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Disc Brake Delight

Stopping Power by ECI

Jan 9, 2004

As you round the corner you realize you're running out of road in a hurry. The speedometer needle is pointing at 110 and you're leaning on the brakes with all your might. You're probably thinking right about now that it would have been a better investment to drop that last few hundred bucks on rear disc brakes instead of those trick, new valve covers.

You wake up in a sweat and realize the entire thing was just a bad dream. At this point it would be a perfect time to give the guys as Engineered Components, Inc. (ECI) a call and order those new rear disc brakes. When it comes to musclecars, the only thing more important than going fast is stopping faster.

Now more than ever it's important to upgrade your machine to four-wheel discs. With most of the commuter cars on the road equipped with ABS discs, stopping behind a Honda Civic or Buick Regal could pose quite a challenge. Back in the day, when the average stopping distance from 60 mph was 225 feet, having less than adequate drum brakes would suffice. With the popularity of ABS and great brakes 60-0 stopping distances are more important than ever.

ECI's kits include all the necessary parts to adapt your OE parking brake to your new discs. As we found out, due to the larger requirement for brake fluid, our current power booster had to be mated to a new, larger master cylinder. While we're on the subject of power, let's get away from a few misconceptions. First and foremost, power brakes aren't for everyone. Those of you with radical motors that produce little vacuum, you are better off without power brakes. If you're planning on running a combo that will provide adequate vacuum and you prefer a softer feeling pedal, power brakes are probably the way to go.

The kit we chose from ECI for Kerry Carter's '66 A-body is a Cadillac Eldorado-based caliper and rotor. The entire package retails for less than $500 and took us about a day and a half to complete. After the installation we took the bright orange '66 out to our test facilities at the California Speedway in Fontana to see how ECI's brakes measured up. To our delight the 60-0 mph braking distances dropped a whopping 32 feet! Now that's what we call positive results.

Road Rage Test Data

60-0 MPH
Before After
162-feet 130-feet


0403sc_01z 1966_Cadillac_Eldorado Driver_front_side_view 2/17

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After unpacking everything, we made sure that all the necessary components were included in the shipment.

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Jason began by removing the aluminum rear drum brakes. Seeing as the parts were still in good mechanical condition we kept everything intact.

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The 10-bolt cover was removed and the rearend oil drained.

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The C-clips were removed from the pumpkin.

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The axles were removed to expose the backing plate.

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The primary and secondary caliper mounting hardware was snugged in place according to the provided directions. Following the bracket installation, the axles can be reinstalled.

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The C-clips can be put back in place and the rear differential cover can be buttoned up.

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Now is a good time to add new rearend oil, just so you don't forget.

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Slide the calipers over the new rotors and check to see that the new calipers will pose no clearance problems with the rest of the suspension.

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Due to the length of the new flexible line, lengthening or more likely shortening the hard line may be a requirement. Be sure to use a double flare on all brake lines!

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After the line has been properly flared, connect the existing hard line to the flexible line enclosed with the kit.

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With the hydraulics complete, the bracketry for the parking brake must be welded in place. Each fitment is slightly different so make sure everything will function before any welding takes place.

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The new E-brake cable can be secured in place. An adjustment of the cable will likely be necessary to control the travel of the parking brake.

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We ditched Wanda's current master cylinder in lieu of one with a larger capacity.

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The new master cylinder bolter right in place, and required no changes to any of the hard brake lines.

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Before we hit the street, we bled each rear wheel and checked to see that the wheels caused no bind with the new calipers. Check for leaks, if everything check out, you're ready for your break in!


Vernon, CT 06066,

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