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SOLID AXLE DISC BRAKE CONVERSION

Tom Bryant

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1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Has anyone done a disc brake conversion on a solid axle Corvette? I am aware of the kits available from Master Power Brakes and Engineered Components Inc. but don't know of any first hand experience. Some of the NCRS guys have had bad experience with kits(I don't know who's) that use Mustang II bearings that failed. It seems that they aren't up to the extra weight of the old Corvettes.

Mooseman(Wayne) is hot on the trail of a swap using Comaro components that looks promising. If anybody has a spare pair of '53 to '62 spindles or '54 or older( I think back to '47) Chevrolet spindles that they don't need please contact Wayne. ECI makes a master cylinder mount and cylinder that allows use of your stock pedal and rod making it a bolt on.

Both of the above mentioned companys also have kits to mount GM single piston disc on the rear. Everything I have seen so far is a bolt on that can be put back to original when desired. I have always had good luck making drum brakes stop well but not as well as the '81. I think we are on the verg of finding some serious whoa for these cars.

Tom

[Edited by 59Tom on 02-05-2001 at 12:00 AM]
 
W

wayne

Guest
roller bearings

TO:All-- I know I have been away I am deep into this disc brake thing. Will probaly have it all together shortly you know how it is one thing leeds to another. Here is the skinney on this wheel bearing thing you seen it here first corvette action center. Chevy cars built to 57 and corvettes built to 62 (can't figure that one out) used ball bearings in the front end. The surface area providing direction stability with BALL-BEARINGS is about 5/100th of an inch.* thats right 5/100th of an inch. One way to improve this situation without changing the outward originality of the car is to replace the BALL-BEARINGS with ROLLER-BEARINGS in the front hubs. ROLLER-BEARINGS will add OVER 75 times the directional stability to the front end especially on cornering ,is where you are going to notice this . abtainable I beleave from CORVETTE-CENTRAL. ALSO from classicperform.com nice site very informative
I am working on a replacement bearing setup comple with camero disc breaks and the advice is going to be ABSOLUTLY FREE RIGHT HERE. I also wish to go 4 wheel disc and keep it simple, and have the master cylinder in the trunk. ok now that you have fell out of your chair and laughed your guts out stop and think about it ,why is all that ugly stuff up there under your hood in your nice clean engine compartment/.... Ill leave you laughing till next time, good ice fishing and keep warm MOOSEMAN.

[Edited by wayne on 02-10-2001 at 01:19 PM]
 
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wayne

Guest
spindles

59 Tom wayne here the spindles i was searching for and so will you if you are going to change to disc and want to keep your original spindles, that is if you wish to go back to original. is spindles from a 48 to 54 chevy car front spindles, Ill have more later . I was reading some pleace about a corvette picture gallery. It would be nice if I knew how to post a picture to the sight here somplace and by the way how do i get in on this rap cession or chat and at what time is it held sorry for bing so nieve but ,i am not really into this thing to busy for an old fart. maybe rob can drop me an e mail and fill me in thanks MOOSEMAN BEST DAM SIGHT ON THE NET
 
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Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,265
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
I feel your pain Wayne

This picture posting stuff isn't easy. It took me a while to figure it out with a lot of help from Rare81 (Bud) and Rob. Hopefully they can help you with posting pics too as I am still learning. The last time I had film developed I got it on a Kodak picture disc. Followed directions on the disc and loaded them into a file. I also put them in my file manager on my web page. Now I can post them from there whenever I want to.

I'll check my Corvette Central catalog for that roller bearing conversion. That must be where I saw it before. You were saying earlier about the spindles needing turned down slightly for the bearings on the disc conversion you are working on. Have you considered honing the inner bearing race to fit the spindle or do you need to remove too much. This is going to make a good tech article when you're done. If you need any help getting it ready please let me know.

The chat room is now called "The Solid Axle Lounge" and you can click on the logo in the header bar at the top of the page. Just log on with your user name and password like when you post and you will be there. Best time to find a bunch of us is Saturday and Sunday evenings around 9pm eastern. Hope to talk to you there.

Tom

[Edited by 59Tom on 02-16-2001 at 01:57 PM]
 
W

wayne

Guest
spindles

Well Tom you said i said, I was saying something about the spindle needing turning down for the bearing on the dis'c conversion that I am working on. Have I considered honing the inner bearing race to fit the spindle.Well thats a NO.NO, as you now know these bearings are hardened to a 65 rockwell. and thats as hard as glass. But yes you'r right on . You have to machine the spindles so that you can use the camero disc brake conversion that I am working on. its not much but it has to be machined First though, I am working something out more simpler, That is converting the original hubs to take roller bearings then the original modifyed hubs to take a disc rotor. Then the modifyed spindle to take chevelle and or camaro disc brakes and at any time if one so desires one could go back to the original ball bearings and shoes BUT WHO WOULD WANT TO More on that subject later under BRAKES.////MOOSEMAN

[Edited by wayne on 02-15-2001 at 11:08 PM]
 
D

DZAUTO

Guest
I spend about 95% of my time on the Chevelle site and the other 5% on Chevytalk site. Someone emailed me and ask me to visit here, so I thought I would. In reading these posts on disc brakes, I noticed that someone is going to modify the early hubs to accept roller bearings. WHY??? Why not just put the roller bearings in the early hubs as is? That is what I have done to my 56 and they work just fine as is. Just curious.
 
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Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
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Messages
7,265
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Welcome

Welcome to the forum DZ Auto. If you know of a bearing that will fit the '53 to '62 and '49 to '54 Chevy spindle I know Wayne and I would be thrilled to know the number. Wayne has searched extensively for one. The outer one is not a problem.
Tom
 
W

wayne

Guest
brakes

Hi Tom the person that invited you over here was MOOSEMAN some nice guy, well welcome aboard. The problem with the early corvettes to 62 and 48-54 chevies is that they don't make a bearing with an inside diameter to 1.2815sp therefore one would have to use an adapter kit with a spacer to go from the inside spindle diameter to the inside diameter of a bearing that would have an od of 2.9630. MY place here is i am doing some configuration using as you suggested a roller bearing but converting the original hube to disc then there is a second where one would have to take the spindle to a machine shop and have it taken down to 1.250 and use almost any 70- 80 chevelles or camaro disc's and thirdly and this is the one that i am utilizing is to go 4 wheel disc brakes.......The fourth and probably the simplest is the one you suggested and that is to improve or update your drums as you have stated TO EACH HIS OWN MOOSEMAN.....Ps your car sounds awsome.nice and thanks for the post
 
D

DZAUTO

Guest
I have these bearings on my 56 Vette and my 51 Chevy.
B52R
B67R
I bought them from Allied Bearing, 8962 Ellis Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90034-3378, 310-837-0752, 800-421-3658. I believe they are Japanese bearings. I personally have NO PROBLEM with Japanese bearings. You never see bearings go bad in a Honda. These bearings have been on my 56 Vette since 95, no problems.
I am quite certain that these are probably the same roller bearings that Corvette Central sells for considerably more money. I learned about them from SACE (now SACC) years ago. We were told to say that we were with the Corvette organization and we would get a discount. A set for one car was about $100. Corvette Central wanted about $150.
I just now looked in my latest Corvette Central catalog, they want $179.95 for a set.
 
W

wayne

Guest
bearings

Tom the bigest question that I have is, IS there an adapter between the spindle and the bearing ,and if not where can we purchase said bearings and do you know if they are still available MOOSEMAN
 
D

DZAUTO

Guest
No. No adapter. I have posted all the info on where to buy them above. You just remove the stock ball bearings/races and install the roller bearings and put the hubs back on. Too easy. Use a stock seal.
 
W

wayne

Guest
bearings

Thanks Tom I'll be right on top of this one I'LL be talking to them by noon. Oh yes tom you said you were into chevelles I have two of them a 64 2 dht and a 67 2 dht. one 283 and one 327. what is the URL of the chevelle site lave@adan.kingston.net thanks MOOSEMAN
 
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DZAUTO

Guest
The Chevelle site is chevelles.com. It is, without question, the best Chevelle site. Period.
 
W

wayne

Guest
changes

Thanks Tom...had a hell of a day weather was nice though...Tried at the G.M. Dealer to find dissc to fit original vette hub no such luke. Went to supply house found everything but the one I wanted to find either the hub was to fat for the hole in the rotor or the backside of the rotor would not alow the original hub to enter all in all not a good day.Well will have to try something else come monday again thanks for the info MOOSEMAN
 
D

DZAUTO

Guest
I have just finished installing a MASTER BRAKES front disc kit on a customer's FI 57. The installation was fairly straight forward with only one potential problem. The kit contains an adapter spacer which goes on the spindle for the inner bearing. The instructions direct you to drive the spacer onto the spindle using a piece of pipe-----------------WRONG!!!!!!!!!!! The spacer is a VERY tight fit and if it is installed using a hammer and piece of pipe that means EVERY blow imparts a severe impact to the kingpin/bushings.

I DON'T LIKE THAT!!!!

I used my harmonic balancer puller, 2 lengths of allthread and a 1/4in piece of steel plate behind the back side of the spindle, along with the piece of pipe, to pull the spacer onto the spindle. Another option would be to remove the spindle from the spindle support and use the press to press on the spacer. Another minor hangup was the flex hose that was supplied. The end which goes into the hole in the frame bracket needed to be SLIGHTLY modified------------TOO EASY. The hole in the frame bracket is round, the brass end of the hose which goes into the hole is kind of oval with 2 flats. I placed the hose end into the the vise and used a file to shape the end (just ahead of the snap ring) so that it fit just right in the round hole.
The instructions are marginal, and the one and only illustration is WEAK. But if you read through the instructions (2-3 times) as you famiarize yourself with the parts, it becomes clear. A few GOOD illustrations/photos would REALLY make a difference. I had an advantage over many poeple. I have several extra frontend parts, including extra spindles, so I dummied up one on a spindle, which did help.
Otherwise, I must admit, this is a well engineered kit. The rotors, callipers, bearings, etc are standard, readily available parts, which is good, in case anything needs to be replaced in the future.
I installed this kit with ONLY the stock master cylinder and an adjustable proportioning valve (which is recommended). I installed the valve beside the battery, near the brake block where the rear brake line is connected. I disconnected the rear brake line from the block, connected it to the "out" side of the valve and then bought a length of ready made 3/16 brake line (about 12in long), bent it to fit and connected the "in" side of the valve to the brake block-----------again, TOO EASY. I have not yet taken the car for a test drive because I still have other work to do on the car. But I thought I would pass on this info about the actual installation of the MASTER BRAKES 53-62 Vette front disc kit.

As of this time, I can recommend this as a front disc conversion (beware, this could change after I drive the car and test the brakes).
 
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Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,265
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
'57

Sounds like an easy job. I am definately interested it your oppinions after you drive it. Thanks for the post.

Tom
 

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