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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I'm looking at a 69 camaro and want to get a rough pricing up of some possible upgrades and advice on what route to go...

Currently has manual front discs and drums rear and manual steering.

I definitely want to go power steering but should I stick with brake setup or add rear manual discs or go power discs all round?

And when pricing up steering and recommended brake setup what would this typically cost to have someone do for me? Plan is to try and do as much as I can myself (will be learning as I go) but want to price up worst case scenario.

Any recommendations on what brands/parts to go for too gratefully received!

Thanks
 

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I think I was all in for about $700 bucks to switch mine to power steering. That was buying all new parts and I could have gone cheaper on the pump. Due to the long water pump in my engine, I used the steering pump bracket for a 69 and it did take me a minute to figure out how to mount it. Unless you get a better bracket kit, you'll need about a 1 1/4" spacer to stand of the bolt that mounts to the first header bolt. I got some steel tube and cut it to length.

As far as the brakes, it could be anywhere from maybe $500 to just change the rear to several thousand to upgrade the whole system. How do the brakes work now and what do you want to achieve. I was plesantly surprised how well the manual drums work on mine but I would not want to autocross with it.

Labor will probably running $120 an hour to do this kinda work.
 

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I did a PS conversion on my 69. I bough new parts from Heartbeat city and Ricks First Gen (Ecklers) I bought stock hoses, and an upgraded Monte Carlo PS box. I also used the LEE adapters in the box ( hydraulic ports on the box). You may need a new steering coupler, and LEE can provide it. No engineering is required. Just careful planning. Plenty of help here. As far as PBrakes, this is wide open topic. Some may say leave it alone, and some will say go 4 wheel disc. If your car is a cruiser, keep the budget in mind, and adding stock front discs, and a booster may do the trick. Keep asking for info and have fun in the process.
 

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Disc brakes were designed By Girling to stop a twenty four ton British bomber on a very short grass field (former sheep pasture usually). American mechanics soon discovered the light weight disc brake system and put them on Mustangs as an in field service upgrade. the factory that produced fighters noticed and took the idea back to the states which dropped drum brakes for disc brakes as the fighters progressively had higher landing speeds as their wings changed shape to obtain higher level flight speeds.

After the war Hot rodders applied the same technology to their imported sports cars that were running at well above legal speed limits after the war. The advantage of a disc brake is it is lighter and it dissipates heat faster. This is a definite advantage in any road racing car.

The factory went to disc brakes not because it stops the car any faster (it doesn't: once the wheel is locked up it can't offer any more effort to stopping the car and drum brakes can easily lock up any car's brakes). The factory went to disc brakes because they were cheaper to install and service, not because they worked better. It took time to assemble the backing plates for drum brake cars and time is money. The reason there are few to no four wheel brake cars prior to computer controlled vehicles in the late eighties is because you need a mechanical parking brake which requires a brake on the drive shaft or a mechanical second caliper, or a drum brake inside the hat of the disc rotor (the way it is done on a Corvette).

So discs don't have any advantage other than cost savings on a street driven car, but are required to compete in any road racing or auto cross type of competition to be able to avoid brake fade from constant use. So are you going to compete or just show off your red calipers through your open five spoke wheels?

By the way there are lot of kits that offer very bad choices for rear disc brakes. for example Cadillac stopped using their first design that appeared on the 1978-'79 Seville (a direct bolt on for a Camaro or a Nova). They did this as people complained the stopping distance kept increasing because the rear discs did not work unless adjusted frequently (something a Cadillac owner won't do).

As to power assisted steering. You do not need it. It was provided as an upscale option on cars to assist little old ladies in parallel parking. But no one parallel parks any more! If you are endurance road racing at say the twelve hours at Sebring, Watkins Glen or Riverside than yes you will need power assist to get you to the finish line. This is because of the camber in your front wheel alignment. Every time you turn the wheel you pick up the front end of the car a little. Do this constantly in an endurance road race and your arms will fall off from fatigue. More camber you have to return the wheel to straight ahead the more weight you are picking up.

As to quick ratio steering. Well I own a 4x4 pick-up and due to the angles the front universals in the front end are limited too, it takes a ten acre field to turn it around. Am I going to get rid of the pick-up? No the two wheel drive has the same limitation due to ifs front ends, but with no ability to go off road (in Florida sugar sand is like quick sand it will swallow a normal two wheel drive vehicle). Can I live with the limitation? Yes I can, and it is much, much worse than any 1960,s car in turning radius.

I will admit variable ratio quick steer gear boxes are great and required if you want to auto cross but do you NEED IT, or just want it?

Big Dave
 

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My kit is rom Stainless Steel Brakes and at the time (long ago) four wheel kit was I think about $1200 Plus install. But as Big Dave said I was told he rears were Cadillac but it is not driven enough to cause a problem. The only problem I remember is the E Brake cables. I had to work with Lokar until they furnished me a kit I think was from an Old T-Bird. Works fine. CAUTION, If you do it yourself position the vehicle where you can remove the rear axles and have gear lube and cover gasket on hand. It is not a hard job but if you do it at home may take a couple of days. Shop, $1500+? Oh, and mine are manual 4 wheel. Got steering parts in a box. My manual Steering is a Z part.
 

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Manual Disc/Drum work great as long and the are installed, serviced and adjusted correctly.

Improvement can be achieved with better pads and shoes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Disc brakes were designed By Girling to stop a twenty four ton British bomber on a very short grass field (former sheep pasture usually). American mechanics soon discovered the light weight disc brake system and put them on Mustangs as an in field service upgrade. the factory that produced fighters noticed and took the idea back to the states which dropped drum brakes for disc brakes as the fighters progressively had higher landing speeds as their wings changed shape to obtain higher level flight speeds.

After the war Hot rodders applied the same technology to their imported sports cars that were running at well above legal speed limits after the war. The advantage of a disc brake is it is lighter and it dissipates heat faster. This is a definite advantage in any road racing car.

The factory went to disc brakes not because it stops the car any faster (it doesn't: once the wheel is locked up it can't offer any more effort to stopping the car and drum brakes can easily lock up any car's brakes). The factory went to disc brakes because they were cheaper to install and service, not because they worked better. It took time to assemble the backing plates for drum brake cars and time is money. The reason there are few to no four wheel brake cars prior to computer controlled vehicles in the late eighties is because you need a mechanical parking brake which requires a brake on the drive shaft or a mechanical second caliper, or a drum brake inside the hat of the disc rotor (the way it is done on a Corvette).

So discs don't have any advantage other than cost savings on a street driven car, but are required to compete in any road racing or auto cross type of competition to be able to avoid brake fade from constant use. So are you going to compete or just show off your red calipers through your open five spoke wheels?

By the way there are lot of kits that offer very bad choices for rear disc brakes. for example Cadillac stopped using their first design that appeared on the 1978-'79 Seville (a direct bolt on for a Camaro or a Nova). They did this as people complained the stopping distance kept increasing because the rear discs did not work unless adjusted frequently (something a Cadillac owner won't do).

As to power assisted steering. You do not need it. It was provided as an upscale option on cars to assist little old ladies in parallel parking. But no one parallel parks any more! If you are endurance road racing at say the twelve hours at Sebring, Watkins Glen or Riverside than yes you will need power assist to get you to the finish line. This is because of the camber in your front wheel alignment. Every time you turn the wheel you pick up the front end of the car a little. Do this constantly in an endurance road race and your arms will fall off from fatigue. More camber you have to return the wheel to straight ahead the more weight you are picking up.

As to quick ratio steering. Well I own a 4x4 pick-up and due to the angles the front universals in the front end are limited too, it takes a ten acre field to turn it around. Am I going to get rid of the pick-up? No the two wheel drive has the same limitation due to ifs front ends, but with no ability to go off road (in Florida sugar sand is like quick sand it will swallow a normal two wheel drive vehicle). Can I live with the limitation? Yes I can, and it is much, much worse than any 1960,s car in turning radius.

I will admit variable ratio quick steer gear boxes are great and required if you want to auto cross but do you NEED IT, or just want it?

Big Dave
Love the history - thanks! The reality is, I will take some time with stock and see how it feels but the purpose of this exercise was to cost up potential total spend + purchase price to make sure I'm roughly on track with what value would be. I'm not kidding myself that I'll make a profit on what I spend or even break even but want to go in with eyes open anyway.
 

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My '68 has manual disc/drum setup, it was probably setup that way due to the cam and low vacuum at idle. I'm pretty happy with it for spirited street driving and don't intend to go power. My '67 is power disc/drum. I know your intent is to do a what if, but just more info to ponder.
 

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I converted mine to PB using junk yard parts for a little over $200, everything needed, spindle to brake pedal. That was 30 years ago, and the old cars are just not there like the old daze. Today, I would buy a kit from one of the BIG auto performance website. Here is an example for a reasonable price:

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-bk1501?seid=srese1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI64XZlYfx6AIVwRd9Ch34-AdqEAQYAyABEgL98fD_BwE

If you are unsure of your mechanical skills, YouTube is your friend.
Same as the above for PS, though I think I would try to rock with manual steering today and look for the fast ratio parts to help out.
M
 

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I bought a manual front disc kit from right stuff https://www.summitracing.com/parts/RSD-AFXSD02C
And lines: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/RSD-FKT67DC

This setup is still sitting in boxes because I decided to do a PS swap at the same time. I've almost got everything together, starting with an AGR variable ratio box (https://www.yearone.com/Product/1964-72-chevelle-monte-carlo-el-camino/bf636)
Moog K6582 power steering pitman arm
Dorman 31015 HELP! Power Steering Coupling Assembly (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CSZGDQ/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_apap_18rlLK9cgvJVO)

I'm also doing ball joints, tie rods, and any bushings that I can get to when I do all of this front end work. Piecing together everything that will give me mild performance improvements like tall ball joints and figuring out if my steering arms are ok with the pitman arm and variable ratio box has been alot of research, and I still have to find a PS pump, and pulleys that will work with this setup.

One more thing to remember is all of the tools, grease, and paint you'll need for this job. If you're starting from scratch it takes a minute to get everything together!

You can build just about anything you want from kits or trying to piece together part numbers, have fun!
 

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$1500 in parts from right stuff and summit and another $2000 in labor and that's if all goes smoothly personalty if you don't have a garage and all the tools a bench a grinder a compressor and a couple of good friends to come over and lend you a hand then buy the time you done changing things on your car and paying a mechanic to do every thing your gonna be into this car for 20,000 bucks after the initial cost of the car. and that's not counting paint.
 

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I just discovered this weekend that the stock 69 PS pump bracket won't work as is with the aluminum heads on my Blueprint Engines 355. I confirmed with them that they have a raised exhaust port so the distance between the header bolt and the engine mount bolt that the bracket attaches with is farther apart making the bracket to short. So, I have the following bracket arriving today. I didn't really like the way the stock piece worked anyway.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-341210

And while I do plan to go to disc brakes one day, I have been surprised with how effective my manual drums are. That said, I haven't come close to pushing the car hard at all yet. However, with a new crate engine and QA1 suspension upgrades, I'm sure I will start doing that soon.
 

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$1500 in parts from right stuff and summit and another $2000 in labor and that's if all goes smoothly personalty if you don't have a garage and all the tools a bench a grinder a compressor and a couple of good friends to come over and lend you a hand then buy the time you done changing things on your car and paying a mechanic to do every thing your gonna be into this car for 20,000 bucks after the initial cost of the car. and that's not counting paint.
I think your saying this stuff is hard to do on your own? Not sure if that's what your saying. I guess that's personal opinion, I changed the steering on my own and while I'm comfortable with tools, I am no master mechanic by any stretch. Also, there is nothing about these two jobs that I see require anything more than simple hand tools.

I don't think these jobs are very difficult at all. Honestly, finding the right parts has been the biggest challenge for me.
 
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