Braking systems have long been ignored as a mandatory performance upgrade. The visual impact of cross-drilled rotors and racy looking multi-piston calipers looks great and stops even the heaviest of heavyweight cars, but the price tag is often out of the typical "street cruiser" budget. Welcome to the new century, where everyone is trading in their huge rear tires and skinny front pizza cutters for 18-inch wheels and racy brakes (heck, even Popular Hot Rodding's Project X is being retrofitted to stop and handle!) So, how can we do this without shelling out big bucks and spending hours trying to retrofit our old Chevy with modern components? Classic Performance Products (CPP) of Buena Park, California, has come to the rescue with disc brake conversion kits for everything from early Chevy trucks to 70's era musclecars. One of the big advantages of the CPP kits is that most of the major components are OEM parts. The kits are designed to be a bolt-on installation, so even the average backyard mechanic with normal hand tools can complete the upgrade in about a day. The kit includes rear disc brake calipers with a built in emergency brake (OEM parts for '80-85 Cadillac Sevilles); 11-inch vented rotors, laser-cut caliper mounting brackets, rubber brake hoses, and all necessary mounting hardware. To complete the installation in style, CPP offers cross-drilling and gas-slotting of the rotors, emergency brake cables, and custom-bent hard brake lines. Since all four corners of our Chevy will now be "modern," it was a given to update the master cylinder and the brake booster. CPP offers a custom master cylinder/booster combo that's available in 7-, 8-, and 9-inch diameters (an 8-inch dual- diaphragm master cylinder is also available from CPP). Along with offering a variety of sizes, CPP engineered the booster to mount close to the firewall for improved valve cover clearance. The proper brake pedal ratio is incorporated into the design so the full travel of the master cylinder is used, resulting in a higher, firmer brake pedal. The complete kit includes your choice of booster size, Corvette master cylinder, and proportioning valve. To prove how easy the installation is, Chris Basset installed the rear brake kit and booster in his storage garage with basic hand tools. Chris wanted his classic '62 Bel-Air wagon to stop without having the annoying side-to-side pull usually associated with drum brakes, so he had already installed the front disc kit before we began our rear installation. After all of the CPP parts arrived, Chris quickly went to workupgrading his wagon. The installation was fairly straightforward. Follow along to see just how easy it is to get vastly improved braking on your classic. Classic Performance Products offers a complete bolt-on rear disc brake kit for most early Chevys as well as many musclecars. Shown here is the complete rear disc brake kit for '55-64 fullsize Chevys using an original rear axle (power brake booster and emergency brake cables are optional, but also available from CPP). This is a complete kit, with all necessary hardware and instructions. Classic Performance Products offers a complete bolt-on rear disc brake kit for most early After properly setting the car on jackstands and removing the rear wheels, we proceeded to remove the drum and all of the old braking components. We started by removing the brake shoes and then the rubber brake lines going to the wheel cylinders. Chris had ordered custom emergency brake cables (since the drum brake cables will not interchange), so we disconnected the old cables from their original starting point. After properly setting the car on jackstands and removing the rear wheels, we proceeded to To remove the brake backing plates, you simply undo the four bolts that retain it on the axle. By pulling towards you, it will break loose. To remove the brake backing plates, you simply undo the four bolts that retain it on the a To get the backing plate from between the axle housing and the shaft, we pulled the axle shaft out. Using a slide hammer and a few good pulls, ours popped right out. To get the backing plate from between the axle housing and the shaft, we pulled the axle s With the axle shaft removed, we cleaned the gear oil off of the axle housing where the new brake caliper brackets will mount. A new gasket (provided in the kit) is installed to insure a leak-free installation. With the axle shaft removed, we cleaned the gear oil off of the axle housing where the new It was determined that our wheel studs weren't long enough for our new brake/wheel combination. We went to the local auto parts store, found the length we needed, and pressed them in. Taking the longer bolts (to accommodate the new caliper bracket), we pre-installed them through the bearing retainer plate and slipped on the metal spacer ring. It was determined that our wheel studs weren't long enough for our new brake/wheel combina 1 | 2 | » | View Full Article Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!