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1965 Ford Mustang front brake & suspension conversion in Sydney

We converted the front brakes from drum to disc for this 1965 Ford Mustang as well as refresh the front suspension, see what we did

1965 Ford Mustang brake & suspension conversions

  • A workshop in Sydney that does Mustang drum to disc brake conversions
  • 1965 Mustang mechanical maintenance, repairs or upgrades.
  • 1965 Mustang nut and bolt full exterior & interior restorations are possible
  • 1965 Mustang engine rebuilds or 6 cylinder to 8 cylinder conversions

Peninsula Sports Cars is a classic car workshop in Brookvale, Sydney, that can carry out mechanical servicing or conversions for 1965 Ford Mustangs. Our capabilities span from providing general servicing and maintenance, conversions through to complete restorations including nut & bolt restos.

This 1965 Ford Mustang had recently been purchased by the owner Paul as his first ever classic car. A keen car enthusiast he had always wanted to own a classic Mustang but was also a bit nervous about owning a car that was now close to 60 years old. 

Fortunately this one was already in great condition but it did have a lot of the original suspension and brake components including front drum brakes. Over the life of the car it had been converted from a 6 cylinder engine to 8 cylinder and parts of the suspension and steering rack were the parts that suited the smaller motor.

The intent was to drive this classic Mustang regularly & to carry passengers so Paul wanted to ensure it was not only safe to drive, but could have much better braking performance so the choice was made to do a front drum disc brake conversion as well as refresh the front end suspension components at the same time.

The first-generation Ford Mustang was manufactured by Ford from March 1964 until 1973. The introduction of the Mustang created a completely new category of car that we call “pony cars”. The Mustang’s styling, with its long hood, short boot and shaped rear guards proved wildly popular and inspired a host of competition.

It was first introduced in 1964 as a hardtop coupe and convertible, with the fastback version following in August 1964. Over the years the first-generation Mustangs grew in size and power with each revision as they battled the other manufacturers to dominate the category.

The 1971 model featured a drastic redesign which many will say was the death of the idea and sales steadily declined. It hasn’t been until recent years where the model enjoyed sales success, no surprises given they reverted to a modern interpretation of the original design.

"As a classic car newbie I knew I needed to make sure all the right 'basics' were done to my Mustang to make it safe like brakes, lights, electrical wiring etc.

Although because this wasn't a 100% original car I wanted to make sure that it could be used regularly and safely, therefore braking & suspension became a priority as I often take my nephews or friends for a drive.

Making the Mustang more usable means it doesn't sit in the garage as much, is easier to manage in daily traffic & I get to enjoy it more.

The guys at Peninsula helped me each step of the way being methodical and logical.


1965 Ford Mustang brake conversions

  • Front or rear brakes converted from drum to disc
  • Factory fit replacement or aftermarket upgrades
  • Disc, pad and caliper replacements or upgrades

Most Ford Mustangs from 1965/6 came from the factory with front and rear drum brakes. Converting drum brakes to disc brakes is one of the most popular upgrades that owners of older Mustangs will carry out on their vehicle.

Fortunately there are also lots of options to choose from which include factory reproduction kits or even aftermarket kits that have vented discs and huge calipers which are good for high performance or track based used.

For this Ford Mustang, Paul chose to go with a factory equivalent brake conversion kit from Drake (they produce thousands of parts for Mustangs with a catalogue that is 300+ pages long) and we sourced this from from Sydney Mustang Parts.

His car already had an upgraded brake master cylinder and the kit is an OE design that includes nearly everything to convert a stock car with either a 6 cylinder or 8 cylinder motor with drum brakes to 4 piston front disc brakes. 

Most of the kits include;

  • Calipers which have stainless steel pistons and coated with special stainless steel type paint.
  • Stainless steel caliper crossover brake lines
  • Rotors
  • Splash shields
  • Bearings
  • Pads
  • Hoses and all mounting hardware.

The suitability of a kit depends on how ‘stock’ your vehicle is, so for factory equipped 8 cylinder cars spindle replacement is not necessary. Some early cars with 14” stock steel rims may require later 14” steel or optional styled steel rims. Pedal changes may be needed as well depending on t he spec of the car.

Either way we can help Ford Mustang owners figure out exactly what is needed to do front or rear brake conversions on their vehicle. You don’t necessarily have to change the front and rear brakes, with most of the energy taken up at the front of the car, the rear drums can still assist to stop the vehicle without needing to be changed necessarily (except maybe if you were thinking of taking the car to the track)

1965 Ford Mustang front suspension upgrades

  • Replace old suspension parts or joints
  • 6 cylinder to 8 cylinder engine suspension conversions
  • Suspension set up and modifications

After inspecting the front end of this Ford Mustang one of the other recommendations we made was to refresh the front suspension joints considering most of the front end would be taken apart to do the brake upgrade.

It was noted that the steering rack and other parts were from when the car had the 6 cylinder engine but as it was running a 302 V8 engine it made sense to make sure all the right components were installed.

So the other element of our work was to upgrade the front suspension which included;

  • New steering rack
  • New idler arm
  • New lower control arm
  • New castor bushes
  • New tie rods
  • New drag link
  • New pitman arm
  • New ball joints
Together with the brake conversion it meant the whole front end set up of this classic Mustang was basically new which meant it would turn, stop and change direction even better than it ever did before.

1965 Ford Mustang power steering conversions in sydney

  • Replace manual steering with power steering
  • Upgrade old power steering
  • Improve everyday usability and steering response

Paul also decided to convert the manual steering on his 1965 Mustang to power steering. Just like the brake kits there are a number of different power steering kits for sale that can suit old Mustangs. While some Mustang owners will choose to keep their car as original as possible, for some models that have already been modified or are not period perfect examples it makes sense to do conversions like this to make them more usable day to day.

The existing manual steering worked well but was at low crawling speeds was really heavy and with the wider front tyres this vehicle had, it also meant there was greater stress being put on the steering wheel column, steering box and joints.

If your vehicle is factory standard, meaning the front end, engine, wheels, tyres etc are all as per factory production then most power steering kits are a bolt on type of product that get installed in locations used by the factory.

If your Mustang has been modified, upgraded or has parts that are not standard then some modification may be required and/or new pulleys. Fabrication might be needed for the clutch pedal, to achieve clearance between the engine and chassis etc.

A power steering kit will typically include all the bolt on parts needed to convert manual steering to power steering including a new pump, hoses, steering block etc. 

  • 1965-67 Mustangs require replacing column shaft which is included.
  • 1968-70 Mustangs will need the factory column collapsed 1-2” for clearance.
To do the conversion is fairly extensive as the original steering column has to be removed and all the parts test-fitted to ensure the right clearances etc. For this Mustang we had to fabricate some elements to clear the clutch pedal travel and headers that were on this engine.

1965 Ford Mustang mechanical repairs & servicing

  • Adjusting drum brakes
  • Fuel tank filler repair
  • Horn replacement
  • Electrical wiring replacement
  • Windscreen replacement

While the car was with us Paul wanted to also attend to some of the other maintenance requirements this Ford Mustang had, these included;

  • Replacing the windscreen; it had a crack that was too large to be repaired, a new front windscreen kit was installed which included new rubbers and chrome surround.
  • Rear drum brake and handbrake adjustment; the handbrake wasn’t holding the vehicle in place so the mechanism, cable and rear brake shoes needed to be adjusted so that it would function correctly
  • Horn replacement; the horn that was fitted was full of debris, water and didn’t function very well. It was replaced with a twin horn set up which meant it was louder and functioned correctly with placement that would ensure debris didn’t fill the speaker.
  • Indicator switch wiring replacement; there was a burning smell coming from the steering column from time to time which was related to wiring that was worn. We replaced the old indicator switch wiring to rectify that problem.
  • Fuel filler seal leak; there was a faint smell of petrol inside the car and when it was parked in the garage. This was being caused by a worn seal around the bottom of the fuel filler pipe where it joined the fuel tank. This was replaced to ensure no petrol would leak into the boot.
  • Rear wheel bearings; the driver side wheel bearing was showing signs of wear and you could hear grinding sounds as the vehicle turned corners. So these were removed and replaced as well as the axle fitting adjusted to be in the correct position.
  • Electrical wiring; this Mustang had been given a battery relocation modification meaning the battery sat in the boot rather than next to the radiator in the engine bay. It meant the factory wiring to the rear lights and to the engine was sitting in the boot, but was quite frayed and dangerous. The wiring wasn’t secured properly to the boot either. So we removed all the old wiring and replaced it so it was safe, this included securing the battery properly to the boot.
So there were lots of small mechanical and electrical things that needed to be attended to, but our team was able to complete each service to ensure this Ford Mustang was not only safe, road worthy but also more enjoyable to drive.

1965 Ford Mustang mechanic in Sydney

If you want to get a 1965 to 1969 Ford Mustang serviced, repaired, modified or restored in Sydney then our workshop in Brookvale can help you. You might require regular servicing or want to carry out a nut and bolt restoration of a classic Ford Mustang which our workshop can provide.

Our team of classic car mechanics in Sydney are not only experienced but they all own classic cars themselves, so you get to deal with like minded enthusiasts who are as passionate (or more maybe) than you are.


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Peninsula Sports Car Services
Peninsula Sports Car Services

A team of passionate car enthusiasts providing a range of services and support for the local classic car community in Australia

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