Hi, I have a 1923 touring and want to get get disc brakes installed...i am looking for the best and the most affordable price...I see Bill Tharp sells them for $950 and Texas auto parts sells them for $1125? Any other better place....can i get them installed in the front tires to? I have wood spoke wheels......are they hard to install? Thanks tony
Anthony, Texas T parts is the only one, Bill Tharp sold to Ben. I have a set on each car and they work great.
In regards to front brakes there are a couple of recent threads and more in past years on this subject.
Suffice to say it is a issue of some complication and should not be undertaken lightly.
Please do some research on this subject ( front brakes and the model T). It should be worth your while.
Anthony, to my best knowledge, Bill Tharp passed away from cancer. Ben Hardeman of Texas T parts did buy the business from Bill or his family. The price has gone up (what hasn't) but one reason is some improvements that Ben has made to the Tharp design. Some of the Tharp design metal brackets were known to be weak and flex. Ben is making them out of thicker material. I bought a setup from Bill when he was still in business but bought the upgraded brackets from Ben.
Forgot to mention, when ordering, specify wood or wire wheels and stock bearing, or full floating hubs.
6:52 AM 4/29/2005
No matter what you have for rear brakes, they are limited by the percentage of weight on them. If half the car's weight is on the rear wheels during max braking, then it will take twice as far to stop as when there is braking on all wheels.
The effect of braking shifts the car's weight forward. The T's short wheelbase and high Center of Gravity exacerbate this limitation on rear-only brakes. As you can see here from Murray Fahnestock article on front brakes, a downhill slope adds to the problem of rear-only brakes. In other words, the more you need brakes, the less the rears can do.
I fabricated rear disk brakes for my '19 Speedster using the dual front brake rotors and disks from a Honda Gold Wing motorcycle
and a billet master cylinder for an offroad VW about 5 years ago.
I fabricated the caliper brackets, machined out the rotors to fit the rear brake drums, and tack-welded them on, built a master cylinder mount, and probably have about $300 in it all, and it's made a real car out of the Speedster! It stops better now than hitting a tree!
Ralph is right, but having disc brakes on the rear, only, is better than having no hydrallic brakes at all. I have a set of front spindles that a well known deceased guy in Califunny did a number of years ago, using Nash Metropolitan drum brakes, but I haven't added them to my rear disc setup.
I have the Texas T disc brakes on my 21t. Easy install and they work great.