Manual Brake Conversion - S-10 Forum
 
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post #1 of 50 Old 08-12-2012, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Manual Brake Conversion

I just finished up upgrading the brakes on my father’s 1980 El Camino. Though not an S10, it shares the same front and rear brakes, and it will share some of the same issues if a person converts their S10 to manual brakes.

This is a daily driver that I am testing several different master cylinders for a manual brake conversion swap. His brakes worked good before exchanging out all the parts, but I wanted to take out most of the variables when testing master cylinders. First and foremost, I wanted to make sure this 1980 El Camino did not have quick take up (low drag) front brake calipers. In my research, quick take up calipers will make it difficult do get good pressure to the caliper when using manual brakes. All S10 trucks should have been equipped from the factory with quick take up (low drag) calipers.

Here is the rundown of the parts I used:
• Speedway Motors Big Bore Metric Calipers - PN# 91031040 $59.99 each
• Bendix Titanium metallic front brake pads (FF Rated) - PN# MKD154 $38.22
• Turned the stock rotors $30 Local Auto Parts Store $15 each
• Edelbrock/Russel Stainless Steel Braided Flex Lines PN# 692100(G and F body specific $54.80
• Wagner 7/8” Wheel Cylinders from an manual brake S10 PN# F110261 $13 each
• Wagner Thermo Quiet Rear Shoes (EE Rated) - PAB514R from O’Reilly’s Auto $32.99

The Speedway Motors big bore metric calipers (2.75” bore v 2.38” bore standard) came with brake pads, but the pads did not have a rating on them. I DID NOT want to use a brake pad that would need a lot of heat to be effective. The weight difference between the two calipers is less than ½ of a pound. This is a daily driver and not an autocross car, so I chose the Bendix Titanium pads because my research and reviews showed them to have good cold clamping friction. Based on the EE rating, the rear shoes should also have good cold stopping abilities. Look on the pads or shoes when you buy them to make sure they have a rating on them. The higher up the alphabet you go the hotter the pads will have to be to work effectively. Pads or shoes with no rating on them should be avoided.

It was surprising to me to find a 24mm strait bore aluminum master cylinder on this 1980 El Camino. I didn’t know they made aluminum ones with a strait bore for g-bodies. I had always been under the impression, because it was aluminum, that this was a step bore master for quick take up calipers. I do know for a fact that any NEW replacement master cylinders for g-bodies will for than likely be cast iron. So if you want aluminum master cylinder for power or manual brakes that bolt up to your brake lines, a rebuilt master cylinder may be your only option.


All S10 trucks came with a step bore master cylinder. Most power brake equipped S10 came with 24mm & 36mm step bore master cylinder. All manual brake equipped S10 trucks came with a 24mm & 31.6mm. New manual brake S10 master cylinders will more than likely be make of cast iron. Google step bore master cylinder to get a good idea of what it is and why it was used. I am not a big fan of step bore master cylinders because they are more difficult to bleed because of the internal bypass valve and if the bypass valve goes out the brakes will feel spongy with a lot of pedal travel. I also feel that 24mm size of the bore is still too large for the size of the front caliper and the pedal ratio of the S10.

On the El Camino, I changed out the 30 year old rubber brake lines with the braided stainless. The front lines were a little longer than the originals, but I routed them so they were not touching any suspension pieces. The rear was a little more difficult to replace because the clip that holds the rubber line to the frame was difficult to get at. The new braided rear line was fairly easy to install also. I recommend stainless braided lines because it increases the effectiveness of manual brakes by not ballooning. Ballooning stock rubber lines reduce braking efficiency.

The hardest part to the entire swap was installing the rear wheel cylinders. Getting the clip off was not too bad, but getting the clip back on was a pain. I did it with two c-clamps, and open ended wrench, and the lid off of an old battery terminal cleaner (don’t ask for these details because I do not recommend doing it this way. G-H-E-T-T-O). Wheel cylinders are from a manual brake S10 pickup. They are 7/8” bore compared to a Ύ” bore that come on power equipped vehicles.

After the system install, bleeding the fluids, and bedding in the pads and shoes I took it out for a spin to test the brakes with the same master cylinder and vacuum booster from the original test with the original brakes. Even though I was able to easily lock up all four wheels, it seems to have a little more pedal travel before you could feel the brakes start to grab. I believe this has to do with the increased piston area in the front calipers and rear wheel cylinders while using the strait bore 24mm master cylinder. The 24mm master cylinder will have more pedal travel to fill the extra volume of fluid required by the calipers and wheel cylinders.


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post #2 of 50 Old 08-12-2012, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

The manual brake conversion went well when using the manual brake hole that is already predrilled in the factory vacuum booster power brake pedal. I kept the stock , 31 year old, 24mm master cylinder that came with the stock power boosted brake system. I kept the 24mm master, for now, because I upsized the front calipers and wheels cylinders. It stopped the car ok, but I felt I still had too much pedal travel and I couldn't get the front brakes to lock up. I plan now to bolt on a manual brake master cylinder with a 7/8’ bore from a manual brake g-body. This master cylinder has a smaller bore which should give me higher pressure at the pad.

1982 to 1993 S10 trucks where equipped with manual brakes and on these trucks there are provisions in the firewall to use the vacuum booster’s upper two mounting holes and there are provisions in the brake pedal to relocate the pushrod for a better pedal ratio. On the 1994 to 2003 S10 trucks, there is no provisions for a manual brake system (all came with power brakes), but the conversion is still possible by clearancing the firewall and drilling an extra hole in the brake pedal.

Before manual brake conversion on the El Camino:




After manual brake conversion on the El Camino:



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post #3 of 50 Old 08-12-2012, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Here is the pushrod assembly I put together that is in my dad's El Camino.

It is adjustable from roughly 3.75 inches to about 4.25 inches.

Blown apart


Assembled Top View


Assembled Side View
[img]http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/ww247/malibudave/PushrodLinkage3.jpg[/img]

A 1982 to 1993 S10 truck can use this same setup. The 1994 and up S10 trucks will have to drill a half inch hole in the pedal for this to be used. The only difference between the g-body and the S10 will be the length of the pushrod. The push rod will need to be 6 inches in total length.
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post #4 of 50 Old 08-12-2012, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Here are some weights of the various master cylinders that I have purchased.

Weight of Cast Iron 7/8" bore G-body Manual Brake Master Cylinder
3 lbs 5 1/8 ounce

Weight of Aluminum Step Bore S-10 Master (24mm / 1 1/4" step bore)
2 lbs 8 1/4 ounce - difference of 12 7/8 ounces or a little over 3/4 lbs over the cast iron unit

Weight of an Aluminum Mopar / Strange style master cylinder
2 lbs 2 3/4 ounce - difference of 1 lb 2 3/8 ounces over the cast iron unit


I also bought a rebuilt, aluminum master cylinder, with a 1" bore, from a 1979 Buick Riviera with the optional rear disc brakes. I did this because the reservoir is larger, it can be retro fitted to the 7/8" bore manual brake master cylinder, and it matched the angle of the g-body firewall. You don't need it for rear drum brakes, but I like the extra fluid capacity.
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post #5 of 50 Old 08-12-2012, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

I want to let everyone know that there has been one issue with the calipers that I recommended from Speedway Motors. It’s the Speedway Motors Big Bore Metric Calipers - PN# 91031040 $59.99 for each.

Here are the links that describe the issue.

http://www.maliburacing.com/forum/viewt ... 2&t=111382

http://www.gbodyforum.com/viewtopic.php ... 241fd71525

I have not had any problems with the ones I have bought. I have been told that these calipers are made by U.S. Brake when I first bought mine from Speedway Motors.

There are other options for big bore calipers, but they are a little more expensive from Wilwood.

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Wilwood-G ... 24192.html
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post #6 of 50 Old 08-12-2012, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Here is a link to a person that carries new Proportioning Valves for Ford, GM, and Jeep.

http://proportionvalves.com/

Here is a link to a disc/drum PV for a g-body from the http://proportionvalves.com/ site.

http://www.carolinaclassictrucks.com/78-86-malibu-PV2.html

Here is a link to a disc/disc PV for a 2nd gen f-body that looks like it will work with g-body brake lines if you convert to rear disc brakes. Please call to confirm it will bolt in.

http://www.carolinaclassictrucks.com/79-81-TransAM-PV4.html

MOPAR MASTER CYLINDER RETROFIT
I may have found a way to retrofit a 7/8” mopar (1993 Dodge Shadow) master to a g-body for manual brakes. I have not tested this yet to see if this works.

For the Front Brake port on the Proportion Valve:
Edelmann 258350 - Adapter-Standard To Dual Master Cylinder - 3/16" Tube - 3/8-24 Female Inverted Flare Seat x 1/2-20 Male Inverted Flare

For the Rear Brake Port on the Proportion Valve:
Edelmann 258340 - Adapter-Standard To Dual Master Cylinder - 3/16" Tube - 3/8-24 Female Inverted Flare Seat x 7/16-24 Male Inverted Flare

I don’t know the length of the brake lines from the proportion valve to the mopar master, but flared lines are less than $10 each from the auto parts stores. It should be about 2 to 3 foot of line. A coat hanger can be used to find the actual length needed.

If this setup works, this will be the cheapest way to get an aluminum master cylinder retrofitted to a g-body.

Let me know if you see any issues with what has been posted above.
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post #7 of 50 Old 08-12-2012, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

A Wilwood master cylinder WILL NOT work with the angle of a g-body firewall if the Wilwood master cylinder is bolted directly to the firewall. It physically bolts up, but there is a hole at the bottom of the master cylinder that regulates the fluid from one reservoir to the other. When bolted directly to the firewall, the angle of the firewall will let all the fluid run to the back reservoir and the front reservoir is left almost empty.

A Wilwood master cylinder WILL work with S10 firewall. The S10 firewall is perpendicular to the ground, unlike the G-body cars. This is a good option if you cannot find a suitable strait bore stock master cylinder for a manual brake S10.
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post #8 of 50 Old 08-12-2012, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

I have purchased 3 different metric calipers for comparison:

**CCP big bore 2.75" bore (2.565" piston diameter) metric cast iron caliper – WEIGHT 6 lbs 11.2 oz bare with slider bushings installed
**US Brake standard bore 2.5" bore (2.376" piston diamter) metric cast iron caliper- WEIGHT 6 lbs 4.7 oz bare with slider busings installed
**Wilwood small bore 2.0" bore (1.981" piston diameter) metric cast iron caliper - WEIGHT 4 lbs 1.7 oz bare with NO SLIDER BUSHINGS INSTALLED.

A while back I purchased NEW the $59.95 each, big bore calipers from speedwaymotors.com. There was some manufacturing issues or problems with these calipers and they sent me replacement calipers. The replacement calipers are NEW CCP big bore metric calipers. PN CP412526. Online, these are the same price of $59.95 each from classicperform.com. They look exactly the same except for the paint on the calipers. The originals where painted/powder coated silver. These are painted/powder coated black. The caliper housing, compared the standard bore US Brake 2.5” calipers and 2.0" Wilwood calipers, are a different casting. The piston looks to be stainless steel and comes with a dust boot installed. The piston diameter is 2.565" in diameter. These calipers came loaded with pads, slider bolts/pins, and hose fittings. You should be able to bolt these to your car, bleed the brakes, and drive. The piston cylinder side of the caliper is roughly the same size as the as the standard 2.5” bore caliper.

I recently purchased NEW, US Brake/Afco branded 2.5” standard bore metric calipers. They are $45 to $50 each online. The casting is not painted or powder coated. They come in a right PN 7241-9003 and a left caliper PN 7241-9004. They cannot be interchanged from side to side. The piston looks to be a cast steel/iron, unlike the CCP 2.75” and Wilwood 2.0” bore calipers. They are also 2.376" in diameter which matches stock advertised piston/bore sizes. The casting looks to be a stock casting and comes with a dust boot installed. It has all the markings of a stock calipers. This caliper came unloaded with no pads, slider bolts/pins, and hose fittings. It does come with the bleeder screws and bushing inserts for the slider bolts/pins. You will have to reuse your slider pins from your stock calipers and hose fittings. You will need to purchase new pads or reuse the ones you have on your car.

I also recently purchased NEW, Wilwood 2.0” small bore metric calipers. PN 120-9333. The price is round $80 each online. It is also a different casting from the other two. Visually the casting looks better and it looks to come with a stainless steel piston that is 1.981" in diameter. The casting comes bare with no paint or powder coating and they can be interchanged from the right and left hand side of the car. The piston cylinder portion of the caliper is physically smaller than the other two because of the reduced size of the piston. The piston bore and stainless steel piston look to have a better, tighter fit. The clearance is so tight there is no dust boot installed around the piston like the 2.75” and 2.5” bore caliper above. These calipers only come with a bleeder screw. It does not come with any other hardware. You will have to supply the slider bolts/pins, slider bolt/pin bushing inserts (I need to make sure this is possible), brake pads, and hydraulic hose fittings. All hardware should be able to transfer over from your original caliper. Please refer to this web page for more details. http://www.wilwood.com/PDF/Flyers/fl176.pdf

Out of the three calipers above, I was most impressed with the Wilwood calipers. These calipers have a very clean casting that weigh at least 2 lbs less than the other two calipers. The Wilwood website list a 2.75” bore version also that weighs just 5 more ounces than the Wilwood 2.0” bore versions (4lb 6.4oz v 4lb 1.6oz). These Wilwood iron calipers weigh roughly 1lb more than the Willwood comparable aluminum metric caliper with the 2.38” bore (4lb 6.4oz v 4lb 1.6oz v 3lb 6.4oz). I also suspect that the piston to bore clearances are just as tight as their 2.0" verson which will give the 2.75" version of the Wilwood caliper a larger piston that that of the CCP version. It theory this gives more clamping force.
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post #9 of 50 Old 08-12-2012, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Pics of the CCP 2.75" Big Bore Metric Caliper





[img]http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/ww247/malibudave/CCPwithPadInstalledSideView.jpg[/img]
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Pics of US Brakes / AFCO 2.5" Driver's Side Metric Caliper





[img]http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/ww247/malibudave/USBrakewithPadInstalledSideView.jpg[/img]
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post #11 of 50 Old 08-12-2012, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Pics of Wilwood 2.0" Bore Metric Caliper





[img]http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/ww247/malibudave/WilwoodwithPadInstalledSideView.jpg[/img]
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post #12 of 50 Old 08-12-2012, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

I purchased a new 7/8” bore g-body master cylinder from rockauto.com. The master cylinder is a Centric brand PN# 130.62005. This master cylinder WILL NOT work on a S10 truck because of the angle of the reservior matches the angle of the Gbody firewall.I installed it and bleed the brakes from back to front and got a good, firm pedal. I left the speedway motors recalled calipers that I already had installed, for now, to see how the system all worked together. I noticed, while I was under the car bleeding the brakes, I saw a lot of caliper defection as my father pumped the brake pedal when the bleeder screws where closed.

How did it do? For the setup I have, it did very well. I could not lock up the front brakes, but the braking felt more confident than when I had the stock, 24mm bore power master cylinder. I felt, if I was driving this on the street a lot, I would NOT have to anticipate my braking. I felt I could stop where I wanted to when I wanted to under normal street driving. As expected, the pedal stroke is longer than a power brake pedal.

What would I do different? I would find a better front caliper. I think I will try the Wilwood single piston, 2.75" bore, metric caliper. From my experience with the inspection of 2" bore, Wilwood, single piston, metric calipers, I think the 2.75" big bore Wilwood will have a larger piston that the CCP/Speedway Motors 2.75" big bore caliper. I just worry that any 7/8" bore master cylinder may not have the volume of brake fluid needed to make these work.
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post #13 of 50 Old 08-12-2012, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Things I learned from this process.

*New gbody master cylinders are hit or miss in functionality. My first new one I bought did not work, but it was a clearance item from rockauto.com. I ended up spending another $80 plus shipping for the Centric brand one that actually worked.
*The larger the caliper piston is the better the clamping force.
*Caliper deflection affects brake performance more than I thought.
*The smaller the bore of the master cylinder is the better the pressure to the caliper.
*But if the bore of the master cylinder is too small, it may not have enough fluid to fully compress the caliper piston.
*The diameter of the brake rotor also affects the performace of the brakes not only because of rotor area and heat dissipaton, but also a larger diameter rotor gives the brakes greater leverage. Just think of using a 6" long breaker bar instead of a 5.25" braker bar to get a bolt loose. A longer bar will have an easier time getting the bolt loose. A 10.5" rotor has a 5.25" (half the rotor diameter) of "leverage". A 12" rotor has 6" of "leverage". Larger is better.
*They make brake pad designed for drag racers. They work better when cold and are for vehicles that do not use their brakes on a daily basis.
*Wilwood makes nice metric calipers.
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post #14 of 50 Old 08-12-2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

I received my Wilwood 2.75" big bore calipers. These are very nice calipers, just like the Wilwood 2 inch metric calipers. The piston diameter measures 2.704 inches. On the underside of the caliper, there are ridges that bridge the piston side (inside) of the caliper to the wheel side (outside) of the caliper. These ridges are not present on any of the other calipers. These ridges should cut down of caliper deflection. The weight of each of the 2.75" calipers is 4 lbs 8.6 ounces without the bleeder screw. I hope the 7/8" bore g-body manual brake master cylinder can handle the increase in volume these calipers may require.





[img]http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/ww247/malibudave/Wilwood275PistonView.jpg[/img]
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post #15 of 50 Old 08-12-2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Caliper Specs

Caliper............................Part Number........Advertised Bore Size.......Actual Piston Size.....Weight
Wilwood 2" Bore Caliper........PN 120-9333...................2.00"...................... ....1.981"................4lb 1.6oz
US Brake / AFCO Caliper.......PN 7241-9004..................2.50"....................... ...2.376"................6lb 4.7oz
CCP Big Bore Caliper............PN CP412526...................2.75".................. .........2.565"................6lb 11.2oz
Wilwood 2.75" Bore Caliper....PN 120-8926...................2.75"...................... .....2.704"................4lb 8.6oz
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post #16 of 50 Old 08-24-2012, 04:42 PM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Do you know where you can buy the grommets that go between the reservoir and the master cylinder, I recently replaced the m/c and had to use my old reservoir and now it is leaking from the back grommet, they weren't in the best shape.
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post #17 of 50 Old 08-27-2012, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1988 View Post
Do you know where you can buy the grommets that go between the reservoir and the master cylinder, I recently replaced the m/c and had to use my old reservoir and now it is leaking from the back grommet, they weren't in the best shape.
Sorry, I do not. Did you use the old grommets when changing out your reservoir?
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post #18 of 50 Old 08-27-2012, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

This week I put on the Wilwood big bore calipers. I got them bled and immediately had less pedal pressure when using the 7/8” G-Body manual brake master cylinder. The pedal almost went to the floor. I assume it is from the increased piston diameter over the Speedwaymotors.com “Big Bore” calipers (2.704” Wilwood v 2.565” Speedwaymotors/CCP) that I replaced. When driving with the Wilwood big bore calipers, I could pump the pedal 3 or 4 times and get the pressure I needed and would lock up the right rear tire and stop the car just like the other calipers. I suspect now I will need a 24mm bore G-body master cylinder (from a power, vacuum boosted G-body) and EE rated front pads to replace the FF rated front pads I have on the front now. The EE rated front pads have better “bite” when the rotor is colder. FF rated front pads have better “bite” when the rotor heats up. Since this is a street driven car, the EE rated pads should be a better choice and will match the rear EE rated shoes that are already on the car.

David Schultz
MalibuDave
manualbrakes.com

Last edited by malibudave; 08-27-2012 at 12:42 PM. Reason: added signature
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post #19 of 50 Old 11-21-2012, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

I am done testing the manual brake setup with a stock, aluminum, rebuilt, 24mm bore, 1980 El Camino master cylinder. With only this change, I got back the brake fluid pressure that I lost when I upgraded to the Wilwood 2.75” metric calipers using the 7/8” bore master cylinder. I bench bleed the master cylinder installed it in place of the 7/8” bore master cylinder, bled the line at the master cylinder, and then bled the car at all four wheels.

On the test drive, using the 24mm master, I did a few hard stops from about 30 mph. I was rewarded with both rear wheels locking up, but the front braking system felt as if it still wasn’t grabbing. After the testing, I jacked the front of the car and removed the wheels and I unbolted the calipers so I can take a look at the pads. I suppose during my very first manual brake test, I did not bed the brakes in properly and I glazed the brake pads over. I do not know why I did not notice this when I put on the Wilwood calipers other than not recognizing what glazed pads look like. The glazing most likely happened because I had a large master cylinder and small calipers on my first manual brake test and, at the time, I wasn’t getting enough pressure to the pads to do accomplish correct bedding. The moral of the story is to bed your pads properly.

Good news is that I found out what the issue is with the front brakes not grabbing. Bad news is that I didn’t deglaze my pads and retest. I didn’t deglaze the pads I originally used because went ahead and upgraded to a Wilwood Polymatrix A brake pad.

I went to the Wilwood PolymatrixA pad because of its good, cold clamping properties and, before I realized about the glazing pads, I had thought this would help with front brakes. **As a warning from Wilwood to any one using these pads, Wilwood considers these race pads**. These are aggressive pads and will most likely wear the front rotors prematurely and are intended for race use only. These pads have almost twice the friction coefficient as a “stock” type pad. I am using this aggressive pad because the front rotors are small, the brake pads are small, the front calipers are a floating design, and the car is now has manual brakes. These pads are also a wallet buster at $150 a set.

The braking test with these pads where a noticeable night a day difference. I felt very comfortable and confident while driving and stopping. On hard stops, the nose of the car would “dive” down and the rear wheels still locked up. Only time will tell if these front pads are good for everyday use with this manual brake setup.

If your car is a daily driver and not a drag car, you most likely do not need to change out to larger wheel cylinders on the rear drum brakes like I did. The original stock 3/4” bore wheel cylinders versus the larger 7/8” bore wheel cylinders should reduce rear lock up on hard braking.

For a drag racer with large, wide, sticky tires on the back, the larger 7/8” bore wheel cylinder may be better to keep the rear tires from spinning when your holding the car on the line with just the brakes. An aggressive front pad may also be needed to hold the car on the line (contact one of the major brake pad manufactures for suggestions).

From my experience, to do a manual brake system on a g-body or s-10, some or all of the brake components will have to be replaced. You cannot just remove the vacuum booster and bolt the master cylinder to the firewall and expect your braking to function well. It is a system approach.

Do you need an oversized caliper? In my opinion, no you do not.

Do you need to change out the front calipers? In my opinion, yes you do. Why? Because the stock calipers may or may not be a LOW DRAG design which requires a step bore master cylinder. How do you know that you have LOW DRAG calipers? You actually cannot physically tell, so its best to buy aftermarket calipers to cut down on variables that may cause trouble with your braking system.

Do I recommend rebuilt front calipers from the auto parts store? No. See above.

Do you need to change out the master cylinder? In my opinion, most likely you will need to. Why? It depends on what you are starting with. If you have a GM g-body vehicle that was built from 1978 to 1980, you have a strait bore, 24mm bore master cylinder from the factory and you can just upgrade to Wilwood 2.75” bore calipers if you master cylinder is in good working order. If you have a vehicle built from 1981 through 2003 you most likely have a step bore master cylinder. These master cylinders are too large for almost all manual brake conversions on a g-body or s-10. Now a choice has to be made. How much money do you want to spend on aftermarket front calipers? Cheapest ones that I have found are around $45 each with a stock size bore from U.S. Brakes. You will then need a 7/8” bore master cylinder to match to these front calipers. For a g-body car you can go with a new or rebuilt, stock replacement from a 1978 to 1980 g-body manual brake master cylinder. For an S-10, the only option I have found that readily bolts to the firewall and to the brake lines is a Wilwood 7/8” bore master cylinder. If upgrading to the Wilwood 2.75” bore calipers, you will need a 24mm master cylinder. The g-body options are a new or built stock power brake unit from a 1978 to 1980 g-body car. New ones will be cast iron. Most rebuilt ones will be cast iron. For some reason, the 1980 model years came in aluminum and these can be bought rebuilt (like I have installed in the latest test). For a s-10, you can use a stock replacement manual brake master cylinder from a 1982 to 1992 s-10 truck with manual brakes. These are step bore master cylinders with a primary bore of 1-1/4” and a secondary bore of 24mm. I do not recommend these master cylinders because they are hard to bleed and have a bypass valve that can fail. The other options are a 24mm Wilwood master cylinder and a 1990s 24mm Dodge Dakota master cylinder. Only issue with the Dakota master is the rear brake port is 9/16-20 instead of 9/16-18. I have found no adapter for this conversion yet.

Do I recommend step bore master cylinders? No, because they are generally too large for a stock size front caliper, they are hard to bleed, and they have a bypass valve that may fail. These three issues can be remedied by using a correct size strait bore master cylinder. A 7/8” bore master cylinder for stock bore, aftermarket calipers and 24mm bore master cylinder for a Wilwood 2.75” bore calipers.

Do I recommend other oversized front calipers other than the Wilwood 2.75” front calipers? No, because their piston size in these oversized calipers are not much larger than stock. The Wilwood caliper, visually, looks to be engineered better.

Do I recommend stock size calipers? U.S. Brake is the only caliper, of the aftermarket cast iron replacements I know, that is not a low drag caliper. There may be other aftermarket, “metric” calipers, but I cannot confirm if they are low drag or not. The U.S. Brake calipers are based on a stock casting. The other alternative is a stock, replacement aluminum, “metric” caliper from Wilwood. I have not used or viewed one of these calipers, but from engineering of the 2.75” bore and 2.00” bore calipers I have viewed, I suspect they should be just as well engineered and lighter.

Do I recommend larger wheel cylinders? If the car is street driven, most likely no. If drag raced, most likely yes to keep the rear tires from spinning when doing a brake stand

Do I recommend braided stainless steel flex lines? Yes, for the reduced ballooning and better pedal feel, but is not necessary.
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post #20 of 50 Old 10-14-2013, 01:23 PM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

malibudave,

Thank you for all your hard work in researching and documenting your experiences with manual brake conversion. I have been wanting to convert my 5.0 Ford Powered '85 S-10 Blazer to manual brakes from the beginning. Thanks to you I can move forward with the conversion more quickly, confidently and with a much smaller budget than would have otherwise been the case.

Anyone who has ever lost their power brakes at speed understands, as I do, the importance of properly fully functioning brakes, whether your engine dies, a check valve malfunctions or a hose leaks. I want my brakes to work at all times , motor running or not. Anyone who thinks they can still stop their truck as well "dead stick" needs to cut power to the ignition, (careful not to lock the steering!), brake lightly a few times to bleed off the vacuum in the booster and try a panic stop from 40 mph, bet they will understand quickly... Just imagine going 60 on a downgrade towing your favorite toy trailer behind you when you lose your power brakes... wouldn't be pretty.

A cool byproduct of the swap is a much cleaner, less cluttered firewall.

I'm surprised you haven't seen more replies on this important subject.

I have already decided to upgrade to larger rotors and 2 piston calipers up front and a rear disc conversion as well so the specific parts covered for calipers for me is more of a cause/effect comparison but still valuable info.

I totally agree with the rotor size/leverage relationship and will likely go with '98-'02 Camaro rotors and 2 piston calipers. Any thoughts on where to start with a manual master cylinder with regard to straight bore/step bore and diameter(s) for my project?

Truck is 4x4 with all front drive and transfer case removed, running stock front hubs with cut down stub shafts...

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post #21 of 50 Old 10-15-2013, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Mike,

It is very important to match the size of the master cylinder to the size of your front calipers. If you rear calipers are matched to the size of your front calipers, the master cylinder you choose should work equally well with the rear calipers or wheel cylinders.

Here is a short run down of my recommendation of what master cylinder size to choose based on your front calipers.

Stock S10/G-body (non-low drag) metric calipers (2.38” bore, piston area 4.45 sq in) – 21mm to 7/8” bore master cylinder.

LS1 Camaro Front calipers (twin 1.77” bores, piston area 4.92 sq in) – 7/8” bore to 24mm bore master cylinder.

Twin piston blazer calipers (twin 1.81” bores, 5.15 sq in) = 7/8” bore to 24mm bore master cylinder.

Wilwood 2.75” bore metric caliper (5.94 sq in) = 1.0” to 1.032”.

So the range of master cylinder sizes range from the smallest of 0.826” (21mm) to 1.032”. Anything larger than 1.032, requires a larger bore caliper to compensate for fluid volume. Other than a stock D52 caliper, that came on full size cars and trucks from the 1970s through the 1990s, you will not need anything larger.

Most aftermarket braking systems, with multiple piston calipers, still have only a small piston area. Usually these aftermarket systems require a small 7/8” bore master cylinder when running manual brakes.

Here is a list of master cylinder by size.
21mm (0.826”) bore 1993 Dodge Shadow master cylinder (other years and models may work)
• Requires adapters to mate master cylinder outlet to stock lines. The adapter Part number is MC-SF at http://www.classicperform.com.
• Mounting holes spaced 3.25” versus GM master cylinder’s 3.375”.
• Hard to find.
• Reservior is angled down if mounted on a flat firewall.
• Light in weight.
• Advertised as 21mm, but may be delivered in 7/8” or 24mm bores. Measure bore size before you buy. Rebuilt/Used ones will have a “1” cast into the front of the aluminium body under the reservoir.
• Can buy new or used. New ones are fairly cheap to purchase.
• Aluminium body – new, used, or rebuilt.
• Large reservoir can hold enough fluid for rear disc brakes.

7/8” (0.875”) bore 1978 Chevrolet Monza master cylinder (other years and models may work)
• Come in cast iron only.
• Should have enough reservoir volume to safely operate rear disc brakes.
• Advertised as 7/8”, but may be delivered in a 24mm bore. Measure bore size before you buy.
• Can buy new or used. New ones are fairly cheap to purchase.
• Should bolt up to stock brake lines.

7/8” (0.875”) bore Wilwood master cylinder
• Come in cast, polished, or powder coated black aluminum.
• Have enough reservoir volume to safely operate rear disc brakes.
• Should bolt up to stock brake lines with supplied adapters
• Very nice looking
• Expensive


24mm (0.826”) bore 1993 Dodge Dakota master cylinder (other years and models may work)
• Outlet lines are 9/16-20 and ½-20 versus S10 brake lines of 9/16-18 and ½-20. Your brake line fitting should be able to “rethread” the 9/16-20 to 9/16-18 size.
• Mounting holes spaced 3.25” versus GM master cylinder’s 3.375”.
• Light in weight.
• Can buy new or used. New ones are fairly cheap to purchase.
• Aluminium body – new, used, or rebuilt.
• Large reservoir can hold enough fluid for rear disc brakes.

1.0” bore 1975 Corvette manual brake master cylinder.
• Used stock S10 brake line outlets.
• Fairly Cheap.
• Cast Iron.
• Heavy
• Large reservoir can hold enough fluid for rear disc brakes.


1.0” bore Aftermarket Corvette style aluminium master cylinder
• Fairly Expensive
• Light in weight.
• Large reservoir can hold enough fluid for rear disc brakes.

1.0” bore Wilwood master cylinder
• Come in cast, polished, or powder coated black aluminum.
• Have enough reservoir volume to safely operate rear disc brakes.
• Should bolt up to stock brake lines with supplied adapters
• Very nice looking
• Expensive

1 1/32” (1.032”) bore 1985 Dodge Diplomat master cylinder (other years and models may work)
• Outlet lines are 9/16-20 and ½-20 versus S10 brake lines of 9/16-18 and ½-20. Your brake line fitting should be able to “rethread” the 9/16-20 to 9/16-18 size.
• Mounting holes spaced 3.25” versus GM master cylinder’s 3.375”.
• Light in weight.
• Can buy new or used. New ones are fairly cheap to purchase.
• Aluminium body – new, used, or rebuilt.
• Large reservoir can hold enough fluid for rear disc brakes.

Remember:
Bigger is not always better with master cylinders
Smaller master cylinder = greater fluid pressure = more pedal travel = less fluid volume
Larger master cylinder = less fluid pressure = less pedal travel = more fluid volume
A master cylinder needs to be sized based on caliper piston volume

David Schultz
www.manualbrakes.com
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post #22 of 50 Old 10-17-2013, 03:43 PM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

David,

Thanks so much for your reply. I'm leaning toward the Shadow master cylinder with adapters, LS1 front 2 piston caliper conversion and probably the LS1 rear disc conversion. The biggest delay in my project will be budgeting for wheels/tires in addition to the brake components but at least I can start collecting parts. The Blazer is my daily driver so I'll have a limited amount of down time to complete the conversion. That said, I will post pics and details of the project as well as performance impressions of the completed manual brake conversion and cost breakdown.

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post #23 of 50 Old 12-04-2013, 12:29 PM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Hey Dave,

I'm thinking of an interim approach to get a functioning manual setup on the Blazer.
I have 2 year old rotors in very good condition, figure a minimum machining to freshen the surface, add Wilwood Big Bore 2.75 calipers, (easy bolt on), 24mm straight bore master, leave the stock 3/4" rear wheel cylinders for now and of course a complete flush and fill with fresh fluid...

Do you think I'm on the right track here? Also, any pad recommendations that wont be a wallet buster? I'm pretty easy on brakes, especially running a 5 speed manual, but I do expect good performance especially when that random deer runs across the highway.

That should get me by until I can save up for and acquire all the pieces needed for the LS1 front brake swap which I think will be followed by a '98 up S-10 Blazer 4x4 rear disc swap. The total cost including wheels and tires is gonna take a long time to absorb and I don't want to wait that long to delete my VERY old brake booster.


Your input is greatly appreciated!
Thank You,
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post #24 of 50 Old 12-04-2013, 08:16 PM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

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Originally Posted by Black P-38 View Post
Hey Dave,

I'm thinking of an interim approach to get a functioning manual setup on the Blazer.
I have 2 year old rotors in very good condition, figure a minimum machining to freshen the surface, add Wilwood Big Bore 2.75 calipers, (easy bolt on), 24mm straight bore master, leave the stock 3/4" rear wheel cylinders for now and of course a complete flush and fill with fresh fluid...

Do you think I'm on the right track here? Also, any pad recommendations that wont be a wallet buster? I'm pretty easy on brakes, especially running a 5 speed manual, but I do expect good performance especially when that random deer runs across the highway.

That should get me by until I can save up for and acquire all the pieces needed for the LS1 front brake swap which I think will be followed by a '98 up S-10 Blazer 4x4 rear disc swap. The total cost including wheels and tires is gonna take a long time to absorb and I don't want to wait that long to delete my VERY old brake booster.


Your input is greatly appreciated!
Thank You,
Mike
you can do the ls1 swap for about what all those parts are going to cost, or just a little more. it doesnt make sense to me to get the wilwoods if you are doing an ls1 swap later.

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post #25 of 50 Old 12-04-2013, 11:19 PM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

I would love to just do the LS1 swap but still running stock 15" alloys on my '85 means wheels and tires, calipers, brackets, pads, rotors, master cylinder, etc... The Wilwood Big Bore calipers run $160 a pair and bolt to my stock, steering knuckles, I could reuse my D154 ceramic pads, then just a master cylinder and I'd be on the road... not my preference but would get me by. I can always sell the Wilwood calipers later to recover some of the original cost...

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post #26 of 50 Old 12-05-2013, 08:59 AM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Well wheels do complicate things. Doesn't sound like a bad plan in that case. Good luck, let me know if I can help you with brackets and hubs in the future.

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post #27 of 50 Old 12-05-2013, 03:55 PM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Thanks Sean, being broke sucks but I try not to let it stop me completely... I do however like BRAKES that stop me completely!

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post #28 of 50 Old 12-06-2013, 10:16 AM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black P-38 View Post
I would love to just do the LS1 swap but still running stock 15" alloys on my '85 means wheels and tires, calipers, brackets, pads, rotors, master cylinder, etc... The Wilwood Big Bore calipers run $160 a pair and bolt to my stock, steering knuckles, I could reuse my D154 ceramic pads, then just a master cylinder and I'd be on the road... not my preference but would get me by. I can always sell the Wilwood calipers later to recover some of the original cost...

Mike
First, I would like to thank Dave for his Very informative post about brakes. This doesn't just apply to the S-10 community, but all vehicles with hydraulic brakes. Second, P-38, you do have options with the LS1 front brake conversion and 15" wheels. I recently did the conversion on the front of my '91 Blazer and are using 15" third gen Camaro wheels. As you all know, this has been done many times so I'm not trying to take credit, just to tell how I made it work with the 15" wheels. I went the standard route of making the LS1 rotors fit the S-10 hubs, the modifying the spindles. But when I made the caliper mounting brackets, I drilled the holes where they bolted to the spindles, but did not drill the caliper abutment mounting holes at this time. I bolted the mount bracket to the spindle, installed the hub, slid on the rotor, and slid the loaded caliper onto the rotor as I were going to bolt it up. then slid the wheel over the whole assembly and noticed the interference between the wheel and caliper. I want to add that the spindle was clamped in a vice with the hub and rotor level so the caliper would stay put and not fall off. Then I removed the wheel and rotor and went over to the lathe and turned .125" off of the .O.D of the rotor. Reinstalled it all and checked it again and found very minimal rubbing of the wheel to the caliper. Back to the lathe I go and cut another .125", reinstalled and found I had good clearance. then I took a scribe with a 90 degree bend and scribed where the location of the abutment holes needed to be, removed the bracket, drilled the holes. Bolted it all up, and away I went. This has worked great for me and I only removed a total of a 1/4" from the rotor and did not have to grind any material from the caliper. I will add that this was done to a pair of BellTech 2" drop spindles. I see no reason that this couldn't be done with a stock spindle. Also, I will say again that this was done using the 15" aluminum third gen Camaro wheels. I don't know if the S-10 alum wheel would fit as is or would need more clearance. if it needed much more room this may not be an option, as the caliper can't be moved much closer to the center without rubbing the center of the rotor. One more thing, the stock Blazer steel 15" wheels, will NOT work as the wheel's center is depressed more, and the result is my spare won't work on the front. Dave, hope this wasn't too much of a hijack, and P-38, hope this may help.
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post #29 of 50 Old 12-07-2013, 03:29 AM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

DeanJ,

Thanks for jumping in here, I guess I haven't previously come across this info regarding the use of 15" wheels with this swap, very informative. So essentially you ended up with an 11.75" diameter rotor with the caliper moved closer to the center accordingly, very cool.

I've been trying to figure out other ways to do an inexpensive swap for now that will give me a larger rotor and more clamping force. The biggest issue for me, besides lack of funds, is the stock '85 5 spoke 4x4 wheels. The wheels I have will only allow for about 13" inside diameter, (with minimal clearance), in the sector the calipers will reside in, doesn't leave much room for LS1 rotors at 12".

You bring up a good point with the spare tire, what ever I do that creates a need for bigger/different wheels I'll really need 5 with good rubber on at least 4 of them.
I actually have a pretty nice set of 5 matching wheels with very good tires on them.
I could certainly sell them to help cover the cost of a bigger set.

Still looking at possible options to work with my 15" wheels... meanwhile I'll be keeping an eye out for bargain priced wheels/tires in a 16" or 17" size. I need to stay at a max wheel width of 8" since I have manual steering which further limits my wheel options.

I'll figure something out...

Mike

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post #30 of 50 Old 12-07-2013, 09:07 AM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

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DeanJ,

Thanks for jumping in here, I guess I haven't previously come across this info regarding the use of 15" wheels with this swap, very informative. So essentially you ended up with an 11.75" diameter rotor with the caliper moved closer to the center accordingly, very cool.

I've been trying to figure out other ways to do an inexpensive swap for now that will give me a larger rotor and more clamping force. The biggest issue for me, besides lack of funds, is the stock '85 5 spoke 4x4 wheels. The wheels I have will only allow for about 13" inside diameter, (with minimal clearance), in the sector the calipers will reside in, doesn't leave much room for LS1 rotors at 12".

You bring up a good point with the spare tire, what ever I do that creates a need for bigger/different wheels I'll really need 5 with good rubber on at least 4 of them.
I actually have a pretty nice set of 5 matching wheels with very good tires on them.
I could certainly sell them to help cover the cost of a bigger set.

Still looking at possible options to work with my 15" wheels... meanwhile I'll be keeping an eye out for bargain priced wheels/tires in a 16" or 17" size. I need to stay at a max wheel width of 8" since I have manual steering which further limits my wheel options.

I'll figure something out...

Mike

the ls1 rotor starts out at 11.79. what he ended up with was 11.29".

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post #31 of 50 Old 12-09-2013, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Mike,

To get the manual brakes that function well going the lowest price route will be:

-stock rebuilt front calipers (usually are rebuilt to NON low drag specs)
-1978 Chevrolet Monza master cylinder (7/8” bore master cylinder, bolts up to stock size brake lines on most S10 trucks and blazers, measure bore before you buy)
-good cold bite pads.

Maximum stopping ability will most likely be limited by tire choice and road surface. The stickier the tires and the best road surface will give the best stopping distances. Larger diameter, thicker brake rotors dissipate heat better plus larger diameter rotors have better brake leverage (longer rod lifts more analogy).

That being said, for manual braking, money is best spent of the best “cold bite” pads with the greatest heat range (Wilwood PolymatrixQ [street], Wilwood BP10 [more dragstrip oriented]). From the auto parts store, go for an EE rated pad. FF rated pads will most likely have less “cold bite” and require more heat initially. At the bottom of the pad spectrum are organic pads. They have good cold but, but don’t do as well when they reach the limits of their heat range. The rating is on the pad itself and is usually not in the parts store system. You will have to tell them to pull different pads to view what is on the pads. Pads without a rating are most likely organic pads, but without the rating it will be hard to tell how they will perform. I mention Wilwood pads because I have more experience with them, but EBC, Hawk, etc., will give you their own recommendations for your applications. I would contact each company, or the company you like, and determine what is best for your needs.

Stock rebuilt front calipers should not be a low drag design. The rebuilt unit part numbers cover cars and trucks from 1978 to 2002. Look up a 1978 malibu and compare the calipers to a 2000 s10 truck. Most of the time, the same part number will be used for both. 1978 to 1981 cars use normal, strait bore master cylinders and require NON low drag calipers. 1982 and up step bore master cylinders can function with low drag calipers and NON low drag calipers, but normal, strait bore master cylinders will not work with low drag calipers (they run out of fluid volume).

When buying a master cylinder from the auto parts store, ALWAYS measure the bore. They have been know to show one size in the computer and sell you the larger size. Manual brakes work best with the smallest possible bore because the smaller bore creates more pressure at the expense of fluid volume. Go too big on caliper piston area, you will run out of brake fluid before you brake calipers get to the pressure needed to stop the car. With stock, rebuilt front calipers require a 7/8” bore or smaller. Going larger than 7/8” bore, will reduce braking ability. Do not go over 0.875" bore when using stock front calipers.

If going to run the Wilwood 2.75” big bore caliper, up the size to 1.0” bore. A 24mm strait bore master cylinder is at bottom limitations of supplying the fluid volume needed for these calipers. Good choice for auto parts store master cylinder is a 1985 Dodge Diplomat master cylinder. It has a 1.032” bore size. The only downfall is that its brake line outlet size for the rear brakes is 9/16-20 versus 9/16-18. The master cylinder is aluminium and is easily retreaded with stock brake line fitting or can be rethreaded using a 9/16-18 tap. Front brake line outlet for this master cylinder matches the stock GM size of 1/2-20.

Hope what I wrote above made sense. Let me know if you have additional questions.

David Schultz
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Mike,

I forgot to add that when converting to LS1 Camaro Brakes and using manual brakes, a 7/8" bore master cylinder is a good size for the LS1 caliper's volume. Eventhough it is a twin piston caliper, it's piston area is not much larger than the stock S10 "metric" caliper. 4.92 versus 4.45 square inches of piston area.

The only issue with using a Monza master cylinder with rear disc brakes is that the Monza master cylinder may not have the reservoir capacity for the extra volume of fluid needed to fill the calipers. Calipers need more fluid volume to operate than wheel cylnders.

Dave
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post #33 of 50 Old 12-09-2013, 01:25 PM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

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Mike,

I forgot to add that when converting to LS1 Camaro Brakes and using manual brakes, a 7/8" bore master cylinder is a good size for the LS1 caliper's volume. Eventhough it is a twin piston caliper, it's piston area is not much larger than the stock S10 "metric" caliper. 4.92 versus 4.45 square inches of piston area.

The only issue with using a Monza master cylinder with rear disc brakes is that the Monza master cylinder may not have the reservoir capacity for the extra volume of fluid needed to fill the calipers. Calipers need more fluid volume to operate than wheel cylnders.

Dave

dave,
i used the mopar dual master with the 7/8" bore to go along with my ls1 calipers. it was the one master you had mentioned that you thought would work, but werent 100% and hadnt messed with it. well i have messed with it, and it does work, quite well it seems. i have been meaning to do a write up, i will one day to add to this knowledge base.

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post #34 of 50 Old 12-09-2013, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

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Originally Posted by hi_im_sean View Post
dave,
i used the mopar dual master with the 7/8" bore to go along with my ls1 calipers. it was the one master you had mentioned that you thought would work, but werent 100% and hadnt messed with it. well i have messed with it, and it does work, quite well it seems. i have been meaning to do a write up, i will one day to add to this knowledge base.
Glad to hear that it worked. Look forward to the write up.

PM sent.

David Schultz
www.manualbrakes.com
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post #35 of 50 Old 12-16-2013, 03:55 AM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Well guys, I have acquired a nice used pair of 98+ Blazer front dual piston calipers with brackets, think I may just get the steering knuckles while I'm at it. I like the idea of the larger pistons/area vs the LS1's plus they were cheap. With the late model knuckle swap I can not only avoid fabbing brackets and modding my early knuckles but also sell my stock 1st gen knuckles to help recover some of the cost. Of course the Blazer caliper brackets bolt directly to the late knuckles but also leave the option of going to the LS1 12" rotors later, (with a caliper adapter bracket) when I can afford larger diameter wheels. For now the Blazer brakes will fit inside my stock 15" wheels while increasing the clamping force. I may try running my stock 10.5" rotors with the dual piston calipers initially since the diameter is only .30" less than the 98+ rotors, (which translates to only .15" at the caliper). That will save buying rotors for now and if they work out I can skip over the 98+'s and go right to an LS1 rotor when I have the 16-17" wheels. I had a new loaded caliper at the parts store and it will fit over the LS1 1.25" thick rotors. The stock 98+ rotor is 1.14" and my new 1st gen rotors are 1.035 so they should work.

I'm trying to decide what to do on the rears, thinking maybe 98+ Blazer rear rotors, 4x4 of course with the 3.74" O.A. height, and matching calipers. The rears are 11.61" dia but, because of the deep backset, put the rotor surface and caliper into the near 14.5" inside diameter section of the stock 1st gen 15" wheel so they should clear just fine.

The only problem may be with the stock early tall axle flange plates on my 10 bolt rear, haven't checked out how that will affect caliper mounting and E-brake but I have a 4 1/2" angle grinder and a pack of cutoff discs so...

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post #36 of 50 Old 12-27-2013, 10:31 AM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Hope you all had a good Christmas!

I'm now in possession of a pair of 98+ Blazer rear calipers with brackets and hoses as well as a pair of 11.61" diameter rotors, Thank You Santa!!! They do fit inside my stock 15" 4x4 alloy wheels with a bit of room to spare due to the 3.74" overall height... that's a big rotor inside a 15" wheel considering the additional space taken up by the caliper. I'm hoping to pull a rear wheel, drum and brake components today to get an idea of what I'll have to do to make this work. I have a plan in mind to set up my own e-brakes to work with the integrated drum surface of the 98+ rotor, this initial look-see should tell me if I'm on track or not... wish me luck, I'm probably gonna need some.

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post #37 of 50 Old 01-03-2014, 11:49 AM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Didn't get to do any mock up work yet but I did pick up a nice pair of 98+ 4x4 steering knuckles and dust plates, got them cleaned and painted ...










I haven't decided on color for calipers and brackets, maybe silver or charcoal calipers with black brackets... anyway, getting closer to being prepared for the swap.


I'll be taking a knuckle to the parts store today to compare the early and late style lower ball joints and the hub assemblies to figure out what I'll need.

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post #38 of 50 Old 01-04-2014, 01:45 AM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

So I discovered today at the parts store that the stock lower ball joint on my 85 will work with the 98+ knuckle. In comparing and test fitting, the difference in the late ball joint is in the mounting to the lower control arm, the tapered stud is the same as the early style.

The upper ball joints are the same part number from 84 through 05 so no problem there. The early style non ABS hub has the same flange mount bolt pattern as the late style. I set a new early style hub in position in my late knuckle and it fit. I still need front brake pads, then I should be ready for the front swap.
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post #39 of 50 Old 01-12-2014, 12:35 AM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Found a deal on some Brembo front brake pads, they'll be here Tuesday. I'm hoping they will give me decent bite with the dual piston calipers. Should get the steering knuckle/front brake swap done Wednesday or Thursday, will post pics.

Specs below...

High Performance brake pads for street use
Effective at cold temperatures as well as the higher temperatures seen during performance driving
Brembo created the Sport pads using FM1000 - designated brake pad friction material - helps minimize the compromises of an aggressive high performance pad and results in acceptable dust and noise levels for every day pad use
FM1000 pad is classified as an FG material by the SAE J661 standard - F indicates that the average coefficient of friction is between 0.35 and 0.45 at or below 200° and the G indicates an average coefficient of friction between 0.45 and 0.55 up to 600° F.
Should be decent huh?

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post #40 of 50 Old 01-16-2014, 03:38 AM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Steering knuckle/brake swap on hold, ordered full set of ball joints, might be here by Saturday. Brembo pads arrived yesterday. I did disassemble the Blazer dual piston calipers, cleaned, inspected them and replaced the seals and boots so they are ready to go. They are in very good shape.

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post #41 of 50 Old 01-23-2014, 11:20 AM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

After getting a really good look at what mods would be necessary to make the 98 up Blazer rear brakes work with my early style axle flanges I decided the only plan that made any sense, for me anyway, was to return to the wrecking yard and buy the rear axle assembly. I could've made mine work but it will just make it an easier bolt in swap. Also, I can leave my stock 3.73 G-80 axle un-hacked and sell it, complete with near new brakes to recover the cost. Fortunately the truck I pulled the nice rear brakes from has the same 3.73 ratio and G-80 locker. I also got the factory rear sway bar with U-bolts. Not sure it will work on my 2 door because of the gas tank location as it is an aft mount bar. The 2 door models I've looked at have the forward mount sway bar. Hopefully I'll have the time to get it swapped soon, been working on the wife's Grand Cherokee, among other things...
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post #42 of 50 Old 01-27-2014, 05:31 PM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Def some good info here....I would like to try the Riviera 1" master on mine since I am doing the 8.8 Explorer disc rear and ABS delete on my 98 2nd Gen. Will that master work with the 2nd gen S10 power brake booster?

Ron Turransky
98 S10 SWB Stepside
400 SBC/TH350
DJM 5/6 drop

84 C10 SWB
355 SBC => 396BBC
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post #43 of 50 Old 01-01-2015, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

One of the main problems that arise when converting to manual brakes using a 7/8" bore master cylinder is LOW drag calipers.

LOW drag calipers require a step bore (quick take up) master cylinder. In my opinion they are too large to operate smaller 2.50" bore calipers with sufficient pressure, they are harder to bleed, and they have a 100lb residual valve that can fail. My opinion also is to change out to new (NOT rebuilt) calipers to make sure you do not get a set of LOW drag calipers.

To learn a little bit about new stock size calipers, I just purchased a set of left and right AFCO 2.5" bore metric calipers that are a bolt in, stock, replacement caliper for g-bodies, S10s, and most 3rd gen f-bodies. I removed the stainless steel piston and square piston seal to make sure it was not a LOW drag caliper.

SPECS:
MFG. Part #: 7241-9003 RH and 7241-9004 LH
Centerline of Holes: 5.50
Caliper Pistons: Single Piston Diameter: 2.50
Inlet fitting: 10mm-1.5 Material Type:
Steel Finish: Natural
Sold in Quantity: Each

Description:
The 2 1/2" bore steel GM metric caliper is designed to be a used as a stock replacement caliper. The caliper features a stock appearing remanufactured castings, remanufactured grounded 2 1/2" stainless steel piston, and low drag seals (see below) . Each caliper is assembled and pressure tested.

LOW DRAG SEALS
Though the description says "low drag seals", the seals are square with no noticable taper.




The seal-groove in the bore of the caliper are also square with no noticable taper.


When the seal is installed, it barely clears the top of the bore, and because of this, the piston to bore clearance, it seams, to have fairly tight tolerances.

The small end of the piston is what contacts the back of the brake pad. It measures 2.38".
The large end of the piston is what is inside the bore of the caliper. It measures 2.50"


Inside of piston cup, facing the brake pad.


Backside of piston that is installed inside the caliper bore.


I have bought these same exact part numbers a few years back and these new ones are a different casting with, what looks to be, a stainless steel piston. These calipers DO NOT come with pads, but they come with slider pins and slider pin bushings. At this time, they are around $40, and seem to be an improvement over the previous design.

Bottom line is that these should be a good stock replacement, NON low drag, brake caliper that will work with both strait bore master cylinders and step bore (quick take up) master cylinders.
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post #44 of 50 Old 01-28-2015, 09:25 AM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Forgive me if I missed it but, when completeing the manual brake conversion what holds the new pushrod from the pedal to the master cylinder? Ive seen the kits ($170) where the adaptor actually keeps the end of the pushrod from getting away from the master. Any help is appreciated.
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post #45 of 50 Old 02-18-2015, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

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Originally Posted by BBC S10 View Post
Forgive me if I missed it but, when completeing the manual brake conversion what holds the new pushrod from the pedal to the master cylinder? Ive seen the kits ($170) where the adaptor actually keeps the end of the pushrod from getting away from the master. Any help is appreciated.
The piston of the master cylinder has a small cup that the tip of the push rod “rests” in. When you adjust your push rod out to lengthen it, the push rod should touch the piston of the master cylinder, without applying pressure to the master cylinder piston, and “rest” inside the shallow cup.

Once the brake pedal is pressed to stop the truck, pressure is created in the brake system and on the master cylinder piston itself. Once you lift your foot off the brake pedal, the pedal should return to its resting position from the pressure that was exerted from pressing the brake pedal. This pressure keeps the push rod in the cup.

If brake fluid pressure is lost in the system, the push rod has the potential to fall out of the back of this cup. Since the back of the master cylinder protrudes into the cab of the truck through the firewall, there is potential for the push rod to fall completely out of the back of the master cylinder if fluid pressure is lost. This is a dangerous situation, because there is no mechanical linkage between the master cylinder and the brake pedal. There is essentially no way to stop your truck other than applying the emergency brake.

A retention cup is built into the plate to retain the push rod during a situation where pressure is lost in the system. If pressure is lost and the push rod falls away from the master cylinder piston, the retention cup will keep the push rod aligned with the master cylinder piston allowing pumping of the brake pedal to get some pressure into the system to apply the brakes.
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post #46 of 50 Old 02-18-2015, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

This is a picture under the dash that shows how the retention cup and push rod looks after it is installed.

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post #47 of 50 Old 02-18-2015, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Here is a manual brake system used in a Second Generation S10 Truck.

After removing the vacuum booster, an area was marked to clearance the firewall for the retention cup of the manual brake adapter plate.



Firewall clearanced for the retention cup of the manual brake adapter plate.



Manual brake adapter plate with retention cup painted flat black and installed onto the firewall using the bottom bolt holes used to mount the bottom studs of the vacuum booster.



Test fitting the flat black painted master cylinder using the upper holes of the manual brake adapter plate. The manual brake adapter plate utilizes the top holes used to mount the top studs of the vacuum booster.




Once the master cylinder was installed, the pushrod was used and aligned to find the correct spot on the brake pedal to drill. A 31/64” hole is drilled on the correct spot.



The 31/64” hole is the correct size to press fit the ½” stud.



Another look at the brake pedal with stud pressed in.



Allen wrench is used to hold the stainless steel bolt while the nut is tightened down underneath the dash.



Under hood view of master cylinder installed with brake lines.


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post #48 of 50 Old 08-27-2015, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Caliper Update:

I have found a good NON low drag (normal), bolt in, single piston, replacement brake calipers for stock front brake systems. These brake calipers can be used with strait bore (normal) master cylinders and step bore master cylinders.

It is under the Centric Brand. They are about $33 plus shipping at rockauto.com.

Part number are:
14162066
14162065

AFCO has a brand new replacement brake calipers. They are about $49.99 plus shipping. $100 order are free shipping at Summit Racing, Jegs, and Speedway Motors. These should be NON low drag.

The part numbers are:
6635003
6635004
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post #49 of 50 Old 08-30-2015, 01:26 PM
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

I started installing the manual brake setup on my truck today (my truck is a 98) and was wondering what the proper way to adjust the brake pedal is? There is no "pedal stop" for the brake pedal when it is released. It says in the instructions to adjust the rod until all the play is gone, theres no actual way to do this. Also I noticed that the brake light switch was part of how the old power booster rod mounted to the pedal. How is everyone setting these up with the manual brake kit?
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post #50 of 50 Old 09-04-2015, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Manual Brake Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by eagant5 View Post
I started installing the manual brake setup on my truck today (my truck is a 98) and was wondering what the proper way to adjust the brake pedal is? There is no "pedal stop" for the brake pedal when it is released. It says in the instructions to adjust the rod until all the play is gone, theres no actual way to do this. Also I noticed that the brake light switch was part of how the old power booster rod mounted to the pedal. How is everyone setting these up with the manual brake kit?
Pedal should be adjusted out to where the original pedal hung when it was installed with the vacuum booster. There is about one inch of thread on the adjustable pushrod, but there should be about 1/4 of an inch of thread screwed into the clevis and locked down with the supplied jam nut.
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