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Disc Brake Conversion


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I have a 68 GS 400 and would like to convert the front drum brakes to disc. I understand from reading other postings that I should be able to use the parts from another GM A-body that was equipped with disc brakes(if I can find one). <P>What makes, models and years of A-body cars are likely to have compatible parts with my 68 GS? <P>I'd like to have a little better sense that the parts are going to work before I pay the $$ and take the time to pull them off a car.<BR>Thanks for your help.

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I have disc brakes on my 67 GS and they have been somewhat of a headache.They are dual piston calipers,hard to find and very hard to work on .Chrome wheels will not fit over them either.The master cyl. is different too.Maybe the later discs from the 70,s would work.The standard power brakes work well unless you plan on doing a lot of hard driving.Let us know how everything works out. Norb

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my old 70 el camino had single piston calipers and it was easy to get parts for it. I am sure that the later chrome wheels will clear disc brakes because I can't imagine GM making two different kinds of wheels. I think 68 was the first year that they became a "common" option. Maybe that explains the problem on a 67

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Guest John Chapman

URU 68 GS,<P>The conversion you're looking at is a relatively painless bolt on using disc brake systems from most early 70's GM A/A Special body cars. <P>You'll need the dual system powerbrake booster, master cylinder, spindles, backing plates, calipers, proportioning valve and a few other bits and pieces.<P>As mentionned above, you'll want to avoid the early dual piston calipers. The later model single piston calipers are far more common and virutally bullet proof. I think the dual piston calipers were discontinued in '70 or so.<P>Buick 14" Rallye wheels from about '72-'86 will fit the disc brakes. The earlier Rallye wheels used on the drum brake cars will not fit over the calipers. You might get away with earlier 15" wheels over the discs, but it's a gamble. The disc brake Rallyes can be identified by the flat wheel shoulder on the reverse side... even easier is to just pick up wheels from the early '80s...<P>There are several ways to go about the conversion:<P>Junk yard pull... you do it<BR>Kit... you do it<BR>Brake shop... they do it using GM parts<P>Go to 'Search' in General Forum and Performance and search on "disc brake conversion" for a lot of info. This link seems the most informative: <A HREF="http://www.aaca.org/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=001004" TARGET=_blank>http://www.aaca.org/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=001004</A> <P>Cost:<P>Well, I've researched this a lot. If you get lucky with a parts pull and can do most of the work yourself, you can probably get away for about $400. If you're like me and lack the time to go to a yard, tear the car apart, etc, the kits are about $1000. A competent brake shop will be $1400-2000. I'm going the brake shop route because they'll use standard GM parts and I don't have the time. Also, some of the kits use proprietary parts, so if you need something, you'll have to get it from the vendor.<P>Hope this brings you to a screeching halt.<P>JMC

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Master Power Brakes (they have a website)<BR>have direct bolt-ons for many Buicks...<BR>now even including Rivieras!!! Check it<BR>out. Not that cheap, but it looks like<BR>nice stuff. Anybody use one of these kits?<P>- Mark

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Guest John Chapman

URU 68GS~<P>A Body: <BR>Chevelle (Malibu, SS, ElCamino)<BR>Tempest (LeMans, GTO, Safari)<BR>F-85 (Cutlass, 442, Vista Cruiser)<BR>Special (Skylark, GS, Sport Wagon)<P>A Special Body:<BR>Monte Carlo<BR>Gran Prix<P>F Body (some common brake/suspension parts)<BR>Camero<BR>Firbird<P>There is a shop here in San Diego that does the conversions with all new GM and NAPA parts. I'm sure there are places elsewhere that do this too.<BR>This guy might be willing to sell you parts info:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.discbrakeconversions.com/index.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.discbrakeconversions.com/index.htm</A> <P>Kit vendors:<P>Stainless Steel Brakes:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.stainlesssteelbrakes.com/" TARGET=_blank>http://www.stainlesssteelbrakes.com/</A> <P>MasterPower Brakes:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.mpbrakes.com/" TARGET=_blank>http://www.mpbrakes.com/</A> <P>Performance Suspensions<BR> <A HREF="http://www.performancesuspension.com/" TARGET=_blank>http://www.performancesuspension.com/</A> <P>Cheers,<BR>JMC

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Very helpful, two questions though. What are the early 70's GM A/A Special body cars? Chevelle, LeMans, Nova....?<P>Also, you mention that the brake shop will use standard GM parts. Where would they get the standard GM parts for the job? If I am unable to find a parts car I would rather have new GM parts than proprietary ones from a third party vendor. Any thoughts?

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