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TECH: Easy Disc Brake Covers

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by D-Russ, May 24, 2007.

  1. Some of you guys have asked about how I made my front disc brake covers and I promised to do a tech post on them. Well since it's now officially tech week, I guess it's time.

    I looked through all the photos of my build and discovered that I didn't take any pictures while I was making the covers. So I've done a few sketches to illustrate each step.

    I got my front disc brake setup from Speedway Motors. They along with many other manufacturers make lots of different styles that mate stock GM calipers and rotors to early Ford spindles. The biggest difference I've noticed between all the different caliper brackets is whether the bracket mounts on the inside or the outside of the spindle.
    My bracket mounts to the outside of the spindle so that's what the illustrations will reflect. The brackets that mount to the inside of the spindle could also be used with a few changes to the design.

    First I bought a couple of 40 Ford front backing plates.

    I removed all the adjustment hardware, welded up all the holes and ground everything smooth.

    Here's a sketch of one of my caliper brackets. Three of the holes bolt to the spindle and the outer two are for the caliper.

    I lined up the spindle holes in the backing plates with the corresponding holes on the bracket, and then marked the backing plate where they overlapped. I then removed that material from the backing plates.

    Next, I welded the caliper brackets to the backing plates, and ground the welds smooth.

    Here's a view from the back or outside of the caliper.

    Using the left over material I cut off the backing plates, I made ten 1/2" x 1/2" tabs and welded five to each backing plate.

    Then I formed two metal bands from 16 gauge sheet metal for each side. One was 3/4" wide and the other was 2-1/4" wide. The 3/4 " bands were bent to fit around the outside of the tabs on the backing plates, and the 2-1/4" bands were bent to fit in the inside of the tabs. I made the bands in two pieces to simulate the stepped look of a brake drum. I drilled 5 holes in each band that lined up with the tabs on the backing plates.

    Finally, I plug welded the metal bands to the tabs on the backing plates and ground the welds smooth. This is the finished assembly.

    Here's a couple of shots of the covers installed on the car.

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
    winr, 2Blue2, GordonC and 18 others like this.
  2. RatBone
    Joined: Sep 15, 2006
    Posts: 660


    Great! Ill be doing that soon!

    D-Russ likes this.
  3. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,253


    Really nice!
    Certainly adds to the look without being overdone.
    You could even drill holes or add scoops if you think cooling is an issue.
    The welding in your diagrams is killer too!!! ;) :D
    D-Russ likes this.
  4. Doc.
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 3,558

    Member Emeritus

    Sneaky. I like it.

    D-Russ likes this.

    Joined: Apr 17, 2001
    Posts: 6,177


    awesome job
    D-Russ likes this.
  6. That is a real slick trick. Nice job. I'll definitly think about that.
    D-Russ likes this.
  7. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 20,803

    Staff Member

    First, EXCELLENT post... Your illustrations are gorgeous...

    Second, I like this idea because your aren't really hiding anything like the SoCal Buick covers... Your caliper is still out there and you aren't trying to lie to anyone. It just cleans stuff up a bit.
    fauj, VANDENPLAS, Elcohaulic and 3 others like this.
  8. toadfrog
    Joined: Dec 2, 2006
    Posts: 299

    from Arkansas

    SWEEEEET!!!!!!Very simple!

    If Henry had thought of discs this is what they would look like......
    clem and D-Russ like this.
  9. oldgoaly
    Joined: Oct 22, 2004
    Posts: 562


    neat idea, but wondering about venting the rotor??? especially driving thru the mountains? tt
    D-Russ likes this.
  10. tdoty
    Joined: Jun 21, 2006
    Posts: 821


    This would work with other backing plates as well. Some Ford, GM and Dodge trucks used 12" drums up front and out back. Might save you from having to cut up a pair of old Ford plates that guys will pay good money for :)

    A bit of time with a bead roller might make you some presentable plates for doing this too. If ya got the tools, you're looking at a few bucks in material - I buy 18ga drops at something like 21 cents a pound.

    Looks good, and, like Ryan said, you ain't lyin' about what you're running! Almost forgot to add, the illustrations are awesome too!

    Tim D.
    D-Russ likes this.
  11. Hotrod F-1
    Joined: Dec 19, 2006
    Posts: 582

    Hotrod F-1
    from OK

    I like it. Thanks for the write up. :cool:
    D-Russ and seb fontana like this.
  12. Django
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 10,197

    from Chicago

    Genius. You should win Tech week for your illustrations alone!
    D-Russ likes this.
  13. Appleseed
    Joined: Feb 21, 2005
    Posts: 1,053


    I would think chamfered (spelling?) holes in the strip that covers the disk itself would be the cat's ass. Chamfered in or out. Either one would be cool.
    Or, if you ran that strip through a bead roller and made a bunch of fine ribs along the circumference of the hoop, it would add some pop. (Think Auto Union Type D)

    For example

    clem and Parts48 like this.
  14. Canuck
    Joined: Jan 4, 2002
    Posts: 1,104


    A similar execution with vent holes drilled, shown around 1/2 way down the first page:


    This version was not welded to the caliper mount, just sandwiched in between the spindle and mount. Everything still lines up OK.The original lower shoe pivot area was cut out to clear the caliper and provide cooling. A narrow band was wrapped around the backing plate and welded on then a wider one, around 1" wide, inside that to cover the edge of the disk.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  15. Slag Kustom
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 4,312

    Slag Kustom

    great tech with a clean look.

    any room to rotate the caliper 90 degrees and put it at the bottom? I know the bleeders wont be at the higest point but they could be placed on top to bleed then mounted under, or a junk scrap could be placed in them for bleeding first.
    D-Russ likes this.
  16. Slag Kustom
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 4,312

    Slag Kustom

    caliper does not know where it is mounted as far as in front, behind, top or bottom of the wheel. It only matters where the bleader is in relation to getting the air out of the system.
    D-Russ likes this.
  17. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,924


    I was thinking of doing the same thing, but i thought it would fall under the same catagory as Olds valve covers on a SBC!!
  18. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,902

    from Nebraska

    Ingenious. If I were to vote for a tech week winner, this would be it. Thanks for sharing the great idea!

    D-Russ likes this.
  19. The A.V.R.G Rules...thats badass Russ...I was wondering what to do about that problem on the drawings to...Thanks for a great original idea..
    D-Russ likes this.
  20. A mate of mine did that. He also made scoops with mesh grilles to cover the front mounted calipers, looks trick, I'll try to find pix.
    D-Russ likes this.
  21. There ya go.

    Attached Files:

    winr, D-Russ and Rand Man like this.
  22. Vinnie
    Joined: Aug 17, 2005
    Posts: 127


    Really good idea and post.
    D-Russ likes this.
  23. HemiRambler
    Joined: Aug 26, 2005
    Posts: 4,208


    Really slick!!!!!!!! Thumbs up!!!!!
    D-Russ likes this.
  24. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,924


    I think O'briens trucking makes cast pieces that work the same but look like Buick finned drums!! Very nice.
  25. 29 sedanman
    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 2,282

    29 sedanman
    from Indy

    Excellent tech post. The illustrations were excellent. Thanks for taking the time to do the illustrations so we could all see how you did it.
    D-Russ likes this.
  26. coupeperson
    Joined: May 3, 2007
    Posts: 10


    I don't know which I liked better the tech stuff or the drawings. Both excellent!!
    D-Russ likes this.
  27. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,188

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Really slick! This is one of those posts I'll save for when I get to my sedan!
    Excellent tech post and drawings, I appreciate it!
    D-Russ likes this.
  28. arkracing
    Joined: Feb 7, 2005
    Posts: 891


    Any Idea what type of front steering arms he is running??

    They look like D.Factory Stainless, but dang those this are expensive!
  29. Rem
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,256


    Great sketches, and a well-written narrative. On the point of mounting the calipers at the bottom, I think there might be issues with interference with the steering arms and possibly the kingpin boss, as well as the bleeders.
    D-Russ likes this.
  30. zimm
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 802

    from iowa

    wow very cool sketches!! nice tech
    D-Russ likes this.

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