Classic Performance Products 378 E Orangethorpe Ave., Placentia CA 92870

Classic Performance Products

1963-72 Chevy Truck Tubular Suspension Install Part Three - Disco Brakin'

By Bob Ryder

Brakes are one of the major concerns of early-model trucks. When restoring a truck today, an upgraded brake system should be mandatory, and with today’s aftermarket disc brake conversions, you’d be foolish not to make the investment when upgrading your brakes. We have been working with the team at Classic Performance Products in Anaheim, California, while they upgrade a ’67 Chevrolet ½-ton pickup frame with CPP suspension components on all four corners, and in this last installment we’ll swap the front and rear brakes.

A quick recap to show the build from beginning to end

Totally Tubular Part I

We covered the installation of CPP’s Big Tube rear suspension featuring 2-inch-diameter trailing arms with urethane bushings. The track bar (Panhard bar) eliminates any lateral movement of the rearend housing. A pair of shorter progressive coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers were installed. A flat frame cross member replaced the factory crossmemeber to allow more ground clearance following the lowered stance. The cross member also has oversize 3 x 5 inch oval exhaust pipe holes, allowing the exhaust to be tucked up inside the framerails. The CPP rear suspension lowering kit allows a 6-inch drop.

Totally Tubular Part II

The '67's nose was dropped by installing CPP's tubular 1-3/4 inch upper and lower control arms. The lower A-arms lower spring pocket features a one-piece stamped steel spring pocket that is completely flush with the bottom edge of the lower A-arm for maximum ground clearance. A pair of zinc-coated control arm cross-shafts with self-locking hardware maintains continuous alignment. New CPP tie rod ends and adjusting sleeves were installed, along with new pitman and idler arms and a power steering box. Body roll was eliminated with a thicker diameter sway bar. To achieve the 5-inch lowered stance up front, a pair of CPP 2-inch drop spindles and 3-inch- shorter progressive coil springs were installed. Up front, we also installed a pair of Totally Tubular engine mounts and a Totally Tubular transmission crossmember.

Totally Tubular Part III

In Part III, we will be following Jeft Wise and Danny Nix as they install CPP's four-wheel disc brake kit. The large 12-inch brake rotors are cross-drilled, chamfered, and slotted before they are zinc-plated. Cross-drilling increases the rotors' ability to cool down between stops by exerting heated gases that build up inside the rotors' metallurgic molecule structure due to friction during stopping. The rotors' cross-drilled holes are chamfered to eliminate cracking that can occur when rotors develop stress concentrations during the drilling process. Slotted rotors will reduce brake fade during stopping and maintain a clean brake rotor surface as the brake pads sweep the rotors' surface. A complete set of inner and outer wheel bearings, seals, castle nuts, cotter pins, and spindle dust caps are included in the kit.
   The CPP front caliper pistons are among the largest available with a 2 15/l6-inch bore and a piston area of 6.8 square inches. A pair of zinc-plated backing plates helps deflect debris from interfering with the brake rotor and caliper. The rear calipers are big and incorporate an integral parking brake. Rear calipers feature a 2-inch bore and have a piston area of 3.1 square inches. The rear brake lines are all pre-bent for exact fitment connecting with flare fittings to either rubber or stainless braided Teflon brake hoses with banjo fittings connecting to the calipers.
    Knowing the crew at CPP are early risers, I arrived with pre-dawn fresh doughnuts and coffee. After unpacking my camera bag and inserting an empty flash card, I was ready for action.

1..This front view of the '67 Chevy pickup frame with CPP front suspension components includes CPP upper and lower control arms with ball joints and urethane bushings, 2-inch drop spindles, 3-inch shorter coil springs, gas-filled shock absorbers, L&R tie rod ends, tie rod adjuster sleeves, power steering box, pitman arms, idler arm, front sway bar, sway bar, and end links.

2..Jell Wise removed the front brake rotor that had accumulated decades of crust and rust.

3..Here we can observe the immaculate CPP upgraded front suspension components (covered in our earlier tech articles "Totally Tubular Parts I and II").

4..Here are the CPP front and rear disc brake conversion kits for '62- 87 1/2- ton GM trucks.

5..A zinc-coated backing plate was then balled and secured to the front spindle.

6-7..Jeff then proceeded to align a new CPP 12-inch cross-drilled, vented, and zinc-coated rotor onto the CPP 2-inch dropped spindle.

8-9..After the rotor was aligned onto the spindle, a castle nut was snugged up using a pair of slip-jaw pliers, then secured with a cotter pin.

10-11..A special dust cap installation tool was used to evenly distribute the impact while installing the dust cap onto the spindle.

12..The single-piston front brake caliper was then aligned and mounted to the spindle.

13..A banjo boll was used to thread the banjo fittings on the rubber brake hoses.

14..After the banjo bolt was installed into the brake hose's banjo hose fitting, it was then threaded and secured into the brake caliper's brake line fitting.

15..A C-clip secured the front brake hose to the mounting bracket located on the framerail.

16..Moving to the rearend housing, Jeff removed the brake drum, exposing the rear brake shoes and backing plate assembly.

17-18..The rear differential cover must be removed to gain access to the rear axles, which need to be removed from the rearend axle housing. This allows the rear brake shoe assembly to be removed.

19-20..After loosening the center-locking pin bolts, the locking pin was pushed out halfway. The rear axles were then pushed inboard to relieve the tension on the C-clip, which was then removed. Alter the C-clip was removed, the axles were pulled from the rear-axle housing.

21-22..The rear brake shoe assembly was unbolted from the rear-axle housing flange and removed.

23..After the rear brake shoe assembly was removed, the CPP rear disc brake caliper mounting bracket was secured to the rear- axle housing flange.

24..After the CPP rear disc brake caliper mounting bracket was secured, the rear axles could be reinstalled.

25-26..Continuing with the build, the rear axles were inserted into the axle housing. After aligning and reinserting the center locking pin, the C-clips were reinserted.

27-28..To eliminate any differentiailluid leaking, a new gasket (supplied in kit) was sandwiched between the differential and the cover. The differential cover was aligned and the 12 bolts were secured.

29..The rear disc brake's 12-inch, cross-drilled, slotted, and zinc-coated rotor was aligned over the rear axle.

30-31..Next up, the CPP rear disc brake caliper pads were spread and then slipped over the rear brake rotor. After the rear brake caliper bolts were aligned, the long caliper bolts were inserted and tightened down.

32-33-34..CPP rear brake calipers feature an internal E-brake. The E-brake cable was inserted through the spring and secured. The other end was secured at the sheath fitting with a C-clamp.

35-36-37..Securing the hose to the caliper, a banjo fitting was threaded into the rear brake caliper. A rear-brake hard line clamp wraps around the rearend housing axle tube to secure the rubber brake line and hard-line junction.

38..An overall inboard view of the completed rear disc brake assembly displays the high-quality CPP components.

Go To Part One     Go To Part Two