1965 Chevy Bel Air Wagon Disc Brakes - Gimme A Brake

Stop On A Dime, For Only A Few Dollars

Mike Harrington Jan 31, 2007 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0610_01_z 1965_chevy_bel_air_wagon_disc_brakes Setup 1/24

The sight of a large-barge Chevy rolling down an American highway carrying the typical nuclear family used to be a sight so common it would hardly attract a second glance. In fact, the sight was so familiar; the story of a family making a long trip in a wagon or full-sized car has woven itself into many a plot line on the silver screen. Without fail, at some point in the story, a bridge would be out, or Bambi would suddenly appear in the middle of road, and the driver of the large barge would have to stand on the brakes and send the car into a skid. The occupants inside would roll and tumble like rocks in a hubcap as the vehicle swooped and swerved to avoid certain tragedy. It was always funny on the big screen when we witnessed such events, because nothing bad would really happen to the people inside. Clark Griswold would eventually get to WallyWorld; Lucy and Ricky would arrive with their long trailer; the Bradys never had to use the brakes on their wagon at all.

Of course, those are just entertaining stories, and we all know what can really happen in an emergency stop situation. It can be anything but funny. Rather than wait unprepared for the aforementioned situation, it's time to give ourselves the home court advantage and swap out the old stock drums in the front for a shiny new pair of discs. These days, you can get disc brake upgrades as a prize in a box of cereal or sitting on the shelves at Megalow-Mart. Well, that may be true in some areas, but we took a different route. There was no need to scour a local salvage yard or run around town to various parts houses. Our fingers did the walking as we searched Performance Online's Web site, and there we found what we needed-a disk brake upgrade kit for '65-'70 Impalas. The price was right, too, at only $549. Since the Bel Air wagon is the same as an Impala minus trim, this kit was all that was needed. The brake kit comes complete with:

Sucp_0610_02_z 1965_chevy_bel_air_wagon_disc_brakes Kit 2/24

Minus the booster, here is everything needed for the install. The only thing you will have to buy is grease to pack the bearings.

* Rotors
* Small "GM" calipers
* Bearings
* Seals
* Hoses
* Grease caps
* Spindle nuts
* Mounting brackets
* All necessary hardware
* 7-, 8- or 9-inch booster
* Master cylinder
* Prop valve

It also all fits on the stock spindles. Before we installed the brakes, we took the wagon and conducted some 60-0 mph deceleration tests. The Bel Air would regularly stop in the 220-foot range; not bad for a car its size running all drum brakes, but this wouldn't be if we settled for "Not Bad." So off we go.

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