Power Disc VS Manual Disc?? - Chevelle Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions & more.

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 09, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Paul
 
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Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

I have manual drums on my Chevelle and want to switch to disc but I dont really want to go through changing everything over to power assist also.....so what are your opinions on manual disc set up??? would like to hear from those who have manual disc....Thanks in advance.....Paul

1968 SS 396/Tremac/3:73 posi
1972 K/10 350/4spd/4:10 posi
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 09, 12:33 AM
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Re: Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

ive got manual discs on my camaro and chevelle. have power discs on my el caminos. The power assist really does what its suppose to. but you just have to remember to push harder when driving the manual brake car. jim

Jim
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 09, 12:37 AM
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Re: Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

I have manual disks. They are no different except for ease to push the pedal. You still have to change the master cylinder and prop. valve. Only thing different is moving the pedal pushrod position and putting a booster on. Your call.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 09, 12:45 AM
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Re: Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

I had a manual-disc Dodge Dart; it SUCKED.

Disc brakes don't self-energize like our drums do. So pedal effort is considerable.

Adding a booster isn't hard.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 09, 1:02 AM
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Re: Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

It is really about caliper design / piston volume and master cylinder piston size. Factory Disc brake set ups have large pistons and are designed as power systems, they require more pressure and volume. To get the volume you use a larger piston designed for power brakes), which requires more pedlal effort without a booster. To get the pressure without a booster you need a smaller piston master (designed for manual brakes), but get less volume.

On the street, you really either need to run a booster or go with a system designed for manual brakes like Wilwood.

I have personally run a 1" bore master on a manual factory single caliper disc Front / drum rear, on my street drag car. The brakes were fine at the track cause I didn't mind pushing hard for that one stop per run. But on the street they did get tiresome. I cannot run power brake (no vacuum) so I did 4 wheel Wilwoods and now it has great stopping and great pedal feel with manual brakes.

So yes the 1" bore master will work on a manual set up. It is up to you if you can handle it.

We have factory style kits complete with booster and without.



We also have Wilwood and Baer.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 09, 3:33 AM
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Re: Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

Our 70 Vette has factory manual brakes with the factory 4 wheel disc setup. I've drove many non-power drum cars and although pedal effort is still high you can still tell you have discs. Personally, I think that power brakes really make you feel like you've got more stopping power than you really have (if that makes sense) and I like it.

Steve
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 09, 3:44 AM
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Re: Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

My car isn't on the road yet, but I wanted power discs on all four corners, so I went with Baer 11" discs, and because I have a camshaft with a 268/271 dur@.050 on a 110 LSA, I also chose to purchase a Hydroboost unit (but that's an extra $700-$800 investment). I just figured that I'd make mention of this as being another option.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 09, 4:40 AM
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Re: Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyGman View Post
... I also chose to purchase a Hydroboost unit (but that's an extra $700-$800 investment). I just figured that I'd make mention of this as being another option.
$700-$800, IF the original poster has power steering... Its seems like alot of the manual drum Chevelles I see are also manual steering cars...

I switched from power discs (69-72 style) to manual discs ( C5 Corvette), both with rear drums, and IMO, not much difference in pedal pressure with the manuals... This was a swap done over a short period of time (about a long weekend)...

Once you go RAT, you never go back...
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 09, 4:54 AM
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Re: Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1966_L78 View Post
IF the original poster has power steering... Its seems like alot of the manual drum Chevelles I see are also manual steering cars...

...
Yes, that is true. I guess with my car, I was in the process of replacing just about everything on the car anyway since it was a body off 100% restoration, and I didn't care about keeping the car original either. So I kinda chose my own options as I went along, and I sometimes forget that when I'm posting replies. Your point is well taken. I suppose it depends on which opinion the O/P'er wants to take into account. One or 2 guys here say that they didn't like the extra pedal effort required for the manual disc brakes, and 1 or 2 other guys say that it wasn't any different than with power brakes.

For me, I also paid attention to a lot of guys who have the hydroboost who say that the pedal effort is VERY minimal, and some even say that it requires less than 1" of pedal travel to stop the car. And I like that. I cannot see you getting that with manual brakes. I once drove a car with Brembo brakes that was like that. Very little pedal effort, and very little pedal travel despite the fact that it was a very quick street car that weighed 4,200 LBS w/out driver. So it's preference related. And sometimes, you only get what you pay for.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 09, 5:53 AM
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Re: Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddemetrius456 View Post
If i had no power brakes in my car then i wouldnt have survived today. A car moving at a very speed infront of me suddenly halts, i slammed my brakes, thank god i was saved by a few centimeters. thanks disc brakes.....a small request get power brakes, its a life saver, do not ignore.
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x2...I can relate to that. I didn't avoid an accident with power brakes in the Ford crown Vic that I had last year, but I think that having them slowed the car down enough for my life to be saved. An 86 year old guy pulled right out in front of me at the very last minute from a side street. I was only going 48 MPH, but there he was right in front of me out of nowhere! All is I remember seeing is his driver's side door right in front of my car........ totalled both cars out, bent frame on my full frame Crown Vic, and the guy was dead right on the spot with 4 of his teeth embedded in his dashboard (not a pretty scene!). It's amazing that I lived through it! I might not have if I had manual brakes. Who knows?

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 09, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Paul
 
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Re: Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

my car has power steering and AC but manual drum brakes now.....I just did not want to have to add a booster and then I need different valve cover for drivers side....if it will just be a little harder to stop but without the fade of the drums I think I will be able to live with it that way....Paul

1968 SS 396/Tremac/3:73 posi
1972 K/10 350/4spd/4:10 posi
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 09, 1:24 PM
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Re: Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

I have Aerospace manual discs on my Nova--it stops just fine from 130+.
Very simple bolt-on; here's a link to a story I did on the swap:
http://hotrod.automotive.com/22812/4...ade/index.html
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 09, 1:36 PM
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Re: Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

I have manual disk's on the HEAP-daily driver-great pedal feel and it's not like you have to stomp on then to stop fast
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 09, 9:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowtie0069 View Post
I have Aerospace manual discs on my Nova--it stops just fine from 130+.
Very simple bolt-on; here's a link to a story I did on the swap:
http://hotrod.automotive.com/22812/4...ade/index.html

do you have to change the proportioning valve for this setup???

1968 SS 396/Tremac/3:73 posi
1972 K/10 350/4spd/4:10 posi
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 09, 2:42 AM
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Steve
 
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Re: Power Disc VS Manual Disc??

I dont have my manual front disc setup on the street yet, but I really like the manual front disc setup I had on my '55 2dr sedan, which was a daily driver. Pedal effort was not a bother, and I liked the overall "feel" of the pedal when braking. No effort to lock 'em up if needed. Another big plus for me was the much less cluttered engine bay...no booster taking up room, no hose routed to it, and, no worry about having enough vacuum with a performance cam.

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