Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Injun Territory, 'Merica!
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 121 Post(s)
thedford, on front disc brake conversions that are going to run stock size front rotors, from a quality starting point, I've found it is best to build off original GM spindles & typically nice used '69-72 single piston caliper brackets. This allows the purchase of the rotors, quality bearings, seals, brake hoses, & calipers locally. Sometimes, will even have nice thick used rotors that came in on a partscar & can use those. This method is still an affordable & viable option, & when completed, will end up with a high quality installation. I've put tons of such disc brake changeovers together over the years & installed nearly two dozen on GM A & F-bodys.
For many years I circumvented the parts stores by having my stock A-body, F-body, & early GM pickup calipers rebuilt in Dallas by the same remanufacturer/supplier that provides rebuilt calipers for O'Reillys. My cost to rebuild one original cast iron caliper was less than the core charge at the time for that caliper! Mind you, my desire was to have my original core calipers rebuilt, & I would have a dozen or so rebuilt at least twice a year. Since I was in the area, at least twice a month, no shipping was involved. Around '96-98, if one walked in an O'Reillys or other large chain parts store, & ordered '69 Camaro/Firebird/Nova calipers, there were no more original casting '69-74 Nova calipers in the distribution system, instead one got a overseas generic looking casting w/o the GM casting numbers, etc. That typically worked for the average early F-body or Nova guy, but not for the owner who was attempting a detailed restoration. The cost of those Asian calipers was more. Am using that recollection to note a timeline. It was quite a few years later, when the original '69-72 A-body calipers started getting hard to get at local parts store & instead, they also had new Asian castings with no core charge (ends up being more expensive).
Buying locally, one just has to price what's available in the stock fitment calipers. In a jamb, dust caps can be used from used front drums, or new ones purchased, same with new caliper pins from Wagner @ local parts store. Inline Tube/Motorcity Musclecar also sells a lot of the same small detail brake parts. Typically the only reproduction brake parts, I'll order from a website vendor are repro dust shields, occasionally, brake hoses, '69 Camaro/Firebird disc hose mtg brackets, & if not having an original rebuilt/restored, have installed a few reproduction Delco boosters. On proportioning valves, if not pursuing a totally stock metering valve set-up, typically due to header clearance, its cleaner & more functional to to mount a '71+ style proportioning valve straight inline under the master cylinder. For many years I pulled a small steel bracket as well as the 4 wheel disc proprtioning valve from a '77-79 Seville for that purpose. InlineTube also noticed this need & made that little proportioning valve mtg bracket & began offering brake line conversion kits for the same purpose. Have also bought a bunch of reproduction prebent metal brake lines, but now make my own.
On brake boosters, am just one of many that will not purchase or endorse a generic appearance cheapee brake booster that looks like it was made from two funky flat metal bowls from the houseware isle at the Dollartree. Will also not buy a brake booster that there is feedback on automotive websites that for proper fit, washers have to be used between the brake booster mtg bracket & the face of the cowl. That has been a common complaint with some boosters. Both the booster & the disc brake master cylinder in the $839 SSBC kit in the link, there is no way that hideous looking booster or master is going under the hood of an A or F-body that I'm working on. Neither part meets the eye test. Note no bleeder screws on the disc master cylinder, either. It appears it was more important to the SSBC crew that they had a logo cast into the side than provide bleeder screws. What junk! It all comes down to details, & bought right, one can assemble a high quality nicely detailed disc changeover for quite a bit less than these $800-1100 "kits".