S-10 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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 ¾” 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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
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:



 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
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
[URL="http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/ww247/malibudave/PushrodLinkage3.jpg%5b/img"][COLOR=#0000ff]http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/ww247/malibudave/PushrodLinkage3.jpg[/img[/COLOR][/URL]][/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]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.[/FONT][/COLOR]
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
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
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
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.





 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
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
 

·
1986 s15
Joined
·
29 Posts
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
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?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
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
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
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.
 

·
1st Gen Blazer 5.0 V8
Joined
·
259 Posts
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...

Thanks,
Mike
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top