The work need not be done in any particular order. We are planning to modify the spindles to accept a different caliper, add the caliper to the spindle, and replace the shocks, struts, front and rear springs, front and rear stabilizer bars, lower control arms, and some related components. (The word "planning" is important. There were a few parts that we did not replace.) We are adding one additional part, and contemplating another, neither of which is in our recipe, but we will save that for the next installment.
We started with the front brakes. Even before the work began, we need to provide a warning, and you may need to spend some more money. If you have 14-inch wheels on your car (as our Sport coupe does), you will need to obtain larger ones. The 14-inch wheels will not clear the new brakes. Take a look at the first two photos. We purchased two 15-inch wheels and got two more from a junkyard. Now that the work has been completed, we wish we had gotten 16-inch wheels. You'll understand why by the time you get to the next part of this buildup.
Since our calipers came unloaded, it was necessary to add the pads to the calipers, which can be seen in the photos below. It is also necessary to install the caliper carrier bracket (GM PN 10132830 for the right side and PN 10132329 for the left side). See the photos below for the caliper carrier and caliper carrier brackets. The right-hand bracket may still be available from GM (it was when we ordered ours). The left-hand caliper cradle (the one that is no longer available from GM) is available from other sources.
We originally put in an order with Spohn Performance for the left-hand caliper carrier bracket. It was to be delivered by October of last year. For some reason it was not delivered. However, as of the time that this article was written, we still had not heard from Spohn Performance about this part.
Because of our deadline we did some research on alternative sources. Both Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation (SSBC) and Scoggin-Dickey advertise 1LE brake kits. These kits include only the brakes and not any of the suspension components. However, this is important because that left-hand caliper carrier is available from SSBC (PN A24106B) as an individual part. (It may also be available as an individual part from Scoggin-Dickey; we didn't check because we were told that the Scoggin-Dickey system is from SSBC).
Unfortunately, this is a good news/bad news situation. Although the individual part is available from SSBC, at $150.00 (plus the cost of shipping), the cost is substantial. That's more than twice what we paid for the right-hand bracket that is still available from GM. We didn't have a choice.
We went ahead and ordered the part from SSBC. For some reason, this left-hand caliper carrier seemed to be jinxed-it was the wrong part. A call to SSBC confirmed that we had the wrong component. We asked SSBC to send us the correct part, and it arrived in two days, which left us with plenty of time. That kind of customer service overcame our aggravation at having received the wrong part.
At this point you may have some additional parts to purchase or some research to perform. Then, in the next segment, we will provide you with further detailed information on this upgrade. Stay tuned!