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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, interested in converting front drum brakes to disc brake and manual to power steering box conversion. What is CPP (Classic Performance Products) like with quality on their products? Also, packaging, shipping international, etc if experienced that??

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In August I helped a friend install power discs and a Borgeson power steering setup on his 60. I can find out what brand the disc setup is, I forget but I know he's real happy with both the kits that he got, and installation went well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks JustJohn and Darth! for the info, CPP looks like quality stuff, price seems fair. Any more info out there? thinking of this for winter project. Darth if your buddy will let you know where he purchased his conversion kits would be great to know. thanks for the replies
 

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Hello, interested in converting front drum brakes to disc brake and manual to power steering box conversion. What is CPP (Classic Performance Products) like with quality on their products? Also, packaging, shipping international, etc if experienced that??

Please reply
I have a 64 Supersport Impala I restored about 12 years ago. I converted to a dual master cylinder with power assist and disc on the front only. At that time there was a vendor selling disc conversions reasonable. A private dealer. It was ok but I would do a company like Classic Industries or something next time. But mine worked well. I believe that Chevy, Chevelle or Monte Carlo in the late 60's will provide identical parts as I had to get a proportioning valve and it came out of a Chevelle. One big challenge I had was using the old 14" Supersport hubcaps on a 15" wheel. I achieved this by cutting about 2" deep of the old 14" rim and slipping it inside the 15". Then I had it professionally welded. It balanced perfect and allowed me to use the old hubcaps. Have never had a brake or hubcap problem since restoration.
 

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Just some info for your consideration.

Brakes:

When Chevy switched to disc brakes on the full size cars, they also switched to 15" wheels. The heavier full size (as GM designed the system) cars required larger rotors than the lighter Chevelle/Camaro/et al.

Some vendors advertise their kits fit the 14" wheels. They do. But are 'based' on the lighter (Chevelle, etc) cars.

Will the car stop with the parts from a lighter weight car? Yes. But not as GM designed the full size car brakes.

Personally, if I was intent on switching to front discs, I would also switch to the 15" (or slightly larger) wheels.

If I 'needed' to keep the 14" wheels, I'd stick with the drums. They work just fine and were designed for the car.

Power steering:

If you intend to use the OEM type system, that may be accomplished w/o modifying 'other' parts of the suspension. Also OEM alignment specs are still applicable.

If changing to an 'integral' power steering box with a different steering ratio (approx 14:1 or so), the 'upgrade' gets more complicated.

Some steering boxes required a notched radiator because they are too 'long'. Some do not; they are 'shorter'.

The vendors 'recommend' approx 4 degrees of positive caster to accommodate the hydraulics of the approx 14:1 ratio boxes. That can not be accommodated with the OEM stamped steel upper control arms (max is only a little over 1 degree). That caster is REQUIRED to allow the car to maintain 'on center' and return to center' steering. New tubular control arms (with built in caster; about 5 degrees) are the answer. Without them (and the caster) the car will 'wander'.

As I said, just info.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks Pete! I run 15" wheels on my impala forever. The disc brake conversion MUST be zero offset. I don't like the look of conversion kits that push the wheel out at all. I haven't found the answer if CPP is good to deal with, but with the amount of stuff they offer, I would assume they sell "quality parts"?!! I heard shipping could be $$$ (Canada) with duty and all that crap, could pinch the wallet. Power steering conversion might be tough? I also want to install a column shift tilt I restored with the converted power steering. Could be a head scratcher?? I know I need a rag joint also for the column. I also heard about the "notched" radiator. Guess I am willing to take on the challenge. Just need to know if CPP is quality stuff. Thanks for the info and the reply
 

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Can't answer the 'quality' question; never bought anything from them.

I have a '63 convertible that I put a this on:


You may download the instruction from the site.

It replaces the rag joint with a U joint and did not require me to use a notched radiator. I did have to replace the upper control arms. I chose these:


They provided the + caster required to keep the car from 'wandering'. You will need to trial and error new alignment specs; OEM won't work.

I have an OEM tilt wheel but no shift linkage (it's a 4 speed manual). No big deal.

I also wanted to reduce the roll while cornering for that:


I chose it because of its simplicity of design and installation.

I spent MORE $ than I had intended. The car 'drove' a little better (from a perfectly functional OEM configuration) but the cost was NOT commensurate with the gain. If I knew what I know now, I simply would have fixed the leak in the power steering control valve. I KNOW how GM designed the car to go together. No surprises.

'Kits'? Some times they are not 'all inclusive' of all the work/changes necessary (even when advertised as such).

Again, I have no experience with the CPP stuff.

Just sharing.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow!! now that's a mess of info for me!! Thanks for sharing that! If i have to start going with tubular A arms and all that jazz for power steering conversion, maybe I'll hold off ($$$$). I have lived with standard steering on my impala for 37 years now. But, I do want the car to "stop", so disc brake conversion for now. Standard brakes and drums, I have had the brakes "float" on me a few times,... scary!! Here's a bummer, ... I purchased a perfect 4 door 64 impala with power everything. My intensions were to convert all the power stuff into my 2 door coupe, but, life changes and no where to store all my stuff, I had to let it go!!! How many of us have kicked ourselves for that. Now I'm fighting to get all that stuff back. Grrrrr!
Thanks Pete, Silver Fox, etc A real eye opener!!
 

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I'm not sure what you mean by 'float'.

Drum brakes are 'self actuating' and if in proper material condition and adjustment, will STOP. The only advantage of the discs is they shed heat better (reducing fade from repeated hard braking, a la racing) than the drums. But if one does not drive in that manner, 'fade' is not an issue.

The '64 (like the 63) full size Chevy has self adjusting brakes. Pumping the brakes while backing up adjusts them. You likely already know that, but I'll state it just in case you do not. Brakes out of adjustment will take more pedal to engage. correctable w/o modification.

Brakes with air in the lines will also feel a little 'mushy'. That's also correctable.

Faulty wheel cylinders will produce a 'mushy' feel. Again correctable

The all drums require a residual pressure of about 10 psi. That keeps the wheel cylinders from leaking and maintains a 'pre-load' to reduce response time. Does your car have the dual master cylinder 'upgrade'? Some master cylinders (those designed for a disc/drum combo but sold by vendors as applicable to both) do not have the integral residual pressure check valve. External ones are required (one in each of the 'front' and 'rear' lines). They are sometimes 'missed' during the dual master cylinder 'upgrade'.

For brevity I'll stop here with possible correctable problems.

My point? There is nothing 'inherently' dysfunctional/inferior with drum brakes (in 'normal' driving). You have the alternative of 'fixing' your drums w/o changing to disc/drum combo. Why do that? In my opinion, less risk because you can exactly follow the OEM GM design/parts. Everything fits w/ no surprises.

Now, IF I were dead set on switching to disc/drums? I (me personally) would follow/duplicate a GM engineered system from a later year full size car. Which one(s)? I'd have to do some research (that I am too lazy to do). Again, less risk. I could get all the data I needed from Assembly and Shop Manuals. Parts are available (don't know about 'kits' for such an install).

One would be correct if they said I prefer maintaining the all drum systems in cars designed for them.

Again, just info.

Pete
 

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Thanks JustJohn and Darth! for the info, CPP looks like quality stuff, price seems fair. Any more info out there? thinking of this for winter project. Darth if your buddy will let you know where he purchased his conversion kits would be great to know. thanks for the replies
this is what I ordered and my reviews:
added benefit for the disc brake conversion kit: you can keep 14" wheels
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks again Pete, very good info, that's the what i meant to say is "Brake Fade" not "Float". It has happened to me a few times, foot was on E brake just in case!! My impala has only the 1 master cylinder reservoir. Seems like a lot of car to stop for that small cylinder, but hey,.. it works. I am going to go over everything during the winter months and decide then. My mechanic buddy also said, purchase the brake line kit for the car also, saves alot of grief. Still on the fence with this project. Thanks again Pete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Darth thank you for the reply, I am in western Canada in Calgary, Alberta. We have a dealer Classic Performance right here in the city. I called them on conversion kits and once they get enough U.S. orders in then they wave the shipping, duty, all that crap. Might be the way to go,...? Of course they'll mark up the product to recoup their costs, I get it. But yes, if buddy gets back to you, please let me know. I also have to look into "where" or "who" they get the kits from. Gonna have to yak at them more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks JohnneeD that info is great. Thank you for the links. I am gonna start searching for reviews on CPP parts also. I think reviews are very helpful. I will look at Summit to make sure their kits have "Zero Offset" Thanks to all over and over
 

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'...I am going to go over everything during the winter months and decide then...'

Recommend (if you do not have them already) as part of 'go over everything' you acquire the '64 Assembly Manual, the '64 Shop Manual (Supplement), and the '61 Shop Manual (the manual the '64 'supplements'). They are great, reliable sources of info regarding how GM put the car together, and how your car compares. In my opinion, the 'best' money you will spend.
.
The best decisions are the most informed decisions.

Just trying to be helpful.

Pete
 

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JohnneeD is the friend I helped. I would agree with him, both those kits were impressive although there was some minor problem solving skills involved in the installation, but nothing that is nasty to work with. They both seemed like good quality kits and if I had a car that style and was doing the PS/PB conversion I would certainly install those kits on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
thanks Pete, Darth,JohnneeD I do have the 1964 shop supplement book on my chevy. very helpful. I restored a 1964 column shift tilt using that resource. If and when I go with the power steering hopefully my stock steering shaft and rag joint will line up with the CPP 500 series steering box. I will mostly likely go with CPP disk brake kit again zero offset.
 
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