1967 Disc Brake Caliper Problems - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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1967 Disc Brake Caliper Problems

I have a 1967 Chevrolet Impala Convertible that I've owned for 20 years. I'm having some problems with front calipers. This Impala came with factory disc brakes with the 4-piston calipers up front. Two years ago we were having problems and decided to swap them out with a rebuilt set. Now I'm kicking myself for sending back my cores rather than rebuilding them because this set leaks over time. I can top up the reservoir and it's not a fast drain but it's just not right. I'd go back to the original company to get them replaced under warranty but I've already done it once and I don't trust their rebuilds enough to get more junk from them.

So I'm looking around for a replacement, ideally new parts; no more rebuilds. They made a number of brake configurations for these though and I don't want to order something that doesn't match up. And I don't know where the leaking on mine is coming from or I'd consider rebuilding myself.

Mine have the number 5455008 stamped on them. Also 5H8L (I think) and Delco Moraine.

I've found a new set that looks to be about the same. However, they have 5455533 stamp. Any brake parts ninja out there who would have any idea whether these would be interchangeable? The vendor says that the 5455533 brakes are "Brand new 1967-68 GM A, B and X body 4 piston disc brake small bore calipers."

Thanks!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 10:45 AM
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Welcome to the Team Richard!

The Impala used the calipers off of the rear of a Corvette. The rear Corvette caliper has two bleeder screws and the front had only one bleeder screw. If your caliper was rebuilt it should have been rebuilt with stainless steel sleeves inserted instead of just bored to a larger size. SSBC started this rebuild procedure and is it is why they are called Stainless Steel Brake Company as the factory brakes will rust if not lined with stainless steel inserts (sleeves).

Rotor run out is also very critical with these Girling inspired brakes. Since the calipers are a fixed bridge with the pads in constant contact with the rotor at all times run out has to be limited to 0.005". So wheel bearing wear and heat checking are points of failure for these brakes.

It is because the Girling fixed bridge design that GM licensed was so unforgiving (excess warranty claims) the engineers designed a floating one piston caliper to use on all of their fleet when they decided to go to disc brakes on cars and light trucks. GM went to disc brakes not because they are better brakes but because they are a lot cheaper to make and to install on new cars saving GM money.

Your factory style four piston caliper brakes is a very rare option and adds value to your car. The smaller A, F, and X body brakes are not correct for your car. They will bolt up (bolt pattern is the same), but I do not know if the calipers will fit over the Impala (B-body) rotor. As the Corvette shares the same thicker rotor as used on light trucks, I am just not familiar with the thickness of the rear rotor which may not be as thick as the front. The Corvette rear rotor is definitely different than the front because it has a drum brake built into the hub which acts as the parking/e-brake.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Wow Big Dave!! I was sort of joking when I said I needed a brake parts ninja. But clearly you heard my cries. I really appreciate the quick response.

So what would you do if you were me? I appreciate the comment to adding value. But while this is a well-restored and beautiful (biased) Impala, it is simply a driver that has 140,000 miles and the owner (me!) intends to keep it forever and ever. It has value to me beyond the $20k that it's worth and I don't care too much about long-term resale value. That being said, "rare option" is cool to me and I've tried to keep it all original as much as I can. I've always appreciated the "factory disc brakes on a 1967?" look from people who don't know about these models.



I'd really like to get this nipped in the bud. It's a lot of car and I really like being able to slow it down from my hot rodding.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 11:42 AM
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Dave,
FYI the Corvette front and rear discs are the same thickness. Really, the only difference is the rear has a hole to adjust the parking brake.

Richard,
Nice car!!

1967 Chevrolet Impala SS convertible - Ermine White C1
1967 Chevrolet Impala SS 396 - Marina Blue FF
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 09:23 AM
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The good news everything you need is remanufactured to keep all of those professionals that own Corvettes happy. Unfortunately those professionals (lawyers, bankers, and doctors) have more money than sense and drive up the price of Corvette parts by constantly buying everything made. The only non Corvette part on your brakes is the wheel hub that mounts the rotor. That isn't reproduced and is hard to find.

I would determine what is wrong (rotor run out or excess wear (too thin a rotor) or worn wheel bearings that could be causing your problem. I would insist on stainless steel sleeves in any caliper that they sell you as once they start to rust the have to be rebuilt. I suspect the outer seals are your problem and they are allowing water in and brake fluid to leave the wheel cylinders. Deep puddles are death on these brakes I discovered when servicing my mom's 1968 Caprice with these four piston powered disc brakes. Street flooding is a problem in Florida in the summer as it is table flat and the water has no place to go except to be absorbed by the sand that is all we have in central Florida.

Big Dave
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-02-2015, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Richard,
Nice car!!
Thanks BigDogSS! I met someone who owned an SS hardtop recently. Me: "I always wished mine was an SS." Her: "I always wished mine was a convertible." lol
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-02-2015, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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I would determine what is wrong (rotor run out or excess wear (too thin a rotor) or worn wheel bearings that could be causing your problem. I would insist on stainless steel sleeves in any caliper that they sell you as once they start to rust the have to be rebuilt. I suspect the outer seals are your problem and they are allowing water in and brake fluid to leave the wheel cylinders. Deep puddles are death on these brakes I discovered when servicing my mom's 1968 Caprice with these four piston powered disc brakes. Street flooding is a problem in Florida in the summer as it is table flat and the water has no place to go except to be absorbed by the sand that is all we have in central Florida.

Big Dave
Definitely my rotors are gone. Worn way past the point of no return. But will that alone cause the leaking? Based on your messages before I poked around a bit and found my way to the folks at cssbinc.com. They don't sell rebuild kits for my caliper but they do stock stainless sleeved rebuilt 5455008 calipers for (ouch) $275/ea. It looks like new calipers, pads, rotors and a poly front end rebuild kit will be the Fall update. $$$ It does seem the stainless sleeves are a good investment though.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-02-2015, 02:04 PM
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Thanks BigDogSS! I met someone who owned an SS hardtop recently. Me: "I always wished mine was an SS." Her: "I always wished mine was a convertible." lol
You're welcome! Your car is bitchin' as-is. That is way cool that it has the factory disc brakes. Keep it original. Go with a reputable company. You might spend more, but if the parts work correctly and are reliable, it won't matter in the long-run.
Also IMO, you should install the 1967-only disc-brake center caps on your rally wheels. Is the color Butternut Yellow?
In recent years, I come to appreciate ALL models and model lines (Camaro, Chevelle, Nova, etc) not just the SS's, especially when they are stock. And I can't stand it when some one tries to make a non-SS car into an SS. It is usually not done completely (missing trim, emblems in the wrong place, etc.) and the car ends up looking goofy.

1967 Chevrolet Impala SS convertible - Ermine White C1
1967 Chevrolet Impala SS 396 - Marina Blue FF
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-02-2015, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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You're welcome! Your car is bitchin' as-is. That is way cool that it has the factory disc brakes. Keep it original. Go with a reputable company. You might spend more, but if the parts work correctly and are reliable, it won't matter in the long-run.
Also IMO, you should install the 1967-only disc-brake center caps on your rally wheels. Is the color Butternut Yellow?
In recent years, I come to appreciate ALL models and model lines (Camaro, Chevelle, Nova, etc) not just the SS's, especially when they are stock. And I can't stand it when some one tries to make a non-SS car into an SS. It is usually not done completely (missing trim, emblems in the wrong place, etc.) and the car ends up looking goofy.
Aww...shucks. I do appreciate the compliments.





Yeah, I agree with you about keeping it stock. I like it that way. And not into fake SS's. And yes, mine is butternut yellow. I bought this Impala 20 years ago when I was 24. I didn't really know what I was looking for but found this for sale in a barn, fell in love with it and am still crazy about it. But I too have an appreciation for all models, with a particular affinity for 67's.

On the disc brake center caps. I think I know what you're talking. Like these? I see replicas on these all the time and don't even know what real ones look like.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 01:42 AM
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Yes, those are the center caps. There were on ALL 1967 Chevrolets equipped with power disc brakes--> Camaro, Nova, Chevelle, Corvette and of course the full size line. These were used for 1967 only. The center caps currently on your car are for 1968 and up cars. They are known as "derby caps".
My first 1967 Impala SS convertible was originally Butternut Yellow. Unfortunately, the original owner had it painted dark blue. I sold that car it had lots of rust and crappy body work problems.
I too, am infatuated with the 1967 Chevrolets.

1967 Chevrolet Impala SS convertible - Ermine White C1
1967 Chevrolet Impala SS 396 - Marina Blue FF
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Yes, those are the center caps. There were on ALL 1967 Chevrolets equipped with power disc brakes--> Camaro, Nova, Chevelle, Corvette and of course the full size line. These were used for 1967 only. The center caps currently on your car are for 1968 and up cars. They are known as "derby caps".
Yeah, I always knew what I had wasn't correct. Originally, mine had straight up plain jane hubcaps. Which was one of the first things I upgraded. Found the wheels, center caps and rings at a swap meet in the 90's. Think they were pulled off a Corvette. I like the rally wheels and didn't want to go with any gaudy wheels. That set me in motion to keep her stock.

I think I'll clean up my wheels and replace these center caps in the Spring. Easy simple upgrade to something more original. Thanks for the advice.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 02:17 PM
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Yeah, I always knew what I had wasn't correct. Originally, mine had straight up plain jane hubcaps. Which was one of the first things I upgraded. Found the wheels, center caps and rings at a swap meet in the 90's. Think they were pulled off a Corvette. I like the rally wheels and didn't want to go with any gaudy wheels. That set me in motion to keep her stock.

I think I'll clean up my wheels and replace these center caps in the Spring. Easy simple upgrade to something more original. Thanks for the advice.
I was under the impression that rally wheels were required (or police steel wheels) whenever the four piston Girling brakes where ordered. Could be wrong but they were included as part of the disc brake package on my mom's 1968 Caprice.

Quote:
Definitely my rotors are gone. Worn way past the point of no return. But will that alone cause the leaking?
You bettcha red ryder! That style brake is very susceptible to leaks if the pads are not touching the rotors or the rotors are worn.

Big Dave
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 03:09 PM
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Dave, you are correct, rally wheels were included with the RPO J52 option.

1967 Chevrolet Impala SS convertible - Ermine White C1
1967 Chevrolet Impala SS 396 - Marina Blue FF
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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I was under the impression that rally wheels were required (or police steel wheels) whenever the four piston Girling brakes where ordered. Could be wrong but they were included as part of the disc brake package on my mom's 1968 Caprice.
Interesting. Well it definitely did not have rally wheels when I bought it and definitely did have the disc brakes. I guess somebody swapped something out somewhere along the line. The guy I bought it from in the 90's had a number of classic cars and might have switched wheels before he listed it for sale.

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You bettcha red ryder! That style brake is very susceptible to leaks if the pads are not touching the rotors or the rotors are worn.
Now I'm torn. It would be considerably cheaper to just try out rotors and leave the existing calipers alone. Yet I know it would be a good upgrade to go with the stainless sleeved rebuild. Just mo $$$.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 09:24 AM
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http://toms427impala.info/CT/MJC1-Di...Conversion.pdf
http://toms427impala.info/CT/65-70_D...Conversion.pdf

Here are two different 65-70 Impala front disc brake setups using stock GM parts.
The first one uses 69-70 Impala stock disc brakes with single piston caliper and Corvette rotors instead of the hard to find and expensive stock rotors. I used this setup on both my 65 Impala's. You must use 15 inch wheels.
The second one uses C3 Corvette disc brakes similar to a stock 67 set up. But not all wheels fit.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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http://toms427impala.info/CT/MJC1-Di...Conversion.pdf
http://toms427impala.info/CT/65-70_D...Conversion.pdf

Here are two different 65-70 Impala front disc brake setups using stock GM parts.
The first one uses 69-70 Impala stock disc brakes with single piston caliper and Corvette rotors instead of the hard to find and expensive stock rotors. I used this setup on both my 65 Impala's. You must use 15 inch wheels.
The second one uses C3 Corvette disc brakes similar to a stock 67 set up. But not all wheels fit.
Thanks dadstoy. Is that your writeup? Very impressive work and great documentation.

I think that's more than I care to get into at this point in time. I decided to buy the stainless sleeved original rebuilt 4-piston calipers, along with new pads and rotors. Doing a front end suspension poly rebuild kit as well. Spring cruising will be sweet.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 08:37 PM
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No not my work. But I have been sharing them for years.
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