BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


Disc Brakes

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Stomper

Number of posts : 20
Location : Calgary AB
Registration date : 2013-01-18

Disc Brakes

Post by Stomper on Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:44 pm

Next discussion topic: disc brakes. Are they worth the cost and hassle of conversion?
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panelmanrd

Number of posts : 788
Location : kcmo
Age : 57
Registration date : 2009-10-04

Re: Disc Brakes

Post by panelmanrd on Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:53 am

Yes they are!!!
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Stomper

Number of posts : 20
Location : Calgary AB
Registration date : 2013-01-18

Re: Disc Brakes

Post by Stomper on Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:33 pm

How so?
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Digz

Number of posts : 3771
Location : United States Six Lakes MI
Registration date : 2008-05-17

Re: Disc Brakes

Post by Digz on Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:30 am

Probably depends on how often you are going to drive it. In my case a lot and yes it was worth it. Another angle is if all of the stock stuff is junk, yes it's worth it.
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m1dadio
Chevy Guru

Number of posts : 1738
Location : Victoria B.C.
Registration date : 2008-10-06

Re: Disc Brakes

Post by m1dadio on Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:06 am

You are asking two questions "is it worth the cost" and "is it worth the hassle of conversion. ( "hassle" being your choice of words).

There are in fact some few individuals who cant or wont convert there early to disc brakes for their own reasons.  I know of one who argues drum brakes are better than disc brakes. (I dont share that opinion). For others it may be a financial  or technical challenge they are not willing or able to overcome.

I do factually know of more than 300 vanners in five different countries  on three different continents who are very happy to have converted their early van to disc brakes. Most had no issues and found the conversion easy to do. About twenty of those had some challenge, different in nature, from issues specific to their van (like a bent spindle) ; or they found the conversion technically challenging needing help, two people who thought they didn't have to look at the instructions on their first attempt. None said it was a hassle.

However those who found the conversion technically challenging did put their head down, leaned into the job, got their hands dirty and in the end completed the conversion  successfully and are proud of it. Rightfully so.
From a conversion perspective; nothing about these vans is a "take it out of the box and bolt it on without even looking at the instructions" kind of job. If you can change and engine or a trans, you can do a disc brake conversion. Most found this conversion to be the kind of challenge they enjoyed doing.

Like an engine or trans conversion; one has start with "wanting to do the work", to be willing to make effort, do some thinking, get dirty, blead, be confused at times. These vans are challenging and vanners are a type of personality that  take on challenge, overcome whatever is thrown at them without letting emotions impede their success.

Most vanners who have converted their vans to disc brakes are the "experienced vanners". with many years driving early vans on drum brakes. They could tell you driving horror stories  and why they happily converted to disc brakes. Several have stated that converting their van to disc brakes is "the best single improvement that can be done to the early van".

As I embarked on modifying my first early. decidedly putting a high performance V8 into a light uni body vehicle that originally came with a 58 HP four cylinder or small 6 cylinder engine, which could not do more than 60 MPH and after having driven it on the drum brakes for a year almost rear ending the car in front of me twice not to mention the ditch dancing upon hard braking. The very first thing I did was to design an effective disc brake conversion that would serve a 1/2 ton truck with 15" wheels, big tires and a couple hundred horse power V8.

As for the cost? you have to decide on your own financial priorities. For me; Yes I too am on a budget which I have to plan around restricted spending. but a law of the technical world as constant a gravity is "you get what you pay for". If you need to restrain you spending on areas of your project the safety items are not the place to go cheep. That being said, the cost of converting an early van to a good disc/drum set up is surprisingly similar to and even less than the cost of the kit alone for other more popular hobby car brake conversions.
Each vanner has to decide for themselves what value they place on the comfort, security   and enjoyment of driving a van they can be confident will stop when they need it to stop; and not always having to drive four car lengths behind everybody else who' s modern cars can stop in a very short distance. Also it costs almost the same money and even more sometimes to completely rebuild a 50 year old Drum/Drum system.

Some advantages of disc brakes are: disc brakes can apply more force to lock up and stop bigger wheels and better tires. (its the tires that stop you, not your brakes, your brakes just convert mechanical energy into heat energy).Disc brakes are very much more efficient at dissipating the heat energy they produce which is why they are more efficient than drum brakes. Disc brakes are very much more "consistent" they stop in a straight line every time (as long as your tires are good). Disc brakes handle the adverse  conditions caused by water and moister  much faster than drum brakes. Disc brakes take almost no maintenance through out the life of the pads. Disc brakes consistently auto adjust the right amount every brake application unlike drum brakes. Once installed disc brakes cost much less to maintain and replace. Disc brakes have very much less tendency to "brake fade" under heavy braking conditions. Ideal for heavy load down long hill braking. What else did I miss? Think of all the reasons today's auto manufactures have all gone to disc brakes.

my 2 cents

M1D
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jrdunn96

Number of posts : 453
Location : Cashion, OK
Age : 57
Registration date : 2016-01-01

Re: Disc Brakes

Post by jrdunn96 on Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:19 am

My opinion is yes, definitely. I'm nearly as eloquent as M1D, though.
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BAS0301

Number of posts : 14
Location : Marysville, Washington
Registration date : 2014-06-05

Re: Disc Brakes

Post by BAS0301 on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:14 pm

Does any one make a disk brake "conversion kit" for a second gen G10, or am I on my own with fabrication?
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m1dadio
Chevy Guru

Number of posts : 1738
Location : Victoria B.C.
Registration date : 2008-10-06

Re: Disc Brakes

Post by m1dadio on Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:24 pm

There is not a "kit" but there is brackets designed specifically for your van with instructions and a list of the common parts you will buy at your local car parts store.

look here


http://vintage-vans.forumotion.com/t53765-front-disc-brakes-2017?highlight=disc+brakes+2017

I recommend you use the search option on this site as there are many threads about disc brakes and you need to become knowledgeable about what is involved. Ignore any online talk about what parts to use as that is from the early days and the parts list that comes with the brackets has been substantially revised.


M1D
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65-G10-guy

Number of posts : 110
Location : Waynesville NC
Registration date : 2012-11-16

Re: Disc Brakes

Post by 65-G10-guy on Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:34 pm

Hey Stomper, I grew up driving drum brake vehicles and we just learned to deal with not stopping well.  The two most important upgrades you can do are disc brakes and installing a dual master cylinder.  While you are at it replace all the 50 year old metal and rubber brake lines.  M1D's bracket kit and instructions made the conversion easy. There were no surprises on the install and the old van stops well every time.  The first week I had my van I blew out a rear brake metal line. Having the pedal go to the floor will make a believer out of you real quick.  I was lucky I was in my driveway.  Safety first.  Be well and keep on vannin'.
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BAS0301

Number of posts : 14
Location : Marysville, Washington
Registration date : 2014-06-05

Re: Disc Brakes

Post by BAS0301 on Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:54 pm

Thank you for the info. Going to put it to good use starting this weekend. NEED to add a lot of STOP and do some suspension now, 'cause next year I'm hoping to add a screamin' little 383 (550hp/515ft/lbs) to her.
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kookykrispy

Number of posts : 1461
Location : Tacoma, WA
Age : 45
Registration date : 2009-05-22

Re: Disc Brakes

Post by kookykrispy on Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:29 am

Yes its worth it.  

If you're gonna have a van that goes fast, you'll definitely want to have it STOP even faster.  I consider disc brakes mandatory with a v8 swap.

If you are just keeping the little 6 bang wheezer, then factory drums are ok, as long as they are rebuilt and working correctly.

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