The components recommend below allow you to use the stock suspension pieces with or without dropped springs. Dropped spindles are not recommended as they often restrict the available steering angle and/or cause your tires to rub at full lock turns.
Installation of my disc brake conversion kits should be done by a qualified mechanic. You will be working on the braking system for your car – if your brakes fail to work you may lose control, have an accident, or be injured! Be safe, and make sure you are around to enjoy your treasured classic car.
Some fabrication is typically required, at minimum, you will need to fabricate and install new brake lines near the master cylinder. The fabrication details will be specific to your vehicle and exactly how you choose to customize the installation – some may choose to have a “fully customized hot rod” and others may wish to keep it looking as stock as possible.
New steel or aftermarket wheel designed to accept a conventional 15” disc brake application will be required. Calipers need to be able to clear the wheel cup.
Older design (Pre 1970) 15” stock steel wheels will not fit. 14” wheels even with a 5”x5” bolt pattern will not fit your car. Please make sure you are clear on this subject BEFORE you order. Thank you.
Kits come with either an 11.625” or 11.850” (1.29” thick) rotor based on application by year with standard 5”x5” GM lug pattern. Bearings and seals are provided to match. Using new modern rotors provides you with updated roller bearings and modern seals.
Please be aware that all rotors, as in any brake job, need a clean up pass to make sure they are as true as possible and is STRONGLY recommended even though they are “premium grade” rotors.
Calipers and Pads
Kits require you to supply and install stock style GM single piston calipers or D52™ WILWOOD dual piston calipers that can be powder coated red or black, along with the brake pads of your choice.
Kits require you to supply and install brake hoses that are a suitable length for your application and do not rub on or contact any moving suspension parts. Stock style rubber lines or aftermarket stainless steel lines can be used.
Proportioning Valve and Brake Lines
Kits require you to supply and install a stock style or adjustable proportioning valve suitable for a front disc/rear drum brake system. You may install the proportioning valve in any suitable location, as along as it is plumbed correctly.
You will need to modify your existing brake lines and/or fabricate new brake lines to isolate the front and rear brakes, and plumb them through the proportioning valve and to the master cylinder. Any new or modified brake lines must be built and installed properly – leaks or failures in your brake lines can be life threatening!
Master Cylinder, Booster, and Brake Pedal
Kit require you to supply and install a new disc brake compatible master cylinder, vacuum power booster or Hydroboost unit (unless using manual brakes), and matching brake pushrod. You my also need to install a new “swing style” brake pedal depending on your vehicle. These are some of the most critical pieces to get right when installing your kit!
I cannot support this conversion if you want to use your original “single pot” style master cylinder – they are not designed to push the amount of fluid a disc brake conversion requires and do not support a modern “split style” braking system.
This conversion needs matching functions of all systems to work as tested, and that means you need to use a disc brake compatible dual-chamber master cylinder. A firewall mounted dual-chamber master cylinder and power booster “swing pedal” arrangement is strongly suggested for use with this conversion. I feel it is the most reliable, functional, “bleedable”, adjustable, proven, and GM engineered configuration available for any car hobbyist to use.
If you would like to retain the floorboard/frame-mounted master cylinder arrangement that was originally found on some vehicles, you can work with a professional “Hot Rod Shop” to get a functional system that will push the required fluid volume for the GM single piston calipers or aftermarket calipers listed for use in my kits along with any needed “residual pressure” valves. You will be on your own as far as correct fluid volume and pressure if you pursue a floorboard/frame-mounted master cylinder arrangement as part of this conversion.
Remote electric boosters are being used, as are Hydroboost systems (if you have power steering) that come from a Mustang, Chevy Astro van, or Chevy/GMC pickup. The Hydroboost system is super efficient and very versatile for concealment – most use a remote reservoir. The Hydroboost uses hydraulic pressure which comes from being plumbed into your power steering pump. Parts of these systems can be obtained from any reputable online or local vendor.
Brake Warning Light
If using a stock style “combination” proportioning valve or an aftermarket valve that supports it, you may also opt to wire in a brake failure warning light as is done on modern cars, so that if there is a loss of brake fluid pressure on the front or rear of the system, a warning light is illuminated inside the vehicle. These lights are typically wired with ignition switched +12V to the bulb and the warning switch (typically both at the parking brake switch and at the combination/proportioning valve switch) as the ground. If the parking brake is set or there is a loss of brake pressure, the circuit completes and the brake warning light illuminates. This is optional, and the specifics of wiring this are unique to your vehicle, but this is a simple and effective safety feature you may wish to include in your disc brake conversion plan.