Being in the magazine business, it’s pretty easy to get caught up in putting the best stuff on our cars just because it’s the latest, greatest, or biggest thing out there. We often lose sight of what is most practical for our cars, and especially our wallets. Be it engine components, suspension stuff, wheels, tires, or whatever, it’s so easy to get sucked into the “bling” aspect of a particular component just because it’s “cool.”
For this tech piece we dialed it way back and decided to go to the roots of a simple disc brake replacement installation. This basic install takes place on a second-generation Camaro that was in some dyer need of some new brake components. The calipers and rotors looked to be as old as the car itself. And even though we were sure the pads had been changed at some point, that was up for discussion though—the existing surface was about as thick as the 8-track tape we found under the rear seat.
We got on the phone and called up the experienced team over at Classic Performance Products (CPP) in Anaheim, California. They are known for their basic suspension and brake kits, and some of the most top-of-the-line performance components in the industry, so we knew they would be able to point is in the right direction for our simple swap. We told them we wanted to go with their stock replacement offerings for our ’71. We’re talking no bells or whistles, just a basic, proper-functioning brake system. The discs aren’t slotted or drilled (although CPP offers those for about 50 bucks more), and the booster and master cylinder are stock replacements.
This simple disc brake replacement can be performed by anyone in their garage or driveway with some basic hand tools and a couple of free hours. Not only is it easy, its’ effective. You’ll instantly notice the newfound stopping power of the new binders. Best of all, you’ll only need about $380.00 and a friend to help bleed the brakes once you’ve completed the install.
In order to keep costs down, we went with individual brake components for our ’71. But if you need spindles for your ride, CPP offers the 1970-78 stock spindle disc brake wheel kit (which includes new spindles) for $549.00.
Source Interlink Tech Center manager, Jason Scudellari, starts the brake install by removing the vintage brake calipers. He loosens the allen bolt with a 3/8-inch wrench on the top and bottom of the caliper bracket.
With the bolts removed the caliper just lifts off.
Break It Down
1 Item #4059
1 Item #4060
2 Item #AR-8202E
2 Camaro Rotors
2 Item #LM11949 A-2
2 Item #LM67048 A-6
1 Item # CPPHWF-C
Dust Cap Hardware Kit
2 Item # BB-716
Banjo Bolt 7/16-20
1 Item # 7079BB-11
Power Brake Booster, 11” Booster 7079 CM
Total = $373.35
From inside the car, Jason removed the brake lever pin on the brake pedal arm in order to remove the rod that’s connected to the master cylinder. Before removing the booster and master, we disconnected the front and rear brake lines.
With everything removed, it was time to start putting the new stuff together. First thing to do before installing the new brake components is to pack the bearings with a good dose of wheel bearing grease.
Before we installed the new discs, the spindle also got a good dose of grease.
With the old hardware removed, we then installed the new CPP-supplied clips and brake lines to the existing brackets.
Just loosen the four bolts where the booster connects to the firewall.
With the bearings packed, Jason then dropped the bearings into the CPP-supplied brake discs.
We purposely left the old brake calipers connected until we were ready to install the new ones. This was done to prevent unnecessary leaking of the existing fluid left in the old lines.
The new lines are pre-cut to the necessary length, so they bolted right up to the back of the new calipers.
You may be so inclined to take a shortcut, or try to save money by using some of the old parts, but we highly advise you use the new hardware that comes with the kit. It will only bite you in the rear down the road. Jason tightened up the new castle nut and topped it off with the new cotter pin.
With the new discs and calipers bolted up, Jason moved on to bleed the new master cylinder. We connected the supplied master cylinder bleeder kit to the brake line attachment, then filled the master with air-free fluid. You’ll need to pump it about 25 or so times, or until there are no visual air bubbles in the line.
It was then time to move forward and bolt up the booster. Again, this is an exact replacement system, so everything lines up just how you would expect.
The existing brake lines then bolted right back up to the proportion valve. All that was left to do was fill up the master cylinder with brake fluid and bleed the brakes. Our replacement system works just like new and the whole deal only set us back about $380.00. If you want to go for the kit that includes new spindles, you’re looking at about $549.00.
The new discs look sweet, and the calipers just bolted right in place with no issues whatsoever.
With the new master bled, we then bolted up the original proportion valve. The kit doesn’t come with one, so be sure to save your original. They rarely go bad, but if you happen to need a new one, CPP has them in stock for about $75.00
Next, Jason hooked up the master cylinder to the booster, then the brake pedal to the brake rod.