62 Impala disk brake conversion - Impala Tech
Brakes & Suspension Conversion Questions & more

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Texarkana, TX
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62 Impala disk brake conversion

Hey I'm new to the site and was just looking for a little advice . I'm wanting to convert to 4 wheel disk brakes and was wondering what are the advantages of going with 2" drop spindles over factory ?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 11:40 AM
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Welcome to the Team Joshua!

Advantages are that a two inch drop spindle lowers the car without changing the factory steering geometry or affecting the suspension travel. The disadvantage is it limits how wide a wheel you can run before the rim contacts the steering knuckle. If you increase the wheel diameter the entire steering knuckle will fit inside the wheel, but you are not going to be able to run the stock fourteen inch wheel covers if you do. Which is an important consideration if you have an SS model which was only a collection of chrome trim and a pair of bucket seats (the wheel covers being a means of identifying your car as an SS at a distance).

I would not run four wheel disc brakes unless you are thinking of road racing the car. Eleven by two inch rear drum brakes are more than adequate to safely stop the car on modern interstate roads (assuming you can actually find a cleared section of road bed that allows you to actually get up to the 70 mph speed limit).

Disc brakes were used by the factory on the front because they were cheaper to make and install on the car not because they are better at stopping the car. Disc brakes are used on race cars, rail trains, and aircraft because they can be heated up to a high temperature, and then quickly shed the heat. It is the ability to shed heat that makes a disc brake more useful than a drum brake to racers, not because it works better (they don't; which is why big semi trucks still rely upon drum brakes to stop over weight trucks on the interstate).

Disc brakes were not used on the back because you still have to have a drum brake mechanism to get the parking/emergency brake to work. It doubled the production costs of the rear brakes on a car with rear disc brakes which is why they were only used on vehicles with a lot of built in profit margin such as the Corvette (which actually needs four wheel discs if driven hard) and the Cadillac which had them only as a marketing ploy.

Drum brakes are self actuating which means it takes very little pedal effort to apply the brakes (most of the work is in overcoming the powerful springs that retract the shoes). Disc brakes requires a lot higher line pressure to clamp the pads to the rotor, which results in more effort from you and your right leg. This is why almost all cars equipped with disc brakes are power assist. Most can generate enough pressure to stop the car but your leg will tire in trying to hold the car from creeping forward at a light without a powered assist.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Texarkana, TX
Posts: 20
 
Thanks for that bit of insight and I think I'll stick with the factory style coils . I plan making it a daily driver that I'm doing an ls/4l60e swap . I actually bought it as a parts car to use for my 62 Bel Air but the Impala was more solid . And I really appreciate that information the main reason I was wanting to go 4 wheel disk is because I actually know how to change those lol but also the guy I bought it from broke one of the drums off when he got it . He said when he got it the break was seized and he couldn't get the tire to turn , and I have absolutely no idea how bad off or easy it is to fix .
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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My Impala . It has a bad back half
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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And here's my Bel Air and it has a bad front endb
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 09:02 AM
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I think I would put the good front end on the good back end of the car and mix and match parts to build either a Bel Air or the higher optioned Impala depending upon the trim and interior used.

Replacement rear drums are sold new.

Big Dave
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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The plan is to use the Bel Airs rear end on the Impala , because the Impala has the least amount of rust and still has the floors in it .
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