Disc brake conversions, advice needed

Early C Bodies - The Slab Side Years

  1. ian taylor

    ian taylor New Member

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    Hi All, rebuilt the full brake system on my 66 383 polara, whilst working as good as expected i think a disc set up at least on the front would be good.....aftermarket kits...seems to be a few out there, also using spindles off a disc car could be an option then buy new everything to go with them...what cars spindles would fit? Being in the uk advice like this is hard to come by so your thoughts are appreciated. cheers ian
    ps snow has just hit here, i'm stuck indoors just had right knee replaced....missing all the fun, polara, snow, drum brakes...what could go wrong!

    IMG_20171210_090008.jpg

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  2. 330dTA

    330dTA Well-Known Member

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    Stainless Steel Brakes makes a kit which fits drag&drop, but it’s pricy. Estimate $1.1...1.2K depending on the source. (Try German Moparshop.de)

    Any ’65-’73 C-body disc brake spindle will fit. Trying to find a complete set is the difficult part. (Try Murray Parks at Tiffin, Ohio.)
     
  3. FURYGT

    FURYGT Senior Member

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    Good luck with your knee rehab - make sure you do the rehab as instructed as I know too many people that didn't and had problems.

    I have the older version of the Scarebird kit and am very happy with it.
     
  4. ian taylor

    ian taylor New Member

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    hi never heard of them...but they look good....and yes really pushing the exercises along, thanks for all the advice...cheers ian
     
  5. Ross Wooldridge

    Ross Wooldridge Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Read this thread here:
    www.forcbodiesonly.com/mopar-forum/threads/65-fury-disc-brake-conversion-advice.28497/

    PM me for more info.

    Using factory parts is the best way to go. The booster (which is now available aftermarket thank goodness), used spindles and backing plate stuff can easily can be found here in N.A. and shipped overseas - as suggested, Murray Park is a great resource. All the other parts can be sourced new from Rock Auto.
     
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  6. pixbypops

    pixbypops New Member

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    I purchased the whole PST kit. expensive but keep wheels in stock location.
     
  7. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Old Man with a Hat

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    When I first discovered the Scarebird conversions, it made sense to use much more common GM calipers and such, just due to the sheer availability of these things in the aftermarket and salvage yards. Almost everything could be sourced from the local auto supply store . . . almost. So, even for later on with later owners, the knowledgeable mechanics could look and recognize the GM parts and know what they were from. Same with the auto supply people. Rather than some "oddball" Chrysler stuff, from their perspective. So, all of Scarebird's stuff makes sense in that orientation.

    The other situation is that we're dealing with hydraulic "leverage", both mechanical with the brake pedal geometry and hydraulic with the size relationships of the master cylinder and caliper piston diameters. So sizes are important!

    The power booster issues are important, too. The first time I noticed the need for the dual-diaphragm booster was in a road test of a disc brake Hemi Belvedere, which noted the need for the dual-diaphragm booster. Smaller in OD, but longer with the added diaphragm. In the earlier cars, that OD is important with the limited real estate on the firewall/cowl of the particular cars. It's about the square inch number of the diaphragm per se, I believe, rather than "dual" or "single" diaphragm boosters. I believe the GM initially used some dual-diaphragm boosters on their disc brake vehicles, but later used the single diaphragm boosters with a larger diameter as a matter of course? On some cars, they also had brake pedals with two holes, one for manual brake and the other for power brakes, for the rod attached to the master cylinder/power booster. But, there were some issues with some GM cars running out of boost in certain situations, as I recall. Or "no boost" situations on cold start!

    I concur that the BEST situation is Chrysler-designed/built systems! They always seemed to work the best and had the best pedal feel of any cars I've driven, especially "back then". The brakes were always "at the top" of pedal travel, rather than "1/2 way down" in pedal travel (as many GM cars tended to be).

    That "Chrysler Standard" was something I missed in the earlier years of my then-new '77 Camaro. The brakes were just not that good, which resulted in one of the "cut-off" situations that resulted in bent sheet metal. They used an organic pad on the outside pad and a metallic one on the inside, to decrease wheel dusting issues (important at the time). I never did like the 9.5" "one side fits many" rear drum size either.

    I researched road tests to determine which other GM parts I should look for, but that was inconclusive. I later upgraded the front pads to the COPO '79 Nova police pads and later put '77 Monte Carlo rear drums (same as the '81 Camaro Z/28 export cars and middle '80s Caprice police cars) 11x2 rear brakes on it. THEN, the pedal was "at the top" and it stopped more "like a Chrysler", as I desired. All with the same booster and master cylinder. MUCH more confidence in those brakes, after all of those years and such!

    So, use the full-metallic or Carbon Graphite pads on the front, not ceramics. Ceramics are even more abrasive than the metallic ever were. Their added heat resistance is not needed, even for HD use applications on street cars. Ceramics still "dust", just that it's more beige dust than dark gray dust.

    Make sure the rear brakes were the widest that'll fit the drums/backing plate combination.

    One guy I usually see at some of the cruise-in events locally, we were talking about disc brake upgrades (Wilwood in particular). He mentioned that he did one of those conversions on a Camaro. He liked the way it all worked, but felt that the "one time" ultimate braking power was less than with drum brakes, BUT that it'd stop the same way all day long with the discs (slightly less performance, but consistent at that level).

    By observation, some of the aftermarket front disc brake conversion kits just seem a little "less robust" than the factory OEM items. But considering that Wilwood's original heritage was in drag racing, lighter weight is important there. BTAIM.

    So . . . OEM-based system parts, the best frictions you can get, correct sizing of hydraulic items, AND bullet-proof installation (with new lines and hoses, one way or another).

    CBODY67
     
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  8. glassman

    glassman New Member

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    71 chrysler newport is a direct replacement. that is what i did . mine had budd calipers. .i listed an assortment of parts and bumpers. look inc body parts to see a few photos. glass man
     
  9. BillGrissom

    BillGrissom Active Member

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    If I ever went front disks in my 1965 Newport, I would use the Scarebird kit. One reason is that I rebuilt the front end not too many miles ago, and Scarebird keep the existing drum brake spindle. Other reasons are much lower cost and easier parts both today and future. I kind of recall that disks weren't even an option in 1965, though later parts fit. But, they are getting very rare and expensive. At a higher level, the factory 11"D x 3" W front drums stop the car as fast as disks could. Tires stop a car, and optimal is braking to just before they skid. Since the drums can skid the tires, they can get there.

    The dis-advantage with drums is they don't cool as fast, so if continually braking, you can get "fade". That happened once going down a gravel road in the mountains on a hot summer day, where I had to keep braking on turns w/ tranny in "2". I could have made it down in "1", but too slow. But, never had an issue on asphalt roads since I know how to use the tranny to control speed. Most semi-trucks still use drum brakes, though they are moving to disks. Those drivers must be very smart since even w/ disks I think they must rely on engine braking to descend safely.
     
  10. mikedrini

    mikedrini Active Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I went with Scarebird and have had no issues for what it's worth. Probably can't go wrong either way, just go with what you can afford and have ease of acquiring.
     
  11. Boyd

    Boyd Member

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    Me too, I love mine!
     
  12. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Old Man with a Hat

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    To me, all things considered, I like the approach of Scarebird of using OEM-designed items of correct sizing for particular vehicles PLUS these new/reman parts are generally available at local auto supply vendors. In a few situations, salvage yard items can be sourced and rebuilt, as needed/desired. Still, relying on OEM engineering and reliability. Many aftermarket items can be as good or robust in nature/performance, but I always tend to trust OEM-level items more than aftermarket items UNLESS the aftermarket items have proven to be superior in all respects to the OEM Items they replace. BTAIM

    For example, Moog suspension items used to be superior to OEM in many respects. Especially when OEM "accountants" had to have cost engineered out of the part for a lower price. The aftermarket premier vendors had similar issues, but found better ways to do it, it seems, as THEIR reputation rides on such "better than stock" orientations/executions. I use Moog as one example from back in the '60s and such. Plus they were generally available via auto supply stores when the local car dealers didn't stock the needed parts from the OEMs!

    Even now, many repair shops know where to source parts for most reasonable cost and best durability/reliability. Some from the dealer, some from the known-good auto supply inventory.

    CBODY67