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Halting Power

A-body Discs Fro Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation

When restoring a project, we often forget to address the most important things first in lieu of the more fun parts of the project. While we would all like to remove the old 283 and replace it with a ZZ430 it's not always the most practical place to begin, especially when all you've got for stopping power is the original set of non-power drum brakes. So, in the name of safety and practicality we've decided to give you all a crash course in power disc brake conversions on your '64-72 Chevelle.

We happened to come across a box stock '64 Chevelle Malibu convertible, a perfect example of what not to drive on the freeway with stock brakes. And why is that you say? We took our '64 out to Fontana's California Speedway for a bit of Road Rage performance testing only to find out that our Malibu stopped from 60-0 in a disappointing 241 feet. Just for a bit of comparison, a stock '02 Z28 Camaro takes 129 feet to come to a stop from 60. There was only one thing to do, make the jump to power disc brakes.

Not all vehicles require power brakes. In fact, for those of you hell bent on running a cam with high lift specifications, you're probably better off without power brakes as they require about 14-15 inches of vacuum. But, if you're planning on running a streetable motor with a semi-mild cam, power brakes are the ticket!

The aftermarket brake industry is quite large, so be careful who you deal with. While some manufacturers have been in the stopping business for some time, some have not. Stainless Steel Brake Corporation has been providing aftermarket disc brake conversions to the public for quite some time. We've found their kits to be all-inclusive and their tech support to be excellent. While SSBC has many different levels of brakes, we chose the FX2 Force 10 conversion for both the front and rear. The FX2 is a system that encompasses dual piston aluminum calipers with zinc-plated 11-inch slotted rotors. Despite its physical appearance, the FX2 caliper and rotor will provide adequate clearance for a 15-inch wheel. The kit we chose also came with a dual master cylinder, 9-inch power booster, and a fresh set of brake pads.

Here at CHEVELLE we think of safety first. So, if you're going to drop in a ZZ430 or the like you'd better have the stopping power to back it down. The SSBC conversion isn't a one-day deal, but it doesn't require a degree in brake technology either. Take your time, be thorough and if your results are anything like ours you'll have your 60-0s down to 155 feet in no time!

ROAD RAGE TEST DATA

BeforeAfter
241-feet155-feet

SOURCES
Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation
11470 Main Rd.
Clarence
NY  14031
8-00/-448-7722
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