There's no question the superiority of disc brakes versus drum brakes when it comes to stopping. It would probably surprise most, though, how many classic Chevys are still rolling on outdated front drum brakes. Why would anyone still be using the old binders? There's no one real reason, but it varies from cost, to frugality, to some people are just fine with using them. We'll leave the stock resto cars out of the discussion, since it's obvious why they still have their factory drums.
It used to be that retrofitting discs onto an older car meant scouring the junkyards for '70s disc brake cars to rob them of spindles, calipers, master cylinders, etc. Well, in 2014 we don't have to do that anymore. Thanks to companies like Classic Performance Products (CPP), installing disc brakes on a vintage Bow Tie is easier than ever, and surprisingly economical.
Our Auto Metal Direct '67 Chevelle was restored fairly close to factory spec, meaning it had power front drums when finished. With our plan to really start driving this A-body and testing different parts on it, the front brakes definitely needed an upgrade. Whether you're drag racing, autocrossing, or just trying to survive on today's fast-paced/overcrowded roads (overrun with distracted drivers), you'll want to make sure you have plenty of stopping power. CPP's catalog gave us many options, from multi-piston disc brakes to proven single piston designs. They even have a kit to convert your Chevelle to front C5 Corvette brakes.
We went with front disc kit 67CBK-S. It's a complete package that includes the correct master cylinder, flex hoses, and even hard lines for converting to discs. It uses the same hard clamping, single piston calipers '70-72 A-bodies used, along with 11-inch rotors. Best of all, it prices out at $699, a real bargain when you consider it includes new spindles and calipers—it's truly complete. No need to hunt down junkyard parts, and everything is brand new. Best of all, CPP offers its brake kits in assembled form, to save the installer even more time during the conversion.
To further the safety issue while at the same time improving handling and driveability, we put in a call to Coker for a set of correct factory Rallye rims and handsome BF Goodrich Redline radial tires. The radials will not only help the car turn and ride better, but they'll also help it stop in a shorter distance. As for the Rallys vs the painted steelies with poverty caps we had, it is a matter of preference, but the former was standard on the SS and were needed to clear the disc brakes.
Follow along and we'll show you how easy it really is to give your car discs in a day.
|67CBK-S Complete Disc Brake Kit $699.00|
|Coker Redline Radials|
|Coker Reproduction Corvette Rallye Wheels|