Disc Brake Conversion Buying Guide from The Right Stuff
Installing a Right Stuff brandDisc Brake Conversion Kit on your car or truck will enhance the performance and safety of your vehicle while also increasing its performance image.
There is no question that disc brakes are superior at the job of stopping a vehicle than drum brakes. Drum brake issues such as pedal fade, high pedal effort and brake pull the brakes get wet are eliminated with a disc brake conversion. This buying guide will help you identify and understand technical considerations of a disc brake conversion before you make your purchase.
The Right Stuff wants to ensure you get a disc brake conversion experience that meets and exceeds your expectations. If you have further questions, please call us at 1-800-405-2000 and speak to one of our brake conversion experts.
Front, Rear or a Complete 4Wheel Disc Brake Conversion Kit, what is the Difference?
The Right Stuff disc brake conversion kits are offered as either a front, rear or a complete kit that includes front and rear brake components.
- Front Disc Brake Conversion Kits include brake rotors, calipers, caliper brackets, flex lines, brake pads, bearings and miscellaneous hardware required to install or convert a vehicles front brakes at the wheel. Depending on the level of kit chosen, additional items also included maybe a brake master cylinder, power booster, various brackets and the brake distribution block that are designed to work with the at the wheel kit. Purchasing a complete kit that includes all the above hardware greatly increases the ease of installation and performance of the front brake kit.
- Rear Disc Brake Conversion Kits include brake rotors, calipers, brake pads and miscellaneous hardware required to install a rear disc brake conversion kit. One decision that will have to be made is if you want your disc brake conversion to include a parking brake or not as not all rear disc conversion kits include this option. To ensure you purchase the correct kit for your vehicle you must verify what kind of a rear end is currently under your car to ensure proper fitment.
- Complete Front and Rear Disc Brake Conversion Kit include all the above items and is engineered to work together as a complete unit and will provide the highest level of braking performance, feel, and looks. Ultimately, it is easier to install a complete brake kit than to do it in pieces.
Will MyVehiclesStock Metal Brake Lines Work with a Disc Brake Conversion Kit?
The short answer is maybe… it all depends on what type of brake system you will be converting from. For example, a vehicle that is being converted from manual brakes to power brakes will have different master cylinder to distribution block lines. Over the axle lines will be different when converting from rear drums to disc brakes. To ease installation of a disc brake conversion kit, consider purchasing the Right Stuff’s “No Brainer”brake line kits that are engineered to fit your vehicle and the disc brake conversion kit you are purchasing and make the installation process simple and a true “no brainer”.
What Size are the Wheels on Your Vehicle?
Muscle cars from the 60’s and 70’s typically came with 14” wheels and drum brakes as standard equipment. Brake Calipers on a disc brake conversion require more space than a drum brake due to where the caliper gets mounted at the outer circumference of the brake rotor and therefore may require a 15” wheel or larger. Maintaining required clearances between the caliper and the wheel is critical to proper fitment and function.
The Right Stuff’s Disc Brake Conversion Kit Wheel Fitment Guide
Street Series Disc Brake Conversion Kits work with factory 14” factory disc brake wheels or 15” wheels
Performance Series Disc Brake Conversion Kits work with factory 14” factory disc brake wheels or 15” wheels
Signature Series disc brake conversion kits require 17” or larger wheels
Power or Manual Disc Brake Conversion Kit?
Power brakes are the norm these days and require less brake pedal pressure to activate the brakes as compared to manual brakes. Manual brakes have the advantage of being a less complex to install and provides a “cleaner” firewall look due to the lack of a power brake booster. Ultimately the choice is yours. Some things to consider.
- Power brakes are energized using engine vacuum applied to the power brake booster. If your engine has a radical camshaft and pulls 10” of vacuum or less at idle (in gear if an automatic), you may want to either consider manual brakes or the option of installing a Right Stuff external vacuum pump (sold separately).
- There are certain engine and body combinations where the valve cover to power booster clearance space is minimal. This typically shows up on big block car with aftermarket, tall valve covers (IE: A Big Block Chevy installed in a Chevy II engine bay) and a stock 12” brake booster making for a very tight fit.
The Right Stuff offers smaller (8” booster on the left) dual diaphragm brake boosters that provide more valve cover to booster clearance where needed. The smaller diameter brake booster is made with two diaphragms as compared to the larger diameter brake booster on the right which has one diaphragm.
What Rear Axle Housing Does Your Car or Truck Currently Have?
Knowing what rear end/axle is under your car is critical when purchasing a rear disc brake conversion or full disc brake conversion because over the years and many owners, vehicles tend to get repaired or modified for strength or performance. Rear axle housings and axles got swapped out for stronger units with frequency.
Does your 69 Chevrolet Camaro, 70 Chevelle or 55 Bel Air have a 10 or 12 bolt rear end or has it been converted to the popular Ford 9” rear end? Does your Ford 9” rear end have the small or large bearing ends? Has your 66 Ford Mustang or Falcon been converted to an 8.8 rear end? You will need to know this information when buying either a rear disc brake conversion or Full disc brake conversion kit.
Do I Want a Street or Performance Oriented Disc Brake Conversion Kit?
The Right Stuff disc brake conversion kits are offered in a wide array of options that can change the way your brakes perform and look. The following explains the details for the 3 levels of disc brake conversion offered by The Right Stuff. From mild to wild we have you covered!
The Street Series front disc brake conversion kits includes the following:
- 11” BrakeRotors
- Forged spindles (OE height or 2” Drop)
- OEM style one piston calipers
- Brake booster
- Master cylinder with natural finish
- Proportioning valve and mounting bracket
- Backing plates
- Timken wheel bearings, and all hardware needed for the installation
- Flex hoses
- Brake pads
- Upgrade options: Chrome upper assembly, Powder coated calipers, Drilled and slotted rotors, braided stainless steel flex hoses
The Street Series Front disc brake conversion kit will achieve all the benefits of a disc brake conversion with a stock, factory appearing look. This Series is a great way to upgrade from drum brakes or renew a vehicle that originally came with disc brakes with new and fresh components and still retain the ability to use 14” or larger wheels.
The Performance Series front disc brake conversion kits are the next step up the performance ladder and includes the following:
- 11” Drilled and slotted brake rotors
- Wilwood two piston calipers with a choice of powder coated finishes (shown in red here)
- Forged Spindles (OE Height or 2” Drop)
- Chrome or zinc plated brake booster with the booster being offered in various diameters to address valve cover fitment issues.
- Chrome or natural finish on the master cylinder
- Chrome plated proportioning valve and mounting bracket
- Rotor backing plates
- Timken wheel bearings and mounting hardware
- Braided stainless steel flex hoses.
- High quality brake pads
A Performance Series kit will achieve a higher level of braking performance and add a performance look and vibe to your vehicle and will require 15” or larger wheels. This kit also adds a layer of detail to a wheel upgrade and has a “race” inspired appearance.
Finally, for the ultimate in stopping power and race inspired good looks there is The Right Stuff’s Signature Series disc brake conversion kit which includes the following.
- Huge 13’ Drilled and slotted brake rotors that are zinc plated
- Twin-piston calipers with a choice of Red or Black powder coated finishes (shown in black here)
- CNC machined mounting brackets
- Chrome or Natural Finish master cylinder and brake booster
- Forged aluminum mounting hub
- 2” drop kit includes forged spindles/stock height uses vehicles factory spindles
- Braided stainless steel flex hoses
- Timken wheel bearings and all mounting hardware
- Braided stainless steel flex hoses
- High quality brake pads
The Signature Series conversion kit offers the highest level of braking performance and looks to your vehicle andrequires 17” or larger wheels.
One Stop… for Everything You Need!
The Right Stuff has everything you need to perform disc brake conversion, fix or upgrade the brake system on your Detroit born muscle car or truck. For the best selection, price and expert customer service make The Right Stuff the place where you stop in and get what you need to upgrade your ride to the car of dreams.