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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there,

I am not very familiar with brakes - so please be forgiving with my incapacity on this subject.
I have a 66 with a stainless steel brakes disc conversion in the front (non-power - camshaft is BIG!). I think it has some kind of OEM-style one piston iron calipers. Master cylinder is an early dual Corvette style. And yes, the rod for the pedal is in the correct location!
The stopping power is really not good and I need to upgrade.

What are my options?

Well, SSSBrakes are selling some aluminum 2-piston quick change kit they say has some more stopping power.
Summit seems to sell the same calipers for less money under their own brand name.
But do they any good?

How about Wilwood/Baer Calipers? Could I buy say some dynalite calipers and just mount them on my existing OEM-style brackets? Or do I have to buy a whole kit from them? AND: do they really have more stopping power than the calipers above?

Or are there any other options (like some good "Corvette" calipers)?

Oh, I forgot - I definetly want to stick with 15" OEM style steel wheels.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Greetings from overseas

Boris
 

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I can tell you my SSBC kit that I used to run was zero improvement over the stock calipers. Wilwood makes nice products, just be ready to open your wallet!:yes:
 

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I've used ssbc's basic kit on two novas (upgrading from drums both times). I was more than happy w/ the stopping power for my driver, for the price of the kit.
pretty sure the calipers in the kit are early 70's camaro, chevelle, etc. (I have the exact reference written down somewhere if you want me to dig it out)

Do you have a proportioning valve installed? I had to put one on both cars for proper front to rear balance, worked good....

not sure how much diff. your stock set up is than what i did, if you went from stock discs to ssbc discs
 

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Does the car seem to require a lot of leg force to get it stopped? I would suggest purchasing a master cylinder with a slightly smaller bore diameter before spending a lot of $$$ for a new set of calipers. For example, if your current M/C is 1-1/8" bore, try a 1". You can order new master cylinders from places like Napa or RockAuto much cheaper than what they would cost from an aftermarket vendor.
 

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I'm completely happy with my Aerospace Components kit in the front. It's the light-car version with single piston. Stops me just fine and you're lighter. I think Jegs sells them.

I have old school 15" Welds, if that helps.
 

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Can you lockup the tires? If so, how much more do you think you could gain by adding bigger brakes? Do the brakes fade before you get stopped from speed? Depending on the tires contact patch, there's only so much the brakes can do--if you put 6 puck brakes on a car with skinnies up front it isn't going to stop any better than a 9" drum!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
First, thanks all for your comments.

Now, the MC is an aftermarket 1" for a non-power 69 Corvette f/r disc application. I have a 9" rear end with disc brakes in the rear. There is an adjustable valve in the line to the rear brakes.
I do have to use a lot of leg force - and the tires will not lock up.
Tires: I have 195/60R15 Dunlops in the front. 26x12x15 MT Sportsman S/R in the back. All tires are new.

I have a manual steering rack.

I really appreciate any hints and/or shared experience.

Regards,

Boris
 

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Hey there,

Master cylinder is an early dual Corvette style. And yes, the rod for the pedal is in the correct location!

Boris
What hole in the pedal are you using? The upper or lower?

Even the stock drum brakes will lock-up the front wheels. It sounds to me like you have something wrong with your current system rather than needing an entire new one just to make the wheels lock-up.
 

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Drum breaks have TONS of stopping power. They just fade quick due to heat.

The MC piston diameter sounds about right. You should be getting some lock up with them skinny (front) tires. The brake set up you have sounds like a good match. Hmmmm?? You do have a good bleeding on the system? If you are compressing some air then it will give you a weak system, the harder you push the more you are compressing air rather than fluid which isnt compressible.

Have you messed with the proportioning vavle to see if you can get the back tires to drag? Would kinda narrow it down to the front not doing its job.

And one last idea. Pad compound and condition. If they are one of these life time guarantee pads they are way to hard. Glaze over from the get go. Some good pads can make a huge improvement. JR
 

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I have the BEAR setup on mine and am very happy with it. I am running the race pads and they do wear out a lot faster.
 

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You can dramatically change the feel and affect of your brakes by changing the brake pads. If you have cheap clay pads, get rid of them. If you have good pads, what temperature range are they designed to work in? Is it hard to stop on the first attempt or 5th consecutive attempt? Is it always hard to stop? The large piston GM calipers in the standard SSBS kit should be adequate for a light wieght car. bigger is better though.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Again, thanks for all the help so far.

I am using the upper hole in the pedal.

On sunday I am going to play with the proportioning valve for the rear, and also check for air again. Bled the brakes twice, but there is always the possibility of having some trapped air somewhere. Maybe one of these fancy suction devices will work (friend has one).

About the brake pads: yes, they are perhaps old, glazed. Does anyone have a good brand to name?

Thanks again,

Boris
 

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Hawk, EBC, Performance Friction and others are all excellent pads, but they are formulated to be optimal at elevated temperatures. Your first stop or two will take more effort. A good OE semi-metallic will work better cold, but will chew up the rotors quicker, create dust and fade sooner.

The Hawk HPS or Porterfield R4-S or HWY pads may offer the best compromise.

I run the R4-S pads on MB sport coupe for street and Autocross and they work pretty good. They do require more cold peddle effort than the factory pads.

To save money, I run the Performance Friction pads on my Nova, but they too require a lot of effort when cold.

Porterfield is the parent company of Hawk and Performance friction.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So, here are my findings from this weekend:

I bled the brakes again and adjusted the prop valve to give more braking power to the rears.
It is a tad better, but really not nearly as good as I need it. Brakes are still NOT locking up. We could not use the vac device for bleeding since it was for the late model MCs that have screw on lids and we could not make it fit to my old style MC.
I do have some significant pedal travel (probably 1/3 to the floor) until I feel real hard resistance. It is a lot less with all the European cars with non-power brakes I know of (I don't have any US non-power cars to compare since they all have power brakes).

Is there still some air trapped somewhere?

The pads do not look glazed to me.

Regards from overseas,

Boris
 

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Do you have the shoes on the rear brakes adjusted correctly?
 
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