Classic Performance Products Suspension, Brakes And Steering System Tips - CHP Insider

Jim Ries Of Classic Performance Parts Explains How To Make Your Car Turn And Stop Just As Well As It Accelerates

Stephen Kim Nov 1, 2008 0 Comment(s)
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New Products
With the restoration market changing each year, CPP's team of engineers and fabricators is constantly adding new products and innovative technology to meet customer demand. "We are currently finishing up development on our new 500-series steering box for Tri-Fives and '58-64 fullsize Chevys that features a quick 12:1 ratio," says Jim. "Also, there are lots of guys that don't necessarily want to build a Pro Touring musclecar, but still want to run bigger 12-inch brakes inside their 15-inch rally wheels. To meet this need, we are designing a new spindle with additional clearance that allows fitting bigger brakes with smaller wheels for Tri-Fives, first-gen Camaros, and '64-72 Chevelles. We plan to offer them as both drop spindles and stock replacement spindles."

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Brakes & Wheel Clearance
"One of the most common mistakes we see customers make is picking out their wheels before deciding on a brake system for their car," Jim says. "What you want to avoid is being forced to modify your wheels, or having to run spacers and longer wheel studs in order to create the necessary caliper clearance. By selecting your brake system first, you know exactly how much clearance you'll need beforehand, and can tailor the offset of the wheels accordingly. Another thing to keep in mind is that the amount of clearance required can depend on the style of caliper you'd like to run. For instance, six-piston fixed calipers require much more clearance than a traditional floating caliper because they have pistons positioned on each side of the rotor."

Ditch The Drums
With the increasing availability of high-performance suspension hardware and skyrocketing horsepower figures, CPP says that the popularity of brake upgrades has grown substantially. "It's not just that disc brake upgrades are getting cheaper, but people also realize that as power increases, braking performance becomes more important," says Jim. "As drums heat up, since they dissipate heat far less effectively than discs, that heat causes the drum itself to expand, which means the shoes have to travel farther, resulting in fade. In wet conditions, water can become trapped inside the drum and act as a lubricant. Additionally, drums are heavier and more difficult to service."

Build All At Once
When a restoration project enters the final assembly stage, Jim suggests tackling the little things at the same time. "Work on your suspension, brakes, and all plumbing while the motor is out of the car," he advises. "Not only will you have better access to all parts of the car, but you'll end up with cleaner results. It's understandable that you might be very excited to drop your motor in and get back on the road, but when you're routing brake lines or working on installing a new steering box, for instance, you'll save lots of time. Simply having better access to the areas you're working on will reduce the likelihood of making installation errors as well."