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Been thinking about converting the rear drum brakes to disc while the car is down.
Is there an easy way to do this? Kits or retrofitting from another car?
 

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I do not think kits are any easier than just using GM parts but they are a lot easier to get. The biggest problem is finding the donor vehicle. If you can find a a Camaro or Cadillac in your local junk yards you will be set.

A 76 - 84 Camaro set up should be a true bolt in swap.

I used the rear discs from an 82 Eldorado because I got the car for free and was able to strip everything I needed for the conversion. Almost a direct bolt on, just had to make a few minor modifications to the mounting plate to line the rotor up in the center of the caliper. I used the same front brakes hoses from the Nova and bent the rear hard lines to make the connection. I bought caliper rebuild kits for $16 and will need some new pads. Not counting my time I have less than $50 in everything. One thing that was cool was every thing bolted up easily. The Eldorado proportioning valve bolted to the Nova bracket and all the lines fit perfectly into it and the Corvette master cylinder I am using.
 

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what is your goal with the car? The front rotors are 11 inch and most rear disk setups are 12 inch and larger as well as stock rear disk from newer cars. Camaros never came with rear disk till 82. 82-92 is a different generation with 7.5 diffs and the setups were bad .The transam came with an 11 inch rear disk from 79-81 and it is the same setup as the cadilac eldorado which is a iffy system the parking brake is in the caliper and it never works correctly it gets hung up and doesnt engage the brakes,the cost on those parts is high because not that many were made and the rebuilt calipers are expensive.Your best bet is the kit that summit makes using ford calipers its inexpensive. Newer cars with rear disk that can be used are late 90's s-10 with an 11.5 rotor and it has an internal parking brake shoe, 98-02 camaro and firebird with an 12 inch rotor. Bolth of those require shimming out the backing plate. If your interested i own a trans am setup all parts including backing plates new calipers and rotors and parking brake cables,prop valve and master cylinder.a direct bolt on. pm me if interested
 

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i just completed swaping mine to a rear disc swet up. i used summit's sum-bk1322 conversion kit (which actually is made by ssbc) and it was a real simple conversion. i havent used it yet but it looks cool! let me know if you need any pictures. i have some up on my picasa account which is posted on a few oter forum pages.
 

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What does this actually gain you? The drum get up when completely rebuilt with all new parts is pretty relaible. Not saying it isn't worth doing, but what is the benefit?
 

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Hey mike it all depends on what your looking for. If you want simple replacement parts I know where you can get a kit from. I bought a kit for mine that utilizes rotors, calipers, and pads from the 80's monte's, cutlass's, and regals front brakes. It comes with all hardware and parts to bolt it on. All you need to do is buy new flexible line to go from rear end to calipers. I bought braided ones for mine cheap and the brakes work great!!
My kit cam from speedway motors and prices are reasonable as well.
 

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the 80's gbody front calipers bolt on as a replacement for the 79-81 transam rear disk if you dont want a parking brake. which is most likey the kit that 79novass4 has on his car. scare bird makes the brackets also.
 

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better stopping power? when was the last time you saw any newer type sports car worth anything with drums on the back?

And why do the stop better?

The Delco-Moraine single fixed pin rear brake system is self energizing. As the primary shoe engages the shoe the assemble rotates the secondary shoe into the drum, and against the fixed pin. The more they grab the harder it gets pushed, self energizing. You get a firm responsive pedal and great stopping at the wheels.

The negatives of the system are the same positives. Self energizing. You loose some control of lock up. Rear disc do not.

The only other significant advantage for rear disc is the fact they dissipate heat better. As we all know energy cannot be created or destroyed. Kinetic energy is changed to heat energy through friction. The quicker you get the heat dissipated to the air the better you stop. Unfortunately the disc type brakes need more foot pressure to generate the same friction. No real advantage IMO unless you are going to carve a few canyons.

The Firebird with rear disc brakes had a double diagram booster to help. The pedal travel was horrible. I had 12 inch rotors in front, running the D62 cop car pads (same backing plate, just more pad surface) and the Firebird 11 rear disc in back, factory Firebird prop valve and booster. My brakes were either on or off, not a lot of control in between. I switched over to a hydroboost power booster and had stunning improvements in control and responsiveness.

Unless you plan of doing a lot of hard driving and be on the brakes a lot I don't think rear disc are worth the money. Sear drums with the D621 front pads should be more than enough for the average hobbyist. That said, discs look cooler through the wheels.
 

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Just a question,,, I have a 96 police Caprice that I am parting out and it has rear disc brakes. Would these work on a 68 Nova? Just wondering....I was planning on selling the complete rear,,, but if the brakes work? um?
 

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I don't understand why you would need "better" stopping power in the rear anyway. Manufactures didn't start going to discs in the rear for quite some time after front discs started to be normal. If you had a proportioning valve on the rear drums and could keep biasing more pressure to the rear you could easily lock up the rear before the front discs so again I'm not sure what the benefit is other than a little more controlled application and easier service.

Road racing.... whole different ball of wax. These cars were never intended to be road racers anyway, at least not unless you're that purple guy. :D

Really didn't mean to hijack the thread just wonder why people do this when there really isn't much gain of anything. I love my drums, they work, they're simple and cheap to fix and they're stock.
 

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Just a question,,, I have a 96 police Caprice that I am parting out and it has rear disc brakes. Would these work on a 68 Nova? Just wondering....I was planning on selling the complete rear,,, but if the brakes work? um?
Yes!

Absolutely!

You will need to change use the proportioning valve and master off the car.

If you have manual brakes, get a M/C for a 1969 Corvette without power.
 

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Sweet.. Thanks Al.. if I dont sell it then,,, why not? I dont want the brakes for better stopping power,,, just for the cool factor..........
 

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For me the cost to rebuild the existing drum set up (and all of it was shot) was about the same cost as my conversion since the main parts were free. Drums and rotors are about the same cost, but I have 3 sets of good rotors. Pads and shoes are about the same cost. The caliper rebuild kits were actually cheaper than new wheel cylinders. And there was no hardware kit with springs, retainers and adjusters to purchase.

But your results may vary :D
 

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Road racing.... whole different ball of wax. These cars were never intended to be road racers anyway, at least not unless you're that purple guy. :D
QUOTE]

Hey I resemble that remark!

My car was designed and built for road courses and autocross, and now that Nationals is behind me I'll be using the car for its intended purpose - and hard. I already have had the opportunity to use my brakes on a few occasions, and they definitely don't disappoint.

I'm not a good resource for any of you if you want to do it cheap, because Baers are anything but cheap, but man do they perform. There's really no big secret behind the magic, though. The front Baers are basically C5 Corvette calipers, with proprietary rotors that are drilled and slotted. Rotors are 13". Baer will, of course, tell you that their rotors are superior to any other aftermarket design out there, but I've heard arguments on both sides. I can only attest to the fact that they DO WORK EXTREMELY WELL.

As for the rears, I'm pretty sure they're 98-02 Camaro/Firebird calipers, again with proprietary drilled/slotted rotors. Rear rotors are 11".

I have been told the e-brakes are Ford Explorer pieces, though I can't confirm this because I've never seen Explorer E-brakes. I can tell you that you use "Ford Explorer" clevis's to attach the E-brake cables to the mechanism. I'm only partially satisfied with the E-brakes. On my particular kit, it's obvious that E-brakes were an afterthought, and they put nowhere near the engineering effort into designing this set-up. They give you the mechanisms, but you're basically on your own to figure the rest of it out. Very disappointing effort from a company that sets its pricepoints based on its "superior engineering".

As for mounting, it's really pretty simple. The Baer kit uses an adapter plate cut from plate steel (assuming its proprietary, but I'm sure any machine shop could work one up for you with proper dimensions). There are also multiple shims involved to properly line up the rear calipers with the rotor so that it runs square and that the spacing is just right. A little trial and error, but not too bad.

In the end, is it cheaper to chase down these parts and put your own system together, or is it better to go with the Baer kit, which rings in at around $1250? I don't know. If you have good junkyard access, you could save some money, but I'm not sure it equals out when you add in your headaches and junkyard time.

All things considered, I installed Baer's rear kit in about a day and a half, but really took my time to do it right and checked and double checked every measurement and angle. It took me an additional day to work out all of the E-brake issues. The fronts are much, much easier, and only took about an hour to install, all in.

ALLT4 is right, without substantial changes these cars aren't really meant to be full on road racers, and my car is small potatoes in that world, but I am a big believer in rear discs if you have the means and the time, and there is a significant "cool" factor involved if you run open wheels.

Good luck!

J
 

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i just completed swaping mine to a rear disc swet up. i used summit's sum-bk1322 conversion kit (which actually is made by ssbc) and it was a real simple conversion. i havent used it yet but it looks cool! let me know if you need any pictures. i have some up on my picasa account which is posted on a few oter forum pages.
I took a look at this kit out of curiosity and it looks like a great low cost way to upgrade your rear drum brakes. however the kit is incomplete, lacking master cyl., prop. valve and what I would imagine would require a custom length parking brake cable. This could add quite a bit to the complexity of the project.
 

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Just a question,,, I have a 96 police Caprice that I am parting out and it has rear disc brakes. Would these work on a 68 Nova? Just wondering....I was planning on selling the complete rear,,, but if the brakes work? um?
You also have to drill the rotors for 5x4.75 bolt circle, impala is 5x5.
 

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Well, mike dosen't state weather his car came with power disc brakes up front or manual. If it came with power disc's, why would he need a master cylinder and prop. valve? he could use the stock one, right?
 

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The kit I used on my car still uses stock master cyl and rears do not lock up on me and pedal feels great on my car. Definately a must to upgrade brakes if your running more power under hood.
I belive the more power you run the btter yours brakes got to be to harness that power in the end when you need to stop. You go fast you better be able to stop fast and disc's have better stopping power and cool of quicker.
 
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