1966 Biscayne power disc brake conversion - Impala Tech
Brakes & Suspension Conversion Questions & more

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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1966 Biscayne power disc brake conversion

I have a 1966 biscayne with a 427/4 speed. No power brakes or power steering. The steering is not too bad for now but these drum brakes have got to go (on the front at least)

What bolt on kits do you guys recommend?

The car has 15" wheels btw

Thanks!

Jeff
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 10:51 PM
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Factory used Corvette style power disc brakes. The hubs are the only part that you can not buy new in the aftermarket.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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I am looking for a complete kit I can buy. I dont really want to start hunting for pieces
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 11:39 AM
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Since you have 15 inch wheels now you can install any eleven inch disc rotor and caliper combination. Most of the kits that you can find utilize either the late model METRIC G-body brakes off of a Monte Carlo. Some use the earlier Chevelle brakes from 1969 to '72 that use SAE threads and fittings. The difference in price reflects the quality of the service parts that were put in the box after they went to Rock Auto dot com to buy the parts that are commonly available (except for the mounting bracket/replacement dropped spindle).

If you buy cheap you get the best on offer from Pakistan, India, and the bad part of Asia (Malaysia). If you buy the more expensive kits you get quality parts made in Mexico. Or you can go online and look for a list of part numbers to assemble your own kit and buy Raybestos and Moog parts made in the US at an even higher price point.

Like I said factory didn't even offer disc brakes until 1967. In 1967 and '68 the factory used the discs off of the Corvette with a special wheel hub that holds the wheel bearings and mounts the rotor. In 1969-'72 the factory used the larger single caliper and bigger rotor off of a pick-up truck; because the engineers were worried that the smaller brakes off of the lighter Chevelle (and Camaro or Nova) wouldn't hold the big Impala. Stating in 1973 all cars in the GM fleet used the same brake parts regardless of weight of the vehicle.

When it comes to brakes bigger is better. You want parts off of a vehicle that either is very heavy, or drives at a ridiculous fast speed.

Wilwood or Baer (both started in business selling brake kits to NASCAR) and they both make very high quality kits using either proprietary parts, or Brembo or PBR calipers off of European sports cars (the Corvette used rebranded Girling calipers off of a Jaguar). It is what I would use on my car.

Big Dave
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
Since you have 15 inch wheels now you can install any eleven inch disc rotor and caliper combination. Most of the kits that you can find utilize either the late model METRIC G-body brakes off of a Monte Carlo. Some use the earlier Chevelle brakes from 1969 to '72 that use SAE threads and fittings. The difference in price reflects the quality of the service parts that were put in the box after they went to Rock Auto dot com to buy the parts that are commonly available (except for the mounting bracket/replacement dropped spindle).

If you buy cheap you get the best on offer from Pakistan, India, and the bad part of Asia (Malaysia). If you buy the more expensive kits you get quality parts made in Mexico. Or you can go online and look for a list of part numbers to assemble your own kit and buy Raybestos and Moog parts made in the US at an even higher price point.

Like I said factory didn't even offer disc brakes until 1967. In 1967 and '68 the factory used the discs off of the Corvette with a special wheel hub that holds the wheel bearings and mounts the rotor. In 1969-'72 the factory used the larger single caliper and bigger rotor off of a pick-up truck; because the engineers were worried that the smaller brakes off of the lighter Chevelle (and Camaro or Nova) wouldn't hold the big Impala. Stating in 1973 all cars in the GM fleet used the same brake parts regardless of weight of the vehicle.

When it comes to brakes bigger is better. You want parts off of a vehicle that either is very heavy, or drives at a ridiculous fast speed.

Wilwood or Baer (both started in business selling brake kits to NASCAR) and they both make very high quality kits using either proprietary parts, or Brembo or PBR calipers off of European sports cars (the Corvette used rebranded Girling calipers off of a Jaguar). It is what I would use on my car.

Big Dave
Are you familiar with any of the kits out there? If so, do you have one that you would recommend?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 08:52 PM
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I am familiar with companies, and their products, but not their kits specifically for a 1966 Chevy Full Size because I don't own one. I have used MPB kits on a couple of Nova bodies because I owned literally dozens of them. I have worked with Baer and Wilwood on my drag cars and they work well but once again not a full size Chevy. I have purchased parts from SSBC for my Impala but it was for an 85 and an '89 which are different than yours.

Between MPB and SSBC I prefer the latter as they have everything in the kit and it was at the time of better quality in my opinion. If I were doing a brake upgrade today I would go with bigger 13.4" by 1.26" thick front rotors from Baer and run a 17 inch wheel (they make a rally wheel in 17 inches that looks stock).

This is because I would also probably have a blown 540 cube BBC under the hood this time around, and I know how bad a driver I was when I only had a 750 plus horse normally aspirated 582 BBC under the hood of my last Impala. I was running 12 inch rotors off of a police car which tended to fade above 105 mph on a panic stop.

Big Dave
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
I am familiar with companies, and their products, but not their kits specifically for a 1966 Chevy Full Size because I don't own one. I have used MPB kits on a couple of Nova bodies because I owned literally dozens of them. I have worked with Baer and Wilwood on my drag cars and they work well but once again not a full size Chevy. I have purchased parts from SSBC for my Impala but it was for an 85 and an '89 which are different than yours.

Between MPB and SSBC I prefer the latter as they have everything in the kit and it was at the time of better quality in my opinion. If I were doing a brake upgrade today I would go with bigger 13.4" by 1.26" thick front rotors from Baer and run a 17 inch wheel (they make a rally wheel in 17 inches that looks stock).

This is because I would also probably have a blown 540 cube BBC under the hood this time around, and I know how bad a driver I was when I only had a 750 plus horse normally aspirated 582 BBC under the hood of my last Impala. I was running 12 inch rotors off of a police car which tended to fade above 105 mph on a panic stop.

Big Dave
I was thinking about ordering this kit. This car will never see a race track. its just something my wife and I take out on an evening cruise

1965 - 1968 Chevy Impala, Bel Air, Biscayne*Front Aluminum 2 Piston Power Disc Brake conversion Kit - A129-4A

Do you know if these brakes will clear a 15" steel wheel? I am unsure of the back set on them. I assume the are factory backset
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 11:45 AM
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"I was thinking about ordering this kit. This car will never see a race track. its just something my wife and I take out on an evening cruise"

The advantage disc have over the drums is in dissipating the heat generated by repeated, hard, or constant use; such as racing, hauling a trailer, or driving in mountainous areas. If you are only out on evening cruises, disc are no better than drums.

Keeping the drums (in proper condition) simplifies your restoration and eliminates potential problems with wheels and other things (for example, proportioning valves are needed for the disc and serve no purpose on drums).

'Newer' brakes are superior but it's because of the computer controls, the LARGE rotors, and the traction from today's tires.

Not being critical. Just offering some suggestions for your consideration.

Good luck with you new toy!

Pete
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 03:34 PM
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That is a very good kit. The master cylinder is matched to the caliper size .

Just be sure that your brake pedal is below, or in front of the clevis at the top so that the rod to activate the brakes goes in straight instead of cocking as it tries to pressurize the system. I believe that kit offers an adjustable length brake piston rod with the kit.

Big Dave
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-18-2017, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
That is a very good kit. The master cylinder is matched to the caliper size .

Just be sure that your brake pedal is below, or in front of the clevis at the top so that the rod to activate the brakes goes in straight instead of cocking as it tries to pressurize the system. I believe that kit offers an adjustable length brake piston rod with the kit.

Big Dave
Thanks! I believe it is the kit that I will go with. I am going to have a local guy who does a lot of suspension and brake upgrades on older cars do the install!

I hope this kit will clear the 15" steel wheels I have!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 01:52 PM
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KORE3 make a complete kit using any flavor of C5 - C6 Corvette brakes available.

Tobin doesn't always stock those hubs so you might be in for a wait on it.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2017, 12:00 PM
 
 
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I know this post is a month old but something else to consider. The kit you referenced does look like a really nice complete kit....it looks like it uses 11" Chevelle rotors as most kits do. To let you know that will increase the track width of the front of your car by approx 1.5" or so. (3/4" per side) This can sometimes cause clearance issues with your tire to front fender.

There are a couple companies that make "zero offset" brake kits. They both approach the issue the same way...custom aluminum hub and 11" rotor hat from the rear of a F body.

CCP (Classic Performance Products) 6568WBK-SO
ECi (Engineered Components inc) EC-729ACK

Either of these kits will pull the wheels back in to their stock location.

Warren
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