It was a warm, sticky summer afternoon at Maryland’s Capitol Drag Raceway back in the mid-1970s. I was fresh out of high school when a ’63 Chevy II roared up into the staging lanes for a smoky stage. He laid into the throttle and the blown small-block Chevy went to work. One of the M&H Racemaster slicks came spinning out of the left wheelwell with the axle attached. We all sat there spellbound. Someone called in a wrecker and hauled the crippled Nova off to the pits.
Had the Moser #9000 and #9200 C-Clip Eliminator kits been available back in the day for the GM 10- and 12-bolt rearends, that spinning slick wouldn’t have been able to escape. The Moser C-Clip Eliminator kit gets rid of the C-clips your GM 10- or 12-bolt rearend has always used to secure the axleshafts to the differential. Open up the center case, free up the pinion pin, push the axleshafts inward, remove the C-clips, and reassemble the rear axle using the safety hub and sealed press-on axle bearings. You can use the C-clip eliminator with your Chevy’s rear drum brakes or nearly any factory or aftermarket disc brake setup.
For this C-clip conversion, we’ve opted for the Wilwood FDL Pro-Series MC4 rear disc kit with a parking brake, which provides the ultimate solution for popular muscle car applications. Forged billet Dynalite four-piston calipers, MC4 Parking Brake calipers, two-piece hat and rotor assemblies, along with high-friction pads provide optimized and balanced braking for all types of off-road, competition, and other customized applications. The FDL calipers can be optioned with a full range of finishes to reflect your personal style. We opted for black to match the Chevelle’s pre-existing front Wilwood binders.
The Moser Engineering C-Clip Eliminator kit, obtained through Summit Racing (PN MSR-9000), is sized for the 1.533-inch bearing seat and aftermarket Moser axles, while kit #9200 is for a 1.400-inch bearing seat and Moser C-clip axles. All you have to do is have the Moser C-Clip Eliminators pressed onto your axles and you’re good to go. To accommodate the Moser Eliminators, you’re going to have to grind the lip at the axlehousing end down to a 1/8-inch lip and then check the eliminator assemblies for proper fit.
We’re at Hot Rod Specialties working with Joel Rode on a 1967 Chevelle with a 12-bolt axle assembly copped from a ’68 Chevelle, which increased the track width over the factory-issue ’67 Chevelle’s axlehousing. Joel begins the C-clip conversion by draining the differential.
This bolt secures the pinion pin, which keeps the axles and C-clips in place.
After Joel slides the pinion pin out, he pushes each axleshaft inward to gain access to both C-clips with a magnet, as shown.
Each axleshaft is removed for preparation for the eliminators.
Summit Racing set us up with everything we’re going to need to build a safe 10- or 12-bolt axle assembly: Moser Engineering Street Axles, C-clip eliminators, and installation hardware.
Since we were tearing everything apart, we figured it was a great time to upgrade our rear drums to match our front Wilwood disc brakes. These high-performance Wilwood 12.19-inch disc brakes will beat the pants off the clunky old Chevrolet drums we’re about to replace.
The 10- and 12-bolt axles ride on bearings like these, which get their lubrication from the differential. However, we’re going to improve this package with sealed-bearing Moser C-Clip Eliminators.
Joel uses a slide hammer to remove the axle bearings, which won’t be needed when we install the Moser Eliminators.
We will need to shave down the axle lip (housing end lip that held the stock axle bearing) to accommodate the C-Clip Eliminator.
This is how much material we need to cut from the axlehousing lip to make room for the new C-Clip eliminator.
Joel gets after the cut with this cutting wheel, being extra careful not to make a sloppy cut or take off too much. Eye and ear protection is strongly suggested.
This is how the axleshaft and C-clip eliminator should stack up on the press during assembly.
The axleshaft contact surfaces have been cleaned up and readied for the Eliminator, which is pressed on at this time.
Joel assembles the Wilwood brakes beginning with the caliper bracket, which ties the calipers to the axlehousing. The bolts get threadlocker and are torqued to 40 ft-lb. This is the caliper bracket assembly that bolts to the Eliminator and axle.
Silicone sealer is applied to the axlehousing flange, which is where the C-clip Eliminator will seat. The sealer keeps axle lube inside the housing, where it belongs.
The axle and Eliminator are seated in the axlehousing and differential. The differential pin and bolt are then reinstalled (not pictured).
The axleshaft, Eliminator, and Wilwood caliper bracket (right hand side shown) are installed and should look something like this.
All rotor/hat fasteners get a dressing of threadlocker for optimum security.
The rotor and hat are mated together and the fasteners are installed. The bolts get torqued to 180 in-lb in a crisscross fashion in one-third values. Crisscrossing allows for even torque across the rotor and hat, which prevents warpage. Wilwood states that you can safety-wire these bolts for added security, but it isn’t mandatory.
The brake rotors slip right onto the axle flange as shown. Wilwood provides fasteners to secure the rotor to the axle flange.
Shims are often necessary to get the Wilwood calipers properly centered, and the kit includes ones of varying thicknesses. Begin by installing a 0.035-inch shim on each bolt and adjust from there until the caliper is centered over the rotor.
As we locate the caliper on the brackets, the shims install like this between the caliper and bracket.
Once the caliper is properly centered, slide the brake pads in and lock them in place with the provided cotter pin retainer.
This is the parking brake caliper, which is mounted near the top of the rotor. The Wilwood parking brake caliper has small pads, which are all you’re going to need to hold the vehicle as parked.
The provided parking brake cables connect like this at the top caliper.
This is the provided parking brake cable hardware provided by Wilwood. This is a universal package that will install on any Chevy.
The drum brake hydraulic lines will connect to the Wilwood calipers. If you have the time this is the perfect chance to upgrade your rear brake lines with new parts from a company like Classic Tube.
Here’s an exploded view of the Wilwood Dyalite/MC4 rear disc brake assembly for C-clip eliminator 10- and 12-bolt GM rearends (PN 140-14224). This makes light work of a Wilwood disc brake installation.
Refer to this illustration for proper wheel rim clearance with the Wilwood brake calipers. Do a fit check before ever putting the vehicle on the ground.
Photography by Jim Smart