Best Disc Brake Upgrade from drums? [Archive] - Chevelle Tech

: Best Disc Brake Upgrade from drums?


PRAPBT
Nov 27th, 13, 12:28 AM
Good Evening to everyone!

My question is what would be the best disc brake upgrade from drums. What would i need besides the whole kit if anything? I have a 1970 chevelle SS 468 (clone) that has drums front and back. Looking to get a whole kit that has everything needed out of the box( Drilled and slotted). Price is not really a big deal but would like to get some opinions from different owners that have made the upgrade. I currently have 225/60/r15 on the front and 275/50/r15 on the rear. The rims are Cragger SS. In advance i appreciate all your knowledge and experiences you have to offer.

-SS454-
Nov 27th, 13, 1:41 AM
the options available to fit 15" wheels is pretty limited. You can get some pretty good brakes to fit inside of a 15" wheel if your willing to spend the money and do a lot of R&D. You could look at Wilwood or Baer. Baer might be the more street friendly version as they come with dust boots where as Wilwood's do not. Drilled and slotted rotors are not hardcore brake rotors, but I am guessing you don't plan to track day the car. Another thing to keep in mind is that a kit with some 4 piston calipers and 11 x 0.81 rotors typically won't give much if any increase in stopping performance over the stock GM setup. However it will be significantly lighter.

CoolBlueGlow
Nov 27th, 13, 2:51 AM
With 15inch rims, why not just put stock GM A body discs on front and maybe F body discs on back, with an 11 inch delco moraine booster. That setup will be reasonable in price, easy to procure and plumb, will fit without issues. Yes, it will be miles better than your stock drums/drums.

Not criticizing your tire choice either, but if you're running 15 inch wheels, you're obviously not auto-crossing your car. Maximum-competition disc performance is probably not called for here, correct?

Why spend crazy big money on high end aftermarket stuff when the GM stuff will get it done?

Cowfarmer
Nov 27th, 13, 3:46 AM
Hi , I just went with a kit from Australian company hoppers stoppers for my 66 el camino , billet steel hubs , uses 300mm rotors (12 inch) and pbr twin piston calipers ,laser cut brackets and new hoses, pushes out the wheels only the thickness of the rotor http://www.hoppers.com.au/. Fits 15" wheels , I know there is cheaper American kits , and this maybe not for you but I like it , http://www.hoppers.com.au/complete%20leaflet%20FEB%202007/index.html

http://www.hoppers.com.au/complete%20leaflet%20FEB%202007/page_020.jpg

bowtieboy67
Nov 27th, 13, 6:13 AM
I've got a MBM kit on my 67, actually it's re branded by Performance world for a better price. Kit was reasonably priced at $440 cdn if I recall, w/o a booster. I believe you can get drilled/slotted rotors as well.

fleming23
Nov 27th, 13, 11:14 AM
You also have to be careful even with some kits that clear 15" wheels. I put the right stuff detailing rear disc conversion on my 70 and it clears my 15x10" Billet Specialties Street Lites but would not even come close to clearing the Wheel Vintiques 50 series 15x10" SS style wheels.

chrisc72
Nov 27th, 13, 12:08 PM
I used the Right Stuff Detailing on my 65 front and rear and they fit with out any issue. They offer drilled & slotted rotors and p/c calipers with lots of different booster options.

Lionel-n-Chevelles
Nov 27th, 13, 1:13 PM
I have used The Right Stuff Detailing Disc Brake kits on a few of my cars. I highly recommend them.

www.getdiscbrakes.com

ss3964spd
Nov 27th, 13, 3:09 PM
the options available to fit 15" wheels is pretty limited. You can get some pretty good brakes to fit inside of a 15" wheel if your willing to spend the money and do a lot of R&D. You could look at Wilwood or Baer. Baer might be the more street friendly version as they come with dust boots where as Wilwood's do not. Drilled and slotted rotors are not hardcore brake rotors, but I am guessing you don't plan to track day the car. Another thing to keep in mind is that a kit with some 4 piston calipers and 11 x 0.81 rotors typically won't give much if any increase in stopping performance over the stock GM setup. However it will be significantly lighter.
This, only I believe when using factory components disks are heavier than drums.

Also keep in mind that drilled rotors actually reduce the friction area, thus requiring more pedal pressure to achieve the same stopping distance. Softer compound pads will help.

Boo.Man.1971
Nov 27th, 13, 3:17 PM
CPP sells quality reasonably priced brake components .

liam_irish
Nov 27th, 13, 3:37 PM
I did a 4 wheel disc brake conversion on my '66 Malibu and used the Right Stuff Detailing kit. I think I bought it through Classic Muscle. I am very happy with the quality, all the required parts were included, and the instructions were good as well.

Kirk's67SS
Nov 28th, 13, 10:00 AM
I put a SSBC front disc brake kit on my car
http://ssbrakes.com/
the kit came with everything I needed

OLDED
Nov 28th, 13, 10:28 AM
Unless you are auto crossing and truly need race quality braking time after time, I agree with Coolblueglow in that the GM parts, A body fronts and F body rears, will be more than adequate. If the engine doesn't make at least 13/14 in. of vacuum, a hydroboost will clamp everything down hard compared to a vacuum booster. This is my set up on the 65 and has proven to be one of the best mods I have done to it. Huge difference in $$ if you can do most of parts procurement and assembly. Ed

PRAPBT
Dec 13th, 13, 12:54 PM
Good day everyone
I listened to a lot of your recommendations and looked for some factory disc brakes as i am pretty sure i will keep the 15s for a while! I have found some hopefully any one doesn't take the rug out from under my feet. I am leaving the links so i can get your opinions and also see if it is worth it. My questions are ;would i need anything else? would they bolt right on? What would be the best way to get them clean (wire Brush, degreaser, and black spray paint)? Look forward to hearing your ideas and thoughts! Appreciation in advance

1964-1972 Chevelle Disk Brake Setup

http://greenville.en.craigslist.org/pts/4196667660.html

Complete FRONT Disk Brake Setup for 64-72 Chevelle or any other GM midsize Car. Original GM Parts to fully convert a front drum brake Muscle car, DO SETTLE FOR CHINESE AFTERMARKET JUNK!!! Those kits are $700+ and will never be as good as original GM ...


1964-1972 GM A-body Disc Brakes Chevelle GTO 442 GS Lemans Cutlass

http://greenville.en.craigslist.org/pts/4229917955.html

Complete disc brake setup for GM A-body cars. Removed from a running, driving car. These parts are dirty, etc, but fully functional. Includes booster, master cylinder, proportioning valve, and spindles with calipers and rotors. Fits Chevelle, El Cam ...














With 15inch rims, why not just put stock GM A body discs on front and maybe F body discs on back, with an 11 inch delco moraine booster. That setup will be reasonable in price, easy to procure and plumb, will fit without issues. Yes, it will be miles better than your stock drums/drums.

Not criticizing your tire choice either, but if you're running 15 inch wheels, you're obviously not auto-crossing your car. Maximum-competition disc performance is probably not called for here, correct?

Why spend crazy big money on high end aftermarket stuff when the GM stuff will get it done?

Indiansprings
Dec 13th, 13, 6:44 PM
I dont know about best, but I went with the kit from Ground Up.
http://www.ss396.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=chevellecamino&Product_Code=FM-1790AS&Category_Code=FRONTDISCBRAKECONVERSIONKITS

novaderrik
Dec 13th, 13, 8:09 PM
price out the wear parts for your car with disc brakes locally- rotors, calipers, pads, hoses, bearings, master cylinder- and then see how much www.piratejack.net is getting for the caliper brackets and upper bolt these days... remove drum stuff from spindles, cut down upper boss, install disc stuff.. bleed it and be back on the road without even needing to take the spindles off the car..

another option that's only slightly more involved: i have 15" wheels on my 86 Camaro that i put 98-02 Camaro front brakes on... i think i had $400 into the swap using parts from NAPA and it stops awesome and looks killer.. but not all 15" wheels will clear..

heimjoint
Dec 13th, 13, 9:21 PM
I put the Wilwood ultralite 4-wheel setup on mine, the rotors are 12.19", I have 18" wheels but I checked and the stock 15" ralley wheel fits. Got them from Matt's classic bowties for about 1700...............

http://i851.photobucket.com/albums/ab73/heimjoint/72%20Monte%20restomod/9-1-12016_zpsf6ecedd0.jpg

-SS454-
Dec 13th, 13, 10:28 PM
I put the Wilwood ultralite 4-wheel setup on mine, the rotors are 12.19", I have 18" wheels but I checked and the stock 15" ralley wheel fits.

Unfortunately not all 15" wheels will clear this either. My 15x7 keystones have a lot more clearance than the 15x7 SS wheels I had. When running 15" vintage wheels, its a good idea to research the dimensions as much as possible, perhaps even build templates like I did and check for clearance. You don't need much clearance to make them work either... 1/4" is tight but it works.

jonh
Dec 13th, 13, 11:18 PM
Don't know why you would replace the original equipment.
I would put up good drum brakes against modified disc anytime.

Have your drums drilled, use quality lining, overhaul wheel cylinders, replace flex hoses. Back up with a quality 8" power booster and you will have more brake than you will ever need.

good luck,
Jon

-SS454-
Dec 14th, 13, 12:05 AM
Don't know why you would replace the original equipment.
I would put up good drum brakes against modified disc anytime.

Have your drums drilled, use quality lining, overhaul wheel cylinders, replace flex hoses. Back up with a quality 8" power booster and you will have more brake than you will ever need.

good luck,
Jon

Assuming you stay below the speed limit at all times. OEM GM brakes can be sufficient in given situations but in any real braking situation, stock chevelle brakes suck. Saying you'd take a 4 wheel drum setup over a full disc setup is a bold statement.

novaderrik
Dec 14th, 13, 1:05 AM
Don't know why you would replace the original equipment.
I would put up good drum brakes against modified disc anytime.

Have your drums drilled, use quality lining, overhaul wheel cylinders, replace flex hoses. Back up with a quality 8" power booster and you will have more brake than you will ever need.

good luck,
Jon

do a few hard stops in a row with 4 wheel drums and you will have less brake power than you need..
also, you don't need to worry about discs falling out of adjustment- which was my least favorite part of the stock drums on my Nova. it would be perfect for a few days, then it would suddenly have a soft pedal and dive to one side when i hit it... a few hard stops in reverse would get them adjusted back, but even with that the C4 Vette front brakes on put on it were just flat out better in every way.

CoolBlueGlow
Dec 14th, 13, 1:05 AM
Jon,
Not teying to start a pissing contest, but dude... Are you OK? :)

Seriously, I've been building and driving these cars a long time...like long enough that I remember seeing brand new all drum cars sitting on lot at the Chevy dealer.

Further, I've owned and extensively operated three automobiles with the best boosted all drum setup ever offered by GM. That's the 12x2.5 front & rear dual MC 11" Moraine boosted 1964 Cadillac. this is a drum setup which will blow any OEM Chevrolet Chevelle all drum setup out of the water. (Not to mention the 64-66 full sized Impala drum/drum, which is also a setup I've owned and serviced in the past five years.)

The 64 Caddy system is head and shoulders above ANY 60's era Chevelle or Impala OE drum setup...and even IT will not hang with the typical OE disc/drum setup. no way. :noway:

Besides the above, I've also owned and operated a Chevelle with the factory drum front metallic lining option and power assist. That's a 1966 option which was the best all-drum setup ever offered on a Chevelle. How does it perform? Not even close to the Cadillac drum/drum system, and woefully less effective than the OE 69 Chevelle disc/drum.

So, what I'm saying is I'm not guessing about this or regurgitating Internet legends. This is firsthand extensive experience driving and servicing the three types: all-drum, hybrid and all-disc systems.

Sorry, but for fade resistance, length of lining service, wet performance, pedal feel and ultimate stopping power, there's just no way a stock four wheel drum setup on an A or B body Chevrolet can compare with a stock GM A or B body disc/drum.

Further, there's no way a drum/drum setup (even modded as you describe) will hang with a properly installed, correctly sized four wheel disc setup.

The drums you describe might be better than stock, they might even get 'er done for normal driving, but they simply will not compete with discs in a fair and honest side-by-side shoot out.

novaderrik
Dec 14th, 13, 4:11 AM
if drums were so awesome, every sports car and race car would have them and the hot ticket would be swapping drum brakes on late model cars..

it is true that GM walked away from rear discs and went back to installing drums on the rear of a lot of cars in the late 90's and trucks in the mid '00's, but that was mostly due to guide pin issues and the realization that in factory trim the rear brakes do almost nothing besides keeping the rear of the vehicle from passing the front of the car when you slam on the brakes..

ss3964spd
Dec 14th, 13, 11:35 AM
...a properly installed, correctly sized four wheel disc setup.
This is actually the key point. There are a lot of vendors hawking small front disks with tiny calipers to those wishing to retain their factory 14" wheels. People buy them, thinking "they're disks, they have to be better". They install them and they work fine for general driving - just as properly done drum brake set up does. No one does any before and after testing with the small disk/caliper set up, and they simply cannot stop the car any faster than the drums and will fade just as quickly.

The disks and calipers have to be sized correctly for the application. If the car was available from the factory with disks as an option then the factory sized disks/calipers should be used at minimum.

PMBSS396
Dec 14th, 13, 11:56 AM
I am currently researching disk for my 68, and I have 15" rally wheels that I really like. I have been thinking about the right stuff kit but I'm torn on the rear end. What do you think would be better the right stuff disk or an 11" drum upgrade. I really want a good parking brake.

ss3964spd
Dec 14th, 13, 1:35 PM
Since the front brakes are responsible for 75% of the braking force the 11" drums will be more than sufficient. Ensure the shoes have ceramic linings.

IMO, of course.

ssport
Dec 14th, 13, 11:59 PM
I wonder why 18 wheelers use drum brakes all around? Anyone know?

Indiansprings
Dec 15th, 13, 7:00 AM
Drum brakes have far better holding ability, They also retain heat for much longer. Brake fade is a concern with drums. I ran drums on a 9 sec nova for years, the shut down area seemed to be getting shorter every pass.

Chris R
Dec 23rd, 13, 12:41 AM
You can also modify your drum brake spindles to accept the newer 69-up disc brake components as well. Its actually a simple procedure and can also save you some bucks.

Larry D
Dec 31st, 13, 11:22 AM
I went with the Wilwoods for my '68 I'm building. Just installed them a couple months ago. Quality parts and love the design, especially for the quick change pads. These 11" (links below) will work with 15" wheels, which is what I have now. The only thing you will need are new rear axle brake lines into the rear calipers (takes an 1/8" NPT fitting):

http://wilwood.com/BrakeKits/BrakeKitsProdRear.aspx?itemno=140-11398

http://wilwood.com/BrakeKits/BrakeKitsProdFront.aspx?itemno=140-10996

I bought mine from Summit and did not go with the drilled & slotted rotors. I have a friend who builds pro stock rear ends up north and he swears by Wilwood's quality, especially compared to Baer and some others that are priced ever higher. Although I also agree with the other posts that any of the kits mentioned above should work just fine. I have a set of 89-91 Camaro rear disc brake calipers I was going to use on the rear, but once I got the Wilwoods for the front, I decided to go with a matched set.

Now I'm just trying to determine which master cylinder/booster/proportioning valve setup to go with...

I hope this helps. Have fun!

chuckd71
Dec 31st, 13, 4:54 PM
Other than minimizing brake fade, what is the point of swapping small discs into tiny thin wheels? Even if you are getting a better brake that stops the spinning of the wheel you're still left with a small contact area. It's like putting hydraulic discs on a road bike, you'll stop the **** out of the wheel but the skid that follows isn't the end result you were wanting. As a casual observer it seems like for the upgrade to be much of an upgrade at all you'd need to address the tires as well.

mycalew
Dec 31st, 13, 5:19 PM
I have had CPPs Pro Touring Kit Stage 4 on my 68 for about 600 miles now. No issues, awesome stopping and handling! Need 17" minimum wheels for the rotors---- Monster 13" up front!

-SS454-
Dec 31st, 13, 7:27 PM
Other than minimizing brake fade, what is the point of swapping small discs into tiny thin wheels? Even if you are getting a better brake that stops the spinning of the wheel you're still left with a small contact area. It's like putting hydraulic discs on a road bike, you'll stop the **** out of the wheel but the skid that follows isn't the end result you were wanting. As a casual observer it seems like for the upgrade to be much of an upgrade at all you'd need to address the tires as well.

Who has the tiny thin wheels? In any case, a brake kit like the Wilwoods are much lighter in weight than factory disc setups, so reducing unsprung weight is always a good thing. Also if your brake package has improved stopping power, then it can still be advantageous at higher speeds before the tires are more prone to lock up. I do agree with having too much brake for the wheel/tire package though.

LarryD, I would be looking at 1" bore master cylinder if I were you. You have actually reduced braking force with those kits over stock, so you will want to increase your line pressure with a smaller bore master cylinder.

Larry D
Dec 31st, 13, 11:15 PM
LarryD, I would be looking at 1" bore master cylinder if I were you. You have actually reduced braking force with those kits over stock, so you will want to increase your line pressure with a smaller bore master cylinder.

SS454, I am still researching all options, but I have been told that the go to master cylinder for my setup is the C3 Corvette master for 4 wheel disc, used with a GM A-Body booster with the long push rod. I spoke to CPP today and discussed a couple of options; their Corvette master looks stock and is made for 4 wheel disc (6772 CBB-4). I'm leaning toward the second option of a MCPV-1 master (with built in proportioning valve) and standard single diaphragm 11" booster. I believe both masters have the 1 1/8" bore. This is the first I have heard of reducing the bore size to 1". I have also considered using the smaller 8" dual diaphragm booster, but I know it requires more vacuum.

-SS454-
Jan 1st, 14, 1:57 AM
SS454, I am still researching all options, but I have been told that the go to master cylinder for my setup is the C3 Corvette master for 4 wheel disc, used with a GM A-Body booster with the long push rod. I spoke to CPP today and discussed a couple of options; their Corvette master looks stock and is made for 4 wheel disc (6772 CBB-4). I'm leaning toward the second option of a MCPV-1 master (with built in proportioning valve) and standard single diaphragm 11" booster. I believe both masters have the 1 1/8" bore. This is the first I have heard of reducing the bore size to 1". I have also considered using the smaller 8" dual diaphragm booster, but I know it requires more vacuum.

With the Wilwood kit you have, the calipers have a piston area of 4.80, where as the stock single piston has I think 6.91 piston area. Of course there is more to the brakes than just piston area, but the point is there is less clamping power from the Wilwood calipers. Also you are going to be using the same rotor diameter of 11" so there is no additional braking leverage. That's why I'd consider the 1 inch bore MC. The brakes I have are 5.18 piston area on an 11.75" rotor. The current plan is to try it with the stock MC and if the brakes are sub par then a 1" bore will go in. If you have to chance master cylinders it shouldnt be the end of the world. I would personally go with the 11" booster if it causes no clearance issues.

chevyshack
Jan 1st, 14, 1:32 PM
I wonder why 18 wheelers use drum brakes all around? Anyone know?

Because they use air brakes and nobody has designed a disk brake setup to run on air that works properly. There is some being tested right now but so far they are too expensive. Also that being brought up, Ever been to West Virginia on 77?? They have runaway truck ramps for a reason. Ride them drums for to long and find yourself with no brakes.