: Junkyard Disc Brake Conversion
Jun 22nd, 00, 03:45 PM
Ok, I think I've heard enough info about the junkyard disc brake conversion to feel confident about doing it on my car now. My question, directed to davidpozzi or anyone else who has done this conversion, is what would be a reasonable price for the junkyard spindles, calipers, rotors, master cylinder, booster, and combination valve? I have no idea what to expect for prices on these things and I want to be sure I don't get ripped off on some really cheap parts. Also, my 67 has manual drums. I'd like to convert to power discs. My master cylinder mounts to the firewall with 2 studs, but the power booster mounts with 4. What do I do about the other two studs? Also, do I need to buy front disc brake lines? Do I get factory 67 disc lines or 69 lines? What do I mount the combination valve on? The donor car bracket? Does it replace the junction block under the master cylinder on my car? Thanks.
Jun 22nd, 00, 05:17 PM
I'd think you would want to compare the junkyard stuff to what the aftermarket parts would cost.
I don't have the current prices but I think spindles
Total cost around $500 to $600.
Power booster and master cyl maybe that much again?
So you are looking at $1000. to $1200 for new?
The parts that might have to be changed on the junkyard stuff are
I don't have costs for these components.
On the booster, you might need to get it rebuilt or re plated. might cost a couple of hundred. The master cyl can be replaced at an auto parts store for maybe $50.00.
Mainly I'd look at the parts and if the rotors look shot, the calipers look poor I'd pay maybe $150 to $200.
The booster and master with proportioning valve maybe a couple of hundred.
So, you have maybe $400. in the used stuff and have to buy at least pads, wheel bearings, and brake hoses if everything else is good.
The one piece combination valve has two fittings for the front brake lines. One fitting for the rear line. and two coming from the master cyl. It replaces the brake light switch you have now and your wire plugs into it. It should come with a bracket to mount it to the master cyl bolts. I've heard that the rear brake line flare nut is a different size but can't remember if I had to change mine when I did it years ago. I have a link to another site from my page that talks about that in more detail.
I have a couple of camaros here, a 68 and a 67 both parts cars. They both have four bolts on the firewall the manual master is on the top two.
Check yours again. The lower pair of bolts are about 1 1/2" below the top pair. you will need the four bolts.
I hope someone else that has done it lately will come up with some prices to fill the holes I've left.
The older I get, the faster I was!
Jun 22nd, 00, 06:23 PM
The subframe I am picking up tomorrow is costing me 350.00 total, that includes all the disc parts w/ the combination valve, basically the whole front of the car minus sheet metal and motor. Another place had told me 550.00 for same as above. Disc parts only they were knocking off around 200.00. Hope that helps. Sean.
BTW You would be better off getting a new booster. My local parts store is 125.00 for booster and m/c.
Jun 22nd, 00, 07:34 PM
Hemmings frequently lists complete kits to do the job for 350 or 400 dollars. Some of them offer the choice of new or used rotors and calibers.
Jun 23rd, 00, 02:35 AM
So do I just reuse my existing brake lines and have the fitting on the rear line replaced? I think I will just buy a new master cylinder and booster. Is there any particular master cylinder I should get, or are the master cylinders from all the different cars that will work the same? Thanks guys, you've been a tremendous help.
Jun 23rd, 00, 03:36 AM
I bought both front spindles only with the backing plates from a '73 Nova from a junkyard about 5 years ago for $40.00.
Jun 23rd, 00, 06:04 AM
I did this swap about 6 or 7 years ago. I bought the complete package from the junkyard except for the prop valve. After checking everything over, I decided to only re-use the spindles, backing plates and caliper brackets. I think I initially spent about $250. If I had to do it again, i would have purchased the spindles, backing plates and caliper brackets only. It turned out that re-man calipers were like $25 ea and you know that the ones that had been sitting in the junkyard would have required re-building at least. After cleaning up the booster, it still looked terrible-you can't polish a turd! I think I spent about another $100 on the booster/master. Bottom line is that I did use the junkyard parts for the cores when buying re-man parts from the local parts store, but I think I would have come out ahead if I had just eaten the core charge and not purchased the used parts. You want to be very careful of the condition of the parts you use, they are all that stand between you and that idiot in front of you that just slammed on his brakes!! Something to think about!
Jun 23rd, 00, 10:29 AM
Bret makes a very good point. The parts I got from the wrecking yard were the hard to buy or expensive new parts like the brackets & backing plates. The used calipers were in need of a rebuild and I probably would have just eaten the core charge if I had compared prices. Since I machined my own drum spindles, I didn't need to get those from the wrecker. Also, if you buy the spindles from a wrecker and they are already off the car, inspect them closely! I did try to buy disk spindles and most of the ones I saw were beat up beyond belief. Another contributing factor to machining my old drum spindles. I even have 2 original disk spindles available for free (abused of course), any takers?
Jun 23rd, 00, 12:52 PM
I just completed this conversion. The wrecking yard charged me $450 for the complete conversion. I got the stuff off of a 71 Monte Carlo. As far as brake lines go I had to get them off of a 70 Camaro because the fittings were different on the 67 Camaro than the 71 Monte Carlo and the 71 Monte Carlo lines were built for the proportioning valve to be mounted on the subframe. Also I got the Proportioning valve off of the 70 Camaro because it was the perfect bracket to mount the valve below the master cylinder. Everything else and I mean everything, came off of the Monte Carlo. I did try to use the exsisting break lines by cutting them and reflairing them but this was too difficult and I am told the single flair will crack someday, so I switched to the lines off the 70 Camaro. This was a very easy swap and I highly recomend it. Everything is a direct swap except you will need to use the exsisting steering arm and the brake push rod will need to be adjusted differently. Mine needed to be adjusted a little longer.
Jun 23rd, 00, 06:20 PM
The new Classic Industries has new disk brake spindles for 99.95 each. That's a great buy.
Jun 24th, 00, 06:03 PM
Try this link:
I would call and ask for Rick Rufty. If there is only a couple hundred dollars difference between junkyard and new, I would get the new.
Check it out.
Jun 24th, 00, 08:00 PM
I've got my 67 SS/RS up on jack stands now. Just spent today putting in the new poly A-Arm bushings, boy was that fun. One machine shop wanted $60 to $80 to press them out and back in. Before I get carried away, my car is manual drums which are now out and I'm going back in with 13" 1988 Corvette front rotors on the wheel side of my drum brake hubs. I bought complete disk brake assembly from a 1974 Apollo for $70 from a "Pick-A-Part" type "bone yard" and am only going to use the spindles, and caliper mounting brackets. I'm going to weld extra metal on the caliper mounting brackets so I can move the calipers out the needed extra inch. I'm going to use a 1.25" mid 1970's master cylinder in a manual application which means that I am going to have to drill the brake peddle push rod hole deeper so the rod doesn't fall out. I'm going to use ProMotorsports spindle extenders. The rear is going to be 1980 Seville Cadillac 11" disks. A proportioning valve is going on so I can tune front to rear brake bias. I rebuilt the '74 Apollo large psingle piston calipers, but I'm not sure that I will even use them because the latest catalog that I got from Stainless Steel Brakes lists 12" calipers and rotors being used with 15" wheels. I am going to look into just what calipers and brackets are being used for this application because I don't want to run 17" wheels. I figure that I should be able to run a 13" set-up with 16" wheels if SSB is selling 12" with 15" wheels. Even though I have a quote from Stockton Wheel to make me a pair of custom 16" ralley steel wheels. I suggest that you modify your drum spindles to disk spindle spec's per David Pozzi's great site. Next, buy rebuilt calipers and eat the core charge and go manual instead of power. While you are at it put poly bushings in by using a homemade tool made out of a 2" to 1.25" pipe reducing coupling, (3) 7/8" heavy washers (5) 1/2" washers and a 1/2" x 8" "full threaded" carrage (spelling???) bolt and 1/2" nut. Use a good 4"x4" block of wood cut to fit to keep the upper A-Arm from callapsing as you beat the bushings in and out. Also, a 9/16" standard 1/2" drive socket helps with the lower A-Arms, too. Use plenty of WD-40 or something like it to help lube everything as they go together. Buy a cheap air chisel from Harbor Freight Tool for around $10-15 to remove the upper bushing with. It's money well spent. Good luck. pdq67
Jun 24th, 00, 08:40 PM
Wow! You're really diggin in there.
However you're giving me eyestrain reading your post. Please hit the space bar once in a while.
You are certainly not afraid to go at it. It looks like you have a plan. I'd like to get a couple of things clear in my mind.
Do the 88 rotors have close to the same offset compared to the older Corvette rotors. On them the rotor ends up about 1/4" from the upper bracket mounting bolt head. If it has a lot less depth, you may have caliper clearance problems unless you run a corvette wheel.
For the master cylinder if you are going manual, you need a 1" bore. Power brakes use the 1 1/8" bore. Going 1 1/4" and re drilling the pedal might work but the new hole would have to be in exactly the right place. too high and you will have too much travel, too low and you will have too high a pedal effort. Use the 1" disc brake master cyl. Not a drum type.
And you may have trouble with pushrod alignment as the pushrod will not be pressing straight on the piston.
The 1" is what was used in the 67 manual disc brakes as origonal equipment. Using larger dia rotors will help give more brake torque for the same pedal effort with no difference in travel. It's a win win deal.
I've heard using a pipe wrench on the upper bushings will allow you to twist them out.
When pressing the lower bushings out, make a spacer to go between the A arm flanges to keep them from squashing.
Let us know how it goes.
The older I get, the faster I was!
[This message has been edited by davidpozzi (edited 06-24-2000).]
Jun 25th, 00, 01:28 AM
To David Pozzi,
I'm redrilling the master cylinder piston, not the brake pedal "lever".
The master cylinder is an 1.25" one from a C-20, C-30 or Van truck that fits up just like my original one does. It has to have the "check vaves" behind the tubing outlet holes taken out if they are there. The rebuilt one I bought didn't have them installed.
David, a couple of questions. First, have you ever seen two different upper A-Arm shafts?
My drivers side one looked like a "dog-bone" whereas my passenger side one looked like a piece of forged "flat stock" with everything else being the same between the two of them.
I can't answer the caliper mounting locations questions now, because I'm not ready to put my spindles on yet. I want to put mu subframe bushings in first, just due to having more room under the car with the A-Arms off. However, when I took the three off on the drivers side, the bushings and whatever was left of the "hardware " the bolts go through came out in granules of rust.
I'm going to have to order just the hardware if I can find them for sale because my plan was to reuse all this.
David, I just now took a second to run out and "eyeball" my spindle Steering Arms, They measure about 3.25" from bolt hole edge to bolt hole edge (edges closest to each bolt hole) with a little tape-measure that I have. My car was ordered with fast ratio non-power steering. Hope this helps your web site. pdq67
Jun 26th, 00, 01:03 PM
You don't have to beat in the poly lower control arm bushings. Since the inner poly part is removable, take it out. Then cut off a piece of angle iron that will fit inside the two surfaces of the side you are working on (something like 1 1/2" but measure your own). If I remember correctly the distance for both sides of the lower control arm are the same so you can use the same piece of angle iron for both the large and small bushing. This angle iron will rest on top of the bushing sleeve after you have passed the sleeve through the outer hole and support the two lip edges of that side of the A-arm while you draw in the new sleeve. Then use your threaded 8" piece of 1/2" stock, your reducing spacer or an appropriate 3/4" drive socket for a spacer, and some monster sized washers to pull the bushing sleeve into both holes of the arm. You may have to do the compression in stages depending on how deep your socket is (I use an air impact wrench). Beware, it is real easy to not get the inside of the bushing sleeve tilted so that it isn't going through the inner hole.
After the bushing sleeve is in, wash off the grease you used on the outside of the sleeve with soap and water and let dry in the sun. Then mask off the bushing sleeves and ball joints, prime and paint. Then unmask and slide the poly bushings back in.
The upper A-arm bushings go in super easy. So, those you can tap in with a hammer without hardly any damage. Needless to say the first time I put a poly bushing in, I damage it because I treated it like a rubber bushing and left the center in place while drawing the whole unit in as just described.
Since, I'm on a roll here I'll tell you how to get the lower A-arm bushings out without using a press. First with a 1/4" drill bit, drill out the rubber in the bushing. Be careful you don't break off your drill bit, because the rubber has a tendency to grab hold and make you drill around the center sleeve like an egg-beater. After you get the rubber and center sleeve out, take and air chisel and start chiseling a groove in the outer sleeve between the two lips of the A-arm. When, you have chiseled through the outer sleeve and can see light from the center of the bushing sleeve, then you can make a couple extra chiseling marks in the center of the bushing in the perpendicular direction and the outer bushing sleeve should pop out with a couple taps.
Jun 26th, 00, 04:18 PM
Excellent! I fogot to mention to take the poly inserts out.
If I had to do it again, I will use my trusty "butane torch" and burn the rubber out, let everything cool down, clean everything up and then press the sleeves out and back in using a homemade tool and needed bracing because this little job isn't worth shop wages to have done. pdq67
Jun 27th, 00, 08:29 AM
as far as pricing on the used stuff from the junk yard,
i got the spindles, dust shields, caliper mounts($50 total), combo valve($20), and residual valve ($10). also grabbed the calipers for a core charge.($5 each) make sure you get all the hardware, like the bolts, nuts, washers etc... they tend to 5 and dime you to death if not.
i wouldn't even bother with the rotors, bearings, brake lines, pads. get these new from Checker. best price my buddy in LV came across. the parts are actually for him.
i can't remember what he priced all the parts for. but the Booster was @ $125 like otherwise listed. i think that he calipers were $15 with a $15 core, that was why i grabbed the old ones. the rotors were like $20 each ,and the bearings were like $10 a side. still come out way ahead of getting a complete kit from MP or Corvette Brakes. i definately would recommend changing the rubber brake lines though. after 25 years they do tend to get a little hard. as far as hard lines go, get as much intact as you can if you need them. i'm not sure if they are the same with drum/discs.
i will e-mail hime to find out what he prices were.
Jun 27th, 00, 10:22 AM
I think the 1 1/4" master cyl size is too big. It's too big even for a power application and I'm shure it's too big for a manual brake application.
I think the pickups that came with manual brakes used a 1" bore as did the 67 camaro with manual discs. If you have a 1 1/8" master cyl now I'd try that first. If it's too hard to stop with the 1 1/8" try the 1".
The problem with a 1" bore is you will have more pedal travel.
In the end you want a disc brake master cyl as they have more fluid capacity. But for trial a drum brake master would work.
I haven't seen the different upper A frame shafts but have seen 69's with a nut on the end instead of a bolt. This is a good deal as some bushings can cause the bolts to back out.
Keep me posted on how it works.
The older I get, the faster I was!
Jun 27th, 00, 01:52 PM
I measured the stock Apollo spindle steering arm last night and it measures approx. 4.25" like I measured mine. I don't recall if it came off a power steering car or not. It's been too long ago when I got the parts from the "Pick-A-Part" yard.
I e-mailed Ohio Caliper today to try to get them to find me the application (and their part number) for a 1.25" piston non-power, drum brake master cylinder with the same two hole mount spacing so that I won't have to mess with modifying the brake peddle pushrod and piston hole to convert it to manual disk use.
I'm really taking it to heart about what you say about a pushrod falling out if it in any way can.
By the way, I got my information about using the 1.25" diameter piston truck master cylinder from an article in the January, 1978 issue of "Hot Rod" magazine. The article is on the last page of the magazine in the "Backyard Bonus" section. I will be glad to mail you a copy of the article if you want to e-mail me your mailing address.
I've got some real old magazines and it's neat what you can run across in them.
Jun 27th, 00, 02:09 PM
Wow!! There is a lot of information here so I will be brief. To continue on what my bud Jesses said up above .. he got the parts from the junkyard that I can't get from Checker, mainly the spindles and backing plate. I priced EVERYTHING brand new from the store and it was $550!!!! Rotors, bearings, seals, lines, calipers, pads, bearing greese, brake fluid, booster, and master all new. Hard lines and proportioning valve are all that I will re-use. Brakes are very important to me and I can't see any budget too tight not to be able to buy new brake parts. If your brakes don't work good ... then your car is not safe to drive will be end up totalled ... it took me 2 times to learn my lesson not to skimp on good brake parts.