Light weight disc brakes available? - Chevelle Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions & more.

 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 01, 9:56 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys, I've postponed the O.D. tranny upgrade for a set of new disc brakes instead. It's amazing how fatal car crashes can impact your comfort level in the 'safety department'. Witnessed another one this weekend along the route that I cruise regularly.

I have four wheel manual drums right now and they do a really good job (for manual drums) but I'm fearful of a sudden panic stop scenario and I know that discs will cut the mustard alot better.

The only gripe I have about using disks is the extra weight. Has anyone here opted for a light weight disc brake set-up on their 'Velle? I'm really cringing at the thought of adding any more weight to the nose of my car but would like to know if anyone can recommend a manufacturer (Wilwood, SST, others?) of lightweight power disc brakes. Any pros or cons would be appreciated. Thanks as always.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 01, 2:01 AM
 
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Wes there are several companys that make trick light weight brake set ups baer, and wilwood are a couple. Be warned they are very pricey...
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 01, 3:16 AM
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Be forewarned that disc brakes need mass(i.e.weight) ta be able to absorb the frictional heat of braking. Thats why drums don't work well after the second panic stop because they are lighter then disc brakes and don't have the mass.

Don't scrimp on this because you might get in trouble. Don't know, haven't done it!! pdq67

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 01, 5:14 AM
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I didn't want to add more weight either, but it beats redistributing the weight in the front end in a collision. I used the SSB setup, but it uses factory parts. I don't think the weight penalty is that bad though. Looks like you've trimmed a lot of weight with the Welds and aluminum heads. you'll still be ahead. Sweet looking ride Wes.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 01, 8:52 AM
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We live and drive in a power disc brake world, probably less than 1% of the cars on the road today use drum brakes. People can stop faster, so they drive like it. Having invested umpteen thousand dollars in your car, you'd be very disappointed if the Hyundai in front of you can stop 10' sooner in a panic. The 11# per side penalty for disc brakes plus a 5# power booster is a small price to pay, and your wife and kids will thank you.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 01, 9:43 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, okay, guys. I get the message. I MUST HAVE disc brakes. And you're right, safety first - that's why I'm delaying other 'want' items for the brake upgrade.

Looks like Wilwood may have what I need. Has anyone used their "Pro-Street" #140-2285-B kit? They recommend it for anything heavier than 2,800lbs. on the street. It's 30-35lbs lighter per wheel than a factory disk set-up and not terribly expensive thru Jeg's ($600). Still need to get the master cylinder, booster, and proportioning valve though.

Let me know if any of you guys have this kit on your car and what you think of its' performance. Thanks!

Hey Steve, I appreciate the compliment...it's been a four year labor of love.

EDIT: Wilwood claims that having a booster is WAY overkill for clamping power on their 4 piston set-up. Sounds good to me. FYI for anyone else considering the set-up.


[This message has been edited by Wes Colby (edited 02-26-2001).]
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 3:09 AM
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Wes a rat infested car and 4 wheel drums don't mix. They don't even mix with my mild SB in my El Camino. I'm not an expert by no means but from what I hear the 4 pistons discs are costly to maintain, maybe this just pertains to the factory ones I'm not sure. Id do some research before laying down near a grand. Good luck

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 6:02 AM
 
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Wes,

I am running the medium Wilwood disc brake system on mine with the stock master cylinder. Why do you have to change out the master cylinder? I didn't think I needed to. Plus mine seems to be stopping just fine. I did replace the proportioning valve with an adjustable one to help increase front brake pressure. Good luck with your kit and give me a call if you need anything.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 6:59 AM
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Your not just adding wieght, your adding rotating wieght. And that stupid honda that pulls out infront of you is what you have insurance for.....on second thought maybe I need to look at getting rid of the drums
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 7:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Thomas..yea, I've checked into the top manufacturers and it looks like Wilwood IS the best company for light weight heavy-duty set-up's. It's not that bad cost wise really. The only other thing required is a disc/drum master cylinder and new front brake lines. Wilwood recommends the manual set-up over a power booster because their brakes work so well that with a booster, it's too easy to lock em' up and you don't get very good 'pedal feel'. I'm used to putting my foot into it so that's fine with me.

Hey Mike - long time no hear bro. Everyone is telling me that when going from a manual drum/drum master to a manual disc/drum set-up, you have to convert the master cylinder accordingly. Doesn't the 'red rocket' have four wheel discs? Wilwood is also telling me to NOT use a proportioning valve to begin with (claim that most manual disk/drum applications don't need it with their kits) and to eliminate the factory distribution block that's now on the car. Heck, easier plumbing is fine by me - as long as it works well. BTW, have you been to the track lately?

Mucho correcto on both points there Ratlover! Weight is not my car's friend. Look out Houston Honda's and Civic's...this Brute Force brick is going to stop with the best of ya'!!
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 8:52 AM
 
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Wes,

I did replace my power booster with a manual one when I went to tall valve covers. So I didn't have to change that when I went to the Wilwood system. I had to run the adjustable valve due to the big back tires with skinny front ones. It helps hold the car while doing a burn out using a line lock. I lost around 50 lbs. by switching to the Wilwood system over the stock disc brakes.

I went on the 17th for a grudge race at Sealy and ended up winning with a 5.74 to a 5.95. I think I could of gone in the 5.60's if we would of raced while the sun was still up. The track got a little loose after sun set and a few cars ended up painting the wall.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 9:31 AM
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What do you figure this setup is going to cost you? Ive got a 69 with drums on all corners and a manul disk/drum sounds good but thought they were really pricey. Can you use your a arms and do you know if i would have to swap my 69's? Its fun to go fast but probably a good thing to be able to stop too. I really wouldnt like to transplant my rat into the trunk of a honda

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Ratlover, the light weight, four piston, "heavy duty" Wilwood kit (#140-2285 and covers 67-72 year models) costs $599.00 thru either Jeg's or Summit. It will fit your car fine with zero mods necessary to the suspension. The only other items needed are a manual master cylinder (bigdog454 tells me that a '75 Corvette manual disc/disc master cylinder works mint on his '69 Chevelle with no proportioning valve) and new stainless steel brake lines. Maybe another $100-$125 for those two items? As I said earlier, Wilwood doesn't recommend a proportioning valve or the factory distribution block...say that most of the time it isn't even needed with their kits.

And get this...the shipping weight for this entire kit is ONLY 38lbs!! That's only 19lbs. per wheel and that's covering everything! Talk about losing some weight over factory stuff. That has got to be lighter than my current front drum set-up. Wilwood claims to save right around 44lbs-50lbs. (as Mike Hurta noted) of total weight off the front nose from a factory disk brake car. I likey.

Mike, those are some fast times bro! What kind of MPH thru the traps and what was your best '60? Do you have the new 540 dialed in to a 'T' yet? Just curious. Dave Gumm has offered to load my brick on his trailer for a run to Sealy sometime. I'd love to get Wayne Scott out there for a little heads up racing. We should all try to hook up together again. I hear that Sealy is now open on Saturday's (test and tune) from 12noon into the evening - is that true?

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 11:47 AM
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Here's another thought, probably what I'll use on nearly all of my cars. The circle track guys have a lot of classes where stock appearing brakes are required. There are companies making aluminum copies of the basic GM single piston caliper that was used on zillions of 70+ Camaros and 73+ Chevelles. It mounts up exactly to the stock GM mounts on the "tall" spindle used on 2nd gen Camaros and 73+ Chevelles. It even mounts up with no mods to the 12" spindles from the B-cars. No brackets or adapters needed. This is the setup I'm going to use on my 75 Laguna if I can get it together later this summer. 12" spindles, IROC rotors, aluminum stock car calipers and braided lines. Should be way better than stock without Wilwood's prices and two-piece mounts. I remember the aluminum calipers running about $100 each.

The only thing is I forget who makes them. I remember seeing them in a catalog I got from D&D Performance in Dumas, Texas. I've seen a lot of ads for these aluminum calipers in stock car magazines.
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