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 Page 1 of 2 12
Username Post: Brakes, Disc Recommendations        (Topic#345736)
Indyhac 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 50

Loc: Indiana
Reg: 06-21-09
06-30-17 01:18 PM - Post#2698178    

I need some recommendations about companies that sell disc brake conversions that will work on my '50 Chevy. I've recently bought a '50 2-Dr. and the brakes aren't very good even though the seller told me that he had rebuilt the brake system. Help me out if you can.
Thanks, Scott



 

2blu52 
"17th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 18212
2blu52
Age: 84
Loc: Montana
Reg: 03-12-02
06-30-17 01:37 PM - Post#2698182    
    In response to Indyhac

Where are you going with plans for the car. If properly rebuilt the brakes should be okay for a stock vehicle. If you plan to add speed equipment or upgrade with a V-8 then changing to front discs will be an improvement but you are still stuck with the Huck brake system that was changed in 51 to a system with floating brake shoes which is better but still 50s equipment.

"PEACE IS THAT GLORIUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


Edited by 2blu52 on 06-30-17 01:38 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Indyhac 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 50

Loc: Indiana
Reg: 06-21-09
06-30-17 01:52 PM - Post#2698184    
    In response to 2blu52

I sold my '50 convertible last year and the stock brakes on it were decent but the ones on this sedan I bought are scary; they don't stop the car very well at speeds above 30MPH. I'm going to pull the drums and see if the shoes are installed correctly, i.e. short shoe in front. Other than that, I'm not sure what else to look for except to find some old, softer linings on EBay. Still, relining the old shoes takes a lot of labor time; I was thinking that discs might stop a lot better even without a booster. Scott



 
2blu52 
"17th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 18212
2blu52
Age: 84
Loc: Montana
Reg: 03-12-02
06-30-17 02:48 PM - Post#2698195    
    In response to Indyhac

On the 50 you have Huck brakes, these do not have the long short shoes as the bottom of the shoes are fixed rather than floating.

"PEACE IS THAT GLORIUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


 
lobucrod 
Contributor
Posts: 608
lobucrod
Age: 65
Loc: Springtown Texas
Reg: 10-01-07
06-30-17 02:54 PM - Post#2698196    
    In response to Indyhac

I bought my disc brake set up from ECI and I'm very happy with it.

'38 Chevy Coupe Gasser 409 powered
'50 Sedan Delivery 401 Nailhead powered
'62 Buick Electra original survivor


 
Dean50 
"11th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1152
Dean50
Loc: Detroit area
Reg: 01-02-07
06-30-17 06:28 PM - Post#2698222    
    In response to Indyhac

Howdy indyhac
I'll second the suggestion from lobucrod. I also have the disc kit and dual master cylinder from Engineered Components Inc.

Dean50



 
Max210 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 64

Reg: 12-06-07
06-30-17 09:34 PM - Post#2698247    
    In response to lobucrod

I bought a front disc setup from ABS Brakes in Orange that also included a master cylinder mount, new master, and distribution manifold. It was very easy to install except I couldn't get the brake lines correctly installed and they leak.

I recall that the original conversion kits required you to machine the spindle for a new bearing. The new kits have a collar that fits over the spindle that will allow the fitment of a standard GM wheel bearing.

If I were to do it over I would buy the mounts for the calibers, bearing sleeves and mount for the master and buy everything else from an auto parts store. It's all standard 70s large chevy car brakes. You may even have some of this stuff laying around.



 
Sheldon Y. 
Contributor
Posts: 153

Age: 57
Loc: Waltham, Massachusetts
Reg: 10-29-16
07-01-17 06:49 AM - Post#2698269    
    In response to Dean50

I'd love to know more details about what you specifically used. ECI website is very confusing.

'49 Styleline Deluxe Build@
https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/49-styl eline-deluxe-project-fran kenstyle.1079870/

http://www.frankenrodz.com/frankenstyle.html


 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3808
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
07-02-17 08:48 PM - Post#2698451    
    In response to Indyhac

Hi Indyhac, Welcome.
How well do you want this thing to stop?
Are you staying with six cylinder driveline.?
Do you also want dual master cylinder?

There are lots of recipes, but mixing them up may not work so well.

Cheers Kiwi

48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


 
Indyhac 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 50

Loc: Indiana
Reg: 06-21-09
08-16-17 02:14 PM - Post#2704476    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

I've done everything that I know to do to improve my brakes. I had the rear drums turned as they were slick and shiny as a mirror; front drums looked good. I roughed up the shoes with sandpaper. Brakes are a little better but still not satisfactory. I'd search EBay for shoes with asbestos linings but I might as well convert to disc brakes as to spend money for shoes, even if I could find them! I'd like to go with a dual master cylinder but that won't make the brakes stop better, just safer. So. I will tackle one thing at a time.



 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3808
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
08-16-17 10:05 PM - Post#2704531    
    In response to Indyhac

Hi Indyhac, Th 50's came with Huck drum brakes and they are pretty ordinary. Basically they are horse and cart brakes.

The next step up is to find a 52 front end that has the Bendix brakes and the same size master. These are self energizing and about 15% better.
About 53 the master and wheel cylinder bores dropped down in bore size and you don't want to mix parts across years. As that alters braking potential. If you get later drums use the later size bore of the master as your guide for the new dual.

Front backing plates are a bolt on but the rears have a difference axle hub diameter and the later rear backing plate needs to be clearanced a little.

The difficult part is actually finding good donor parts.

All drum/drum systems will benefit from a small 6-7" underfloor booster. However that is not usually big enough for really efficient disc setups.

Drum/drum or disc/disc systems don't need combination valves and they are a detriment in these applications.
Although they seem to come in most kits which tells me the supplier is just a parts seller.

Cheers Kiwi

PS you can retro fit self adjusters to early Bendix brakes, both front and rear. Kits or 70's parts.

48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


Edited by Bel Air kiwi on 08-16-17 10:07 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Shepherd 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1037

Loc: Lake George, NY
Reg: 11-11-15
08-17-17 06:45 PM - Post#2704638    
    In response to Indyhac

To get the best drum to shoe contact surface, hence more stopping power, the linings and drums should have a smooth concentric contact surface, improperly turned drums that can have a screw like pattern reduce surface contact, also roughed up linings have the same affect. In time the surfaces can wear into each other, but until that happens,stopping power is reduced.



 
virg809 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 73

Age: 75
Loc: ks
Reg: 11-08-15
08-18-17 04:28 AM - Post#2704663    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

who sell the under floor booster for 53



 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3808
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
08-19-17 03:15 AM - Post#2704765    
    In response to virg809

Hi Virgil, Most of the site sponsors and almost all the brake parts vendors.

Just check what diameter your 53 factory single master was and go for a dual that size.

Two or three suppliers make nice conversion brackets for both manual and auto versions. You may be out of luck with a convert frame.

Most folks call a 1" dual booster a Corvette and the smaller 7/8" (I think) a Mustang one. They are all repro parts from Asia even the mega dollar restoration parts with the stickers and correct shapes.

Sorry I don't have a 53-4 so I don't know off hand which model and what size it changed too. Good thing is you already have the better Bendix drum brakes.
Happy to talk you through the whole system if you like.

Cheers kiwi

48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


Edited by Bel Air kiwi on 08-19-17 03:23 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
largochev 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 13

Loc: Largo, FL and Bakersville...
Reg: 01-02-15
08-22-17 02:54 PM - Post#2705233    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

Indyhac:
I have a 1950 chevy and I didn't like how it stopped either. I found a seller on eBay that was parting out a '53 chevy and bought everything for the front and rear wheels from the backing plates to the drums for $100. I lucked out, the linings were almost new as were the drums. The seller said His dad had a complete brake job done just before his medical condition worsened and the car was put into storage, but I really don't believe much of what you read on eBay.

I then bought a'54 master cylinder from a different seller. Chevy was still working in 1953 trying to get better brakes and had gone to a 1:so I and used a 1" bore for their master cylinders but went to a 7/8" bore in 1954. The difference in petal pressure between the two is very evident. Seems like a larger bore master cylinder would work easier, but they couldn't get the laws of liquid dynamics to change.

I'm not using a booster but I can lock up the brakes now pretty easily. To get better stopping I've gonna have to do something about those skinny, bias ply tires I'm riding on. Good luck with your project!

Larry


Larry Fuller

1950 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe
1951 Chevrolet Pickup
1956 Ford Victoria


 
Sheldon Y. 
Contributor
Posts: 153

Age: 57
Loc: Waltham, Massachusetts
Reg: 10-29-16
08-27-17 03:24 PM - Post#2705791    
    In response to largochev

I just installed a Power Brake Booster from ABS Brake Company, for $407.

Haven't had a chance to test it yet, the engine just went in, but the setup is very nice quality.

No instructions, but you gut your original master cylinder, and run the supplied lengthened rod through the old master, to retain clutch mount function (if you have a manual trans.).

I put Front Disc Kit from POL, for $332. and will retain the new Huck brakes for now.

'49 Styleline Deluxe Build@
https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/49-styl eline-deluxe-project-fran kenstyle.1079870/

http://www.frankenrodz.com/frankenstyle.html


 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3808
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
08-27-17 06:28 PM - Post#2705804    
    In response to largochev

Hi Larry, Those 53 Brakes should be a big help on their own as they are Bendix, but as you rightly say, the limit of braking starts and ends with traction at the tires.

The question is if Chevy had a 1" master bore in 53, what was their wheel cylinder bore at that time?
If it was 1" at the wheels then there is no good reason to have a 7/8" bore master from a 54 mixed in with a 53 system.

The gains in brake systems aren't made in the ratio of surface areas in the hydraulic system, because if you use a smaller bore master you will have to push harder and further to get any gain.

You can either change the friction areas and materials. (Very expensive).
Change the pedal ratio. Which generally means small drivers can't use it.
Or change the line pressure with a booster matched to your system.

On a drum/drum system you can use a small diameter booster as you are only looking for about 1/3 more line pressure. (Known as 1.3 to 1.4 boost ratio.)
However if you stay with a GM single master it has an internal RLP valve, but aftermarket duals don't, adding one 10lb RLP to each line is important for underfloor systems.

Also the early bendix brakes can have the self adjusters form about 70's on systems retrofitted or you can buy kits. Makes the brakes stay the same reaction feel over time as the shoes wear.

Cheers kiwi


48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3808
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
08-27-17 06:29 PM - Post#2705805    
    In response to Sheldon Y.

Hi Sheldon, can you post some pics of your parts or links to images?

Cheers Kiwi

48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


 
Sheldon Y. 
Contributor
Posts: 153

Age: 57
Loc: Waltham, Massachusetts
Reg: 10-29-16
08-28-17 04:28 AM - Post#2705831    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

Like a dummy, I didn't photograph the Power Brake Unit before install. On my Website are installed pictures.
The ABS Power Brake website does not even show the actual unit, but here's the link to the page:

http://abspowerbrake.com/maincatalog_frameset0 07.h...

Much like Buffalo Enterprises, and other systems, the unit piggy-backs to the original mc and mount holes. This does raise the original mc about 1/4", as it now sits on the new unit and through-bolts. Not a big deal, but the holes in the car floor will have to be enlarged to allow for brake/clutch pedal movement.

Also, the Remote Master Reservoir is not very good. Plastic bottle with 2-ports, and the bottom cracked when I installed the hose. I ordered an ATE #W0133-1954617 BMW Remote Reservoir and Tilton Remote Brake Fluid Rubber Hose, which doesn't come with the kit. DON'T USE FUEL LINE.

I'll add pics to my Website, when the hose arrives.

Front Disc Brake Kit was a little challenging, as the Mounting Brackets required unequal shimming from side to side, and they only supply an equal amount of shims.

Breakdown:

ABS Power Brake, Inc.
7060 Power Booster Combo-Disc/Drum $407.00

Discount Auto Parts
W0133-1954617 ATE BMW Remote Reservoir $36.25

Pegasus Auto Racing
3575 5/16 Remote Brake Hose (12') $48.99

POL
WBKS4954 Large Caliper Disc Brake Kit $352.49

TOTAL $844.73 Shipped

'49 Styleline Deluxe Build@
https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/49-styl eline-deluxe-project-fran kenstyle.1079870/

http://www.frankenrodz.com/frankenstyle.html


 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27084
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
08-28-17 11:25 PM - Post#2705982    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

Kiwi, the MC is 7/8" for both 53 and 54. Wheel cylinders did not change and are 1-1/8" F and 1" R for 51-54.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
Indyhac 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 50

Loc: Indiana
Reg: 06-21-09
09-21-17 07:36 AM - Post#2708364    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

BelAir Kiwi,
Can I use '51 or '52 brakes or are the '51s still "Huck Style?" And do I need the master cylinder from the '52? Is it a different bore size than my '50? If I use the '52 rear brake setup can I just enlarge the hole in the backing plate to fit my '50 axle hubs? I have a lathe so wouldn't be a problem to do that. Scott



 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3808
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
09-21-17 04:50 PM - Post#2708435    
    In response to Indyhac

Hi Indyhac, Ask Ray about the brake master year change as they got here a year later than US introduced changes.

As far as I can recall the 52 was the first with the Bendix Drum system, while it retained the 1" bore master. 53-4 had the smaller bore master.

Sorry I don know if they changed the pedal ratio.

Cheers Kiwi

48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27084
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
09-21-17 05:20 PM - Post#2708443    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

51 was the first year for Bendix brakes. The MC is the same 1" bore for both Huck and Bendix all the way up to 52. 53-54 MC are both 7/8". WC sizes remained the same for all Bendix 51-54.

I did a rear backing plate swap only once, and I THINK the issue was bolt hole spacing. However, my memory isn't what it used to be, so it would be best to measure instead of taking my word for it.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
Indyhac 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 50

Loc: Indiana
Reg: 06-21-09
09-21-17 06:05 PM - Post#2708449    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

Thanks for your input Ray. I think I know a source where I can pick up some '51 or '52 brake parts & convert to the Bendix system. That should give an improvement in my brakes. If I'm not satisfied after that, I might opt for one of those small power boosters. I'm not hot rodding the drive train so I don't need "race car" brakes. Just want a safe driver! I really like the info on this forum. Scott



 
Indyhac 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 50

Loc: Indiana
Reg: 06-21-09
10-29-17 11:47 AM - Post#2712564    
    In response to raycow

Ray, I picked up front & rear brake parts from my source in Kansas about a week ago. As soon as I get the parts cleaned up, inspected, painted & installed, I'll report back to the forum here. I'm hoping that I don't have to resort to searching for some "Old Time" asbestos linings for the shoes!

Scott



 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27084
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
10-29-17 11:55 AM - Post#2712566    
    In response to Indyhac

Scott, so your plan is to convert all 4 wheels to Bendix? If yes, please share details of what you run into on the rears. Maybe we can have that put onto a sticky so the info will be available to help others.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3808
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
10-29-17 05:31 PM - Post#2712621    
    In response to raycow

Hey Scott, How are you getting on with this Bendix conversion. From memory most folks had to do a little machining at the back but the front is bolt in.
What that overall change should give you is the best 50's style brakes vs what were some of the poorest. Also if you want you can buy a kit to convert them to self adjusting.

Braking performance is all about variables however normally the Huck to Bendix is about 10-15% improvement.

However it does not improve system safety and if you encounter a radial tired 4 wheel disc braked car doing a panic stop in front of you you will fall well short.

To bring our cars up to the more modern driving style of braking a dual master cylinder and small brake booster are a great improvement. Something in the 6-7" has enough clearance to stay underfloor if you want, and will give you much better stopping when you have good traction.

Underfloor brake masters need an RLP, or two if a dual. As you are Drum/Drum you need about 10psi.

Because you are drum/drum your system retains its factory balance and you have no need whatsoever for proportioning or the combination valve the aftermarket vagazzlers are so fond of.

Check your hard lines for condition and replace the soft lines. Some folks with low vehicles are using the new DOT 5 synthetic brake fluid, but it can't mix with other types. Fine for road use and doesn't support corrosion from moisture absorption.

Cheers Kiwi


48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


Edited by Bel Air kiwi on 10-29-17 05:35 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Indyhac 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 50

Loc: Indiana
Reg: 06-21-09
11-16-17 08:45 AM - Post#2714633    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

Raycow & Kiwi, I now have all of the parts to do the change-over from Huck to Bendix brakes on my '50. I have the used parts blasted and primered and getting ready to paint black. Just got replacement wheel cylinders, shoes, and grease seals. Wanted to stay away from Chinese stuff so I payed more for Raybestos. Guess what? Made in China! At least the Federal-Mogul grease seals are stamped USA. Will update after assemmbly. Scott



 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27084
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
11-16-17 12:56 PM - Post#2714669    
    In response to Indyhac

Good luck with your conversion, Scott. Please keep us posted on developments, and definitely let us know if you run into any unexpected problems. There is a good chance that one or more of us will be able to help.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3808
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
11-16-17 10:42 PM - Post#2714734    
    In response to raycow

Hi Scott, What you may find is the hub locating center on the Huck brakes rear axle shaft has a slightly different diameter than one for a 51 or later Bendix. This would effect the drum bolt up if you used later drums? it's something relatively simple like that.

Cheers Kiwi

48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


 

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