lynyrd

63-65 Riv Disc Brake conversions

Recommended Posts

Hello, I have had no luck on getting real solid info on disc conversion kits for most important 63-64, I was told 65 may be different. Any and all info would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Lynyrd,

I am under the impression that only the spindles may be different on the 63'. I have some real good photos of my 65 front spindles off the car at my Facebook page for my Riv build. The link is in my signature.

Maybe those pictures will help you compare to what you have and identify the differences?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the guys who make the brackets at www.scarebird.com , the 65 takes a different bracket than the 63 and 64. I just bought a set of brackets for my '64 but don't have a '65 set to compare them with.

In my opinion, the best people to ask would be the people who make them. If there is a difference, they would be the ones who can tell you what the difference is.

If you're buying new, order what the mfg. says. If you're buying something off Craigslist, call the mfg. and ask for an explanation.

Ed

Edited by RivNut
spell check (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think all of the first generation Riv's have the same spindles, its the wheel hubs that are different. By looking at the pictures on Gee_Rydes' page, those appear the same as my '64 spindles and my spare set of "1st Generation" Riv spindles from Wheatbelt. The 63-64 use a large hub register while the 65 uses the more standard smaller hub bore diameter.

However from all the documentation that RivNut and I have seen the spindles interchange so you could use the later spindles on the earlier cars with the correct steering arms. This is what I'm using to swap on a set of later spindles which use a symetic "double sided" bolt pattern so that the caliper bracket doesn't have to go behind the steering arm.

Minor Hyjack; Gee_Rydes, did you ever mate the stock pedal pad with the Lokar pedal assembly? I have gone cable throttle and my current setup is rather crude but I don't like the look of that pedal for my largely traditional interior.

Thanks,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I haven't seen it for a few years, when Scarebird first started producing the bracket for the Riviera, there used to be a video of a rod shop istalling the bracket on an early Buick. They mentioned that there was some kind of clearance problem with a nut on the '65 and later Buicks and that's why there are two kits. Don't know if the video is still around anywhere, but I'll try to locate it.

Why take a chance, order the one you need, or like the previous post states, find the spindles off a '70 Riv with disc brakes and swap everything.

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe it is just me, but I have found that when the original drum brakes are in good working order (adjusted and with the correct lining material), they brake as good or sometimes better than than original style GM disc brakes found on later models. If the conversions talked about here are about oversize after-market or custom 4-wheel disc conversions I cannot comment on those, --- but,--- I have owned my '64 since 1981 when I was 16 and back then I drove like most sixteen year olds do - fast acceleration and hard braking. I always had my Riv up to 100+ mph on I-95 between Alexandria, VA and Washington D.C. on a Friday night. My brother had a '70 Cutlass with 4-wheel drum brakes and those brakes would moan and fade badly when trying to stop from high speeds. When I turned 18, I had a '69 Cadillac convertible that had front disc brakes. I still had the Riv and would compare both cars. The Cad did not brake as well as the Riv. The Cad is a heavier car but should have braked as well as the Riv since it had discs, I thought. I am not doubting the advantages of disc over drum brakes. Discs are better overall. However, I have been told by automotive mentors of mine that back in the day, Buick was known for big and good brakes compared to other makes and GM divisions. Our first generation Rivieras (and I think second too) had big finned alluminum drums to dissipate the heat much better than cast-iron drums. I have never had a problem with mine or see the need to convert. On every brake job that I have done over the years, I have used quality parts and adjusted the brakes properly. Today, asbestos is not available for brake linings over the counter. I think this is part of the problem with many people thinking that drum brakes are no good. The aftermarket linings are junk and will give you a hard pedal because you have to put extra pedal effort to stop the car. If you take your linings to a brake rebuilder/relining shop (trucks, etc.) they can put the "good stuff" on your old shoes and your Riv drums will stop very well as designed. Also, make sure your front suspension is tight and aligned. This is a major culprit of pulling to one side when braking and is often blamed on drum brakes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally agree with Paul on the effectiveness of the Aluminum brake drums that came on the early Buicks. I'm adding disk brakes to my '64 for two reasons, neither of which has to do with the efficiency of the brakes.

1)

  • Drums that still have enough steel lining in them to meet specs are getting harder to find (my '63 has 197K on the original drums and they can't be turned)
  • the drums on my '64 have only about 60K on them
  • I want them for the restoration of my '63 (I'm aware of the left v. right hand threads)

2)

  • The '64 is being built as a mild custom
  • It will have 18" wheels on it
  • IMHO, discs look more modern behind open spoke wheels

That said, if there's no real reason to switch to discs, stay with the drums. They've been proven over and over again. I'll match the drum set up on my '64 to any other non-high performance disc set up being sold as OE today.

Now for the $64,000 question. Has anyone come up with a way of putting new steel liners in the aluminum drums?

Ed

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hijack reply-

CTX,

Just got back in town

Yeah, the Lokar deal is going to work out nicely. A little mod on the floor is required to get full articulation of the pedal, but she will work out very well. I think I will fab up a replacement "pedal" base rather than using the Lokar pedal. Basically I will be adhering the stock pedal right on top of the pedal they supply in that kit to maintain a nice stock pedal appearance.

I agree that the stock drums are really cool and effective. I will be running a power MC setup from a later 60's drummed full-size to get a dual reservoir.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now for the $64,000 question. Has anyone come up with a way of putting new steel liners in the aluminum drums?

Ed

Holy thread revival Batman. Just thought I'd post this for you Ed in case you didn't hear of these folks relining the Al-Fin Drums.

J&G Relining | Home

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Robin,

I'd forgotten about this thread. Since it was originally started, I did find out that the J&G company was relining drums; they're now advertising in the Riview.

I wonder what lynrd did about his disk brake conversion. So many threads get started, advice is given, but lots of times the guy who starts it never tells anyone if any of the advice given was any help.

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just put the Scarebird disc brake conversion on my 61 LeSabre. The installation went pretty easy, and the car now stops on a dime.

All the parts and part numbers were listed out including vendors where they can be purchased from, and it was a breeze ordering the pieces to make this work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup-an older thread and I can still agree with the comments of Paul K. I have mostly been a 'flat land' resident and have never had braking issues. When we lived in Colorado, some smarts requires engine braking in mountains or you'll find yourself with high heat/shorter service life in most any braking system. The wide and large 12" Buick brakes were way more than my Pontiac world and about anything I saw or drove 'back then' and I think they're still just fine-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was flipping through some old magazines and found an article in Super Rod magazine (oct 2003) about 1964 Riviera (chopped, corvette small block). They had used S10 spindles and discs in the conversion :eek:. Any one has any info on that?

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We used to make disc brake kits for Buicks. 63-65 Riviera Disc Brakes

The spindles are the same for all 1st gen Rivs. What's different is the offset inside the hubs in a 65 Riv. (where the bearings sit) This should only be an issue if your conversion kit requires the use of the old hubs. If new hubs are supplied there should be no issue between years.

I'm working on an economical and simple kit for my own 65 Riv at the moment and happy to pass on the results when we have it finished.

From personal experience, no matter how good the old drums are they're not a patch on a good, modern disc brake system. I have converted my 66 Wildcat to 12" rotors with 2004 Pontiac GTO calipers. (VT Commodore calipers downunder) You can't beat the way they stop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm similarly working on a stop gap disc setup for mine using 71-76 B-body/73-87 C-10 rotors which share the same wheel bearings and bolt pattern with the 63-64 Riviera. The stock steelies won't clear the 98-02 F-body calipers though so I resorted to Astro Van steelies (15x6.5) which are 0.25in deeper in backspacing since my "metric" 225/75R15's rub on the frame I'm getting a pair of 3/8in spacers to ensure they clear in the front. I've not double checked but it looks like stock wheel covers will fit as well.

Eventually I will be doing that swap with 13+ inch discs and 4piston Nissan R32 Skyline calipers but the wheels and tires needed for that are too big of a budget draw at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After repeated trips to the parts stores, ...measuring hubs. I found that the 71-76 "B" body rotors work on the 69 riv spindles I used for my disc conversion on my 65 riv. So I ditched the 2 piece rotor and hub assembly for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After repeated trips to the parts stores, ...measuring hubs. I found that the 71-76 "B" body rotors work on the 69 riv spindles I used for my disc conversion on my 65 riv. So I ditched the 2 piece rotor and hub assembly for them.

Hey Duck, have you tested this conversion yet? I was wondering if the newer spindels have the same geometry?

I had a 59 Dodge with 78 New Yorker spindles and disc brakes. It was almost a bolt-on job, but it messed the geometry of the front end a little..

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the height of the spindles were the same. So Camber was the same. As far as caster or to in or toe out I'm not sure because that may have been coorected with the change of tie rods and alignment

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys, It's only taken 3 years but finally RRS completed the disc brake kit and we fitted it last week on my 65. They work fantastic and not even bedding in yet. There's no need to change the booster either! Unlike many others around this uses powerful billet 4 spot calipers and approx 12" rotors with 5 on 5 stud pattern for full-size Buicks. Basically this is not your average disc brake conversion kit.

After-market wheels 16” dia or larger will fit. My 65 has 16x7” American Racing.

Later model 15” wheels (post 1971) with the stepped rear profile and 2" hole will fit with the addition of a 9/16” (14mm) wheel spacer and longer studs.

*Standard steel rims or early rallye wheels with the tapered rear profile will not fit. Sorry, we tried hard but the calipers are just too big.

 

 

I will be taking orders for this kit in a week or so and there will be discounts available for ROA members.

Kit includes:

  • New Rotors with Buick 5 on 5" circle stud pattern, bearings and seals
  • All mounting hardware (brackets with high tensile bolts)
  • Braided SS lines and mounting hardware (pair)
  • RRS Cobra Billet Calipers custom-made for Buick (pair)

 

Buick1main.jpg

 

I look forward to your questions and can supply more details, pictures and pricing at your request.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you try the 67-70 Disc wheels that are profiled for the factory iron 4 piston calipers?  I got a set of those to fit over 12in rotors with R32 Skyline 4 piston calipers with a 1/8in spacer (or you could light grind the calipers which I'm not willing to do).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure you're right but I don't have any disc wheels to try. These calipers use Skyline pads actually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're now talking to RRS about a matching Rear Disc Brake kit and 2nd generation front disc brake conversion. If there's some interest on this forum I can push them along.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now