full advantage of this swap. Which sucks because it also involves swapping out pedal components or the entire pedal box, which I don't have on any of my parts vehicles. None of my Ranger or Bronco II's had a manual trans with power brakes. So I'll have to look in to being able to swap only the brake pedal lever itself. I'm not well versed in this area, other than fabricating and adjusting clutch pedal stop.

Motor Trend listed the 83 Ranger 2.0 standard cab long bed, 55mph to zero stopping distance at 127ft (look out, she's coming in hot!! lol)


Motor Trend listed the 86 Ranger 2.9 extended cab shortbed, 55mph to zero stopping distance at 135ft


Motor Trend lists the 98 Ranger 4.0 XLT extended cab 4x4, 60mph to zero stopping distance at 147ft (overall weight surely adds lots of distance here)

https://www.motortrend.com/cars/ford/ranger/1998/1998-ford-ranger/

Motor Trend listed the 95/96-ish Ford SVT special project Ranger having a 60mph to zero stopping distance of 148ft (having all wheel discs from the Explorer and a V8 up front, as well as having 255/45ZR17 Goodyear Eagle's up front and 285/40ZR17's out back.) <-- that's identical to my 87 as far as engine weight and tire size/width, but my truck is lighter overall.

https://www.motortrend.com/news/ford-ranger-svt-v8/

"Great rubber can make a big difference in the turning and stopping performance of any vehicle, but it can't overcome poor weight balance. Remember, this is a pickup. They're inherently tricky when it's wet or icy and there's no load in the bed, because most of the static weight (in this case, 2204 of the 3554 pounds) is concentrated over the front wheels. With an iron-block V-8 in a compact truck, the problem can be intensified. Despite this condition, the SVT Ranger posted a respectable best stop of 148 feet from 60 mph-thanks mostly to the four-wheel discs and the anti-lock electronics stolen from the Explorer."


So it looks like it'll be anyone's guess if I can actually get my little 87 to stop better doing this 97 beam/brake swap. Converting to power brakes would certainly help, I'm sure.
 

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Yeah, it's a simple calculation on the piston area. Pi r squared.
No, pie are round.

"The 1st gen calipers are a single piston 2.625" diameter. The 2nd Gen are dual piston calipers with each piston having a diameter of 1.811"
So the gen 1 would have a piston area of 16.9847 inches. The gen 3 dual piston would be 16.1684, so you loose just about 3/4 of an inch.

I'm definitely thinking I'll have to convert to power brakes to take full advantage of this swap. Which sucks because it also involves swapping out pedal components or the entire pedal box, which I don't have on any of my parts vehicles. None of my Ranger or Bronco II's had a manual trans with power brakes. So I'll have to look in to being able to swap only the brake pedal lever itself. I'm not well versed in this area, other than fabricating and adjusting clutch pedal stop.
I think you may get away without it. You will just need to field test and see how it does.

If you decide that you need to swap to power brakes I have a pedal box and a good booster. PM me if you end up wanting them

I don't have a manual trans brake pedal, but they are not hard to get out.
[/QUOTE]
 

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No, pie are round.
No, pi are delicious.



So the gen 1 would have a piston area of 16.9847 inches. The gen 3 dual piston would be 16.1684, so you loose just about 3/4 of an inch.



I think you may get away without it. You will just need to field test and see how it does.

If you decide that you need to swap to power brakes I have a pedal box and a good booster. PM me if you end up wanting them

I don't have a manual trans brake pedal, but they are not hard to get out.
Thanks for the offer man. I'll keep it in mind for sure. I have a lot of brake boosters and master cylinders, but they're all 89 models I believe. I just don't have those power brake pedals with a clutch pedal. If swapping the brake pedal by itself isn't an issue, then I'll go that route rather than the entire pedal box. As you said, I'll just have to test it and find out. My problem is I always like to have everything planned out and bought ahead of time, so this one is bugging me.

Wait a minute. I wasn't thinking. I retired my old 89 Ranger and it's a power brake truck with a manual trans/manual t-case. I hate to tear it apart but it's really not worth fixing in my mind, so why not..
 


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