Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 17, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

This question arises way too late for my build, but hoping to help others if there is any truth to what I was told by my wheel manufacturer after the fact.
When I received my custom front wheels, I didn't have the depth of the lip(dish) that I thought I'd have. The result was from an extremely deep spacer incorporated into the wheel itself. When I called to question, he said with the type of wheel I chose, they had to make the wheel hub deeper to allow for the spindle and dust cap(which the bell rung and I totally understood). He also went on to say that Wilwood is notorious for using longer spindles in their kits than Baer.
Is their any truth to this? If so what do you guys recommend for a 1st gen set-up to help others get the deepest dish possible if that is the look they are going for when choosing these big brake upgrade kits?

'68 Camaro with RS conversion
Moser 9" with 4:11
Martz Chassis 4-link and Front Sub-frame
Tremec T-56 Magnum 6 speed
572 BB - CM Engines
Wilwood 6 piston front and 4 piston rear disc
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 17, 04:21 PM
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Re: Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

Your wheel guy is full of it. Custom billet wheels are just that, custom. I'm not sure what you mean by spindle, did you use the factory spindle on your Camaro? If you did then the spindle is the spindle, brake kit doesn't change that. You can download assembled dimensions from both manufacturers and see what the caliper width is for the kit you bought. Wilwood is typically narrower than Bear on 'like' kits. I did 14" Wilwoods with Bonspeeds and they had plenty of clearance. When I ordered wheels they asked a ton of questions about what brakes I was using. I remember we went 'worst case' on clearance in case I used Bear. I could clearly see in the assembled diagram that the caliper was not as narrow as the Wilwoods.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 17, 06:15 PM
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Re: Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

I'm in agreement with Garth, you were fed a line! Tall (maybe long) and short spindles effect ride height. Modern wheels are typically designed with less dish because modern cars are built to have the wheels tucked in. A 9" wheel might have a 7" back spacing on a C5 or 4th gen Camaro where the same wheel to fit your 1st gen will have 4.5 - 5.5" back spacing. Sounds like you were sold wheels with the wrong back spacing. Your Martz sub frame might be designed to force you to run modern back spacing but I am not versed well on the differences over stock.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 17, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

My spindles were aftermarket. Actually came with the Wilwood kit. I too had to send in a boatload of dimensions - the one pertaining to this conversation is the measurement from the hub to the dustcap @ 2-5/16". Front wheels are a 9-1/2" with a 5-7/8" BS - add in the 2-5/16" spacing plus a little extra and the thickness of the wheel center I am right there with practically no lip. The wheels had to be where they were, no question about that, just questioning spindle length. I looked online before posting this and the kits aren't fully dimensioned(unless I am not looking in the right spot which could be). I am aware that the Baer calipers stick out more than the Wilwood, but are their different length spindles from each company? Seems a stupid question but wondering never-the-less.

'68 Camaro with RS conversion
Moser 9" with 4:11
Martz Chassis 4-link and Front Sub-frame
Tremec T-56 Magnum 6 speed
572 BB - CM Engines
Wilwood 6 piston front and 4 piston rear disc
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 17, 10:20 AM
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Re: Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

Change the length of the spindle and you would greatly affect the steering geometry and the force required to turn the wheel as you are lengthening the torque arm. You would be moving the center point of the tire further away from the ball joint. This would become a greater problem as the tire width increases (introducing more resistance from scrub applied further from the ball joint pivot point requiring more force to be applied).

I can not imagine anyone would do this. Increasing steering knuckle height is a good thing, and I prefer a lowered spindle to lowering springs for retaining suspension travel and steering geometry. Lengthening the spindle makes no sense to me.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 17, 02:17 PM
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Re: Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

Hey Greg,
Having read this a couple of time now i have to admit to utter confusion. Are you saying that your backspacing, or offset whichever you prefer, was made incorrectly? I dont think Wilwood makes a spindle but they do make hubs. Was there an accomodation made by the wheel manufacturer to accomodate the Wilwood hub?

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 17, 03:49 PM
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Re: Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

I guess aftermarket spindles would make a difference, most that I've seen try to stay true to the original width of the car's track. No experience with any though.

Do you have a link to the kit you bought with spindle?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 17, 05:14 PM
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Re: Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

Greg according to Martz your bolt in sub-frame comes with Rack & Pinion steering, 2" drop spindles and it looks like you upgraded to the 13" 6 piston Wilwood brakes. Unfortunately I couldn't find spec's for wheel and tire fitment. If you are using your stock inner fenders then the setup you have, must move the hub outboard to allow you to fit a 9.5" wide wheel with almost 6" of backspacing.

What brand and model of wheel do you have? Perhaps it will shed some light because you mentioning a 2 5/16" spacer built in (or otherwise), leaves me a bit puzzled. Spacers usually are used to reduce backspacing not increase it.

...Dennis

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 17, 06:06 PM
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Re: Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

Wilwood has a pdf dimension sheet for their hubs on their website. There is none specifically called out for first gens though some fit. There are a few variations depending on what you want. This is timely for me as i could be in the same boat in the near future.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 17, 10:25 PM
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Re: Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

A stock first gen dust cap does not protrude very much, but some aftermarket drop spindles use a second gen spindle. Those have a dust cap that sticks out farther from the wheel flange. Those spindles are about 1/2" longer. You need more metal on the wheel hub face to clear the wheel center cap, or make a center cap that sticks out more & is hollow on the backside. My wife's second gen required a 1/2" spacer that the wheel mfr attached to the wheel with screws.

Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 17, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

Sorry for any confusion - pictures are worth a thousand words. Posting up pics of the wilwood set-up and my wheels. If you notice in the 2nd and 3rd pics, the dust cap protrudes the 2-5/16" off the face of the hub. What David said makes perfect sense after having some sort of direction of what to look into. My specific spindles were dropped 2" and ofcourse I have EVERY other receipt except for that one. Gonna try to call Martz today to see if they have anything in my file on those spindles. The 1st pic is of the front and rear wheels mounted - not the best pic, but you can see the thickness of the "spacer" and with the design of the wheels why it has to be there to cover the dust cap. The wheels are Boze and I am not saying they are wrong - they are 100% made correctly for my application to work correctly with my set-up. Hope this clears up any mis-conceptions
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'68 Camaro with RS conversion
Moser 9" with 4:11
Martz Chassis 4-link and Front Sub-frame
Tremec T-56 Magnum 6 speed
572 BB - CM Engines
Wilwood 6 piston front and 4 piston rear disc
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 17, 10:04 PM
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Re: Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

That's most likely a Ford Pinto spindle. It's used a lot in custom street rod front ends. There are lots of aftermarket versions of it for street and IMCA racing. Some are low quality and some are high quality.
Here's a first gen drum hub with C4 rotor:

Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 17, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

Thanks Dave

Ok - so moral of the story is to know exactly what you have BEFORE you install. Since everything was part of some sort of kit, it never crossed my mind that something in that said kit or kits(even though everything works exceptionally well together) can create something like this. I thought I did my homework - dotted every "I" and crossed every "T" on various kits before pulling the trigger.

Then again custom is custom right?!?

'68 Camaro with RS conversion
Moser 9" with 4:11
Martz Chassis 4-link and Front Sub-frame
Tremec T-56 Magnum 6 speed
572 BB - CM Engines
Wilwood 6 piston front and 4 piston rear disc
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 17, 12:38 PM
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Re: Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

I guess I should throw in here another thing we learned.
In changing to a late Corvette based front sub from Art Morrison, we had more room for larger 315 tires, so we moved the rear wheels to the front, & went to 335's on the rear. We had a Ford 9"rear axle and the brake rotor and caliper are inward more of the wheel flange than on a Corvette, so we had to use a 1/2" wheel spacer to use that wheel on the front. The clearance was tight where the wheel center bolts to the rim flange. Our wheels had the bolt heads towards the caliper and both the bolt heads and rim flange were the clearance issues. With Corvette unit bearings, there is nothing sticking out to hit the center cap, so that's no issue.

Another issue with large rotors on a stock type spindle with tapered roller bearings is, the spindle assy deflects when cornering hard and produces brake pad knock-back. This makes the brake pedal low after hard corners. We have gone to Corvette unit bearings which have much less deflection. On the rear we have IRS so the same Corvette bearings. With the Ford 9" we used a full floater conversion.
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Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 27th, 17, 05:37 AM
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Re: Truth about Wilwood vs Baer Big Brake Kits

Curious why you bought a Martz subframe. What did it offer that DSE, Speedtech, Art Morrison etc did not?

Don

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