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52 chevy front disk conversion

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by chevyshack, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. chevyshack
    Joined: Dec 28, 2008
    Posts: 950

    chevyshack
    Member

    Im wanting to swap out the front drums for disk brakes on the front of my 52 chevy styleline. Ive started the booster master cylinder swap. If i bought just the brackets for the disk brack conversion what rotors and calipers could i just go up to autozone and buy? Im using the stock front end. I imagine theres alot of guys here that have done this but i couldnt find anything using the search tool.
     
  2. chevyshack
    Joined: Dec 28, 2008
    Posts: 950

    chevyshack
    Member

    Trying to build on a tight budget.
     
  3. You can rebuild the stock brakes for $100-$150 if you shop the parts around; shoes are cheap, hoses, hardware, the wheel cylinders are about $30-$35 each. A '52 Chevy isn't a heavy car and should stop fine with drums.

    If you're on a budget you'd want to hit a junkyard for rotors and such; the best bet would be to look at some of the kits out there - they usually say what they use. But if they use a special bearing, you might have a problem. Calipers I can see going reman with, unless you happen on a car that has some fresh ones on it.
     
  4. Scarebird
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 908

    Scarebird
    Alliance Vendor
    from ABQ, USA

    Not quite. These cars were designed to use asbestos based shoes; you can find them if you look but not cheap. The stopping power of drums is simply not up to snuff anymore. There are plenty of aftermarket kits (CH Grove, etc...that are affordable and use common components - get new, don't scrounge boneyards.
     

  5. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,300

    Lone Star Mopar
    Member

    MY 52 Chevy stops JUST FINE with all four drums. A complete system rebuild kit is 140$ from chevys of the 40s. Its got shoes, hoses, return springs, 4 wheel cylinder kits, and a master cylinder kit.
     
  6. Scarebird
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 908

    Scarebird
    Alliance Vendor
    from ABQ, USA

    "JUST FINE" is why no passenger car in the last 30 years has front drums - even though disc is heavier and more expensive even for manufacturers...
     
  7. crs36
    Joined: Feb 17, 2008
    Posts: 67

    crs36
    Member
    from Alberta

    Don't think the question had anything to do with the drum set up, or the debate on drum to disc.

    I'd grab a set of calipers from a 70's -80's camaro, take your bracket in and make sure the holes match up and the caliper slides into the slot for it. As for the rotor use from the same year's. When you buy your brackets you will need to get an adapter tomount on the spindle for the larger inner bearing. Ask there tech guy's.
     
  8. dimebag
    Joined: May 16, 2009
    Posts: 622

    dimebag
    Member
    from Joliet, il

    I have been contemplating this myself, I have found a kit on ebay that has all the parts including the right bearings, calipers, rotors, lines...supposedly the whole kit-n-kaboodle for around 300 bucks. Im not sure if its all bullshit parts or not, but at least its a start, and they use all GM parts.
     
  9. I have this setup on the front of my truck. If I remember right the rotors (9") are from a Mustang II, the calipers are Chevy metric (78 Malibu ?). You just ask Speedway what the correct bearing combo is or buy that from them along with the brakets. You can also do it with the larger (11") rotors with a different bracket. Do your research with a Speedway catalog or some searching on the forum here.
     
  10. chevyshack
    Joined: Dec 28, 2008
    Posts: 950

    chevyshack
    Member

    $489 bucks just sounds steep for what your getting. I bought my rotors, calipers, bearings and seals for my cutlas for less than $180. The moultire swap meet is coming up in february. Ive seen vendors selling brake kits there before. I just wanted to buy the brackets so i could get in the ZONE and buy my calipers and rotors. I have no use for front drums by the way. I plan on putting my 383 in the 52 and the drums are not going to cut it.
     
  11. chevyshack
    Joined: Dec 28, 2008
    Posts: 950

    chevyshack
    Member

    I still havent got around to putting brakes on this car. Im looking at getting a kit from Speedway that includes new spindles. They say you can machine your O.E spindles but i dont know what needs modified to even tell a machinest what needs done. Besides, the new ones come with new king pins to. Sounds like a good deal at $499. Included is rotors, calipers, pads, hoses, mounting plates, spindles and king pins. Any one buy this kit before?
     
  12. 54 Chevy
    Joined: Sep 4, 2010
    Posts: 361

    54 Chevy
    Member

    I bought a kit from Performance Online off Ebay for my 54 Chevy. It comes with calipers, rotors, and all the bearings and brackets you need. I have not installed it yet hopefully next week. You do not have to machine the spindles to use this kit like most kits. I think that I paid around $350.00 but I also purchased it a year ago. I have rebuilt stock drum brakes and the car has never stopped good.
     
  13. jrlemke
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 83

    jrlemke
    Member

    I used front brakes from a 49 Pontiac on my 52 Chev. Took drilling two holes in each backing plate, grinding the tierod arms 1/8" thinner and bolting everything together. Pontiacs are larger and wider than Chev and they stopped my car w/ a nailhead as well as any disc brake conversion I ever came accross. I also used the Pontiac rear end keeping the wheels all 5 on 5". Cost-$75.00 including the rearend. Remember, these brakes could stop a straight eight w/ cast iron hydro! If you want roller bearings instead of balls, I think vette used them in 62. Vette also used all the 49-54 suspension parts excet the springs 53-62, including kingpins and idler arm bushings. Don't need discs unless you're going racing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
    Russ51chieftain likes this.
  14. chevyshack
    Joined: Dec 28, 2008
    Posts: 950

    chevyshack
    Member

    I keep rolling around the idea of staying with drums but i dont know. Id just feel better knowing i had disks under the front. I could redo the front and back drums for less than just putting disks on the front though.
     
  15. hey scarebird, speak up again...lol.... he sells them here guys !!!! scarebird has all you need...?
     
  16. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,006

    koolkemp
    Member

    I dont see any application on their site for 49-54 Chevys?
     
  17. fitzee
    Joined: Feb 26, 2003
    Posts: 2,862

    fitzee
    Member

    My T bucket has Chevy spindles on it and I just order a bracket kits from speedway and went to my local napa and order mid 70`s Malibu(full size) rotors and calibers and bolted them on. very easy kits.

    http://www.speedwaymotors.com/GM-Mi...evy-Spindle-Kit-and-Component-Parts,4428.html

    Sorry just looked at the kit.

    This kit will not work with stock 1949-54 steering arms. Not to be installed on stock 1949-54 Chevy vehicle front ends. To be used only on street rod tube or I-beam front axles when using 1949-54 Chevy spindles commonly used on Model T and Model A to 1936 Ford front ends.

    Oh well I`d tried!!
     
  18. Dead End Sleds
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 224

    Dead End Sleds
    Member

    Just got mine in mail today from Braketechsolutions.com. The guy at Fatman told me to call them. Ordered them last Wednesday. Haven't opened yet. Just got home from work.
     
  19. Had you considered updating the front suspension as well ? A series 1 , 2 or 3 XJ6 Jag is a REALLY simple swap under your chevy - less thought involved than a disc conversion! Power steer and a decent ride all included with the decent brakes .

    Just a thought ...


    .
     
  20. Scarebird
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 908

    Scarebird
    Alliance Vendor
    from ABQ, USA

    sorry reb, we don't sell pre 55 Chevy.
     
  21. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,006

    koolkemp
    Member

    Just curious whats the track width like on the Jag clip when used on a 49-54? is it not too wide??
     
  22. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,300

    Lone Star Mopar
    Member


    This site isnt for 30 year old cars...and a 52 Chevrolet will stop just fine with well built drums. I own one and am just trying to save the guy some time and $$. Nothing wrong with an upgrade, but dont think for a second those drums will not work! :cool:
     
  23. Yes you do need to consider the width when looking at wheel offsets, but it can be done . I will dig out a photo of a'52 with jag front and add it here later tonight .

    .
     

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    Last edited: May 5, 2011

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