Subscribe to the Free

Chevy Nova Rear Big-Brake and Shocks Upgrade - Heavy Machinery, Part II

Nova Rear Big-Brake Kit & Adjustable Shock Upgrades From CPP

Sean Haggai Jul 29, 2010
View Full Gallery

Quick Notes

chp_01_z Chevy_nova_rear_big_brake_and_shocks_upgrade Brakes 2/17

What We Did
Finished up the rear of our Nova with QA1 adjustable shocks and swapped out the drums for 12-inch discs

Bottom Line
Adjustability is the key to creating an all-out street-warrior

Cost (Approx)
$1,500 (front/rear), $700 (rear only)

When we left off in the July issue, our budget street Nova was slowly but surely morphing from a grandma-glider to a grand-slam corner-burner.

chp_02_z Chevy_nova_rear_big_brake_and_shocks_upgrade Differential_cover_removal 3/17

Unfortunately, we only had enough space to showcase the front-end install of Classic Performance Products' tubular upper and lower A-arms, coilover QA1 shocks, 2-inch drop spindles, and 13-inch front disc brake package. That just goes to show that CPP has got enough components to turn any bland Nova into a mean street-sleeper.

So we're back to illustrate CPP's rear big-brake upgrade kit along with an upgraded shock system by way of single-adjustable QA1s. After all, our goal for the Nova is complete control over adjustability so we can fine-tune the suspension for any application. Whether we open-track, autocross, or drag race the Nova, the tunability is there and that's most important. We can now not only correct and fine-tune ride height but even driveability by either stiffening or softening the shocks. Banking on CPP's unquestionable ability to produce high-quality components for Novas we went ahead and installed the rest of the front/rear brake kit, which included rear disc brakes to match the front's already huge 13-inch brakes. Our components included 12-inch vented and slotted discs, powdercoated calipers, and rear caliper shims for different rearend offsets to adjust for endplay in the rotors. CPP thought of everything you'd possibly need when it came to completing their upgrade. A new differential cover gasket is even included with the package to prevent a midnight run to the parts store.

Our front man, Craig Chaffers, was back to show us exactly how to complete an install of this magnitude yourself. The best part is he made it look simple-which it was. We even added a new set of single-way adjustable QA1 shocks to replace the Bilsteins. Look for a complete test of the new suspension in an upcoming issue. For now, see how we continued to transform this Nova into a real performer.

CPP Rear Big-Break Kit
We purchased our big-brake kit complete, front to rear, but you can get the rear kit alone. At any rate, the rear system uses a 12-inch cross-drilled, gas-slotted, zinc-washed rotor that mounts to the factory axles. Longer wheels studs are even included and it mates up to a Lincoln Continental emergency brake-style caliper mounted to the rear axlehousing with CPP custom caliper mounting brackets. CPP kits include the rotors, calipers, brake lines, brackets, cables, hoses, clips, instructions, and necessary hardware to ensure a hassle-free installation. Complete front and rear kits also include a four-wheel-disc manual/power brake master cylinder and proportioning valve kit. Note: This kit requires larger-diameter disc brake-type 15-inch wheels. An easy-to-use wheel template is available. Upgraded red powdercoated calipers are available at extra cost.

chp_05_z Chevy_nova_rear_big_brake_and_shocks_upgrade CPP_rear_big_brake_kit 6/17

Brake Modification The last bit of the build included a small and simple modification to the brake distribution block. For illustration purposes, we opened up a distribution block on the workbench. Here, we removed the spring and plunger. This allows a signal to be sent to the rear calipers. This modification is only done during the install of rear disc brakes, though, since an increase in brake line pressure is needed to apply the clamping force necessary to stop.

chp_14_z Chevy_nova_rear_big_brake_and_shocks_upgrade Distributor 16/17

The Parts

QA1 Stocker Star Single Adjustable Stock Mount Rear Shocks (2) TC1661P $318
CPP Rear Big Brake Kit 6869RWBKP12 700
TOTAL $1,018

While we haven't fully tested the complete suspension and brake systems from CPP we can assure you it's a completely different car! Its supple ride is quick and nimble and reacts to nearly any twist of the steering wheel. Look for a complete braking, slalom, and skidpad test in a future issue. For now, we've got the autocross to check out how the new gear performs.

chp_16_z Chevy_nova_rear_big_brake_and_shocks_upgrade Chevy_nova_front_view 17/17


Classic Performance Products
Placentia, CA 92870



Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

sponsored links

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print