The Other Way Of Stopping, Part 1 - Wilwood Front Disc Brakes

Wilwood front disc brakes help turn our fishtailing '58 into a decelerating dynamo

Jay Heath May 21, 2014 0 Comment(s)
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Hub And Rotor 2/32

11 It’s time to move over the workbench and start putting together the first hub-and-rotor assembly. Fortunately Wilwood provides step-by-step directions to walk you through the process.

Red N Tacky Grease 3/32

12 Lovell begins by applying Lucas "Red 'n' Tacky #2" grease to the inner (shown) and outer wheel bearings. As we noted earlier, the Wilwood bearings use a modern roller configuration.

Hub Install 4/32

13 The bearings then go into the hub, as shown here. Note that in this photo, the seal has not yet been installed.

Hub Apply Blue 5/32

14 After tapping in the seal with a rubber mallet, Lovell applies blue Loctite to the hub studs before torquing them down.

Bolt Hub To Rotor 6/32

15 The next step is to bolt the hub to the rotor adapter, again using Loctite on the threads.

Internal 7/32

16 Before affixing the rotor to the adapter (using more Loctite, natch), we snapped this photo of its internal vanes. The vanes greatly improve cooling as compared with the old solid-rotor configurations.

Hub And Rotor Assembly 8/32

17 Here’s the completed hub-and-rotor assembly, ready to bolt up to the car.

1958 Chevrolet Corvette Wilwood Caliper Mounting 9/32

18 Since the original spindle wasn’t designed to accommodate disc brakes, Wilwood helpfully includes this caliper-mounting bracket. You’ll need to bolt it into place (yep, more Loctite) before installing the new brakes.

1958 Chevrolet Corvette Install Hub And Rotor 10/32

19 It’s time to bolt on the hub and rotor, applying some extra grease to the spindle-nut area along the way.

1958 Chevrolet Corvette Spindle Nut 11/32

20 While you can reuse your old spindle nut, you will need to install the new, thicker washer (right) that comes with the Wilwood kit.

1958 Chevrolet Corvette Finished 12/32

21 Here’s the finished assembly, complete with nut and washer. Give yourself bonus points if something looks a little "off" in this photo.

1958 Chevrolet Corvette Wilwood Directional 13/32

22 That’s right: We installed the left-side rotor on the right side of the car—this, despite the fact that Wilwood includes directional indicators on each one. Always remember to check your work as you go!

Wilwood Four Piston 14/32

23 After straightening out our rotor snafu, it was time to bolt on the new natty, Wilwood four-piston calipers. They come with matching high- performance pads, one of which Lovell is shown installing here.

Bolt On Caliper To 15/32

24 The caliper then bolts to the previously installed adapter…

1958 Chevrolet Corvette Brakes 16/32

25 …and the first half of our front-brake upgrade is complete. Note that the protective black coating on the rotors will wear off with use, revealing a gleaming silver finish beneath.

1958 Chevrolet Corvette Reinstall 17/32

26 With the wheel reinstalled, the transformative nature of our brake upgrade starts to become apparent.

1958 Chevrolet Corvette Wilwood Caliper 18/32

27 Our kit offered a choice of black-anodized or red-powdercoated calipers. We chose the latter, both to match the Signet Red finish of the car and to draw attention to the upgrade itself. Snazzy, no?


Wilwood Engineering
Camarillo, CA 93012
Seffner, FL 33584


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