Am I ready for my disc brake project?

June 1, 2017 | By Staff

Question:

I want to put front disc brakes on a ’67 Camaro SS and a ’57 Chevy Bel Air. I have the spindles and brake parts from a ’74 Nova and a ’71 Malibu. How much trouble are these changes, and how would I begin?

Also, I have an electrical short in the Camaro that runs the battery down in about three days. Is there an easy way to find it? I feel like I’ve tried everything. Thanks for the help.

Answer:

Check the assembly manuals for those models and years to see if the brake parts you have are compatible with—and engineered for—the cars on which you want to mount them.

Also, just having the spindles and discs is not enough. Accruing everything you need could take some time, and you would want to make sure the parts you use are in top shape before installing them too. An easier way to go would be to purchase complete disc brake kits from a company like Classic Industries because they contain everything you will need to do the job; they are engineered for your car and they simply require bolting parts into place.

You would also need a dual-bore master cylinder, a vacuum booster, a proportioning valve, and other hardware necessary for the job. On your ’57 Chevy you will also need to purchase front wheels that will accommodate the new disc brake system. The original 14-inch wheels that came on the car won’t clear the caliper assembly. Wheels that look identical to your originals, will accommodate the original hubcaps and are the same diameter as the originals are available from Wheelsmith. Contact them at:

Wheelsmith 1601 West Commerce St. Corona, CA 92880 Tech line: Orders: thewheelsmith.net

You also need to do a little replumbing on both cars to split off the front brakes from the rear because those front disc brakes operate at much greater pressure than the drum brakes in the rear. Complete brake kits for your cars are available from Classic Industries starting around $300. You can reach them at:

Classic Industries 18460 Gothard St. Huntington Beach, CA 92648-1229 classicindustries.com

As for your battery drain, another restorer wrote in with a similar problem. The source of his dilemma turned out to be something totally unexpected, but the troubleshooting procedure for the electrical system is the same. Those problems and solutions are next.

disc
A complete kit with everything you need including instructions to convert your Chevy to disc brakes is available from Classic Industries. • To convert your classic Chevy to disc brakes you will need a dual-bore master cylinder with a vacuum booster and proportioning valve. • Hand tools are all you need to install brake kits. You’ll also need some brake fluid.

dual-bore
A complete kit with everything you need including instructions to convert your Chevy to disc brakes is available from Classic Industries. • To convert your classic Chevy to disc brakes you will need a dual-bore master cylinder with a vacuum booster and proportioning valve. • Hand tools are all you need to install brake kits. You’ll also need some brake fluid.

Hand
A complete kit with everything you need including instructions to convert your Chevy to disc brakes is available from Classic Industries. • To convert your classic Chevy to disc brakes you will need a dual-bore master cylinder with a vacuum booster and proportioning valve. • Hand tools are all you need to install brake kits. You’ll also need some brake fluid.