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Technical 63 Vette drum brakes on a 56 Bel Air?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 427 sleeper, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. Dyce
    Joined: Sep 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,789

    Dyce
    Member

    I put disc brakes off of a 67 chevelle on a 59 chevy once. The chevelle bearings fit the 59 spindle, but the seal diameter of the 59 spindle was to big. I put the 59 spindle in the crank grinder using centers and ground them down to match the chevelle. It worked great.

    I dont think you would gain much switching to the corvette drum brakes. I recently picked up a 63 corvette rear end without drums. I had a pair of drums off of a 55 chevy and they fit perfectly. I know we are talking about the front axle, but I have a feeling they will be the same too.
     
  2. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 554

    427 sleeper
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Bob, I couldn't agree with you more! The interchangeable parts between models and years is what makes these cars a pleasure to work on. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of research. Thanks for posting all of the combo's, it's been a huge help! Jedd

    Sent from my SM-G892A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  3. old.hot.rodder
    Joined: Oct 13, 2012
    Posts: 97

    old.hot.rodder
    Member

    I just went and checked front brakes I removed from a 64 Vette I restored 30 years ago. They measure 2-3/4" By the way the 63 self adjusting brakes for the racing package strangely adjusted in the forward position. To my surprise.
     
  4. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 554

    427 sleeper
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    Thanks for the info! I appreciate it. That is odd about the 63 racing brakes, but kinda makes sense. The brakes would always stay adjusted during the race.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  5. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 650

    X-cpe

    Its called parts bin engineering. I would stay away from the metallic shoes on the street. In the 60's we had a plumbing company that ran 1/2 ton carry-alls and way over loaded them. They wouldn't stop. The cure was to use metallic brakes, but they weren't much good until they were heated up.
     
  6. Mistakes can be made. Are yours reinstalled incorrectly? Continued.........

    Why would one want the brakes to drag when all the free horse power is wanted rather than taken away? What I'm saying is production cars have to have safety devices (DOT) and often in racing self adjusters are removed and only manual adjusting is used to achieve desired adjustment.

    Edit, I did form this as a question from the very beginning. I'd like to see the 63 racing brakes so I can scratch my head some more on this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  7. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 554

    427 sleeper
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    Good to know. Thanks

    Sent from my SM-G892A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Would I be better off with semi-metallic or organic shoes?
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  8. old.hot.rodder
    Joined: Oct 13, 2012
    Posts: 97

    old.hot.rodder
    Member

    The brakes didn't drag as much as you would expect. I put a set of shoes on an original racing setup for my customers 63 that he ran on the street for a long time. Everything in side worked in reverse. Cool setup!
     
    Johnny Gee likes this.
  9. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,215

    sunbeam
    Member

    The more important questions are the ball joints the same distance apart and are they offset from the wheel the same. It maybe you can't remove enough shims to get the right amount of camber.
     
  10. That why I asked about seeing this set up. When looking at what you have does it appear there is some sort of limiter to it?
     
  11. I had a '62 Corvette for 15 years from 1964 to 1979 and put a crazy amount of miles on it. The stock drum brakes were adequate for normal street use but for slaloms and other heavy on the brake usage they faded quickly. In about 1972 I bought a new set of GM drums and the segmented metallic linings and installed them with new hardware and wheel cylinders. They stopped like crazy but you never knew which way it would dart the first 3 or 4 applications until you got heat in the linings. I trained myself to lightly ride the shoes for a mile or so and that seemed to work well. Those linings are probably made out of unobtainium these days though.

    I probably drove an assortment of drum brake cars a few hundred thousand miles from the mid 50's thru the mid 70's and didn't die from it. Be honest with yourself as to how you will use the carand step up if better brakes are indicated. It's a disc brake world but I'm still building drum brake cars when appropriate.

    Your results may vary.
     
    427 sleeper likes this.
  12. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 554

    427 sleeper
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    Damn! Never even thought of that. Something else to check out. That could be a huge issue, I would imagine. Thanks for bringing it up! Jedd

    Sent from my SM-G892A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  13. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,215

    sunbeam
    Member

    There no reason the same type self adjusters would not work frontwards. In a long road course the brakes are used hard and you don't back up much.
     
  14. Don't forget ball joint stud diameter as well.
     
  15. I totally can see that. I'm only questioning the drag that may accumulate during the duration.
     
  16. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 554

    427 sleeper
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    I know for sure the lower taper is bigger on the Vette spindles. Uppers are the same.
     
  17. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,979

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    If I understand the question you want good drum brakes for your traditional 56 Chevy. My suggestion is you rebuild the stock brakes using the best name brand parts and if you wish, add a power brake booster. I see you live in Illinois which is not a very mountainous state so the stock brakes should be fine for street use.

    If you want to upgrade from there but keep the drums I suggest larger drum brakes either diameter or width. Possibly from a Chev pickup or station wagon. The wagons often used heavy duty brakes off the pickup truck.

    Easiest would be wider shoes and drums on your stock backing plates.

    There were also finned steel drums used on the back of pickups and some cars in the seventies and eighties, still available new. These dissipate heat faster than plain drums and the fins provide some stiffness.

    The ultimate finned drums were the aluminum jobs used by Buick from 1957 to the early sixties but they are hard to get and expensive.
     
  18. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 554

    427 sleeper
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    If I were to use the wider shoes with the stock backing plates, wouldn't I also need a hub with more offset to compensate for the for the difference in backing plates? Just trying to get all my ducks in a row.
     
  19. All I can base my observation on, are the diagrams from the parts manual, and there doesn't appear to be any difference in the offset of the two backing plates. At any rate, you are only looking at a difference of 1/4 inch on each side of the center of the shoe. The biggest difference I can see between the passenger and the Corvette backing plates, is the vent ports and screens.
    Where I would see the possibility of a problem, would be the fact that the wider shoe would not be perfectly aligned with the secondary cylinder. This could be compensated for, by moving the cylinder out 1/4 inch, or grinding the pads that locate the shoes down 1/4 inch, and welding on a wear pad that keeps the shoes off the backing plate.
    Another way of adjusting the depth of the backing plate without affecting the alignment of all the other components, would be to add 1/4 inch to the plate offset by cutting (separating the plate from the mounting flange at the offset, and welding in a 1/4 spacer to move the plate 1/4 inch toward the center of the vehicle. I am not saying it would be easy, but it is not a complex solution.
    Bob
    Bob
     
  20. Regarding how the automatic adjuster is set up, it is identical to the standard auto adjuster, except that it is set up on the front shoe.
    I have the picture from the parts manual, but that is all it would show. If you want to see it, I will scan it and post it.
    Bob
     
  21. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 650

    X-cpe

    How about seeing if you could make the larger diameter ball joint fit your lower control arm. As far as ride height, measure each knuckle from the bottom of the lower ball joint hole to the center line of the spindle. If that distance is shorter on the new spindle it will raise your ride height. If longer it will lower the ride height. Also if you are able to use the larger ball joint in your control arms, and the ball joint stud is taller it will lower your car a small amount.
     
  22. Gofannon
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 471

    Gofannon
    Member

    2 1/2" shoes would barely squeak into stock drums. I have some finned drums for HD 11" brakes for a 12 bolt 4 3/4" PCD that would take a 2 1/2" shoe, but they are heavy. They could be adapted easy enough. Backing plates do need to be offset. You could fab something up like these ones Wilson Welding used to offer.
    upload_2019-2-3_11-54-2.jpeg
     
  23. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 554

    427 sleeper
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I thought about that, but because of the design of the Vette/Impala style ball joints vs. The tri 5style, it looks like it would be a huge PITA. Just my luck though!
     
  24. ^^^^^ Ever seen these before?
    [​IMG]
     
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  25. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 554

    427 sleeper
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    No I haven't! Not ever! PLEASE tell me more, Good Sir!
    If they are what I think they are, it just might be the solution!
     
  26. Ball Joint Sleeve is what they go by. Summit Racing is one source.
     
  27. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 554

    427 sleeper
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm gonna check them out right now! Thank you for the info! Jedd
     
  28. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,215

    sunbeam
    Member

    I wonder if they just swapped sides with the hardware.
     
  29. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 554

    427 sleeper
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I wouldn't be surprised, this is Chevy we're talking about!
     
  30. That was my guess.
    Bob
     

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